Thinking of staying at a Universal Orlando hotel? There’s never been a better time! With a wide range of perks like Early Park Admission and free transportation at Universal’s eight on-site hotels, there’s something for everyone! Universal hotels are divided into four pricing tiers: Value, Prime Value, Preferred, and Premier. Below, we provide our picks for the top Universal hotels in each category.
Benefits of Staying at a Universal Hotel
Universal provides great benefits for staying at an on-property hotel. One of the best perks is Early Park Admission, which allows you to enter Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure up to one hour before general admission and enjoy a select number of attractions. You can also enter Volcano Bay up to 30 minutes early. Rides available during Early Park Admission rotate regularly, so check out an updated list of available attractions before you arrive.
Every Universal Resort offers complimentary transportation, although most resorts (all except Endless Summer Resort) are within walking distance of the parks. Shuttles are available at every on-property resort, and several offer water taxis.
Merchandise delivery is another convenient benefit for Universal hotel guests. You can arrange to deliver your in-park or CityWalk purchases to your Universal hotel the next day.
Now that we’ve covered the perks of staying at a Universal hotel, here are the top picks for Universal hotels in each category.
Endless Summer Resort: Dockside Inn & Suites
Endless Summer Resort is made up of two sister hotels, Dockside Inn & Suites and Surfside Inn & Suites. These two resorts offer affordable accommodations for families with a host of activities and are a short distance away from the theme parks. Both resorts offer similar amenities, so you can’t go wrong with either one. However, Dockside is larger and offers more dining and entertainment options. Dockside also has two pools, including one with a sand beach. Can’t decide between Dockside or Surfside? No worries. All Endless Summer Resort guests can enjoy the amenities and activities at both hotels.
Prime Value Resort
Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Universal’s largest hotel is an excellent choice for families and groups. Its bright, retro theming gives the resort a fun vibe and takes you back to the iconic beach hotels of the 50s and 60s. Everyone in the family will love the vast amount of activities at the resort, from the lazy river, sand beach pools, and the bowling alley. There are also family-friendly dining options, like the Bayliner Diner and Galaxy Bowl Restaurant. Some rooms offer fantastic views of Volcano Bay. The connected walking trail to the water park provides a convenient way to splish and splash all day. Cabana Bay’s family suites can sleep up to six guests, making them an ideal choice for families! For those who’d enjoy a bit more space and an amazing view, there are also Volcano Bay View 2-Bedroom Suites that sleep eight guests.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Universal’s only preferred-level resort offers well-priced rooms with the amenities of a higher-tiered resort. One of the resort’s key amenities is the 16,000-square-foot pool, the largest one at Universal. The pool area features a beach, splash area, and a waterslide. Spend the day at the resort for a relaxing tropical feel as the kids play pool games like water balloon tosses around the pool deck. Rent a cabana for added luxury and comfort!
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Rounding out our list is Universal’s first and most luxurious resort, Portofino Bay. Replicating a famous waterfront village in the Italian Riviera, this resort combines the beauty and romance of Europe with the thrills and excitement of being a short water taxi ride away from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Portofino Bay rooms are some of the largest on property, averaging 450 square feet each. The resort also offers several suite categories, three pools, and the most dining locations of any Universal resort. There is also a salon and spa on site.
Plus, as a premier Universal Resort guest, you’ll receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited passes for each night of your stay. This allows you to save time in the parks and skip the lines as much as you want!
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