Universal Orlando Resort On-Site Hotels (Everything You Need to Know)

Have you decided which one of the Universal Orlando Resort on-site hotels to stay at or are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with the decision?

When you think of Universal Orlando Resort you might think of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Men in Black: Alien Attack, or if you’re like us you think of E.T. Adventure!

And after a long day in the parks you’re going to want to go back to a comfortable hotel. That’s where Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels are a major win.

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Things to do at Universal Orlando

What hotels are there?

Universal Orlando Resort hosts eight unique hotels, ranging in price, room size, and proximity to the park. Figuring out which one is best for you can be a challenge, so we’re breaking each of the resorts down with pros and cons for each.

Universal’s Endless Summer- Surfside Inn and Suites

This resort is the newest Universal Orlando hotel, but it’s also the farthest away from the actual theme parks. The hotel is themed after a summer beach vacation, with standard rooms that sleep four or suites that sleep six.

Universal Orlando On-Site Hotels: Surfside Inn and Suites 2 Bedroom Suite
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando

Pros to Universal’s Endless Summer- Surfside Inn and Suites

  • Suite-style rooms that are two-bedroom with a small kitchenette for making quick meals before heading to the parks.
  • Endless Summer is the cheapest of the Universal hotels, starting at just $79 a night.
  • There is a Starbucks on-site for that morning jolt of caffeine.

Cons to Universal’s Endless Summer- Surfside Inn and Suites

  • Rooms have a full picnic table inside that takes up valuable space if you don’t plan on eating in your room at all.
  • Endless Summer is the farthest away from the Universal Orlando theme parks, and you must take a bus or drive to and from the parks. There is no walking option.
  • There is limited storage in the room if you’re staying longer than a few days and want to unpack your suitcase.

Book your room today!

Universal’s Endless Summer- Dockside Inn and Suites

Universal’s Endless Summer- Dockside Inn and Suites is part of the new complex of hotels which also features Universal’s Endless Summer- Surfside Inn and Suites. This new hotel is set to open Summer 2020, with a vacation at the lake vibes.

Publicity Dockside Inn and Suites First Look. Universal Orlando Resort Hotels
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando

Pros to Universal’s Endless Summer- Dockside Inn and Suites

  • There are suite and standard style rooms to occupy any group size.
  • Rooms start at $79 a night, making it a great value.
  • Multiple on-site restaurants make grabbing a bite to eat before going to the parks easy.

Cons to Universal’s Endless Summer- Dockside Inn and Suites

  • Since it is on the other side of the interstate the hotel is not within walking distance to the parks.
  • There is limited storage in the rooms, so large groups might struggle to find space for everything.

Book your room today!

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

If you’ve ever driven down I-4 past Universal Orlando then you’ve surely seen Universal’s Aventura Hotel. It’s the one that looks like the giant fidget spinner next to Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Aventura Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort On-site Hotels
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando

The resort is modern and well kept and perfect for small traveling parties of one or two.

Pros to Universal’s Aventura Hotel

  • It is super close to the boat launch that will take you to CityWalk and onto the parks. You just need to walk through the neighboring Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
  • Everything in your room is done through an iPad, including chatting with the front desk for assistance without having to leave your room.
  • The hotel restaurant is more of a food hall with lots of yummy options!

Cons to Universal’s Aventura Hotel

  • The rooms are awkwardly shaped because of the curves of the building, making it hard to find a spot for everyone’s belongings.
  • Your view may or may not be that great, with some rooms facing Volcano Bay and the theme parks and others facing the interstate.
  • There are limited elevators to get to the rooms, making getting back to your room at the end of the night a little challenging.

Book your room today!

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a sprawling resort complex with direct access to both Universal theme parks and the Volcano Bay water park.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Poolside
Universal Orlando’s fourth on-site hotel – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – features a total of 1,800 moderate and value priced rooms that evoke the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60’s. Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

The rooms are themed to be like classic beach resorts of the 50s and 60s, and an on-site bowling alley!

Pros to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  • Rooms are relatively inexpensive, starting at $116 a night making it one of the top Universal Orlando Resort on-site hotels
  • You can walk to the parks, grab a bus, or walk across the street to Loews Sapphire Falls to get a ride on a boat.
  • There is ample on-site parking, which is a trouble spot at some of the other Universal resorts.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort Expansion Room Shoot, Bayside Tower, overlooking Volcano Bay
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando Resort

Cons to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  • There are multiple buildings at the resort, all of which have a different path to get to the lobby area. This can get confusing to know your way around after a day at the parks.
  • A few of the wings are to connected to the main lobby, so if weather is bad you might be walking in the rain to the lobby for food or coffee.
  • If kitschy decorations and themes aren’t your thing then this hotel will seem dated.

Book your room today!

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is right in the heart of Universal Orlando Resort, with ample transportation options and rooms that are sure to delight.

Loews Sapphire Falls Water Taxi
Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

Pros to Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

  • Ease of travel to and from the two theme parks and one water park at Universal Orlando Resort.
  • Rooms are large and contemporary feeling, while warm and inviting.
  • On-site dining is plentiful, with more than just the standard theme park fare.

Cons to Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

  • Rooms can be pricey, especially during the busy season, starting at $165 a night.
  • There is no real theme park view from most of the rooms.
  • There is parking on-site, but it can be a challenge to find a spot in the small garage.

Book your room today!

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Loews Royal Pacific Resort is centrally located at Universal Orlando Resort, offering beautiful rooms and a quick access to the theme parks.

Loews Royal Pacific A TOUCH OF THE TROPICS with elaborate landscaping, waterfalls and lagoons.  Universal Orlando on-site hotels next to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk are just a relaxing boat ride away.
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando.

Pros to Loews Royal Pacific Resort

  • The resort is only a short walk or leisurely boat ride away to the parks.
  • One of three resorts with club-level access for a more enhanced stay.
  • Staying here gets you priority seating at restaurants across Universal Orlando Resort.

Cons to Loews Royal Pacific Resort

  • Rooms are expensive compared to other on-site resorts, starting at $225 a night.
  • Parts of the hotel can seem dark due to lack of lighting in hallways, even in the middle of the day.
  • Breakfast grab-and-go options are limited, making the morning a little harder to get out the door and into the parks when the wait times are less.

Book your room today!

Hard Rock Hotel

The Hard Rock Hotel emits a vibe of old-school rock and roll and good times. This hotel is great for solo travelers!

Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando Resort
Hard Rock Hotel Photo Cred. Universal Orlando Resort

Pros to the Hard Rock Hotel

  • One of three hotels with a club level for guests.
  • Suites can be as large as 2,000 square feet, making enough room for everyone in your group.
  • Brunch with bottomless mimosas at The Kitchen is a vacation must.

Cons to the Hard Rock Hotel

  • The price of rooms start at $258 for a standard room, making this one of Universal’s most expensive hotels.
  • It can be hard to get transportation to and from other parts of Orlando from here.
  • The grab-and-go meal spot is small with limited options.

Book your room today!

Loews Portfino Bay Hotel

Loews Portfino Bay Hotel is themed after the Italian seaside villages, with sweeping views of an internal harbor.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Universal Orlando Resort

Pros to Loews Portfino Bay Hotel

  • One of three resorts with club level rooms.
  • Multiple dining establishments to please any palate.
  • Portfino Bay is a quick walk to the theme parks and CityWalk.

Cons to Loews Portfino Bay Hotel

  • The rooms are the most expensive at Universal Orlando Resort, starting at $270 a night.
  • The piazza can get loud at night, making rooms close to that space loud also.

Book your room today!

On-Site Perks

There are a quite a few perks to staying on-site at Universal Orlando Resort. All resorts have some perks, and some have more than others.

Hogsmeade at Universal with steam coming from engine and guests walking around.

To be sure your hotel has the perks you want be sure to check the “benefits” tab on Universal Orlando’s website before purchasing. All benefits are subject to change without notice.

Below is a list of perks for the on-site Universal Orlando Resort hotels.

  • Free Universal Express Unlimited pass
  • Early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Early admission to Volcano Bay
  • Free transportation to the theme parks, CityWalk, and Volcano Bay
  • Priority seating at some Universal Orlando restaurants

Ready to start planning your next Universal Orlando vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

Our Choice for the Universal Orlando Resort On-site Hotels

If you’re looking for a hotel that has good value for the cost, along with a variety of benefits, we highly suggest Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

What is the Best Universal Studios On Site Hotel
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The rooms are well appointed, the proximity to the parks cannot be beat, and the price is right for everything you get. This is our choice hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

About the Author

Megan DuBois Theme Park Writer

About the Author

Megan is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She covers all things Disney and Universal and runs marathons for fun.

She thinks you can tell a lot about someone by the name of their signature lipstick, and hers is NARS Dragon Girl.

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