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Miffy2003
11-26-2005, 06:40 AM
For a three night stay?

I am hoping to make the most of the FOTL access as we haven't visited Universal for many years (and have never been to IOA).

I don't fancy the Portofino but I love the look of Royal Pacific Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel looks amazingly cool as well. This would be for me, DH & 2 DDs (one of which is a 9 year old rock music fan in the making, I hope ;) )


I would like to know, if anyone does?

How far of a walk to the parks from each
What is the pool like?
Why you love it there :)

Looking forward to seeing what you all think :)

Frances999
11-26-2005, 06:50 AM
Hi Karen

We have never stayed at the RPH, but the HRH is definitely our favourite against Portofino Bay Hotel.

The HRH is the closest hotel to the parks. There is a walkway around the pool which can get you to the gates of Universal Studios in under five minutes. There is also the water taxi service from the other side of the hotel, which drops off and picks up at Citywalk. There is a bus service too, but styaing at the HRH you won't really need it.

There are often lengthy lines for the water taxis during peak periods, so the closeness of the HRH is ideal. The pool is great - apparently it is the largest hotel pool in Orlando. They pipe music under the water and there is also a slide which our three children enjoy. They also have a "dive-in movie" once a week - they put up a huge big screen on the beach and you can watch the movie whilst swimming around in the pool. The poolside bar serves some great snacks (delicious cheese fries!) and they have a waiter service as well.

The rooms are not huge, but spacious and well appointed none-the-less. We just had a regular garden view, but next time I think a pool/park view would be a nice option to go for.

I did a brief trip report from our 2004 visit here (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=581234)

:wizard:

KayleeUK
11-26-2005, 08:11 AM
I quite like the look of the Portifino :)

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in April, to begin with I wasn't too keen, but I soon came around ;) DH loved it.


The walkway to the studios/IOA is excellent :) In no time at all you are at the studios and it is a lovely walk alongside the waterway ( I don't think it is even as far as from the BW to Epcot). Then just keep going passed the HRC and the NBA restaurant and you are at IOA. :)

The pool is great, there is waitress service I loved lying there on my lounger having cocktails and food brought to me :) There are Cabana's for hire too....which is a good idea if you are spending a day at the pool. The underwater music is brilliant. We didn't partake in the slide this time.

DH loved all the rock memorabilia in the hotel :) I think Jon will too....

We had a pool view which was nice :)

Hard Rock Hotel Photo Gallery (http://www.wdwinfo.com/universal/Photos/Hard-Rock-Hotel/index.htm)


HTH :)

Hilary
11-26-2005, 08:42 AM
For a three night stay?

How far of a walk to the parks from each
What is the pool like?
Why you love it there :)


We've stayed one night in HRH and three nights in RPR :)

Now, I may be a little more 'youth challenged' (i.e. older!) than many of you here ;), but I still like to think I can rock with the rest of the oldies :teeth: So I was pretty surprised to find I was quite underwhelmed by the HRH when we stayed there. I had expected to be blown away by the whole experience but found that there were a few really good touches amongst an otherwise fairly mundane stay. The lobby and public areas have great theming but our room was decidedly ordinary (although the bathroom was pretty cool :cool: ) .
In answer to your specific questions:
The walk to the parks was no more than five to ten minutes (we never felt the need to get the boat instead)
The pool was brilliant, but always packed (October) and hectic
I loved the rock theme, and was knocked out by the whole drive-up, check-in procedure. It just all went a bit downhill from then on! Maybe if we'd stayed longer I'd have grown to love it more... (Oh, and the shop here sells some good bits)

When I booked RPR for our last trip, it was because it was the cheapest for us. I was so impressed with this resort!
The walk to the parks was 10 to 15 minutes and we sometimes got the boat (very pleasant if there wasn't a queue), especially when it was very hot. The walk brings you out in CityWalk which made a nice diversion ;)
I didn't go in the pool, but DH and DDs thought it lacked 'oomph'.
I loved the relaxed ambience throughout, especially the Orchid Lounge.

Even for the same money, I'd pick RPR over HRH, but RPR is usually cheaper. However, I think everyone should try HRH at least once! ;) :cool:

Boss Hogg
11-27-2005, 04:39 AM
We've stayed at all three and I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of them, but PBH has the disadvantage of being just a bit too far from the parks and you've ruled that out anyway.

The last time we stayed at PBH (and visited HRH) was in July last year and both resorts were in dire need of refurbishment. I think that may have happened now, but I would want to check that out before I booked to stay at either again. The rooms at PBH and the public areas at both (including the pool at HRH) were grubby and tatty. Even at AP rates these hotels aren't cheap, but of course, you are paying for location and FOTL as much as for the resorts themselves.

In May we stayed two nights at RPR, partly because I've wanted to stay there since it opened and partly because it is the cheapest of the three options. We really liked this resort and we're staying there again for one night in January at the AP rate of $129. I didn't feel that the walk was significantly further than from HRH. In fact, RPR may be marginally closer to IoA. It's definitely closer to the CityWalk bars, which is a plus! I think I would only factor in the distance thing if you've weighed up all the other pros and cons and are still struggling.

Of the three, I probably prefer the rooms at the HRH (which have contemporary decor). Having stayed at them all, the novelty has worn off a bit, so it's difficult for me to choose a favourite. We stay there for FOTL and to be able to make the most of CityWalk, and cost has been the main consideration this time. Had it not been, I would probably have done some research into which (if any) has been most recently refurbished and gone for that.

If you still can't decide, use my tried and tested method of flipping a coin. Are you pleased or disappointed with the result?

Deb (posting under Matt's username because I'm too lazy to log out and back in again).

Boss Hogg
11-27-2005, 04:45 AM
Oh, and meant to say that the pool at RPR has a more relaxed feel. I particularly like the 'beach' area. As you probably know, you can use the pools at all three.

JohnnySharp2
11-27-2005, 05:16 AM
We have looked at staying at one of the Universal resorts next year.

Has anyone had a room with cooking facilities or maybe just a fridge/microwave..VCR too?

We have APs and I know there are suites at some of the resorts.

Frances999
11-27-2005, 05:21 AM
We have looked at staying at one of the Universal resorts next year.

Has anyone had a room with cooking facilities or maybe just a fridge/microwave..VCR too?

We have APs and I know there are suites at some of the resorts.
None of the suites have full-blown cooking facilities, but I think some of the presidential suites might have a microwave. There are cheaper Kids Suites which have VCRs and you are able to rent a fridge at all of the resorts. :)

ETA - I believe the concierge rooms come with VCRs or DVD players as well. There are movie libraries in the concierge lounges :)

JohnnySharp2
11-27-2005, 06:19 AM
None of the suites have full-blown cooking facilities, but I think some of the presidential suites might have a microwave. There are cheaper Kids Suites which have VCRs and you are able to rent a fridge at all of the resorts. :)

ETA - I believe the concierge rooms come with VCRs or DVD players as well. There are movie libraries in the concierge lounges :)

Thanks. :)

Miffy2003
11-27-2005, 06:51 AM
If you still can't decide, use my tried and tested method of flipping a coin. Are you pleased or disappointed with the result?

Good idea Deb, and I agree but Jon won't let me ;)



It's great to see all your different opinions. I have found loads of photos of HRH but very few of RPR (or is it RPH). Anyone know any good sites? Or are there some on the Dis and I just can't see them, LOL.

JohnnySharp2
11-27-2005, 07:32 AM
Good idea Deb, and I agree but Jon won't let me ;)



It's great to see all your different opinions. I have found loads of photos of HRH but very few of RPR (or is it RPH). Anyone know any good sites? Or are there some on the Dis and I just can't see them, LOL.

There is a lot of information on the Universal Hotels and Resorts forum about all 3 - may take you a while to read through though.