PORTOFINO BAY HOTEL INFO...FAQ`s and more.......

jcvalenti

Wine Snob
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
I just came across this article regarding upcoming renovations to Portofino Bay Resort
My wife and I are going to Universal for 5 days during the first week of December 2023.
I booked both a Royal Pacific and Portofino package just in case something like this came up.
I'm curious what everyone else's thoughts are on this?
I wonder if PB will offer some sort of perks as a "sorry for the noise" type of thing.

Also, I just read on the Royal Pacific thread that they did away with the Rickshaws. Is that the case over at the PB as well?
We were there last in September of last year ... did not see any rickshaws at PBR (or anywhere, for that matter). No idea if they'll offer any perks, but I wouldn't expect it. Hard to find any place (especially that size) that doesn't have some kind of renovations or repairs going on.
 

SkyGuy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
We just came back from a 4-night stay at PB club level. Our room was in the west wing, fourth floor, and while I’ve thought these rooms have been looking a little tired for a few years, our room had several small issues - like the door concealing the mini-fridge sounding like a haunted house entry every time we opened it; the door stop was hanging on by a thread - completely stripped nail, and kept falling off; one of the outlets in the bathroom would not fully take a plug; and the both beds could have used a new mattress or at least a flip. The club was decidedly not crowded at all at any time during our stay, so that was a plus. The offerings, especially at breakfast, were dismal, imo. They had a scrambled egg dish or quiche AND hard-boiled eggs each morning but no meat option, unless you wanted deli ham or turkey. There was also some sliced cheese, yogurt with toppings, and some nice fruit, but everything else was carbs - and not the good kind of carbs (fresh, warm donuts) offered on our last stay. These seemed like day-old (or thawed overnight) pastries, which were then used to make bland French toast. There were breakfast potatoes every morning that were lukewarm and soggy. The appetizer options were okay, but we mainly found ourselves walking past most things. We only had dessert one night, and it was just as passable as Disney’s offerings at BW/BC/YC. I did mention the lackluster food items in my survey and received a call today from the manager of the club. She said she was glad I commented because she’s been trying to get breakfast changed for months and is only receiving pushback. She’s been telling them they don’t need two egg options every morning and that they need some other option rather than 4 pastry items each day. She’s also trying to get them to add vegetarian “meat” and/or turkey sausage/bacon. She sent me her email address and told me to feel free to contact her before I decided to stay there again and she would let me know if she was successful in updating the food items. I hope they do because as is, I don’t think I’d stay Portofino CL in the future.
 

TJA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 8, 2000
We just came back from a 4-night stay at PB club level. Our room was in the west wing, fourth floor, and while I’ve thought these rooms have been looking a little tired for a few years, our room had several small issues - like the door concealing the mini-fridge sounding like a haunted house entry every time we opened it; the door stop was hanging on by a thread - completely stripped nail, and kept falling off; one of the outlets in the bathroom would not fully take a plug; and the both beds could have used a new mattress or at least a flip. The club was decidedly not crowded at all at any time during our stay, so that was a plus. The offerings, especially at breakfast, were dismal, imo. They had a scrambled egg dish or quiche AND hard-boiled eggs each morning but no meat option, unless you wanted deli ham or turkey. There was also some sliced cheese, yogurt with toppings, and some nice fruit, but everything else was carbs - and not the good kind of carbs (fresh, warm donuts) offered on our last stay. These seemed like day-old (or thawed overnight) pastries, which were then used to make bland French toast. There were breakfast potatoes every morning that were lukewarm and soggy. The appetizer options were okay, but we mainly found ourselves walking past most things. We only had dessert one night, and it was just as passable as Disney’s offerings at BW/BC/YC. I did mention the lackluster food items in my survey and received a call today from the manager of the club. She said she was glad I commented because she’s been trying to get breakfast changed for months and is only receiving pushback. She’s been telling them they don’t need two egg options every morning and that they need some other option rather than 4 pastry items each day. She’s also trying to get them to add vegetarian “meat” and/or turkey sausage/bacon. She sent me her email address and told me to feel free to contact her before I decided to stay there again and she would let me know if she was successful in updating the food items. I hope they do because as is, I don’t think I’d stay Portofino CL in the future.

Thank you for the review! We have CL booked in a couple of weeks so I hope a couple things improve between now and then. The menu looks really good, so I was somewhat excited. Our main use of CL will be similar to how we use Disney CL.....grab a quick breakfast in the morning (eggs and fruit are fine with us), head to parks, and then DH and I were going to head back to lounge for the 5-7 time frame to unwind and (hopefully) enjoy food and a couple drinks, while our kids (age 20) most likely stay in the parks. I'll report back how it was!
 

danno561

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Thank you for the review! We have CL booked in a couple of weeks so I hope a couple things improve between now and then. The menu looks really good, so I was somewhat excited. Our main use of CL will be similar to how we use Disney CL.....grab a quick breakfast in the morning (eggs and fruit are fine with us), head to parks, and then DH and I were going to head back to lounge for the 5-7 time frame to unwind and (hopefully) enjoy food and a couple drinks, while our kids (age 20) most likely stay in the parks. I'll report back how it was!
We returned two weeks ago from a four night club level stay at Portofino. Upon returning we booked seven nights in November with the same accommodations. I completely agree that additional protein options are needed for breakfast and I also commented on my survey. Aside from this, we were quite pleased with club level accomodations and definitely prefer PB over Hard Rock and Royal Pacific. I think you will find it is well worth the extra expense.
 

TJA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 8, 2000
We returned two weeks ago from a four night club level stay at Portofino. Upon returning we booked seven nights in November with the same accommodations. I completely agree that additional protein options are needed for breakfast and I also commented on my survey. Aside from this, we were quite pleased with club level accomodations and definitely prefer PB over Hard Rock and Royal Pacific. I think you will find it is well worth the extra expense.
Thanks! I did backtrack in this thread and saw mostly great reviews. We're not hard to please as we mostly want a comfortable lounge with an adequate breakfast and decent food and drinks from 5-7. We're Disney CL veterans, but new to Universal CL. From my research, everyone seems to agree Portofino is very good while HR and RP aren't as good. Pictures look very nice, so we're excited!
 

SkyGuy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Thanks! I did backtrack in this thread and saw mostly great reviews. We're not hard to please as we mostly want a comfortable lounge with an adequate breakfast and decent food and drinks from 5-7. We're Disney CL veterans, but new to Universal CL. From my research, everyone seems to agree Portofino is very good while HR and RP aren't as good. Pictures look very nice, so we're excited!
PB is the superior CL at Universal - RP is fine but we won’t do HR again. We’ve stayed PB a few times with this trip being the only one where I thought it was subpar - and I’m comparing it (probably unfairly) to WDW CL of which we are regulars. I hope it was a one-off because in the past we’ve had no complaints except that they pull alcohol right at 7:00 (but the wine pours are large, so you should be good for awhile if you can manage to get a refill at 6:59). I don’t think i have high standards, but maybe I’m too picky. I hope you have a more favorable experience!
 
Last edited:

sarabguerra

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Tell me about how/where/logistics of fitting that rollaway in a CL 2 Queen! Do you have to lift it up each daytime to have room to move around with 5 adultish humans in the room? Can you move it over to the window by rearranging the desk and chair? I know we're bound to be super cozy for the 3 nights we're there.
 

hammie59

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Tell me about how/where/logistics of fitting that rollaway in a CL 2 Queen! Do you have to lift it up each daytime to have room to move around with 5 adultish humans in the room? Can you move it over to the window by rearranging the desk and chair? I know we're bound to be super cozy for the 3 nights we're there.
We brought a deluxe twin air bed last year to our 2 Q standard rm with no issues. We kept it at the foot of the bed across from the connecting door. We just left it up. The room is a nice size and with CL, it may be even bigger.
 

Dawn Peterson

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
PB is the superior CL at Universal - RP is fine but we won’t do HR again. We’ve stayed PB a few times with this trip being the only one where I thought it was subpar - and I’m comparing it (probably unfairly) to WDW CL of which we are regulars. I hope it was a one-off because in the past we’ve had no complaints except that they pull alcohol right at 7:00 (but the wine pours are large, so you should be good for awhile if you can manage to get a refill at 6:59). I don’t think i have high standards, but maybe I’m too picky. I hope you have a more favorable experience!
Can I ask what was so poor about HR Club? I’m worried about the size of club and too many people. We just booked it because of how close HR is. We have done club level at Beach Club and Animal Kingdom and I will say PB club has been my favorite with BC club being a close second.
 

SkyGuy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Can I ask what was so poor about HR Club? I’m worried about the size of club and too many people. We just booked it because of how close HR is. We have done club level at Beach Club and Animal Kingdom and I will say PB club has been my favorite with BC club being a close second.
The club is really small, and it can be hard to find a place to sit. Because of this, people take food back to their rooms (I have no issue with this), but then they leave their piles of dishes in the halls where they seems to stay for days; we always walked them back to the lounge. This may have improved over time with more staff. The lines for food sometimes runs over into the hallway - that’s how small the lounge is. There are eggs for breakfast, which I can’t eat, but it’s basically a glorified continental that I don’t think justifies the higher cost of HR. Dinner was lame - no other way to put it. Chips and salsa, those mini tacos that you get in gas stations - I likened it to things you would get at concession stands at concerts, at least that’s what was served the three days we were there. Alcohol choice was fine; I’m not an adventurous beer or wine drinker. The location is outstanding, but you can also use the walk-across-the-street-and-through-the-HR-parking-lot trick from PB and get the parks almost as quickly.
 

Dawn Peterson

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
The club is really small, and it can be hard to find a place to sit. Because of this, people take food back to their rooms (I have no issue with this), but then they leave their piles of dishes in the halls where they seems to stay for days; we always walked them back to the lounge. This may have improved over time with more staff. The lines for food sometimes runs over into the hallway - that’s how small the lounge is. There are eggs for breakfast, which I can’t eat, but it’s basically a glorified continental that I don’t think justifies the higher cost of HR. Dinner was lame - no other way to put it. Chips and salsa, those mini tacos that you get in gas stations - I likened it to things you would get at concession stands at concerts, at least that’s what was served the three days we were there. Alcohol choice was fine; I’m not an adventurous beer or wine drinker. The location is outstanding, but you can also use the walk-across-the-street-and-through-the-HR-parking-lot trick from PB and get the parks almost as quickly.
Thanks!
 

TJA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 8, 2000
Just returned from a 3-night stay at Portofino CL. Our only request was a full balcony and we did get it. Villa section, 6th floor, Room 2663. The room was very nice but is in dire need of TLC (slider balcony door lock was broken and toilet paper roll almost completely broken off wall, to name a couple. I left feedback so they would know what needed to be fixed).

As far as the CL part…we loved the lounge space and all the different rooms to sit! I also loved the coffee machine and how easy it was to use (just push the button of your drink and then “start”)! The breakfast was good for us with scrambled eggs, fruit, bagels, oatmeal, sliced ham/turkey/cheese, and cafe latte for me.

Afternoon snacks were also good - we all enjoyed the breadsticks and sauce which rotated with the soft pretzels. They also had chips and dip and tortilla chips and salsa.

Dinner time was really good. Soups-of-the-night were good but they were not labeled and the workers didn’t really seem to know a name for the soup but they just named what was in it. First night they said there were pieces of seafood in it, next night they said turkey and corn were in it, and our 3rd night we gave up and just assumed veggie/split pea type of soup. All 3 soups were good, though! They had pretty much every kind of fruit from melons to berries, and they put it out at breakfast, snack time, and also dinner.

Desserts weren't great to us. They had only 3 different things each night and people were grabbing everything as soon as it came out! Each night they had chocolate chip cookies which were wildly popular and 2 different tiny desserts like Disney CL puts out.

Alcohol was generous between 5-7pm, but as others have said they wouldn't budge outside of those 2 hours. DH wanted a beer at 4:45pm, and they said "15 more minutes." I had pre-warned him, but he didn't believe me, lol. He learned to take some bottles back to the room to save. Fridge in lounge was a good size and fully stocked with bottles of water, so no problems there and we took several bottles a day to the parks.

I took some random pics - food stations were always packed with people so I just took some pics of our plates on our table. All-in-all, we enjoyed it and will gladly return :). We visited the actual Portofino, Italy, a few years ago so it brought back nice memories walking around the beautiful resort grounds.

Villas Room 2663 view and balcony:

9C4C3DF4-2FC4-4822-A867-7DB6E8C603CE.jpeg15A28839-F1E2-49F1-AF27-547A3AE6091C.jpegC5AF7734-D1D2-40F5-AC0F-9EA0E748F518.jpegA94E0EC9-1CE9-4989-93F5-D350DFB60086.jpegE79BCB59-389D-4107-87F7-533CD77C6B53.jpegCF397336-6711-4376-855A-0D4F0187CE06.jpegF1DE88CF-BF90-49A2-992B-B301CE832938.jpeg2766340B-7E31-4BD0-92C3-6D18683A807D.jpeg78CFB2E8-2524-4CB0-B9DA-52763E010765.jpeg
 

SkyGuy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Just returned from a 3-night stay at Portofino CL. Our only request was a full balcony and we did get it. Villa section, 6th floor, Room 2663. The room was very nice but is in dire need of TLC (slider balcony door lock was broken and toilet paper roll almost completely broken off wall, to name a couple. I left feedback so they would know what needed to be fixed).

As far as the CL part…we loved the lounge space and all the different rooms to sit! I also loved the coffee machine and how easy it was to use (just push the button of your drink and then “start”)! The breakfast was good for us with scrambled eggs, fruit, bagels, oatmeal, sliced ham/turkey/cheese, and cafe latte for me.

Afternoon snacks were also good - we all enjoyed the breadsticks and sauce which rotated with the soft pretzels. They also had chips and dip and tortilla chips and salsa.

Dinner time was really good. Soups-of-the-night were good but they were not labeled and the workers didn’t really seem to know a name for the soup but they just named what was in it. First night they said there were pieces of seafood in it, next night they said turkey and corn were in it, and our 3rd night we gave up and just assumed veggie/split pea type of soup. All 3 soups were good, though! They had pretty much every kind of fruit from melons to berries, and they put it out at breakfast, snack time, and also dinner.

Desserts weren't great to us. They had only 3 different things each night and people were grabbing everything as soon as it came out! Each night they had chocolate chip cookies which were wildly popular and 2 different tiny desserts like Disney CL puts out.

Alcohol was generous between 5-7pm, but as others have said they wouldn't budge outside of those 2 hours. DH wanted a beer at 4:45pm, and they said "15 more minutes." I had pre-warned him, but he didn't believe me, lol. He learned to take some bottles back to the room to save. Fridge in lounge was a good size and fully stocked with bottles of water, so no problems there and we took several bottles a day to the parks.

I took some random pics - food stations were always packed with people so I just took some pics of our plates on our table. All-in-all, we enjoyed it and will gladly return :). We visited the actual Portofino, Italy, a few years ago so it brought back nice memories walking around the beautiful resort grounds.

Villas Room 2663 view and balcony:

View attachment 762975View attachment 762976View attachment 762977View attachment 762978View attachment 762979View attachment 762980View attachment 762981View attachment 762982View attachment 762983
Those are way, and I mean WAY, better dinner offerings that what we had, so maybe the manager was able to push through some new menus! I agree about desserts. Instead of taking one or two items each, people were grabbing platefuls as fast as they could put them out. That also has happened on our other trips to PB, so we knew to be there right when dessert hour opened if we wanted to snag anything (and we always decide it wasn’t worth it).
 

schumigirl

It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
Joined
May 15, 2007
Just returned from a 3-night stay at Portofino CL. Our only request was a full balcony and we did get it. Villa section, 6th floor, Room 2663. The room was very nice but is in dire need of TLC (slider balcony door lock was broken and toilet paper roll almost completely broken off wall, to name a couple. I left feedback so they would know what needed to be fixed).

As far as the CL part…we loved the lounge space and all the different rooms to sit! I also loved the coffee machine and how easy it was to use (just push the button of your drink and then “start”)! The breakfast was good for us with scrambled eggs, fruit, bagels, oatmeal, sliced ham/turkey/cheese, and cafe latte for me.

Afternoon snacks were also good - we all enjoyed the breadsticks and sauce which rotated with the soft pretzels. They also had chips and dip and tortilla chips and salsa.

Dinner time was really good. Soups-of-the-night were good but they were not labeled and the workers didn’t really seem to know a name for the soup but they just named what was in it. First night they said there were pieces of seafood in it, next night they said turkey and corn were in it, and our 3rd night we gave up and just assumed veggie/split pea type of soup. All 3 soups were good, though! They had pretty much every kind of fruit from melons to berries, and they put it out at breakfast, snack time, and also dinner.

Desserts weren't great to us. They had only 3 different things each night and people were grabbing everything as soon as it came out! Each night they had chocolate chip cookies which were wildly popular and 2 different tiny desserts like Disney CL puts out.

Alcohol was generous between 5-7pm, but as others have said they wouldn't budge outside of those 2 hours. DH wanted a beer at 4:45pm, and they said "15 more minutes." I had pre-warned him, but he didn't believe me, lol. He learned to take some bottles back to the room to save. Fridge in lounge was a good size and fully stocked with bottles of water, so no problems there and we took several bottles a day to the parks.

I took some random pics - food stations were always packed with people so I just took some pics of our plates on our table. All-in-all, we enjoyed it and will gladly return :). We visited the actual Portofino, Italy, a few years ago so it brought back nice memories walking around the beautiful resort grounds.

Villas Room 2663 view and balcony:

View attachment 762975View attachment 762976View attachment 762977View attachment 762978View attachment 762979View attachment 762980View attachment 762981View attachment 762982View attachment 762983

Thank you for your detailed review.

We always appreciate up to date opinions and views. PB lunch snacks seem to be very good.

I think with dessert hour, that seems to be an issue. We never make dessert hour, well 3 times in 12 years, but one of the RP managers asked us to visit to give an opinion.....bad night as the desserts had been cleared by 8.30, and I mean cleared, there wasn`t even a cookie left over.

Glad you had such a lovely stay and thank you again for coming back with a review.


Those are way, and I mean WAY, better dinner offerings that what we had, so maybe the manager was able to push through some new menus! I agree about desserts. Instead of taking one or two items each, people were grabbing platefuls as fast as they could put them out. That also has happened on our other trips to PB, so we knew to be there right when dessert hour opened if we wanted to snag anything (and we always decide it wasn’t worth it).

We met with Tracy, who is the Concierge Manager at PB, we know her from way back and she has made huge improvements in what is a difficult position as you can never please everyone.

She genuinely cares about guest experience and has tried so hard to get what her guests want.

I doubt we`ll make dessert hour again, the TM will prepare a plate in advance if we ask, if there are desserts we like the sound of. But, as you say sometimes folks just grab and will clear the place out. It`s a shame.
 

TJA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 8, 2000
Thank you for your detailed review.

We always appreciate up to date opinions and views. PB lunch snacks seem to be very good.

I think with dessert hour, that seems to be an issue. We never make dessert hour, well 3 times in 12 years, but one of the RP managers asked us to visit to give an opinion.....bad night as the desserts had been cleared by 8.30, and I mean cleared, there wasn`t even a cookie left over.

Glad you had such a lovely stay and thank you again for coming back with a review.
Those are way, and I mean WAY, better dinner offerings that what we had, so maybe the manager was able to push through some new menus! I agree about desserts. Instead of taking one or two items each, people were grabbing platefuls as fast as they could put them out. That also has happened on our other trips to PB, so we knew to be there right when dessert hour opened if we wanted to snag anything (and we always decide it wasn’t worth it).

Yes, dinner really was quite good! We literally didn't have any other meals the whole time except to get a pizza at Sal's on our arrival day.

I'm wondering if ice cream might help their dessert woes. At first I was going to say put out a small freezer with ice cream treats, but after witnessing how fast the cookies go, I can imagine it would be impossible to keep ice cream treats in stock. But a large tub(s) of ice cream might work with maybe a few bowls of toppings next to it. Disney WL CL put out a large tub of vanilla ice cream that we liked to mix with the cobblers each night. Nothing else was really even needed and it was something to look forward to each night.
 

Jim972

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Just returned from a 3-night stay at Portofino CL. Our only request was a full balcony and we did get it. Villa section, 6th floor, Room 2663. The room was very nice but is in dire need of TLC (slider balcony door lock was broken and toilet paper roll almost completely broken off wall, to name a couple. I left feedback so they would know what needed to be fixed).

As far as the CL part…we loved the lounge space and all the different rooms to sit! I also loved the coffee machine and how easy it was to use (just push the button of your drink and then “start”)! The breakfast was good for us with scrambled eggs, fruit, bagels, oatmeal, sliced ham/turkey/cheese, and cafe latte for me.

Afternoon snacks were also good - we all enjoyed the breadsticks and sauce which rotated with the soft pretzels. They also had chips and dip and tortilla chips and salsa.

Dinner time was really good. Soups-of-the-night were good but they were not labeled and the workers didn’t really seem to know a name for the soup but they just named what was in it. First night they said there were pieces of seafood in it, next night they said turkey and corn were in it, and our 3rd night we gave up and just assumed veggie/split pea type of soup. All 3 soups were good, though! They had pretty much every kind of fruit from melons to berries, and they put it out at breakfast, snack time, and also dinner.

Desserts weren't great to us. They had only 3 different things each night and people were grabbing everything as soon as it came out! Each night they had chocolate chip cookies which were wildly popular and 2 different tiny desserts like Disney CL puts out.

Alcohol was generous between 5-7pm, but as others have said they wouldn't budge outside of those 2 hours. DH wanted a beer at 4:45pm, and they said "15 more minutes." I had pre-warned him, but he didn't believe me, lol. He learned to take some bottles back to the room to save. Fridge in lounge was a good size and fully stocked with bottles of water, so no problems there and we took several bottles a day to the parks.

I took some random pics - food stations were always packed with people so I just took some pics of our plates on our table. All-in-all, we enjoyed it and will gladly return :). We visited the actual Portofino, Italy, a few years ago so it brought back nice memories walking around the beautiful resort grounds.

Villas Room 2663 view and balcony:

View attachment 762975View attachment 762976View attachment 762977View attachment 762978View attachment 762979View attachment 762980View attachment 762981View attachment 762982View attachment 762983
Hi
How early can we use the lounge perks if we check in early in the morning?
 

dnw25

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 15, 2015
First time at Universal and staying at PB standard CL.

1. we arrive very late the first night and am planning on a less expensive Universal hotel. Will there baggage claim transfer our luggage to PB? Or do we need to. As I type it may make more sense for us to Uber from one hotel to the other since we will need to check in at PB for early entry and Express Pass. Any advice?

2. I was told when I booked, CL access starts at 11:00 the day of check in, but several posters recently said it's as early as you check in. If we check in at 7:00 am, can we get breakfast in the lounge?

3. Can I pick up/activate my AP at any of the hotels? Pick up my families tickets at any of the hotels?

4. what should we request for room location? seems like west wing is best for us - path, boat and pool but is it far to lounge?

Thanks
 
GET A DISNEY VACATION QUOTE

Dreams Unlimited Travel is committed to providing you with the very best vacation planning experience possible. Our Vacation Planners are experts and will share their honest advice to help you have a magical vacation.

Let us help you with your next Disney Vacation!












Top