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Old 11-22-2010, 04:46 PM   #811
LetsGoToDisney!
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Originally Posted by damo View Post
gelateria caffé espresso is open early for coffee, pastries, etc.
Trattoria del porto has a more traditional breakfast.
thanks!
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:51 PM   #812
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Originally Posted by Grace&Carolinesmom View Post
Sal's Deli opens quite early. They have ham&egg croissant sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, milk, coffee, juices and TONS of pastries. OMG--the chocolate croissants are so yummy. It is a croissant with dark chocolate chunks swirled inside. Also--danishes, donuts, muffins, etc. We usually send one of us to pick it up and we all eat in the room while we are getting ready. The Keurig coffee/tea in the room is very tasty. The food at Portofino is outstanding. You must have room service for a treat some evening. They do a fabulous job.

Thanks! Will definitely try that chocolate croissant!
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:27 AM   #813
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Does anyone know if the pools at PBR are heated and open in January? Will it be too cold to swim January 21-25?
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:09 AM   #814
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Originally Posted by Fan2CSkr View Post
E.Jane,

"We have a deluxe room booked, and wondered if these room types are available overlooking the villa pool. Or is the bay view better (or is a bay view even an option)?

A balcony is also very important to me and I've heard a few deluxe rooms don't have balconies. The first part of our week will be at the HRH, and we've always stayed at moderates at WDW, and never had a balcony. I want to be able to sit out there at the end of the day and sip a drink! From the pictures I've seen, the balconies don't look very big. Are they big enough to sit out on, and are there chairs out there?"

You have a deluxe pool view booked (beautiful rooms) so I would like to make a suggestion. Prior to our first visit a balcony was very important to me also. I didnt realize that most rooms do not offer balconies no matter what the view. So we ended up in a bayview with a very small balcony no table. While we were there I looked at the deluxe pool view rooms (like you have booked) and decided next trip we would request this. I was thrilled with our room ground floor that offered french doors opening to a patio overlooking the villa pool. The patio was more spacious than the balcony, table and chairs.

I prefer the west wing to the east wing rooms. If you do decide to try for a patio we stayed in room #2258 (2 queen room)
Another room #2665 is a deluxe also with a balcony. (King room)
The other room was room #2461 (small balcony)

One other mention, if you are staying during a busy time dont be too upset if you get neither. If that happens have a nice relaxing drink at the main piazza and you can also stop by the Gelateria for authentic gelato to savor on the patio.

Hope you are able to get a room you desire!
yes, we stayed during a busy time and got what I think was the worst room on the property. After waiting for over an hour and a half to check in. And we paid for a deluxe balcony room. Got neither. I wonder if there are two Portofino Bay Hotels, because our experience was nothing like the great reviews I am reading. We were so disappointed in the service (there were other issues) that my daughter and I took a cab to the Yacht and Beach Club (where we stay every year) to see if they had any rooms available, and to hang out in the lobby before walking over to Epcot.

I will never stay in this hotel again, and I will avoid the Lowe's chain of hotels if possible.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:37 AM   #815
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Originally Posted by Dreamer24 View Post
We will be staying at this resort for 4 nights next month. It will be our first trip to Universal and as a long time Disney visitor, I am feeling like a fish out of water planning universal.

I had a couple of basic hotel questions:
Are there microwaves in the room?
How are the toiletries? Are they good for people with sensitive skin?
Any tips to getting around the resort or what to see in the resort?
How can we keep costs down for dining?
What is YOUR favorite thing abou thte hotel?
I am a longtime Disney visitor. We love the Yacht and Beach Club. We decided to try something new, so we booked PBH. We checked out yesterday, and I was glad to leave.

No microwaves, no empty refrigerators. The coffee/tea in the room is good.
Try to get a room as close to the reception area or the boat shuttle area as you can. We settled for a room on the far side of the resort, and the long walk down a boring hallway after a long day at the park was not fun, and negatively affected our stay.

Plan on going to the parks or doing some other activity after you check in, in case your room is not ready. Check in is at 4 pm (as we were told repeatedly while we waited for our room).

But the most thing to remember is that this is not Disney. This is a hotel like any other big chain hotel. After staying at PBH, we realized that we have been taking Disney for granted. We received very few smiles from staff (they are definitely not cast members), and the boat captains were downright hostile.

But the property is beautiful, and the food is good. The portions are huge, so when you get a sandwich at Sal's, split it and order an extra side.

I hope you have a wonderful time!
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:06 AM   #816
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My boyfriend and I stayed at the PBH twice: in Dec 2005 (garden view) and in Oct 2010 (bay view). We absolutely had a fabulous time with no complaints, and we plan to stay there in the future with no hesitation. On both occasions we found the staff as friendly as the CMs at WDW & DL. Although we always do Disney deluxe when we're at WDW or DL, and we love them (especially the Epcot Resorts and the GCH), we feel the PBH kicks it up a notch. We especially love the huge rooms (the bathrooms are enormous!) and the mini-bar. The lounges we went to (Bar American & Thirsty Fish) were lots of fun!

We give the PBH two hearty thumbs up!
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:42 AM   #817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geenab View Post
I am a longtime Disney visitor. We love the Yacht and Beach Club. We decided to try something new, so we booked PBH. We checked out yesterday, and I was glad to leave.

No microwaves, no empty refrigerators. The coffee/tea in the room is good.
Try to get a room as close to the reception area or the boat shuttle area as you can. We settled for a room on the far side of the resort, and the long walk down a boring hallway after a long day at the park was not fun, and negatively affected our stay.

Plan on going to the parks or doing some other activity after you check in, in case your room is not ready. Check in is at 4 pm (as we were told repeatedly while we waited for our room).

But the most thing to remember is that this is not Disney. This is a hotel like any other big chain hotel. After staying at PBH, we realized that we have been taking Disney for granted. We received very few smiles from staff (they are definitely not cast members), and the boat captains were downright hostile.

But the property is beautiful, and the food is good. The portions are huge, so when you get a sandwich at Sal's, split it and order an extra side.

I hope you have a wonderful time!
Wow...we must stay at a different PBH than you. It is by far my favourite of any hotel on Universal or Disney property. We have never encountered any hostile or even unfriendly employees... quite the opposite. I love walking through the corridors around the lobby with the amazing theming of little streets in Portofino. I've never been any chain hotel that was even remotely like that! We even find that the beds and bedding are nicer at PBH than the Disney hotels.

I'm really sorry that your visit was so disappointing but I would stay there in a heartbeat over any Disney hotel.

Last edited by damo; 12-22-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:46 PM   #818
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Wow...we must stay at a different PBH than you. It is by far my favourite of any hotel on Universal or Disney property. We have never encountered any hostile or even unfriendly employees... quite the opposite. I love walking through the corridors around the lobby with the amazing theming of little streets in Portofino. I've never been any chain hotel that was even remotely like that! We even find that the beds and bedding are nicer at PBH than the Disney hotels.

I'm really sorry that your visit was so disappointing but I would stay there in a heartbeat over any Disney hotel.
Ditto--I could have written this exact same thing. LOVE PBH and find the service and quality higher than WDW hotels. Better food, better quality linens, love the high beds to store shoes and such underneath, love the coffee and toiletries, bathroom size is enormous, and staff is very friendly. Pools are great and the atmosphere makes me feel transported to Italy. As much as I adore the Poly, PBH is our favorite. My only complaint is not enough balcony rooms....but I accepted that before my first stay.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:35 PM   #819
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geenab View Post
I am a longtime Disney visitor. We love the Yacht and Beach Club. We decided to try something new, so we booked PBH. We checked out yesterday, and I was glad to leave.

No microwaves, no empty refrigerators. The coffee/tea in the room is good.
Try to get a room as close to the reception area or the boat shuttle area as you can. We settled for a room on the far side of the resort, and the long walk down a boring hallway after a long day at the park was not fun, and negatively affected our stay.

Plan on going to the parks or doing some other activity after you check in, in case your room is not ready. Check in is at 4 pm (as we were told repeatedly while we waited for our room).

But the most thing to remember is that this is not Disney. This is a hotel like any other big chain hotel. After staying at PBH, we realized that we have been taking Disney for granted. We received very few smiles from staff (they are definitely not cast members), and the boat captains were downright hostile.

But the property is beautiful, and the food is good. The portions are huge, so when you get a sandwich at Sal's, split it and order an extra side.

I hope you have a wonderful time!
Sorry to hear your stay wasn't as good as your Disney stay. We love PBH too and stay there each year. Altho, I can't help but wonder how much research you did prior to going? If you had, you would have found out (here on the DIS) that there are no micros or empty fridges (those are asked a lot) and that balconies are rare. You *should* have read to request the West Wing at the hotel...that's the side of the lagoon the boat docks at...quicker walk back to your room. I think most everywhere is 4pm check-in...but I assume you already knew that.

as for smiling staff and boat captains, I've never come across any grumpy ones. Not sure what happened there.

I hope your experience at the hotel doesn't put you off to the other hotels...they ARE all very nice and you CANNOT beat the FOTL perk. I don't get service like they give at any other hotels we stay at.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:21 PM   #820
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Bubba's Mom - I read some of your posts on PBR and it prompted me to go back and find your old trip reports. I LOVED them. I read '07 - '10 and I feel like I am a PBR expert now! We have stayed at the other two resorts and thought they were both fantastic. Can't wait to try PBR and stay in the west wing and use the short cut through HRH parking lot. Looking forward to Sal's and Thirsty Fish (and much more) due to your reviews. And the way you added your pics! Loved it! Thanks for being so helpful and thorough!!
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:33 PM   #821
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How to get there from here?

Where do you catch the boats at PBH, and to which parks or other locations do they take you? Is there bus shuttle service to the parks and Citywalk? What route do you take to walk from the hotel to the parks? Do you cut through Citywalk?

Is there a good map that would illustrate the transportation options?
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:58 PM   #822
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Bubba's Mom - I read some of your posts on PBR and it prompted me to go back and find your old trip reports. I LOVED them. I read '07 - '10 and I feel like I am a PBR expert now! We have stayed at the other two resorts and thought they were both fantastic. Can't wait to try PBR and stay in the west wing and use the short cut through HRH parking lot. Looking forward to Sal's and Thirsty Fish (and much more) due to your reviews. And the way you added your pics! Loved it! Thanks for being so helpful and thorough!!
You're welcome. Glad I can pay it forward and help

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanfromBNA View Post
Where do you catch the boats at PBH, and to which parks or other locations do they take you? Is there bus shuttle service to the parks and Citywalk? What route do you take to walk from the hotel to the parks? Do you cut through Citywalk?

Is there a good map that would illustrate the transportation options?
There is only 1 place to catch the boat...you can easily see it at the hotel. The boats only go between the hotel & City Walk. There is bus service, but would take longer...walk or take boat or pedicab. You have to hit City Walk somewhere to get to either park. The path is clearly marked from the hotel to City Walk...if you want to cut thru the HRH parking lot instead, it makes the walk shorter.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:29 PM   #823
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Okay! On our way to PBH!! We will be there this weekend and I just wanted to see if anyone had any last minute tips for us?
I am praying for a balcony! Would love to score one and hoping that it will be a slow time while we are there and we will get lucky! I would just love to open our balcony doors and be able to hear the opera singers each night!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:39 PM   #824
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We are back from our trip and all the tips were perfect!! We LOVED this hotel and did not want to come home!
I had reserved a garden view room at the APR rate ($174) and we got upgraded to a 5th floor (highest floor) bay view room with a HUGE balcony!! It was gorgeous and every single employee we came in contact with was bend over backward helpful and sweet.
We walked everyday to the park and used Bubba's Mom shortcut through HRH parking lot. Awesome!
We ate at Sal's a bunch and loved the pizza and the gelato. We even got quick breakfast there one morning and it was yummy. Very reasonably priced as well.
The pools and grounds were beautiful and extremely well taken care of and our room was wonderful with the comfy beds, huge bathroom and plenty of amenities. Obviously, I can't say enough!
Thank you to everyone who has posted on these boards to help others have the best trip possible!
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:05 PM   #825
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You convinced me to book Club Level

After reading through this thread and thinking about what would be best for our family of 5, I made the leap and booked Club Level. The cost difference will easily be covered by the pullout sofa (no need to rent a rollaway) and breakfast for 5. Plus, the posts speak so positively of staying club level. I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for a great read!
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