Part 1, getting settled and enjoying HRH (very long)


Feb 4, 2001
Me - 41 year old mom of 2 boys, 8 and 11
My sister - 37 year old d mom of 6 mo. old son.
My Mom- 61 year old Grandma to 3 boys
DS - 8 years old
DS - 11 years old
My 6 mo. old nephew

We left our husbands home (actually they aren't wild about Theme Parks and didn't want to take time away from work). We planned this trip last minute for spring break. All of us travel a lot. We've been to every continent except Australia and Antarctica so we have a pretty good basis for comparison when it comes to vacations.

We left JFK at 8:40 a.m. flying Jetblue Airlines. It was the best flight I have taken in 3 years. No delays, pleasant employees and flight attendants, and t.v.'s in every seat! Our package included transfers on a Mears shuttle, which we waited only 5 minutes for to take us to the HRH. We had reserved 2 connecting standard club rooms. Yes, we were upgraded. This occurred prior to check-in. we originally booked gardenview rooms, but had numerous problems with Universal Orlando vacations. In the process of them and the Hotel Manager remedying our problems, I asked for an upgrade which they were happy to accommodate us with.

When we stepped out of the van and you could hear the music! This concerned me at first but it wasn't as loud when we got into the lobby. The lobby was gorgeous! It is very large and beautifully decorated. You could look from the entrance through the French doors over the balcony and beyond to the pool area. The atmosphere was very upbeat. I will occasionally make comparisons to the Portofino Bay Hotel, which we visited several times. The lobby of the Portofino was much smaller, more elegant but in my opinion, not as nice as HRH. The PB did however have lovely courtyards everywhere. It was also very easy to get lost there! It is a very large resort!

At check in (around 1:00 p.m.) the clerk told us that only one of the rooms were ready. That was fine since we wanted to change into our suits and check out the pool. We weren't planning to go into the parks until the next day. We stopped at the Club lounge for a soda before going to the room. I could see that the Club level was going to be very convenient!

The photographs I had seen prior to our trip did not do the rooms justice! They were very elegant with high quality linens. My sister and mother had a crib brought in for her baby. It was very nice, sturdy and even came with bumpers. When my son was young we had a crib brought in to a Disney resort and it was a pack-n-play. Not nearly as nice as these. We only had three people in each room, so they were plenty big enough, however if you wanted to get 5 in a standard room with a roll away bed, I think it would be very crowded. Either get a deluxe or 2 standards. You will be much more comfortable. We had a garden view but boy did we luck out! I think our view was BETTER than the poolview. Our rooms (7011 and 7013) looked directly across the canal to the front façade of the Portofino Bay Hotel. What a beautiful view! I noticed that the view from the other end of the Hotel was not nearly as nice.

The pool area was lushly landscaped, which I happen to love. Lots of fully grown Palm Trees (they must have cost a fortune), lovely fountains, volleyball net, Ping-Pong, giant chess set, pool table and very cute cabanas. All and all, nicer than any pool area I have ever seen in Disney world, and I've seen them all, with the exception of the new pool at the Polynesian. In my opinion, nicer than the Beach Pool at the PB. It didn't have nearly as many trees, plants or lounge chairs. But since it has 2 other pools, that made sense. We looked at the Villa Pool at the Portofino and that looked VERY nice. The gardens surrounding it really looked like Italy. The slide at the HRH Pool was so much fun! It was very long and twisty, my sister and I went on it as much as the kids! We had to drag the kids away at 5:00 to get ready for dinner!

When I got back to my room I was surprised with a nice fruit and cheese platter from the Guest Services Manager. Very nice touch. We stopped at the club lounge on our way over to the Portofino. They had several beers (no Corona, my favorite), a decent Chardonnay and top shelf liquors. I didn't notice any mixers though. We had a glass of wine and some delicious appetizers. It was a cold chicken and red pepper dish, cheese and crackers and tabouleh. The chicken was good, the tabouleh was not. Oh, they also had some great hummus with pita triangles. Every one was well behaved and civil (this time)!

We had reservations at the Latin Quarter at 7:00. We took the garden path to the Portofino first. It is a very nice walk through some pretty gardens. The PB Hotel does look like the real Portofino from a distance (We've been there several times), however, it lacks the smells of the ocean and cooking! It was very quiet and somewhat deserted when we were there (about 6:00 p.m.). The tables set up outside on the piazza looked very nice but no one was sitting in them! Maybe they would later on at dinner time. This would have added a lot to the ambience. We waited only about 5 minutes for the water taxi which took us to Citywalk.

The Latin Quarter was only half full and very loud. We had to shout to hear one another. Service was fast and the food was disappointing. I had heard good reviews found the food mediocre. Perhaps we weren't as hungry because of the appetizers at the Hotel but we didn't even finish half of our meals. Also, the kids meals were very large! If you have light eaters, I'm sure your children could split one.

We decided to walk back, which was when I realized what a phenomenal location the HRH has! It is so convenient to the parks! You don't even have to wait for a water taxi! This is also great for older kids who want to come and go.

We stopped for our cookies and milk. Here is when I caught my first glimpse of some ill-mannered guests. I told my children "You may have one cookie" Mind you, these are jumbo sized cookies, I was not being a scrooge. I saw people taking 4 or 5 cookies for themselves! One boy was standing over the cookie tray finishing one cookie and then taking another, all the while eating over the tray. I was waiting to take a cookie and his mother looked at me, giggled and said "He thinks they are all for him". I felt like saying "why don't you tell him that they are for everyone and to take his cookie and sit down!" but I bit my tongue. The cookies were delicious. It was a very nice treat. At this point we were exhausted. (We had been up since 5:00 that morning) so we decided to turn in early and prepare for IOA in the morning.
Excellent detailed trip report! Sounds like a great time. We are arriving at HRH first week in April and have reserved a garden room and hope for upgrade, but sounds like we will be happy with any room. Thanks.
Thanks for posting! The cookies and snacks sound delicious (except for the little boy thing, yuucck.
Glad it was a great trip! Loving your report!!
It's sounding like fewer bad experiences are occuring now, so hopefully all the newness kinks are all worked out at HRH.
Look forward to the rest of your report!
Oh, what time does pool close & are they strict on its'enforcement?
The pools opened at 8:00 a.m and closed at 10:00 p.m. When we returned from citywalk at 11:15 I recall seeing people still in the pool.
Thanks for the report!

LOL about the boy and the cookies! It always amazes me how some people raise their children... :rolleyes:


Mother of Michael
Proverbs 3:5-6


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