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Dont overlook the Universal Resorts

While the Walt Disney World Resort is best known for their world-class theme parks, they are also widely acknowledged as having some of the best hotels in all of Central Florida right on Disney property. Their resorts that are in the “deluxe” category are showered with amenities while each staying within a grand theme – for example the Pacific Isles at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – and they also give guests perks in the theme parks, such as Extra Magic Hours and free transportation around property and even to and from the Orlando International Airport. While you may not necessarily consider a stay at one of Universal’s three resorts on property, you might want to reconsider, even if you are only planning on visiting Universal for a fraction of your stay in Central Florida. Why, you ask? The answer is simple – Universal doesn’t even have to put their hotels into categories, because all three of them are the definition of pure luxury.

Let’s start first with the benefits you will receive as a guest at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel. Anyone staying at either the Royal Pacific Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel or the Portofino Bay Hotel will receive standard benefits, such as free transportation to the theme parks and CityWalk and special activities and recreation at the hotels. But, they also receive something that even Disney guests don’t – a chance to bypass all of the lines inside the parks. Unlike Disney’s FASTPASS, the Universal Express ride access pass, which lets you enter a separate line while bypassing everyone else, is only available to those guests who purchase this as an add-on to their ticket or to anyone who is staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel (simply show your room key to get access). But, don’t forget that you have to have theme park tickets to be able to take advantage of this perk, which can help you out with! We are your No. 1 online source for discounted theme parks tickets to all of the attractions in Central Florida, including Universal, Disney, Sea World, Discovery Cove, local dinner shows and other attractions. Don’t miss out on taking advantage of your free Universal Express ride access pass – click here to look at our discounted Universal Orlando Resort tickets now, and keep reading about the three resorts below! 

The first of the three on-site hotels at Universal is the Royal Pacific Hotel, which is the largest and least expensive of the three hotels but is in no means lacking in terms of luxury. This tropical paradise has lush landscaping, elaborate waterfalls and an orchid court with flowers in bloom all year long that will instantly transport any guest to an island of the South Seas, while the lagoon-style pool with a sandy beach only adds to the atmosphere. With restaurants like Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, this hotel feels nothing like a third-tier hotel and instead would be more likely to fit into the deluxe category at Disney – without the deluxe prices.

The second offering, the Hard Rock Hotel, prides itself on being the “coolest hotel on earth.” It succeeds at meeting that goal with its funky-yet-fun aura, which includes a palm-lined swimming pool that immerses visitors in not only water, but sound as well with their underwater music feature. A California mission-style facade greets guests upon arrival, but once inside you get a glimpse of over million worth of rock-n-roll memorabilia located throughout the resort. There are also monthly Velvet Sessions held on the last Thursday of each month, which is self-described as Orlando’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Cocktail Party. Indeed, whether you are jamming with a rock band or rocking out underwater in the pool, you will truly feel like a rock star at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel.

The third and final resort on property, the Portofino Bay Hotel, is at the head of the class of the Universal Orlando resorts. At the Portofino Bay Hotel, one can experience la dolce vita – the sweet life – as the picturesque hotel recreates the charm of a sunny seaside village of Portofino, Italy with its architecture, intricate details such as cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes and the daily Musica della Notte (music of the Night) which features the sounds of Italy in the harbor. Each guests will be immersed in luxury from the get-go, as each room offers stylish and spacious accommodations with Italian furnishings and VIP service all stay long, and the Mandara Spa on property is on hand to pamper and treat guests to a day full of relaxation. The Portofino Bay, much like the other two resorts, has won numerous awards, including the AAA Four Diamond Award, Travel + Leisure Top-500 Hotels, and it is listed by Conde Nast as one of the "World’s Best Places to Stay." With its 750 guest rooms, an average room size of 463 square feet and three distinct pools (including one with a pool-side movie screen for watching movies while you swim), this resort truly outshines its competition. 

With the accommodations listed above and the outstanding location of these three resorts (within 15 miles of all of the major attractions in Orlando), it is hard to see why anyone would pass up the opportunity to stay at any of these luxury hotels. The next time you plan on visiting Central Florida, make one of these hotels a part of your stay – and don’t forget to make a part of your vacation planning as well, as you can purchase both your discounted Disney and Universal tickets right here, no matter where you are staying once you get here! We hope to see you down here in Central Florida soon! 

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