Loews Portofino Bay is Universal Orlando’s flagship resort and the most luxurious Universal Resort hotel, if not of any Orlando theme park destination. The resort transports to the hotel’s namesake city in the Italian Riviera without leaving Universal. Learn more about everything Portofino Bay offers guests here.
Theming and Decor
Portofino Bay at Universal is directly modeled after Portofino, Italy, a famous waterfront village along the Italian Riviera. Portofino has become world-famous as a secluded and exclusive getaway for celebrities and Hollywood elite like Kourtney Kardashian, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Spielberg, and many others (in fact, Steven Spielberg helped design this resort!). Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Orlando brings a glimpse of the ambiance and luxury of Italy to Florida. The resort features authentic Italian architecture, colorful multi-story apartment facades, and elegant touches like cobblestone streets. The resort also includes a piazza with Italian scooters and a scenic bay with rowboats.
There are plenty of things to do at the resort if you want to skip the parks and relax. Here’s an overview of the recreation options at Portofino Bay:
The Beach Pool is the largest pool at Portofino Bay and is the hub of poolside recreation and activities. This pool is the most family-friendly pool at the resort, with a zero-entry entrance, a sand beach, a lifeguard on duty, and a Roman aqueduct-style water slide. Splendido Bar & Grill is located near this pool and offers burgers, snacks, wings, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and a full bar. Poolside delivery is available. Cabana rentals are also available and best suited for families who want a shaded getaway for the day.
This smaller and secluded pool is the perfect place to unwind and rent a relaxing cabana for the day. Soothing features like well-manicured landscaping and water fountains around the pool provide a serene environment. There are also padded lounge chairs for extra comfort.
Hillside Pool is the smallest pool at the resort, located near the east wing of the hotel, making it a favorite place to cool off for guests staying at that part of the resort.
Kids can participate in daily activities around the Beach Pool, such as pool basketball, water balloon tosses, and hula hoop contests. Be sure to ask the front desk for a schedule of activities for the day.
A small arcade is located near the Beach Pool, including several large game consoles and an air hockey table.
Opera singers serenade guests from a balcony overlooking Portofino Bay’s harbor every evening. In addition, Harbor Nights are separately ticketed quarterly events around the piazza and harbor area. The events include live jazz performances, opera singers, wine, food samples from the resort’s restaurants, and complimentary cigars. It’s a great way to celebrate a honeymoon or anniversary.
Wellness, Fitness, and Shopping
Portofino Bay is the only Universal Resort hotel with a spa. The Mandara Spa offers many treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps, polishes, and more. There is also a full-service hair and nail salon. The spa features separate saunas, steam rooms, a co-ed hydrotherapy pool, couple massage rooms, and a boutique. A fitness center is connected to the spa and is open to any Portofino Bay guest. The center includes treadmills, bicycles, ellipticals, free weights, and resistance training machines. There are also jogging paths throughout the resort if you want a scenic view for your run.
Four stores are located at the resort, including a boutique, two souvenir shops, and a Universal-themed gift shop.
Portofino Bay rooms are the most spacious accommodations at Universal, averaging 450 feet each. There are 750 guest rooms. Most sleep up to four to five guests, with typical rooms having two queens or one king bed. All of the furniture is imported from Italy for an authentic feel.
Here’s an overview of the types of rooms available at Portofino Bay:
Garden and Bay View
These rooms have either two queen beds or a king bed and overlook either the landscaped garden areas or the shimmering harbor and piazza, offering the best views of the resort. Some of these rooms have balconies or patios, but these cannot be guaranteed.
Deluxe rooms are slightly larger than standard rooms (490 square feet vs. 450 square feet on average). All Deluxe rooms have pool views.
Guests staying at club-level rooms enjoy exclusive access to the club lounge, which includes wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee, tea, snacks, and appetizers throughout the day. The amount of food available can easily be turned into a meal. Portofino Bay boasts the most impressive club lounge at Universal, with hot items at breakfast as well as more substantial dinner time items. Tip: upgrade to club level and plan to grab breakfast from the lounge—you’ll save time and money by not having to buy breakfast each morning and deal with crowds.
Portofino Bay features 45 different suites. Suite sizes can range from 900 to 4,000 square feet. Here are highlights of the top suites at Portofino Bay:
These entry-level suites feature a separate bedroom with a king bed, two bathrooms, and a living room with a sleeper sofa. Each Portofino Suite has a garden view. Every suite can accommodate up to five guests with a rollaway bed.
If you have Minion fans in your house, they’ll love staying in these Despicable Me themed rooms. The room features a separate kid bedroom with two twin beds shaped like Minion missiles, along with wall decor of minions hanging off the walls at various places. There is a separate king bedroom for adults who want a break from Minion fun. One nice touch of these rooms is that only the adults’ room has access to a door that goes out to the hallway. You won’t need to worry about your Mischievous Minions leaving the room from their bedroom.
Villa Suites average 1,100 square feet each. Villa suites feature many of the same amenities as Portofino suites and have a kitchenette with a mini refrigerator and microwave. The suite can sleep six to eight guests. All Villa suites have Bay Views.
These suites average over 1,300 square feet and are a home away from home. The suites have a living room, a full bath in the common area, a dining room, and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator. Hospitality Suites offer views of the piazza and harbor.
Governatore & Presidente Suites
These are the largest and most luxurious suites at Portofino Bay and all of Universal Orlando. These suites offer all the comforts of home, including a living room, walk-in closet, two bedrooms, and a conference area. There is also a stocked wet bar, service pantries, and an entertainment space. The Presidente Suite even has a working fireplace. These suites are club-level rooms, so you can access the Club lounge.
There are seven restaurants at Portofino Bay. The notable restaurants include:
Portofino Bay’s atmosphere takes you a world away from the sights and sounds of Universal Orlando, but it’s only a few minutes away from the park attractions. Several complimentary transportation options get you to CityWalk, Universal Orlando, Volcano Bay, and Islands of Adventure. These options include water taxis to the dry parks and shuttle to the water park. In addition, a path connects the hotel to CityWalk and is about a 10-minute walk to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Perks of Staying at Portofino Bay As a Premier Resort, all Portofino Bay guests enjoy complimentary Express Unlimited Passes for each night of your stay. These passes allow you to skip the standby lines at all participating attractions at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (currently the only rides not using Express Pass are Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (48” and higher) and Pteranodon Flyers (exclusively for riders 36”–56” only). All Universal resort guests can enjoy Early Park Admission, as well. This allows Universal Resort guests to enter one of the parks to ride select attractions up to an hour before the park opens to day guests. You’ll also get priority seating at select restaurants.
Stay in Style at Universal Orlando Resort
Loews Portofino Bay is Universal’s most luxurious resort and one of our favorites. The decor, ambiance, and amenities make it an excellent choice for any Universal guest, whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon or traveling with young children. Ready to book your Universal Orlando vacation for 2024? Get your quote from Just Add Magic Travel® today!
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