View Full Version : Universal Area Hotels; Clarion, etc.

12-22-2000, 11:05 AM
Hi, i am planning a trip for next December. I was looking at the prices for Portifino, HRH, etc. and noticed that Clarion Universal is substantially less than the others. Is this an OK hotel? How is it in regards to cleanliness, service, proximity to Universal? Are there other hotels that I should look at as well? I am looking for a good price but do not want to compromise comfort and enjoyment for the "best deal." Any recomendations? Thank you so much in advance!

12-22-2000, 12:27 PM
The main difference is that the Clarion, Sheraton Studio City, and hotels close to Universal is that they are not onsite. By staying at the Portofino or HRH, Universals two onsite resorts, you get an added benefit of having front of the line access at both Universal parks all day long. In addition these hotels, or at least the Portofino (HRH doesn't open until January), are rated as some of the best hotels in Orlando.

I would say, if I had the choice, pay a little extra and stay on site. By staying onsite you could spend your whole vacation without having to deal with a single parking lot or ride line, and you know the hotel will be excellent. On the other hand I highly recommend the Sheraton Studio City, from my stays there, as it is only a five minute drive to the parks and the hotel and rooms are clean. By staying offsite you may save $50-60/night, but is the sacrifice of some of the onsite benefits worth the savings? Probably not!


12-24-2000, 06:27 PM
Hi, I am bumping my question up because I am still very much interested in people's opinions on Universal Area hotels aside from the "on Site" properties which I can not afford. Please let me know which hotels are worth the money and which I shouyld stay away from. I value your opinions, thanks!

12-24-2000, 07:03 PM
We have reservations at the HRH (entertainment coupon rate) after deciding that this was the way to go because of the onsite perks (no driving and dealing with ramps and FOTL priv. We also found goood review of Hawthorn Suites, Ameri-suites, and Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites. Some have specials on their websites. Also, the Country Inn chain has a hotel near Univ. We have stayed in their hotels in Minn. and found them to be very comfortable with country decorating touches and a cont. br. You can get good AAA rates with most of these chains

12-24-2000, 07:06 PM
I forgot to mention that if you reserve with the Clarion, check out their website at www.choicehotels.com (http://www.choicehotels.com) for their 10% off online res. discount.

12-25-2000, 06:53 AM
You can also get good rates on the Clarion Universal under Dreams RES. There are many good hotels across the street on Kirkman. The Holiday Inn and Suites on Kirkman has gotten good reviews on this board.


Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards

12-26-2000, 01:44 PM
And Happy New Year to you all!

01-04-2001, 08:01 PM
We stayed in the clarion universal last may, it was clean, nice people, great pool, and reasonable price. What more could you ask for? We had the orlando flex tickets, and went early every morning, the clarion is only about 2 minutes from the parking garage. Next month, however, we will be staying at the new Sleep Hotel. Does anyone have any info on this ???

Patti PB
01-04-2001, 09:02 PM
I stayed at the Sleep Inn and Suites on Major Blvd in mid-November. It opened in Aug. 2000, so it was (obviously) in great shape. It was NOT walking distance to the parks, but the shuttle service was great, convenient, on-time, and only had a full bus one time in four days!

I would recommend this hotel, and I would stay there again. The breakfast was very complete (IMHO). We had cereals, toast, real bagels, juices. I was disappointed they had no fresh fruit. When I was there, a HS marching band was also at the hotel. Not only did the hotel hire 24-hour security to be sure the kids didn't bother other guests, but we did not hear any noise at all while we were there. It is right next door to a Wendy's, but a short walk to a bunch of other quickie places.

I, too, would love to stay on-site , but at the time of year I went, with no crowds and few if any lines, I am glad I saved all that money. Sleep Inn was $42.90 a night from Hotelkingdom.com. If I were going in hot weather with lines and heat, I probably would have worked harder to stay a PBH, so I could take advantage of the pools and FOTL access.

Hope I helped. Sorry this was so long, but I get so excited when I can actually contribute something!!!