PBH Experience (February) - long


DIS Veteran
Mar 6, 2001
Okay, first time poster, be nice! I’ll try and follow conventions as much as possible.

Cast: Me - 34, soon to be full-time Mom
Dh – 34,
Dd - 9 mo.

Feb. 8 – 12 (okay, I know, its taken a while for me to post…)

Took an early flight from Detroit to Orlando, so arrived at PBH about 12 noon. I had previously faxed a letter requesting a room with a balcony so my dd could nap in peace and I could hang out on the balcony. They were able to accommodate this request and I was able to check in early!

Room was ready when we got there.I had used my Entertainment card and obtained a discount rate – had paid for a bay view ($187/night). Thanks to all the posters who clued me in! I also signed up for the Loews First program, so I was able to use that to my advantage.

We walked up to the room and were pleasantly surprised to see that not only did it have a full balcony, there was a table and 4 chairs on it! As it turned out, we shared the balcony with the room next door (also had table & chairs), but plenty of room. It was on the top floor at the end of the West Wing (next to last room). Couldn’t really see the shops lining the bay, but had a wonderful view of the bay itself! The balcony definitely made this room worth it! Also had the separate tub and shower unit in the bath –which made it easy to bathe my dd.

Since it was naptime, I set up her pack & play (I schlepped it with me, not trusting any hotel’s cribs). I decided to set it up in the bathroom. I know, unconventional, but it was a moment of inspiration! We could leave the shutters partially opened to let a little light in there, but it was dark and away from the rest of the room. I made sure to use the facilities before I put her down, but once she was asleep, a truck could have rolled through and she wouldn’t wake.

After naptime, dd and I went for a walk around PBH – had lunch at the Splendido Bar/Café – good, not great, but was nice to sit outside the pool and enjoy lunch. For dinner, got a pizza from Sal’s Marketplace to go and ate on the balcony. They did a wonderful job of packaging it to go – adding plates and silverware for convenience! We would have done this more often if we had the time.

Day 2: Hung out by the beach pool in the am – dd *loved* the pool! (Empty!!!) (note: talked to staff at PBH and they do a lot of conventions, so pool gets busy after 3 pm). The graduated entry makes it a great pool for small children - can roll over and play on her belly easily. Took the water taxi to City Walk to Buffet’s Margaritaville for lunch. Great ‘ritas on the deck! Very convenient to use the water taxi - just lifted the stroller on and off. Met family for afternoon and dinner.

Day 3: Went to the pool late am – dd napped in stroller (weren’t those the days?) and had lunch (and a 'rita or two) delivered to us poolside at PBH. Decided to walk over to HRH to check it out. Very impressive – not quite as elegant as PBH, but felt more family oriented. We decided to go for a swim – water is warmer than PBH, water slide is longer, and pool is bigger with more activities (volleyball net, etc.). Also, more crowded. Went to see Cirque du Soleil that evening (took advantage of grandparents babysitting).

Day 4: Spent day at DC (see separate trip report)

Day 5: Spent day at IOA using FOTL access. (again, took advantage of grandparents babysitting). We powerrode the rides (Hulk 4 times, Dueling Dragons 3 times, Dr. Doom 3 times) and felt like “adults” again. Loved the Cat in the Hat and One Fish Two Fish (we have decorated out dd’s room in Dr. Seuss theme). Went to the photo place and had them drop pictures of us into a Dr. Seuss scene so we could hang in dd’s room – very cool! This was not a busy day, but FOTL was still fabulous.

Overall, I was impressed with PBH and how accomodating they were (this was our second visit) (loved our room with a balcony!). We ordered the cookies and milk once which never came, but we were enjoying ourselves way too much to get bent out of shape. Gave me an excuse to have gelato instead (mmmmhhmmmm). For a family, I think the pool at HRH is better – I think they have learned from PBH and made it a larger pool. We would not use the Villa Pool at PBH. While it is beautiful and peaceful, I would be afraid of disturbing the peace! We also kinda like the bar at the Beach pool. Overall, we love PB - it reminds us of the town of Portofino (uncanny how well they have reproduced it), and it feels more luxurious and elegant than most Orlando hotels.

No questions but I just wanted to thank you for posting. It's sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family (but it sure is fun to be with another grownup only for awhile too!!) :)
I don't have any questions because you were so thorough! I assume you didn't order room service? Just curious. We're going to Portofino for the first time in September. Thanks for posting your report.

Yes, renee, we do enjoy our family, but the adult time was a nice opportunity!

TJA, we did not order room service - I'm not a huge fan of exorbitant room service charges, I'm a bigger fan of getting it "to go" without the extra charges. Sal's Marketplace did such a nice job of packaging it up, I would probably try that option first again. I would even inquire about to go at other restaurants.

dh = dear hubby
dd = dear daughter

have fun all!
does portofino bay hotel provide transportation to discovery cove/sea world? and any details about please.
aruss, not aware of transportation (we had a rental car). The concierge was fabulous though (arranged golf for us on a past visit). I would recommend giving them a call in advance and finding out options. At the very least, I think you could get a cab or limo.... good luck!

Can you give an estimation of the size of the slide at PBH? I couldn't get into HRH and was told that PBH also had a large slide but you are saying it is smaller, how much smaller? Is it still large?


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