Part 2 - Disney Debbie turns into Hard Rock Debbie - long and detailed info on HRH

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by Disney Debbie, May 23, 2001.

  1. Disney Debbie

    Disney Debbie <font color=deeppink>Survivor<br><font color=blue>

    Mar 25, 2000
    Hard Rock Hotel – Detailed info about HRH only!

    We checked in a little after 3:00. I didn’t 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 hadn’t 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. :rolleyes: This was pretty annoying to me and is really about the only true complaint I have about Hard Rock. I told her they didn’t 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 Loew’s First and got an upgrade to a pool view – we were on the 2nd floor so you really couldn’t 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 (I’d made 2 separate ressies!) and the girl was very apologetic – she was the same one who’d 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 they’d been having a real problem with who ever it was (I didn’t catch the dept. name) not honoring the Loew’s perks requests! This was no biggie with me and I know the front desk did what they could. I’m sure I could have gone further with it – but frankly I don’t 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 doesn’t 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 don’t have a problem with that. We left a tip and asked for extra towels, which we got. The bed and pillows were unbelievably comfortable. I’d read other people’s 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 wasn’t 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 wasn’t in our though because I wanted to see this Snickers!! I’m 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. I’ve 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 didn’t 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 hadn’t been as satisfactory as it was that really makes it worth it.

    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 didn’t 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 we’re 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? ;)

    As I said, they didn’t 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 doesn’t help if you’re 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 you’ve 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…..
  2. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff one by one, cleaning the universal boards of riff-

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wow Debbie sounds like you had a blast. I stayed at the PBH in late March/eary April and wish I had choosen HRH instead. Not that PBH was not everything I thought it would be(it was gorgeous, and worth the money) but for the same reason you chose HRH, it seemed more us.

    Can't wait to read the rest of your reports!

    :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
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  4. Jane E.

    Jane E. DIS Veteran

    Oct 25, 2000
    Sounds like you had a great time! Maybe next year we'll get to try HRH. That FOTLA sounds great! Thanks for your report! :wave: :wave:
  5. Sherrilatte

    Sherrilatte Pure n' simple

    Apr 29, 2001
    Splendidly detailed trip report on the hotel resort experience of your trip. You answered my questions about HRH...thanks Deb!! I can't wait to read your next park report. :bounce:
  6. Robinrs

    Robinrs DIS Veteran

    Sep 7, 1999

    I wish you guys were coming down THIS weekend because I get the feeling we'd get along GREAT!

    You have made me so excited about going tomorrow. My flight is very early also so now I know the "deactivation" secret!

    Thanks for the great detailed report.:cool:
  7. Disney Debbie

    Disney Debbie <font color=deeppink>Survivor<br><font color=blue>

    Mar 25, 2000
    Thanks everyone - I know they're kind of long - but I really appreciated the details in the trip reports I read so I'm trying to return the favor!

    Robin - I'm so sorry I missed you too! I know you will have a great time! As Sherrilatte's tag says - Attitude is Everything!
  8. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

    Jan 1, 2001
    Thanks for the report Debbie. We felt the same way as you about HRH. My children did not want to leave. Dh kept saying how much more he enjoyed it than Disney. The most perfert thing about FOTL is the grin from ear to ear on my husband every time we walked passed all those other guys standing in line.

    This is definately going to be an annual 5 day trip for us! I can't think of a better place to spend it.
  9. Radar

    Radar Mouseketeer

    Apr 11, 2000
    Really enjoyed your report, it was just detailed enough,
    my wife is disabled, so we managed to do WDW and Universal last year without lines, but it caused some discord, kids either had to ride what mama wanted or wait in line so we're looking foreward to HR and turning them loose. I do know that FOTL ffeling, we were late getting to WDW last year, and we hit splash mountain
    twice in 10 minutes, the lines were like 2 hrs. Once you've done that you realize how much fun these places are except for the lines. You also totally tour differently, instead of looking for uncrowded stuff you go to the good stuff. Sorry about the hulk/ill thing, your making me rethink riding that one, may send kids on their own, thanks...
  10. pathubia

    pathubia <font color=green>Gets lost at Portofino<br><font

    Mar 13, 2001
    thank you for your great reports, we will be staying at the HRH in august, i cant wait...we stayed off site last sept when we visited USF and i cant wait for FOTL!!!! I loved the hulk, but i had such a headache when i got off...i felt like my blood pressure was sky high...i attributed it to my "old age" (40), but i think it was just the ride, nothing else affected me that way....

    thanks again for your great reports.

  11. dawnelen

    dawnelen Earning My Ears

    Apr 12, 2000
    Deb are you saying I don't have to bring beach towels for the pool? This would be a big suitcase you have to leave them in the pool area when your done?
  12. Disney Debbie

    Disney Debbie <font color=deeppink>Survivor<br><font color=blue>

    Mar 25, 2000
    Correct dawnelen! You will not need beach towels - these are nice big beach towels. They have a cabana right as you walk into the pool area from the hotel entrance that has the towels stacked. Right across from that is a big covered bin to put them in when you leave. I also noticed another bin on the other side of the pool. These are not little bath towels like at WDW!

    I noticed several people who would leave and leave their towels on the chairs - which I think is rather rude! If I hadn't seen them leave and get all their stuff, I'd assume they were still using the chairs. The bins are very conveniently located - but I'll just assume they didn't realize what they were!;)

    We actually took some clean ones with us to the room when we left Monday afternoon in case the maid hadn't left us fresh towels yet. We just left them in the room when we left.
  13. lookingforward

    lookingforward DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2001
    Deb, great trip report. I loved the HRH too! Great picture of you and your family. too.
  14. idontknow

    idontknow DIS Veteran

    Sep 7, 2000
    Thanks for the report! I can't wait for Sat when we get to go. We stayed there in Feb during their first two weeks of them being open. We had the same problem with our room key. We checked out on Sunday morning and then headed to the parks. I specifically asked when I checked out if the room key was good until midnight like at WDW. (Yes, I did say "like Disney" LOL) I was assured the key would work. Low and behold at 9 am, we stopped to get breakfast and our key would not work! The worst part was when we returned that night to get our bags and go on to WDW, the key would not work at the pool gate, either. We had to walk all the way around to the front of the HRH to get back in. I asked the person at the desk what was up and they said that was normal. Go figure.

    I'm glad you only had a few glitches. It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thanks again for the post.
  15. nhrenee

    nhrenee <font color=royalblue>Oh, meow!!<br><img src=http:

    Aug 29, 1999
    I'm so glad HRH worked out well for you. It sounds like a beautiful hotel! It's amazing how much your
    experience differed from some others. Sounds like you don't let the little things get you all worked up. Good for you!!
  16. CityKid

    CityKid Disney Veteran

    Apr 30, 2001
    Dear Debbie,

    Thank you for the detailed information on the HRH. We are booked for four nights in August (before the WDW portion of our trip) and your posting is a help and a comfort to my DW and me.

    Also, my DD is a pool fanatic!
  17. travelbug24

    travelbug24 Searches for Hidden Mickey's in carbonated beverag

    May 1, 2001

    I am so psyched! 111 days to go. I know my grandboys will LOVE the pool (8 & 5). I'm bringing a neighbor girl (14) to help me with the boys so she and I will relax by the pool and drink some virgin drinks too. I think she will enjoy that.

    Thanks for taking the time to write such detailed reports. I'm sure I speak for all Dis'ers that we appreciate all the information.
  18. Deb,

    A great report! Thank you for taking the time!

    That room key episode happened to us twice last year at PBH! It was our second and third day there when we tried to by lunch twice and it said "we weren't in the system" - I didn't bring much $$$ w/ me so we just had enough to buy drinks to walk through the parks with to get back to the resort to question the problem! It was a problem in the system - I was told w/ apologies. The second time it happend I ran in to buy a soda w/ sugar because my son has diabetes and his sugar went low - same thing happend - I pulled out $$$, but the counter person insisted to keep retrying the card - had to leave $5 on counter and just walk away! I was furious. Received an apology from resort saying they didn't know why this happend, but I had better carry $$$ in case it happend again:(

    But we did love PBH! LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT! I enjoyed the non-acitivity and quiet. This time we are off to HRH (oh, boy:rolleyes: ) because ds's wanted to go here so badly. We did get kid suites, so I can have a little quiet - but not much I am sure!;)
  19. grumpyandbashful

    grumpyandbashful DIS Veteran

    May 9, 2000
    Very thorough report!! I'm glad you loved the HRH. We will be at the AKL in less about 3 weeks :bounce:
    and then will either move to HRH or Swan the last few days. I still have ressies for both and feel bad about that, but it's hard to decide! DH wants to move to Epcot area and stay in Disney - I'd like to try HRH and especially FOTL!!
    Anyway, great report, and I'm glad you loved the HRH!
  20. Molokai Gram

    Molokai Gram <font color=green>DIS Veteran<br><font color=magen

    Oct 12, 1999
    Mahalo HRDebbie,
    I love the details. Sorry it has taken me so long to get to the trip reports. :o
    Wasn't it marvelous?

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