Himself has been asking when this post was going to go live for MONTHS because our stay in The Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, Florida was just incredible! Seeing as so many of you are starting to plan your holidays for 2019, I thought this would be the perfect time to share our experience – so here it is – the run down of what to expect when staying in the hotel of ROCK!
What a view right?? This was what you could see out the back of our hotel, the ginormous pool and beyond – Universal Studios! The park was just a short walk from our hotel, or you could take a water taxi, whichever you preferred! Mostly we walked back and forth as we like to be under our own steam and it was only a 10-15mins jaunt (depending on how fast you walk). Whilst the boats were pretty regular, there were no exact timings, so you could be waiting a bit before being able to jump on board and in the time you waited, you’d probably have already arrived at Universal if you’d walked. But I’m skipping ahead, so let’s back track a bit
Back in February 2018 Himself and I traveled to Florida with family and after a fun-filled week they all headed home and we stayed on an extra few days, thus prompting our move from our shared accommodation to the Hard Rock Hotel. On arrival we went to check in at reception and despite it being a big change over day, there was only one person ahead of us in the queue, so we got through within no time at all.
The room wasn’t quite ready, so we left our luggage securely with them and went for a sit out by the pool in the gorgeous heat, which I only truly appreciated in that moment as the week before, we’d been allllll about the Disney Parks so I hadn’t really sat still enough to notice!
To be honest though, after a week of running around like mad-yolks it was total bliss to lie out in the sun and doze a little (with my factor 50 on obviously!!). Once the room was ready, we headed up to have a look around. One of the major perks of staying here is that you get unlimited fast passes, do not underestimate how much of a game changer that is, especially if you’re trying to get around both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios in a short window of time. As for our room, we opted for a “Club Level Room” which is on the 7th floor and comes with “additional perks” – more on these in a moment – let me show you the room first!
It was big and spacious with a luxurious King size bed, plus a rather gigantic couch
A neat vanity area could be found just off of the bathroom (with drumsticks as decor!) and was directly opposite our tea, coffee and minibar station
There was also a pretty cool mirror that had famous rock stars heights etched onto it, bit of a blurry photo I’m afraid, but you’ll get the gist – I also think the term “rock” is loose as Shirley Temple is on there!!
Now, the club lounge – this place is fantastic – we loved hopping in and out during our few days in residence,
It’s actually one of the aforementioned perks I was talking about when you book a Club Lounge room. It offers complimentary continental breakfast every morning
Plus evening hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine – as well fancy cocktails every so often too!
Should you be planning your own stay here, I would HIGHLY recommend spending the extra mula on a room that includes Club Lounge access because you do yourself a favour monetarily in the long run – buying meals in the park is just so expensive – so if you can keep that to a minimum, all the better and the lounge definitely helps you to achieve this!!
As you can see from the below map, our route each day to the park really did take no time at all. One thing I would advise if you are frequenting Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is to pop out to CityWalk for lunch, try not to eat in the park because everrrrryone does that and there’re usually big queues with no where to sit and can make for a disappointing lunch experience. We left the park at 1pm one day and were bowled over by how empty CityWalk was – so that’s a top tip right there!!
Plus it’s a really fun place to have a walk around, full of merch shops, foodaries and bars
Even a karaoke bar! Himself and I both sang one night with a live band and backing singers – which was actually nerve wracking due to there being some clear regulars seated in the front row who were like “who are these two?!” But they turned out to be super supportive and it was a good laugh, the place itself is enormous!
I’ve written a fair bit about Universal before (see here, here, here, here and here) ok, so yes they’re mostly Harry Potter related, but that’s what I love and that’s usually what you guys ask about anyway so – everyone is happy!!
We took the water taxi twice, once during the day and once at night after an evening meal and on the latter occassion we were actually the only two on it (apart from our very self assured Captain!)
I must say – as travel goes – it’s a very relaxing way to do it (like, in the short term, I’m not sure I’d enjoy a cruise, but sure who knows!)
One other perk to having a club lounge room is that you can get discounted rates on cabanas at the pool, so if some of your party aren’t that into the parks (WHY!?!) or maybe you’re just looking for a day off (WHY!?!) you could rent a cabana for the day and have a dedicated comfy space for sunning, shading and snoozing
We loved our time at the Hard Rock Hotel and would highly recommend it to anyone if they’re looking for a particularly special stay when visiting Universal Studios Orlando, Florida.
Have you been to Universal? Where did you stay? Let me know in the comments below!