Hard Rock Hotel Detailed info about HRH only! We checked in a little after 3:00. I didnt mention earlier that when we first got to IOA we charged a Coke for DH at Port of Entry on our room card. Then when I felt bad after Hulk, DH went to get me a coke and it said there was no record of us in the system! We thought the girl just did something wrong and paid cash. The next place we stopped the same thing happened. We hadnt brought much cash because we were planning on charging everything. Luckily, I always have a back up and we could use our American Express for lunch. So when I went to get our room # and the new keys I asked about that. They said when we got our room assigned it deactivated our other key and activated the new keys with our room #!! That was how we could know that our room was ready. This was pretty annoying to me and is really about the only true complaint I have about Hard Rock. I told her they didnt tell me that and she apologized. So while we were purposely waiting for 3:00 to check in we could have gone back that morning when I felt bad!! But now on to the good stuff I used my Loews First and got an upgrade to a pool view we were on the 2nd floor so you really couldnt see much because of the trees! But that was fine it was a free upgrade and I was very happy with how close our room was to the main elevators. It looked out over the shuffleboard court. We never got our cookies I asked about them the next day when we had to recheck in (Id made 2 separate ressies!) and the girl was very apologetic she was the same one whod checked me in the day before and she had definitely asked me what we wanted and put it in the computer. One of the other desk clerks said theyd been having a real problem with who ever it was (I didnt catch the dept. name) not honoring the Loews perks requests! This was no biggie with me and I know the front desk did what they could. Im sure I could have gone further with it but frankly I dont need cookies anyway!! DH brought the car around and DD got a bellman to put the luggage on and I went up to the room with him. (That doesnt sound right!! But you know what I mean!) He was very nice and HE asked me if I knew how to get to the parks, the boats, etc. He unloaded everything for us and was very good at acting surprised by the tip! Very nice! The room was just beautiful. They really had so many nice details that added to the whole atmosphere. We got a free CD with our check-in material that we revved up. The water glasses are really pretty blue and green hand blown looking glasses. There was a lovely ice bucket that was pewter looking and a matching little jar with cotton balls and swabs in it. The mirror over the bathroom sink was adjustable and there was a shaving mirror over the vanity (although it must have been installed by dwarfs! It was too low.) Plenty of amenities including conditioner for a change! The bathroom area was plenty big enough for us and there were very comfortable chairs - including an upholstered armchair. It was just really very nice. Our room was quite clean and had everything we needed. Housekeeping cleaned it the next day about 4:00. It would be nice if it was earlier but I believe they clean the departing guests rooms first to get them ready for new check-ins, so I dont have a problem with that. We left a tip and asked for extra towels, which we got. The bed and pillows were unbelievably comfortable. Id read other peoples comments on the Portofino beds and thought how could the bed be that great but it is!!! It is!! I have no complaints at all about the room! The mini-bar was well stocked not that we got any of it! And as far as mini-bars go it wasnt any more overpriced then any of them! In fact they had sunscreen for $9.75 I paid $15.00 at the Flamingo in Vegas!! They had a 35 mm camera - $17.00 same as I paid at Beach Club last summer when we forgot camera, juices and soft drinks from $1.50 to $2.25, snacks from .99 to $2.75 mostly with a few more expensive things like cashews. On the price list there is a Snickers for $4.00! It wasnt in our though because I wanted to see this Snickers!! Im guessing it was a pack or something because all the other candy was $2.50!! The liquor was $5.00 a mini bottle and the beer was $3.50 domestic $4.00 imported. Of course they ad 6% sales tax and 15% service charge on top of those prices!! Room service prices were in line with other hotels of that caliber also. The pool area is also just beautiful. Ive seen many complaints about the depth but I think it was really pretty nice. It gets to 4 ½ feet which is fine for just lazing and chatting. Most of the pool area is very accessible to kids and that is who enjoys going all over the pool area the most! One side had the zero entry with sand and lounge chairs. That side had the kiddie pool behind it. I didnt look at it too carefully, but I believe it had the zero entry also and it had fountains of water spurting up. It looked really nice. The slide is really, really good! It has several corkscrews and then a final surprise drop. We did it a couple of times when DD was little she would have spent the whole time there! There were plenty of lounge chairs some in shade with trees or umbrellas and some in the sun. The pool towels were nice big, thick beach towels not bath towels! There was an area at the entrance that had water spurting out of the ground and criss crossing from different balls to play in, the shuffleboard court, a ping pong table and the life size chess board. We ordered drinks from the Beach Club they had several waitresses that walked through the lounge chairs taking orders. They were very good! I had a mudslide one time and a banana daiquiri the other DD had a virgin pina colada and a virgin strawberry daiquiri. And DH had a beer! The pool had two areas at the ends closest to the main hotel doors with hydro spas - in other words Jacuzzi jets IN the pool so it was cool water. They were wonderful to massage tired feet at mid day and at night! There was also a regular Jacuzzi over near the kiddie area. We ate at the Sunset Grill our last morning. Sat on the terrace and had a very sweet waiter Woody from NC who lugged a very heavy umbrella over to shade me! I had an omelet, DH French Toast and DD pancakes. All very good, very prompt service and very pleasant on the terrace. The access to the park is just wonderful. It was a very short walk to the front of Universal Studios. We took the boat one time but it really takes longer to take the boat then to walk, because you have to wait on people and this was the ONLY time we saw a couple of screaming monsters er I mean children and they were right behind us! I cannot stress enough how great FOTL was!! Even if the hotel had not been as beautiful as it was and our experience hadnt been as satisfactory as it was that really makes it worth it. Plusses Beautiful hotel, very courteous and friendly staff and terrific location. We took the boat to Portofino Monday evening and while it is a BEAUTIFUL place it just didnt seem to have as much activity going on. Their beach pool closed at 8:00 p.m. and it is the pretty pool with the slide. Our pool was open until 10:00 p.m. with lots of people lounging, soaking and a very lively game of basketball in the pool! We thought it was lovely but were very glad we stayed at HRH it suited us better! CD with 8 songs given to you in check in pack that was nice! Have I mentioned how wonderful FOTL is? Minuses As I said, they didnt explain about the room key very well. When I pre checked in I had to ask where to park, how to get to the parks, where is the boat? They have a little map in the info they give you when you go back to get your room key but that doesnt help if youre pre checking in. It would be better for them to either tell you that stuff at pre check or give you the map then. It would also be better if they did like WDW -gave you a # to call and just use the key youve already been given to go straight to your room without having to get in line again. However there was absolutely nothing that would make me not want to come back! More on the park part of our visit later ..