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Reviewed 20 May 2016 via mobile

We had planned to stay here for our honeymoon 8 years ago but ended up switching to the Royal Pacific and since then this hotel has always been on my to do list! So when the opportunity arose to add 3 nights onto our holiday and stay at a Universal property it was always going to be the Hard Rock!!

We were a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 children (4 & 7).

We arrived for check in approximately around 11am. Our 1st impressions of this hotel were WOW!!

At check in I was greeted by a somewhat unfriendly staff member, took all our details, told me room wasn't ready but they would text when it was, where to get express passes from etc etc. I enquired about the cost of an upgrade and was bluntly told there were none available for the duration of my stay, I enquired about a late check out room on our day of departure and was again bluntly told to enquire the day before we were due to leave. I felt as if my enquiries were a nuisance! We left our luggage with the Bell Hop, sorted our express passes and headed to the park. Around 5pm there was still no sign of a text message saying our room was ready but we made our way back regardless. I enquired at reception to be advise our room was ready, we had been allocated a room on the 5th floor overlooking the hotel entrance.

Our room was very clean and the beds were so comfy. We felt the room was on the small side. Tip - if you want a quiet room ask for a Garden view - the pool view rooms would be subject to noise from the pool/bar/sound system.

The hotel is literally a 5-7 minute walk from universal studios. We could see the evening fireworks from the cinematic show from our room.

So what's the but?!
1 - For us, and this is only our opinion, the Hard Rock is not really a family hotel. We intended to spend an afternoon at the pool but people were walking around INSIDE the pool drinking, there were lots of drunk college students running around etc. Not really what I want my 4 and 7 year old to be around in the pool.... and yes we do drink too!!

2- the hotel add 18% gratuity to the bill even when you go to the bar and buy your own drinks. I know in the states it's customary to tip good service but not when I've gone to the bar and ordered my own drinks only for the bar tender to hand them to me?!

3- The express passes should cover all the rides/attractions within each park however the Harry Potter attractions are specifically excluded.

4 - This hotel is beautiful and the location is brilliant but after the initial wow when we drove in we weren't blown away by our experience and some of the staff we encountered were less than helpful. I'm glad I've ticked it off my list but I feel no need to return.

Stayed: May 2016, travelled with family
5  Thank Deborah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2016

Thank you for taking the time to submit feedback from your recent vacation at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. I will be reviewing all of your comments with our management team as we are always looking for new and innovative ways to create a wonderful experience for our guests. We hope to get the chance to welcome you back the next time your travels bring you to Orlando. Rock on!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2016 via mobile

The room was beautiful, the bed was so comfortable and it was nice and quiet (we stayed at the holiday inn the night before which was quite noisy!)

We only stayed a couple of nights to take advantage of being "on property" for Universal's theme parks, & of course all the eateries in the City walk area! The express passes that were a perk of staying at a universal hotel were great, as lines do get quite long as the days go on.

We also stayed on the "Rock Royalty" floor, which was great, nipping into the lounge for breakfast, snacks & drinks was a brilliant addition and I would recommend that, too. The lounge is smaller than we expected, and got pretty full at "happy hour", so there weren't any seats left, but we took our glasses of wine back to our room & relaxed in there instead! Bottled water is also available in here which was a godsend!

The overall atmosphere in the hotel is great, music everywhere and great level of service. The pool area was well maintained with plenty of loungers, cold water available freely, and genius towelling covers for the loungers (I was far too excited about these! Nothing more annoying than a too-small towel not covering your lounger properly!!)

I actually feel like we didn't get chance to fully experience everything the hotel has to offer- lovely room, loads to do and see just in the hotel, and you're even able to use the pools & facilities at the other universal hotels too, although we barely had time to enjoy this one this time, we would definitely stay longer and do more next time!

My only complaint would be about luggage- check in is quite late, at 4pm, but we were told we could leave our luggage while we hit the parks, and it would be in our room when we got up there later. However, it wasn't, and we had to chase it twice before someone brought it up! The guy that brought it was obviously miffed when I took it without tipping, but I was annoyed that we had to ask for our own luggage, more than once- this really was my only complaint though, everything else was perfect & I would love to go back in the future! :-) I must add, though, that even after check out, the option to leave luggage with the hotel was available, so had we wanted another day in the parks the hotel were happy to hold onto our bags even after we had checked out.

Another quick tip- the ATM in the lobby adds an ASTRONOMICAL charge of 2% to cash withdrawals!! Needless to say, we got our cash out elsewhere.. !!

Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Puglady22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2016


Thanks for the rockin’ review. A quick stroll or water taxi ride places you right in the heart of the thrills at Universal CityWalk. We’re delighted you were able to enjoy our zero-depth pool. Be sure to check out our nightly dive-in movie for the perfect way to chill out after a busy day. We hope to see you again the next time your travels bring you to Orlando. Take it easy!

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Reviewed 19 May 2016

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel for four nights. The employees are the nicest people...very helpful. The pool was lovely with great palm trees and sand. It was early in May so it wasn't very crowded at the pool. Great place to sit in the morning. The pool is under four feet deep so it was good for the grand kid who is six. The food was good at the downstairs restaurant. We did not eat at "The Palms". The gift shop had everything one forgets like stamps and eye drops. The beds were very comfortable and house keeping did a good job. The front fountain is great to watch at night. We are over 60 so it is a bit more expensive than our other trips to the lake. Things I did not like: bad toilet tissue, the $22 a day to park the rental car (we do understand the need for this fee to keep the lot available for guest), the coffee maker that did not cooperate even after replacement and some guest leaving one and then two handicap scooters in the hall (seemed like a fire hazard). There is alot of walking to your room if this is an issue for you. THE EMPLOYEES WERE THE BEST.










Stayed: May 2016
Thank marianne g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2016

We were honored you rocked out with us! From the awesome memorabilia to our team of Rock Stars, we strive to create an experience that truly rocks. We’re delighted you were able to enjoy our zero-depth pool. Be sure to check out our nightly dive-in movie for the perfect way to chill out after a busy day. We hope to see you again the next time your travels bring you to Orlando.

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Reviewed 19 May 2016 via mobile

We have been to the Orlando area a few times, but never Universal Studios. I have one rule when I stay at a theme park and that is to stay ON the property if that is possible. Let me tell you, this is the place to stay for Universal. An easy 7 -10 minute walk puts you at the entrance to everything there. We stayed on the sixth floor (there are 7 floors). The seventh floor is like a concierge level. I asked one of the bell men what was different about the seventh, he said, "The price and you get easier access to the concierge". I'm not sure it would be worth it. One perk that is worth it is early admission to the park every day of your stay. Another great perk is the express pass which is also free with your ticket. The food is outstanding in all the spots we tried. The pool is large, luxurious and inviting.

Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
Thank G_Robinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2016

Thank you for taking the time to write such a rockin' review. The Universal Unlimited Express Passes and close proximity to the parks can't be beat. Make sure to check out the Early Park Admission next time to breeze through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well. The pool and games are really a great way to unwind after an eventful day at the parks, we are thrilled you able to relax in our zero-depth pool. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Take it easy!

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Reviewed 19 May 2016

ok listen we loved the loews pacific last year and so it was going to be hard to beat no matter what. that hotel was sold out from like February so we went with the next newest hotel the Hard Rock. There was nothing wrong with this place except that it is ginormous. Or maybe it just felt that way trying to navigate hallways to our room. We decided to take the club level which is great only for two parts of the day breakfast and happy hour (because who is going to come all the way back to the hotel to grab lunch?) The snacks and drinks are definitely a welcome at the end of a long day wandering from one Harry Potter world to the other.
We managed to book a sitter for two nights through a private company and got to head down to the Battling Pianos at Pat O'Briens and dinner on the other night. On our way back we stopped into the bar in the lobby of the hotel. IT WAS FREEZING. INSIDE. We couldnt even stay to finish our drinks because it was so cold.
The checkin process at Hard Rock was a little confusing. We found this also at Lowes Pacific. In fact, as much as we love Universal Studios over Disney World, they need to figure something new out with their ticketing. Why on earth would you need multiple tickets/cards for one park to the other or express pass? They definitely need to come up with a new concept for this. But that is not on the Hard Rock hotel and I am sorry to lop it in with my review of their hotel but I needed to get it off my chest. The pool at the HR hotel was ten million times better than the Pacific. That water slide is MONEY!! The whole pool is less chaotic than at the Pacific. The bar staff were much friendlier at the HR pool than the Pacific.
The rooms were nice but seemed smaller and less chic than at the Pacific. But totally fine. What I do wish is that these Universal hotels had balconies. It would make putting the kids to bed so much easier if parents could escape out on a balcony while the kids are trying to go to sleep for multiple reasons. All in all it was another fun stay at a Universal property. However, there are many things the parks and hotels can do to improve the experience. For instance, why arent security guards out in force on the city walk at night patrolling the roving bands of teenagers? Just my two cents.

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Sheila K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2016


Thank you for taking the time to submit a review of your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.We’re delighted you were able to enjoy our zero-depth pool. I will be reviewing all of your comments with our management team as we are always looking for new and innovative ways to create a wonderful experience for our guests. We hope to get the chance to welcome you back the next time your travels bring you to Orlando.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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