Hard Rock or Portofino Bay - Pros/Cons

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Resorts & Hotels' started by sonofanarchy, Apr 27, 2013.

?

Which resort would you choose given the circumstances?

  1. Hard Rock Hotel

  2. Portofino Bay

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  1. sonofanarchy

    sonofanarchy DIS Veteran

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    Hi all.

    Which resort would you pick with children, ages 5 and 11? We can get a Deluxe Room at Portofino for the same price as as a standard room at Hard Rock, with a Passholder discount. A few things I don't like about Portofino:

    1.The new room decor isn't my taste exactly.
    2.The walk is much longer than Hard Rock.
    3.I think the kids will like the pool better at Hard Rock (among other things).
    4.I here there are a lot of stairs at Portofino which will make getting around difficult, and I also understand it's extremely large, so easy to get lost.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Hard Rock rooms decor, but the rest of the resort I like. I also like the idea of having a very short walk to CityWalk should we want a late night snack.

    Give these factors, which would you choose?
     
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  3. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    It sounds like you've already made the decision. If the only thing you don't like about the Hard Rock is the room decor, then I'd say you will probably will enjoy yourself more at the HRH.

    Personally I prefer the PBH. I love the large rooms and the large bathrooms. Taking the shortcut, the walk is only a couple of minutes more. I don't find there to be that many stairs and I don't get lost. I like the food there much better and I like the ambiance and quietness of the resort overall.
     
  4. sonofanarchy

    sonofanarchy DIS Veteran

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    I read something about this shortcut. Where exactly do you go?

    I should add that one of my fears is having a young child at Portofino. I know it's the most adult oriented of the 3 resorts and I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.
     
  5. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    Oh gosh, there are still lots of kids at all the hotels.

    For the shortcut you stay right instead of following the pathway along the water. You go out the road down the HRH entrance and take a right into their parking lot. Just follow the parking lot straight to the entrance to the parks. You can see the map in the Portofino Bay Hotel thread.
     
  6. freddyttt

    freddyttt Earning My Ears

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    The room while important is mostly used for sleeping-

    your choice is clear in your writings- book the HRH.;)
     
  7. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like you made your choice..Honestly we prefer Portofino.The walk is not THAT BAD. It has less kids but still plenty of kids.We had our 8 yr old when we went last time ( and we are staying there again in AUgust) and she had PLENTY of other kids to play with.Hard Rock is nice but the pool area was chaotic and loud and I don't really care for the theming there.BUt I would stay there if Portofino wasn't an option
     
  8. sonofanarchy

    sonofanarchy DIS Veteran

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    I'm weird when it comes to the room. I really like a nice room, with a good amount of space. I stayed at Hard Rock years ago, and I remember the rooms being kind of dull, and the bathroom being very small. That would be the nice thing about Portofino. I'm just not crazy about the new decor of the rooms. Funny thing is, had they not done the rooms over, I would have picked Portofino without even thinking about it.
     
  9. glocon

    glocon DIS Veteran

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    Even though we only ever stayed at the HRH, I voted for PBH. More room would do it for me. They also have a great pool at PBH. Last year when we stayed at HRH, I walked over to PBH just to see it, and it was maybe a 5 minute walk, no big deal. And if you take the water taxi to the parks, it really doesn't matter.

    At PBH the pool had a great theme and slide, there are places to get pizza, gelato and deli food, and I saw plenty of kids.

    While we love the HRH, I would not hesitate to stay at PBH for the same price in a much bigger room. Maybe you could request a balcony (don't have those at HRH).
     
  10. disnutz

    disnutz Mouseketeer

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    Can I say I think they made a big mistake with the reno at PBH? I was going to stay there this time for the first time, BUT now the deluxes do not have the sofa. Well, when you have 2 teenagers, one of whom is a bed hogging growing boy, forget the two sharing. And lets be honest, those air matresses stink after a while. SO, HRH it is for us again. I did love RPR but that was when kids were smaller. At this point, I would have to get two rooms there.
     
  11. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    I'm not convinced that they've done away with all the sofabeds.

    From the Loews Portofino Bay website:

    Deluxe Room
    These elegantly appointed accommodations offer an even larger living space at 490 square feet, plus a stylish and roomy bathroom featuring a separate tub and shower. Deluxe rooms are available with a King or two double Queen beds, most rooms with two double queen beds have a pull-out sofa. In addition to the extra comfort you'll enjoy a view of the serene Villa Pool and surrounding gardens, or the dramatic Roman aqueduct-styled Beach Pool.
     
  12. CPanther95

    CPanther95 Mummyketeer

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    We always opt for the rollaway over the sofabed when needed because they are more comfortable.
     
  13. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    PBH said they still have the sofa beds( I called and asked last week).They could be misinformed but I find it hard to believe they got rid of them.Some of the newer reno pics still show them in the deluxe rooms
     
  14. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    The pool shouldn't figure into your calculations at all, since they encourage pool-hopping. We experienced the HRH pool while staying at the Portofino. When we tried HRH last Feb, we disliked the resort so much we never went to the pool apart from walking through the pool area to get to the path.

    Our room was weirdly set out, bland, boring, and had sugar ants. The beds were cheaper than I could believe. They kept pulling out from the wall, and it was all so wonky the first night we were there we had to unmake it entirely and re-place the pads and such back on the bed so I wasn't tilted.

    The pool was cool when we visited Feb of '12, but in '13 all we wanted to do was be AWAY from the resort.


    Since I'm sure that all you've seen are pictures of the new rooms, why not try it? Better room for the same money = good to me! We never took the HRH shortcut and just went through the pool area to get to the path, so our walk never felt spectacularly short. I walked it from Portofino once and it was SO GORGEOUS that I never once felt like it was a long walk.


    It's not adult oriented.

    It's lovely. If someone says "I'm on my honeymoon, where can I go to not feel like I'm surrounded by children?" we say "Portofino"! But not because it's FOR adults. It just FEELS like a grownup place.

    We have only gone at quiet times so far, and trust me, there are kids all over the place. They just aren't all on top of each other like at a smaller resort. You won't stick out at all just for having children with you. We have LOVED our time at Portofino; we've been there twice now with DS, and have been to RPR and HRH only once each (also with DS). We have plans to check out RPR again, because that hotel stay was our first time at Universal and we feel we barely remember it, but if good AP rates come out for Portofino, all bets are off.

    I don't love change, so the new decor really pushes my buttons, but I want to see it in person anyway!
     
  15. sonofanarchy

    sonofanarchy DIS Veteran

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    We ended up going with Hard Rock. For the following reasons:

    -I called up and was told the sofa beds were removed from all the rooms at Portofino.

    -I very much dislike the new room decor. The old style seemed much more transporting to me.

    -Obviously, shorter walk.

    -No laundry machines at Portofino. No way will we want to walk over to another hotel with dirty laundry.

    -The rooms are rather "dull" at Hard Rock, but the one time I stayed there, I thought they were well kept.

    -Not a fan of pool hopping, and we like the Hard Rock pool better.
     
  16. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    YMMV, we had an awful rollaway last RPR visit (which we requested because the sofa bed in King Suite was even worse)...main reason we now book at the PBH even though it's more expensive. As for walking, we've never waited more than 10 - 15 minutes for a boat. One nice thing about staying onsite at Universal is there is no reason to rush with the FOTL perc.:goodvibes

    Uncomfy cots/sofabeds are a common complaint at all properties unless management stays on top of refurbishment.

    Haven't stayed @ HRH for years since they dropped out of youfirst program. Nice resort, just always seemed very crowded especially poolside.
     
  17. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2
     
  18. BiGGy

    BiGGy Mouseketeer

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  19. CPanther95

    CPanther95 Mummyketeer

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    It's been about 10 years since I last got a rollaway at PBH, so for all I know, it may be the same rollaway with 10 years of wear on it. :)

    I'll be getting one in a couple weeks - despite having 2 Villa Suites with all 4 bedrooms - so I'll see if they are any better/worse.
     

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