First Time at PBH--LOVED It

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Resorts & Hotels' started by boxer, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. boxer

    boxer DIS Veteran DVC Gold

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    We've been back for a couple weeks now, but I'm just now getting around to posting my review of the Portifino Bay Hotel. We LOVED LOVED this hotel--everything from the room size, Sal's, pool, etc. Did I say the room size was awesome?!?!?! We went to the WL as the second leg of our vacation, and the rooms were not even close--and I say this as a Disney die-hard.

    I will say that it is definately a different vibe being at PBH than a Disney hotel (WL, BC, etc), but it is a nice change. I think that we still prefer to be on Disney property for the larger part of our trip (just for the atmosphere), but the PBH is absolutely on the same level as Beach Club, Poly, and some of the other deluxes we've stayed in.

    I saw some posts on here about the PBH declining, but I did not see even anything close to that on our trip. We were surprised how much we loved this resort. If we could only get some of that Disney atmosphere at the PBH, we would never stay anywhere else!
     
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  3. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    YAY:cool1:
    PBH is our favorite.I am already booked there for December 2014 for our 3rd time onsite.Honestly after my 1st trip, I didnt miss Disney at all
     
  4. lexie32

    lexie32 DIS Veteran

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    Thankyou for the positive review, we are booked there for a week in May and I was starting to worry.
     
  5. boxer

    boxer DIS Veteran DVC Gold

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    You will LOVE it! I posted this because I get sick of seeing the posts complaining about the smallest issues, and in turn making people nervous for their upcoming trips. I was in your place last month, and came extremely close to cancelling based from the compliants of people on a messageboard.

    The resort is beautiful.....and we still miss sleeping in those beds (they are awesome).
     
  6. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for the review...:thumbsup2
     
  7. 3angelsmom

    3angelsmom Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the review. We are leaving in a few days and I can barely wait!
    Can you explain what you mean by it having a different vibe or atmosphere than Disney? An example? Just curious. We've stayed at AKL Kidani and BLT but never at UO.
     
  8. boxer

    boxer DIS Veteran DVC Gold

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    Its VERY quiet and peaceful--not the usual hustle-and-bustle of a Disney resort. We usually stay at the Beach Club, and there is something going on all the time, and the lobby is always buzzing. At PBH, you do not have that, as you only see a few people each day. Even the pool only had a handful of people each day, even with the 80 degree weather.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I sort of did miss that Beach Club buzz, but at the same time it was really nice to stay at a peaceful place for a few days. You will love this place though, as it has a feel unlike anything else at Disney. I still love Disney, but this place is a very, very close 2nd.
     
  9. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    I am usually a BC resort person too, but after staying PBH I won't be back to BC anytime soon.I loved how quiet PBH was,though on the weekends the pool area was lively with a poolside DJ .We also enjoyed the movies by the pool and the pool activities during the day ( we were there in August).It wasnt as insane as stormalong bay.
     
  10. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    The next time you go back, you won't notice the missing activity. It is one of those things that just takes a bit of getting used to.
     
  11. crazyfordisney2000

    crazyfordisney2000 DIS Veteran

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    Great review! We have recently booked our first trip to Universal and we chose PBH. My question/concern is transportation. We are going in August, so I fear the boat being shut down. I think I read there was bus transportation, is it clearly marked/ easy to find? TIA :goodvibes
     
  12. michashell

    michashell Mouseketeer

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    I have a few questions for you. We are also Disney veterans and this will be our first Universal trip.

    1. Were you there for the kids eat free promo at the on-site resorts. I'm really not clear on how this works or if it's just for the table service restaurants.

    2. Did you walk from PBH to the parks. I was wondering how long it took. We have a 6 and 4 year old (he will be in a stroller).

    Thanks so much!
     
  13. Gator Kate

    Gator Kate <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    Why do you think the boat wouldn't be running? We've stayed at the Portofino since it opened and never had a problem.
     
  14. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    only time the boats shut down is when lightening is within a 5 mile range.
     
  15. boxer

    boxer DIS Veteran DVC Gold

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    I think the Kids Eat Free Promo is ONLY for off-site hotels, and not the PBH (US veterans please correct me if I'm wrong). There is a Meal Plan for on-site guests that US offers, but it is more 'quick service', and we wanted to do more table service since we don't see the US resturants often (by the way Bubba Gumps was awesome).

    As for the walking, we did not even attempt to walk since our room was so close to the boat docks. We never waited more than 5-10min for a boat, so it would have been useless to walk. The boat ride was great anyhow, so we didn't lose much time. PLUS, you have the FOTL pass, so its not like you are trying to 'beat' any lines at the parks.

    You will LOVE PBH and the parks!! We were very pleasantly surprised.
     
  16. crazyfordisney2000

    crazyfordisney2000 DIS Veteran

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    When we have previously gone to Disney (same time of year) we stayed at POFQ and twice the boat was shut down due to thunderstorms in the area, so I just wondered if busses run to replace the boats if/when this happens, and if so, are the bus stops are obvious/easy to find. :)
     
  17. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    We were there in August this year, and despite the daily thunderstorms, I never saw the boats stop ( but I know they do at times).There is a bus, not sure where since we never bothered to look for it
     
  18. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    The boats stop if there is lightning inside a 5 mile radius. Or 3. But I think it's 5. I remember it being the same criterion as for when wdw main pools close. Anyway you can get all the rain from a thunderstorm but still have lightning far enough away that the boats will run.

    Ah, that was already stated. :). That's what I get for reading a thread backwards!
     
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    There is already a shuttle option. But it seems that the parks area shuttle stop is now at the parks parking garage. Which is so inconvenient I can hardly deal with it lol. By the time you've gotten to the garage you could have gotten back to your hotel IMO. The shuttle stop at PBH, at least two years ago, was off to the side of the front, near where towncars hang out. Don't know about the other two resorts.
     
  20. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    The HRH used to be to the right of the entrance (looking out from the hotel) in the small parking lot.
     
  21. michashell

    michashell Mouseketeer

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    This is definitely for the ON-SITE hotels. It's just so vague in my e-docs from Universal I'm really not planning my day around. If we get a deal on kids meals, great. If not, that's ok too. I'm so use to Disney resort prices that the PBH seems like a steal!
     

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