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, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is the perfect place to stay. Inspired by the seaside town of Portofino, Italy, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a destination in itself.
6 Reasons Adults Will Love Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Contrary to popular belief, not all theme park visits are planned around children. As a travel agent I have planned many honeymoons, romantic weekends and girlfriend getaways that were centered around visiting theme parks. I myself happen to be a big fan of the Orlando theme park scene and have made more adult-only trips than I have with my children. True statement. One of the most memorable trips was a girlfriend getaway to Universal Studios Orlando when I stayed at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
1 – Spacious Luxury 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 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 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.
2 – Exclusive Deluxe 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 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. 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);
- Complimentary water taxis and shuttle buses to and from Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk; and
- Priority seating at select restaurants throughout both theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
The standard benefits afforded to all on-site hotel guests also apply which include complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort, resort wide charging privileges with your room keys, Golf Universal Orlando program, as well as complimentary scheduled transfers to SeaWorld and Aquatica.
3 – 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 therapies rooted in the Balinese tradition for the healing arts including massage, facials and more. Their treatments offer guests a chance to escape into a world of relaxation and healing. The spa is open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and the salon from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 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 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily for all resort guests ages 18 and up. Guests at the Fitness Center can enjoy Elliptical cross trainers, upright bicycles, stair climbers, treadmills, 13 stations of variable resistance weight machines, a free weight area with dumbbells, as well as a sauna.
4 – 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. So 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, in addition to board games and more. For $15 per hour (per child) trained counselors will entertain your kids while you go enjoy some adult time. In addition, for just $15 more your kids can eat dinner at camp. Resort Kids’ Camp is open every evening from 5:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., and remains open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
5 – Wide Variety of Dining Options
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. Here you’ll dine on Old World Italian favorites while being serenaded by Mama and the strolling musicians. My friends and I had so much fun drinking wine and singing along.
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. Note – Dinner on Friday evenings from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. is a character dining experience
If you are more of a grab-and-go kind of person you’ll enjoy 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 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. daily. Their 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.
6 – The Villa & Hillside 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. The Villa Pool is conveniently located a short walk from the family friendly Beach Pool where you will also find Splendido Bar & Grill. If you would like an exclusively adults-only pool, the Hillside Pool is located on the east side of the hotel.
There are so many reasons to visit Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. These are just a few of the highlights. You definitely need to experience their luxurious accommodations for yourself.