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Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando Review

Want to feel like a rock star on your next trip to Universal Studios Orlando? Then you have to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. Of course, you don’t have to visit the Universal theme parks to stay at this amazing hotel.

You can stay here if you are visiting the other local theme parks or just trying to get away for a couple of days. Either way you go. You will have the time of your life, living the rock star lifestyle. 

We recently stayed at this Loews hotel in December 2021. This place blew us away with the pool, restaurants, rooms, and the overall hotel. Plus it was a short walk over to CityWalk and Universal Studios. Without any more stalling, let’s get into the review!

Rooms

Universal Orlando Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Standard Room, Hotel room, Resort room,

The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando has 650 rooms and 29 Suites. There are five different room types which include: Standard, Pool View, Garden View, Deluxe Rooms, and Rock Royalty Club Rooms. Only the Rock Royalty and Deluxe Rooms can come with one King size bed. All rooms can be booked with two queen beds. 

Room Break downs:

  • 41 standard-view rooms
  • 346 garden-view standard rooms
  • 102 pool-view standard rooms
  • 16 deluxe king rooms
  • 26 deluxe double queen rooms
  • 86 club level standard rooms
  • 12 All-American music-themed kids’ suites
  • 10 king suites
  • Two club level kids’ suites
  • Four club level deluxe king
  • Two club level king suites
  • Two hospitality suites
  • One Graceland suite

The Pool View, Garden View, and Standard rooms all come in at 375 square feet. I know that might not seem like a lot but you have plenty of room for a family of four. Might be a little tight with four adults or two adults and two teenagers. However, everything you get while staying here should make up for that. 

When we stayed here it was just my daughter and I. So for the two of us we had more than enough room in a standard room. The only difference between the Standard rooms and the Pool or Garden view rooms are the views. Other than that they have the same layout. 

Universal Orlando Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Universal Studios Florida

I did end up having a great view. While right outside our window was a roof, off in the distance was Universal Studios. During the day I didn’t think much of it. However, at night time we were able to see the fireworks that went off for the night time show. It was pretty cool I gotta say.

Now, back to the room. The beds are nice and comfortable. However, I think I liked the beds over at Sapphire Falls a little more but still got a great night of sleep and felt refreshed the following morning. I had no problem walking another 30,000 steps the next day.

Universal Orlando Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

In between the two beds you will find a nightstand with two outlets and a USB plug. This way you can recharge your phone and use your alarm. The only thing for me was a slow charge. It didn’t make much of a difference since I was sleeping anyway. 

In the sleep area you will also find two chairs and a small table. It turned out to be the perfect area for me to sit and relax. Plus our view had that little bonus. We were able to see the fireworks over at Universal Studios from our room. 

Universal Orlando Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

The room also has a nice long desk with two chairs. It makes for a great area to eat at or to plug in your laptop. We did both with no issues. 

While the bathroom isn’t huge. It is still a decent size with a shower, toilet, and sink. That’s right, there is a sink in the bathroom. You just don’t find that in many hotel rooms. 

The shower is pretty big too! It felt larger than most. I’m not really sure if it is but it felt that way. The water temperature was great and east to adjust. The water pressure was also good. We stayed on the fifth floor and didn’t notice any problems. 

Next to the bathroom you will find another sink with a large mirror. Even though there is only one sink. There is plenty of room for two people to use and get ready in the morning. 

The room also has a Keurig coffee maker. The coffee tasted a little burnt but still better than your average hotel room coffee. I would advise against grabbing a bottle of the water since it is $7.50.

Resort

The Hard Rock Hotel Orlando is a quick walk from Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and CityWalk. This is one of three premier Universal Orlando resorts. The hotel was built in 2001 and is the closest resort to CityWalk, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. 

Outside you will see what looks like the Album cover of the Eagles Hotel California. Well the hotel was based off of that. Inside you will find over a million dollars worth of rock memorabilia.

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando is one of those hotels you have to see to believe. It doesn’t matter if you book it for one night or a week. You, too, will want to keep coming back.

Just do yourself a favor and take a walk around the resort. You will find all sorts of rock memorabilia from new and old artist. Just walk around to find your favor star.

Pool

Is the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando the best? I don’t know! But if it’s not the best, it’s definitely in the top five in Orlando. However, the pool is the best in Orlando. You won’t find a better pool at any Universal or Disney Resort. 

I probably could have spent the entire day walking around the resort relaxing, checking out the different restaurants and hanging out by the pool. This place is that amazing! So amazing in fact, you will definitely want to plan a resort day into your vacation plans. 

Now, let’s get back to talking about the pool. This pool, like we said, is huge. It is 12,000 square feet and zero entry. You can rock out to the music playing above and below the water. That’s right! There are speakers underwater that allow you to hear the music playing. Pretty cool right?

The pool also has a water slide. But this isn’t just any waterslide. This is a 260 foot long monster of a slide. 

Cabana’s are also available to rent for the day. They have fans so you can beat that Florida summer sun. They also have TVs so you can catch up on your shows or watch the latest game. 

Do yourself a favor and book an extra day so you can spend the day lounging by the pool. It just might be your best day. If it’s not. I am willing to bet it was your most relaxed day. 

Amenities 

If pools just aren’t your thing. Don’t you worry. There is still plenty for you to enjoy. 

If you like to workout while on vacation, fear not. The Hard Rock Hotel has a fantastic place for you to do just that. Body Rock (fitness center) has almost everything you would need to get a quick workout in. 

You will find treadmills, kettlebells, and a few machines. I must say I was surprised it wasn’t bigger. So far the best gym at any of the Universal Resorts has got to be over at Cabana Bay Beach Resort

The gym still isn’t bad at all. Hey, you are on vacation so you should be focusing on relaxing. However, if you need to get a workout in, Body Rock fitness center will handle the job nicely. 

Not quite sure if you would consider this an amenity or not but a stay at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando also gives you early access to the theme parks and a FREE Universal Express pass. Having the express pass alone makes it worth staying at this amazing Universal Resort. 

Depending on the time of year and what time the parks open. By staying at the Hard Rock you can get into Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios an hour early. This past summer and in Dec 2021 you were able to get into the parks at 8am. In December it was only Islands of Adventure. In the summer it was both theme parks.

Another thing that the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando has that I haven’t seen at any of the other Universal Resorts is a charging station for cars. I can’t see this being useful to many of us but for the select few that like to drive their Tesla. They can be sure that they will have a fully charged car in the morning when they want to use it again. 

Restaurants

When staying at the Hard Rock Hotel you have plenty of options when it comes to food. You can grab a burger while hanging out at the pool at the Beachclub. Don’t worry they also have you covered for your poolside drinks.

If you are looking for something a little more classy you can find it here too. There are two table service restaurants for you to pick from. Get the amazing breakfast buffet at the Kitchen. Or get steak and lobster at Palm Restaurant. Either way you can’t go wrong or be disappointed.

Looking for something a little faster?  Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace is the place for you. Here is the Hard Rock’s quick service grab and go location. Don’t worry you can still get something hot too!

The pizza was very good much to my surprise. It came out hot, fresh, and cheesy. So much cheese it was amazing. I would even consider coming back to get a pizza the next time I am in Orlando and not staying at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Now the Hard Rock Café is only a short walk from the hotel at Universal CityWalk. This is the largest Hard Rock Café in the world too. They have pretty good burgers and apps.

Why stay at the Hard Rock Orlando

So why should you book a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando? Did you know within a couple of minutes you could be walking through the front gate at Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure? How about eating a delicious burger or having some amazing sushi at Cowfish?

Nah, that’s not why you decided to book a room at the Hard Rock. It has got to be for the FREE Unlimited Express Pass at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. That’s a value of $129 per person. 

On my most recent trip it almost made it feel like my hotel stay was free and they paid me! I booked Hard Rock for one night in December and it was less than $250 with my Universal Orlando Annual Pass. We ended up getting the pass for our check in and check out day. So we had two Unlimited Express Passes for each of us. One for check in day and one for check out day. 

If I purchased that staying at Endless Summer Dockside Inn or Cabana Bay it would have cost me $516 for the two of us. So in a sense, I saved $266. Free Unlimited Express Pass is only available if you stay at one of the three premier resorts. Otherwise you have to purchase it.

Besides Unlimited Express Pass you also get early access to the parks. You can get into Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando an hour before non-resort guests. You get this no matter which tier resort you stay at. This is an amazing perk and one of the reasons I am starting to visit Universal over Walt Disney World. 

Can you think of any other reason to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando? How about being able to pool hop? That’s right you can visit the other resorts’ pools. You don’t have to be staying at Cabana Bay to enjoy the lazy river there. Just like you don’t have to stay at Hard Rock to enjoy their massive pool. Staying at any Universal Orlando Resort (excluding Endless Summer) has this great perk. 


That’s our review of the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando. We only ended up staying one night and I wish I would have stayed longer. However, it was a great stay at this amazing Universal Orlando Resort.

I know I will be coming back to stay here again. How about you? Have you stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel before? Are you planning on booking a room for this year? Let us know in the comments below.

This is our first post of 2022 and we can’t wait to see what this year brings. Some major changes are hopefully coming in the next couple of months so we hope you come back and see what we are up too. Till than go out there and explore the world around you.

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