Your family has made the big (and exciting!) decision to have a Universal vacation and now it’s time to find the best Universal Studios Resort Hotels to accommodate your best vacation ever. While we like to say every Universal Studios’ hotel is the best Universal Studios hotel, we know that every family and every visitor has different preferences and needs.
We hope you find this post helpful in searching for the best Universal Orlando resort! No matter whether you’re looking for the best universal hotel for families, the best universal hotel for adults or a Universal hotel that will meet both criteria. There is something for every family at Universal Orlando.
If you are planning a trip to Universal be sure to check out our other FREE vacation planning tools. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time on your next vacation and find the cheapest Universal Orlando tickets!
So if you’re ready to learn more about all of the amazing Universal Studios Resort Hotels read on!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you are looking for the absolute best time to visit Universal Orlando be sure to check out our crowd calendar!
April 2021 Update: Here at The Park Prodigy we are committed to bringing you the most up to date information when planning your next trip. It’s important to note that based on the reopen Florida tasks forces guidelines we do expect the park experiences to be different for the foreseeable future.
Hotels that have reopened include: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites. Hotels that remain closed include: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Plans for their openings have yet to be announced. To stay up to date on hotel reopening’s and safety guidelines, check the Universal Hotels Safety Information website.
Universal Orlando breaks its resort into four different categories. Let’s take a quick peek to see where the current eight Universal resorts fall in those categories.
Before we break down the best reasons to stay at each of these resorts, let’s look at some important perks that apply to all Universal on site hotels. And there’s a LOT of perks to even the most affordable Universal Resort. (Please keep in mind that some of these services and/or perks may be suspended or reconfigured for the current health crisis and regulations.)
As you can see, these Universal onsite hotel benefits are pretty spectacular in and of themselves! Now, let’s help you determine the best Universal hotel for you by looking at each resort separately. Because we truly see the benefits of each resort, we’re going to review them from least expensive to most expensive and let you decide which is the best resort at Universal Studios for you.
What Are The Best Universal Orlando Value Resorts?
Surfside Inn and Suites is the smaller of the two sister resorts and we love its look! This resort is decorated in (you guessed it) surfboards a plenty and definitely gives off that laid-back beachside vibe. Surfside Inn and Suites is perfect for the family on a budget! With bright, open rooms starting at only $85 a night (and family suites starting at $131 a night), you’ll be able to spend your money on other things – like wands from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or an extra night stay or two.
This resort is located away from the parks on the other side of Interstate 4, but a quick bus ride will take families to the hub of CityWalk for access to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Another bus will take guests directly to Volcano Bay. Dining here is quick and easy with a food court, pizza delivery and coffee/pool bars. For non-park fun, dive into the surfboard shaped pool, play a few games in the game room or workout in the fitness area.
Dockside Inn and Suites is the larger of the two value resorts, boasting more than 1,500 rooms! Like Surfside Inn, its rooms are value priced to make sure you get the best deal for your dollar. Inspired by sand, sea and beautiful sunsets, this resort will make any family feel like they’re staying in at a coastal hotel that has a theme park across the street!
Amenities include a pool and splash area for the kids, with a beach bar and lounge for the adults wanting to unwind.
If you’re looking for the best hotels in universal studios Orlando for travelers on a budget (or travelers who only need a place to sleep after being in the parks all day), either one of these will fit those requirements.
What are the best Prime Value Resorts on Universal Property?
Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a favorite among many with its incredible theming and great pricing. It won’t take you long to feel like you just stepped back in time to the glory days of the 50s and 60s. Everywhere you look, you’ll see retro and iconic amenities and décor brought into modern-day conveniences. Here, rooms start at $124 a night (or $164 for a family suite), and are decorated to look like classic resorts from another time, but with modern amenities such as plenty of USB ports and flat-screen TVs.
This resort has a lot of great food options, too. From a classic diner to bar and grill as well as a lounge, you’re sure to be able to belly up to some good, hearty delicious food. If you’re looking for a fun stay-at-the-resort day, you’ll love either soaking it all up outside at the Cabana Pool and Lazy River in a rented cabana, or lacing up your bowling shoes for a fun round of bowling inside.
Aventura Resort is one of Universal’s newer resorts. This stylish and modern resort is a favorite for couples and families on a budget. Of all of the Universal Studios onsite resorts, this one boasts clean and simple décor, meant to help you just chill out and relax while taking a break from the parks. Its rooms provide amazing sweeping views of all three parks and provide plenty of room to move around. Starting at just $134 a night, it fits into most budgets. It also has a fun kids suite with bunkbeds starting at $234 a night and what kid wouldn’t love sleeping in a bunk bed while on vacation?
The “high” light of this resort is its spectacular rooftop bistro with commanding views of all three parks. It also has a food hall with enough different food options to please everyone on vacation with you.
What is the best preferred resort on Universal Property?
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is a great midrange resort offering a few extra amenities while not breaking the bank. Inspired by the islands, you’ll find yourself walking by waterfalls and palm trees while listening to steel drums as your stroll around. You’ll feel like you’re at an island paradise. Rooms start at $181 a night.
One of the great perks of Loews Sapphire Falls Resorts is the water-taxi available to and from CityWalk. This resort also has incredible food options, including the well-reviewed and fan-favorite, Strong Water Tavern. Hang out here while the kids enjoy the 16,000 square foot pool with sand beaches, water slide and children’s play area. With its reasonable price and fun amenities, many families consider this the best hotel to stay at in Universal Studios Orlando for families.
Before we dive into each resort that falls in the Universal deluxe hotels category, let’s talk about the main reason your travel party may want to reserve your perfect vacation stay at one of these resorts. Guests who stay at these premier resorts receive two incredible perks that other resorts’ guests do not receive with their stay.
Now that you know that incredible information, let’s look at each premier resort choice.
Lowes Royal Pacific Resort is ready to take you away to a Polynesian paradise. It’s incredible lagoon-style pool is just one of the benefits of staying at Lowes Royal Pacific. Whether you’re relaxing in your cabana with a tropical drink or playing in the interactive water area, you might actually forget about going to the parks. With kids camps and a torch lighting ceremony, there’s always something fun going on making it one of the best Universal Studios resort hotels.
Rooms at this resort start at $252 and have beautiful garden views. When you’re ready to have a meal or enjoy a drink, you’ll find a wide array of options, from American fare to Pan Asian food and even a sushi bar.
The Hard Rock Hotel is definitely the most popular kid in his class. With its edgy, music-driven décor, anyone who’s anyone will want to stay at this resort. Where else in the world can you sit in the same love seat as John Lennon or see the booth where Elvis recorded his first song? Rooms are spacious and begin at just under $300 a night, not too bad for a rock star! As a guest, you can even request having a guitar sent to your room to jam the night away making it one of the best Universal Studios resort hotels.
For families with tweens to young adults wondering which hotel at Universal Orlando is best, they might decide this one tops their list with music memorabilia on display throughout the resort as well as the ability to listen to music even when under the water in its 12,000 square foot pool.
Did we save the best for last? That’s up to you to decide! The Loews Portofino Bay Resort will definitely take your breath away. This expansive resort, designed to make you feel like you’ve traveled abroad to Portofino, Italy, with its outdoor cafes, cobblestone streets, and shops along the harbor, will charm its way into your heart. This resort has the most pools, the most restaurants and the most shopping venues so if you stay here, you’ll want to allot the time to explore all the different areas and amenities.
Rooms begin at $300 a night, with the ability to upgrade to Club Level or Suites. And these rooms are like no other. Standard rooms have 450 square feet making them some of the largest rooms on property and come with pillow-top beds. This resort is great for families seeking an upscale, luxury place to stay while on their Universal Studios Vacation.
Rates start at: $228.00
Transportation: Boat, Shuttle, walkway
Rates start at: $272.00 per night
Transportation: Boat, shuttle, walkway
Rates start at: $252.00 per night
Transportation: Boat, shuttle, walkway
Rates start at: $168.00 per night
Transportation: Boat, shuttle, walkway
Rates start at: $120.00 per night
Rates start at: $120.00 per night
Rates start at: $85.00 per night
We truly believe all Universal Studios on site hotels have great reasons that they may be the best Universal Resort hotel. If you’re still having trouble deciding which is best hotel to stay at Universal Orlando, let us know. We’d be happy to help you make the best choice for you!
A: There is no right or wrong answer when picking the best Universal Orlando hotel. The reason being there are so many different perks and benefits of staying at each of the Universal hotels. That’s why we put together our pros and cons list!
There are three on-site Universal Orlando hotels that offer complimentary Express Passes: Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Hotel.
All of the on-site resorts are super close, but Royal Pacific is the closest – at least to Islands of Adventure. The hotel actually offers rooms that look out directly to Islands of Adventure, and on average it takes less time to walk there from this specific resort.
Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.
If you’re ready to plan your trip to Universal Studios, be sure to check out our Universal Orlando Tickets! All Park Prodigy Universal Orlando tickets will get you into the park one hour before regular park guests with Universal Early Park Admission!