Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando™

5.0 star rating

Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 7276 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    So beautiful and relaxing

    Reviewed by conann110() on May 08, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    Clean. Courteous staff. Great location. Easy travel to park but also relaxing if you want a day to just hang out at the hotel. Best bed I ever slept in. Everything you could want is right there - starbucks, great food, fun pool area. Would def stay there again!

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Location

    Location-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-5

    Bellissimo! Portofino Bay versus Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando in 2021

    Reviewed by CaryPlanner(Cary, North Carolina) on May 07, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    A Much Needed Respite with Fun, Food, Beauty, and Relaxation! After a COVID year, we needed FUN...and in a big dose! Many people stay at Universal Orlando properties for a night or two to get the free express pass for the rides (well worth it!) that comes with a stay at Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, or Royal Pacific. We stayed four nights, as we just needed to refuel our souls after a year of staying at home. It was exactly what we needed. The Portofino Bay uses trompe l'oeil (faux painting) to artfully give you the feeling of Italian architecture. Every corner you turn gives a unique atrium, piazza or niche. Each is unique from the "nightscape" hallway of shops to the boats moored in the harbor to the elegant piazza with all the myriad of little metal signs on the building corners, reminding you of Venice. Even our little patio was so elegant. Every corner you turn makes you want to take another photo. Your pics will make your social media friends wonder if you've been to Europe. The rooms are nicely sized, the beds are comfortable, and the bathrooms are spacious and well appointed. Even the farthest room isn't too dreadful of a walk. The hotel offers a rental car center, in case you need to leave property, but honestly you don't have to leave if you don't want to do so. There's a Starbucks, a Gelateria (lots of flavors of gelato and happy hour is from 2 to 4 when you get a large for the price of a small $5.50 instead of $7.50), and a variety of restaurants. Sal's Marketplace has grab and go snacks, salads, fruit bowls, beverages and made-to-order pizzas, sandwiches, calzones, etc. Sal's Marketplace is pretty reasonably priced for a theme-park and much faster than most restaurants in the parks, so a great find for families. The nicer restaurants Bice and Trattoria del Porto are convenient as well. I highly recommend the manzo (filet mignon) at the Trattoria del Porto. Each bite made me want to cry in a way I haven't since my last meal in Venice at a beautiful trattoria. In non-Covid times, an Italian singer performs each evening from a balcony overlooking the piazza and folks gather over their last cup of espresso or gelato and listen. It's magical. Room service is available and has a reasonable number of choices at an expected hotel room service price--not cheap, not crazy. Service was faster than the 45 minutes promised. All the restaurants and the myriad of fun shops accept room charge. Just set your spending limit on the app before you arrive. Housekeeping is limited due to Covid, but Portofino Bay offers service when you text for it. Towels were delivered quickly and trash was emptied when requested (left in the hall). The first time we requested room refreshing, it didn't occur. The next day I texted again and asked for it to be done by 1 pm and it was...except I requested fresh sheets on this 3rd day as my son had accidentally gotten some pizza sauce on the sheets...the bed was made but the stain right by the pillows was ignored. Yuck. Oh well. We did get trash emptied and fresh towels. We have had worse service elsewhere this year. Just thrilled to have room service meals and housekeeping available at all. We arrived by Uber (a TESLA!!!) about a 30 minute drive and a $30 cost from the airport. If you aren't leaving property this is an affordable and easy way to travel...and you miss the daily parking fees. The Volcano Bay waterpark is a quick bus ride from the concrete circular driveway, just left out of the lobby past the main entrance driveway. We recommend arriving just before 9 am to arrive at the waterpark, go through the X-ray, and queue up for the 9:30 am early entrance for hotel guests. We start our day with a quick trip to the lockers (we like Village West). We bring minimal belongings so the smallest $9 locker is plenty (pay with credit card or cash). We had trouble getting our TapuTapu linked to room charge, so I'd see if you can figure that out before arriving. We bring our lanyard with hotel room key (for early arrival) and park ticket, sunscreen, bottles of water, goggles, Crocs/flip flops, some cash, and towels. We travel light. Then we hit the water roller coaster Krakatau several times before the lines get long and then the summit plunge serpentine tubes. Some great healthy salads, fruit bowl, flatbread pizzas, coconut chicken curry, and burgers (not so great) as well as other choices available. We usually spent about $25 a person for lunch (entree, split fruit bowl which was very nice and fresh, and a soda) at Volcano Bay, so not a bargain. You could save money by bringing a cooler of food or staying next door at Cabana Bay and having lunch in your room. Volcano Bay requires masks when arriving, leaving, when in the queue for the restaurants or in shops. You don't wear a mask on any of the rides or pretty much any other time. It is all outdoors and it was easy to distance, though not everyone chose to do so. Staff was nice to bring your food to your table if you purchased grill to order items. You can request a free cup of ice water at any stand any time. Everyone was gracious about this and was much needed on a very hot day. Life guards were friendly and professional. The TapuTapu system means you don't wait in line more than 10 or 15 minutes usually. If a ride is full, you tap the provided free bracelet and it counts down until it's your turn to ride---you can ride any "ride now" items or just hang out in the lazy river or pool or whatever in the meantime. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks can be reached by bus (same location for pickup) which arrive about every 15 minutes or by boat in the harbor which arrive about every 15 minutes. With Covid restrictions, the boats don't carry as many passengers so sometimes we had zero wait and sometimes a 30 or 40 minute wait. This is the downside of Portofino Bay...we love the Italian charm and all of the great food options...but Royal Pacific is an easy 8 minute walk to the parks, so if the boats are full, we just walk or catch a ride on a rickshaw (just tip the driver). No rickshaws to Portofino Bay (would be a great addition). Not as many food options at Royal Pacific (the pizza at Jake's is just BAD--saw so many uneaten pizzas left in the hall)...not as many nice or cheap/quick/casual/grab and go--no gelato!!! The theming is nice, the closer location is great, and the price is usually cheaper. It is closer to CityWalk so that opens up some great eating options...though this week everyone seemed to be pretty full, so I'd definitely make reservations. We love the pint of chocolate ice cream at the Royal Pacific Bula Bar and love the free sunscreen and occasional popsicles at the pool. Both Portofino Bay and Royal Pacific have great theming, great rooms, a little occasional noise from a neighbor but never so much that I've missed sleep, and fun pools. I'd pick the one that fits your budget and tastes. We've had a great time at both. Best burger of the week was at Mythos in Islands of Adventure...but the wait for our food was 45 minutes, even though we were seated within 5 minutes of arrival and ordered instantly. Best salad was the Cobb Salad at Margaritaville. Best fruit salad was at Volcano Bay, though Sal's Marketplace was also very fresh and good. Best food was Manzo (filet mignon) at Trattoria del Porto. Express pass makes all the lines (except Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure) very manageable. Disappointed that the Hogwart's Express on the IA side had the express pass people waiting for a good while with the regular line in the direct sun and then a long wait as a large group of empty wheelchairs were being brought down our sidewalk and then a long wait at the top of the express pass line as they let the regular line go for a whole trainload before any express line folks. Most rides (like Gringotts) had very little or no wait. But an oppressively hot week in May (felt like June) and some unexpected motion sickness for my son meant that we mostly stayed at Volcano Bay. The water rides are varied and fun. Universal staff did a lovely job of reminding people to wear their masks over nose and mouth. You could take it off to eat or drink, but only while stationary (not walking). Of course, some folks didn't follow the rules when staff wasn't around, but it wasn't terrible. We had just finished being fully vaccinated, so felt the risk was one that was okay for us. We were mostly outdoors and able to distance reasonably. Temperature taking was stopped the day we left and 6 feet distancing was dropped to 3. Lots of cleaning going on, and hand sanitizer dispensed onto your hands before most rides. For us, it was amazing to have fun, relax, be around people. and weirdly nice on the water rides (never asked to ride with anyone outside our group) to not have to wear a mask. We haven't minded mask-wearing, but it was just lovely not to do it. Everyone in the lazy river was so friendly--when someone's ring would bump into someone else, everyone was polite, apologetic and laid back. Just so nice to be in the sunshine and the water and see my kid laugh out loud. Worth every penny!

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-5

    First Vacation in 2 years

    Reviewed by Buc1978(New Port Richey, Florida) on May 07, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    First vacation since before the whole COVID-19! I booked this resort because I wanted to say I stayed on Universal Orlando Resort property. My best friend and I both had vacations coming up so I invited him to come along for the duration of the stay. We arrived around 1pm and were able to check in right away which was surprising because it was a Monday and was not expecting room to be ready until 4pm. The hotel had temperature screenings in place for each day until Thursday which was when Universal stopped the Temperature check for everyone. Masks were required for the duration of our stay. The resort had three pools which were all open. The poolside bar at the beach pool was very good. We stay in room 1289 which was on the second floor and just a few steps from the hillside pool. The room had two queen beds, a lounger, and a desk, It also had a dresser with a fridge inside to store a small amount of items. The TV was good except could upgrade remotes. The bathroom was spacious and very well kept. The whole room was very nice although it was a walk to get to the elevators. If you want to not have to walk a lot get a room closer to the elevators. As with any resort there were a lot of places to eat from sit down to grab and go. They had a Starbucks and a Universal Store. The two big perks for staying at this resort were the free transportation to the parks and the unlimited express pass while staying on property. I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone that wants to get on as many rides as possible if they are staying in the area for longer than a few days. The unlimited express passes are expensive so its a huge savings.

    Individual ratings:

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-5

    Misleading

    Reviewed by marcinmelissa(Melbourne, Florida) on May 06, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			2
			 out of 5

    I came to the resort with my kids and my sister. She had her newborn, her 4 year old, and her 10 year old. I had my 4 year old, two 13 year old, and two 16 year olds. We called the reservation number for the resorts instead of booking directly online because we needed to make sure our rooms were connecting/adjacent (due to the young children and us needed to help each other). We were intending on staying at the Hard Rock (only because we live an hour away and have stayed at the Hard Rock multiple times —— you could say we are regulars), we explained our needs and the representative promised and reassured us that the Portifino Bay Resort would be able to have either connecting or adjacent rooms. Again, we NEEDED to have the rooms close. We felt fairly comfortable with the new resort and were extremely excited about having a new hotel to explore. I got to the hotel an hour or so before my sister. When I checked in we again were promised we would have rooms if not connecting they would be adjacent. With all the crazy things happening in the world we couldn’t have our 4 year olds walking down the hallway to each other rooms, and we were 100% fine with the rooms not being connecting as long as they were adjacent as promised (we would even have been okay with rooms a couple doors down... where we could open the door and watch the younger ones walk into the other room). Instead our rooms were NO WHERE NEAR EACH OTHER, they both were on the 4th floor but definitely not “adjacent” or anything remotely close together. We were planning on staying two nights but our rooms were so far apart we couldn’t do it for another night. At the price you pay and the fact that we waited on hold for over 1 and a half hours to make the reservation and ended up switching to a different resort. So definitely NOT HAPPY OR EVEN CONTENT WITH HOW OUR ROOM SITUATION ENDED UP. Also, we were told with the resort we were able to get into the theme park an hour before the general crowd. What they did not tell us was that this was only for Universal Studios and we were going to Islands of Adventures. So another misleading statement. Due to COVID we understand things are not “normal” as mentioned previously we are regulars, however, we were NOT INFORMED that City Walk closes at 10pm verses 2 am. It’s not stated on the website, nor was told to us on phone, or at the front desk. We got all the kids dressed to go and then found out by a guest that it closes at 10pm. The property was gorgeous.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Location

    Location-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-2

    Value

    Value-5

    NOT WORTH IT

    Reviewed by shannonmc94(Kissimmee, Florida) on May 05, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    I stayed in a Club level room with my fiancé and mother who was visiting. We arrived and got lost due to poor directions, our keys for the club level lounge would not work and they only gave us 2 keys for the lounge than fixing the issue with our cards. The halls are absolutely filthy and full of trash and laundry other guests just leave out. We left our room one morning to go to Volcano bay and when we returned, most of the trash in the hall had not been moved. The walls are paper thin so good luck if you are a light sleeper. We heard children running around and screaming all night in the room next to us. For the amount of money that charge for, it is not worth it. I would rather stay ANYWHERE else than here.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-1

    Location

    Location-1

    Rooms

    Rooms-3

    Service

    Service-2

    Value

    Value-1