Planning a vacation to Universal Orlando? Do you like to stay in luxurious accommodations when you travel? Whether you are planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway or a weekend trip with your girlfriends, the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios Orlando is the perfect place to stay. Inspired by the seaside town of Portofino, Italy, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a destination in itself.
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Why the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios Orlando is Worth the Splurge
If you’re looking for a Universal Studios luxury hotel with top of the line accommodations, Portofino Bay Hotel is the place to stay. With all the perks of a Universal Orlando on-site hotel, deluxe accommodations, fabulous restaurants, a world-class spa, and so much more, see why we think the Portofino Bay Hotel is definitely worth the splurge.
To save more money to splurge on a great hotel, buy your Universal theme park tickets at a discount via Undercover Tourist!
Universal Studios Luxury Hotel Accommodations
There are approximately 750 guest rooms at the Portofino Bay Hotel ranging from 450 to 3,215 square feet. You can choose from standard garden and bay view rooms, Club level rooms, or one of the six different types of suites. Probably the best selling point for families is the amazing Despicable Me Kids Suites. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in a Minion themed room?
All of the rooms come with 300 thread count cotton bed linens, iHome clock radios with iPod docking stations, smart room technology for automated heating and cooling, and Keurig coffee makers featuring Chef Emeril’s gourmet coffee and tea. Just wait until you see the enormous bathroom. Amazing.
Club level rooms have access to personal concierge services, which include pre-arrival arrangements. Another benefit to staying club level is access to the Portofino Club Lounge which is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Guests can enjoy complimentary drinks, breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine during certain hours while visiting the Portofino Club Lounge.
Complimentary Express Pass & Other On-Site Hotel Benefits
When traveling to theme parks, I always opt for staying in an on-site resort hotel for the extra perks. Universal Orlando offers great benefits to on-site guests. My favorite perk is early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as Volcano Bay. As a Deluxe on-site hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel guests receive special benefits reserved only for the Deluxe resorts. These include:
- Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks. This complimentary benefit is worth up to $89 per person (per day). (Find out why you should NEVER buy your Universal Express pass online!)
- Complimentary water taxis and shuttle buses to and from Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay and CityWalk.
- Priority seating at select restaurants throughout both theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
The standard benefits afforded to all on-site hotel guests also apply. Those include:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort.
- Resort wide charging privileges with your room keys.
- Golf Universal Orlando program.
- Complimentary scheduled transfers to SeaWorld and Aquatica.
Mandara Spa & Fitness Center
There is no better way to relax and unwind than by spending a day at the spa. The Mandara Spa offers ,massage, facials and other therapies rooted in the Balinese tradition. The spa is open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and the salon from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., daily. You can secure reservations by calling (407) 503-1244.
If working out on vacation is your thing (definitely not mine), there is a Fitness Center at the Mandara Spa that is open from 5 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily for resort guests ages 18 and up. It offers elliptical cross trainers, upright bicycles, stair climbers, treadmills, 13 stations of variable resistance weight machines, a free weight area with dumbbells and a sauna.
Resort Kids’ Camp
First of all, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can spend the day at the spa if your kids are with you. Resort Kids’ Camp is an awesome perk for guests of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Whether you’re looking for a romantic night out, a relaxing day at the spa, or just a few kid-free hours to enjoy the parks, Resort Kids’ Camp has you covered. Most noteworthy, camp is only open to potty-trained children ages 4-14.
Fun activities include arts & crafts, video games, story telling, computer time, movies and board games and more. Standard fee is $15 per hour per child for the camp supervised by trained counselors. Add another $15 per kid if you want them to have dinner at camp. Resort Kids’ Camp is open Sunday-Thursday from 5 – 11:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. – midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Wide Variety of Dining Options
My favorite place to eat at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is Trattoria del Porto. While the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, I personally think their breakfast is the best. There’s no better way to start your day than with a breakfast buffet loaded with sausage, bacon, eggs, grits, baked goods, fresh fruit, and so much more. The best part is hands down the custom made omelette station. Make sure to experience this at least one day during your stay. You won’t be sorry.
If you are looking for a romantic fine dining experience, I highly recommend Bice Ristorante. The menu features Northern Italian cuisine including handmade pasta, entrees, and desserts. The dress code is resort or business casual and reservations are highly recommended. For a more laid back dinner experience try Mama Della’s Ristorante. My friends and I had so much fun dining on Old World Italian favorites while drinking wine and singing along with Mama and the strolling musicians.
If you are more of a grab-and-go kind of person, head to Sal’s Market Deli where you can find fresh pastries, espresso and cappuccino for breakfast and brick-oven pizzas, Italian meats, cheeses, antipasti and other delicacies throughout the day. Sal’s is open from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily. The brick-oven pizzas are out of this world!
Splendido Bar & Grill, located at the Beach Pool is a great place to order cocktails, burgers, salads and other appetizers while relaxing poolside. If you’re in the mood for something sweet make sure to stop by Gelateria for artisan gelato, milkshakes and smoothies.
Three Themed Swimming Pools
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has 3 themed swimming pool areas – the Beach Pool, the Hillside Pool, and the Villa Pool, each location offering a different atmosphere. I personally favor the serenity found at the Villa Pool. This area offers more exclusivity and upgraded amenities than the other two locations. While children are allowed in this pool, you’ll seldom find them here as most families prefer the family friendly Beach Pool.
The Beach Pool has a lively atmosphere with music and dining. Splendido Bar & Grill is is located poolside where you can order amazing food and cocktails. Seriously, the food is THAT good. The kids love the Roman aqueduct-themed water slide, sandy beach, and children’s play area.
There’s also an exclusively adults-only pool, the Hillside Pool, located on the east side of the hotel.
Have you stayed at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel? Share your experience with us in the comment section below. Planning a trip to Universal Orlando? Consider joining us in our Facebook Group – Universal Orlando Tips & Planning by TravelingMom.