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Reviews (9,796)
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Reviewed 17 July 2012

This is the best hotel for walking between the parks and makes for a good home base during the afternoon summer heat of Florida. We stayed 7 nights at the Hard Rock in a Club room. We had access to breakfast in the morning, snacks and sodas throughout the day, and an evening happy hour with a good assortment of hot appertizers, and finally nightly dessert. If you going with teenagers to Universal Studios then the Hard Rock Hotel is the place to stay. We did the parks at a slow pace each morning and late afternoon/evening and had a great time at the pool or just chilling at the hotel.

The hotel itself is very standard, but the staff are very friendly and the service is very good. Each day our room was serviced mid to late morning so after a few hours at the parks it is nice to come back to a clean room. The club room is great for checking the internet, making dinner reservations or getting advise on things to do. There is alot to do around Universal Studios which includes extensive nightlife at Citywalk. We were there during a velvet session and you can see live music in the lobby on the last Thursday of the month.

We ate at the Kitchen at the Hard Rock, Mamma Delias at Portofinio and TChop Chop at Royal Pacific. All meals were very good and the service was outstanding. The singers at Mamma Delias is a nice touch and the look and feel at TChop Chop is done very well. Bring your AAA card and you get 10% off at some of the restaurants around Universal including Mythos, Lombard's, and all restaurants at City Walk. There is a coupon for a free appetizer at TChop Chop if you go to the website. All of these restaurants are high priced, but everything seems high from burgers at Hard Rock Cafe to fried food at Jimmy Buffets Restaurant.

As part of our trip we did Disney World for one day and got through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I must say that the crowds are much bigger at Universal than Disney. We got through Animal Kingdom by 11:15AM and were able to ride and see everything we wanted to. Next was Hollywood Studios which had a few nice rides. Finally we ended up at Epcot around 3PM and the park was empty. We went from attaction to attraction with no wait and had a dinner reservation at Paris Bistro at 7PM. I must say that Mission Space is the most intense ride at Disney World. I was not expecting the simulation to be that dramatic at launch. We skipped all shows due to time and focused on fast pass rides at both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood. I would not recommend Disney World in a day, but given that tickets are $115 per person we had to maximize our stay. We left the park around 9PM. So we had 12.5 hours at Disney World.

Overall, Universal Studios and IOA were very enjoyable. Harry Potter and the Spiderman Ride are our favorites. The water rides are great in the late afternoon and you will get soaked. Cat the Hat and ET are good air conditioned dark rides. I really like the Mummy, Dueling Dragons and the Rock It roller coaster. Hulk was only okay. A Good time was had by all.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank MAGICK_HEX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2012

Our family had the best vacation ever at the Hark Rock Hotel. The location was the perfect, to be able walk to the parks.... priceless! Will stay again ! I recommend the club 7 floor. So worth it.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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7  Thank TaraCarder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2012

My family and I recently spent 3 nights at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Pros: The hotel offers an excellent location in relation to the Universal theme parks. The rooms are small for the price, but by staying on property you are able to use the express lines at the parks. We ate 3 breakfasts and 1 dinner at the Kitchen restaurant which were all very good. The pool area was also very nice.

Cons: It quickly becaume clear that hotel personnel are not adequately trained or informed about the hotel and theme park administrative matters. This resulted in our wasting time relying on misinformation and resolving billing and administrative issues.

Upon check-in on July 4th we were told by both the front desk personnel and the bell hop that there would be a live fireworks display at City Walk that evening. After much anticipation we, and hundreds of other people were disappointed to find out that there hasn't been a live fireworks display at City Walk since the building of Harry Potter's World. The only fireworks that went off were the usual nightly fireworks at the Universal theme park which are not viewable from City Walk.

I called the concierge to determine what time the Universal theme parks opened in the morning for hotel guests. She told me 9AM. I decided to double check and called back and was then told 8AM after being transferred to another concierge. The concierge should know what time the theme parks open!

Another thing to be wary of is the tipping procedures in the various restaurants at the Hard Rock. Sometimes the server adds a 15-18% gratuity to the bill and sometimes not. This procedure is not consistent throught the hotel and even varied within the Kitchen restaurant (ie tipping not included on dinner but was included on buffet breakfasts.)

We also experienced other adminstrative and billing issues which made it very clear to us that there is a definite lack of knowlege about their internal computer systems and accounting procedures which might be remedied by providing employees with robust, regular training sessions.

We probably would not stay here again as we preferred the Portofino Bay hotel to the Hard Rock as they seem to have more experienced and well trained staff.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank NJTraveller73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2012

Check-in was a little awkward, since we arrived at 10am and they wouldn’t guarantee our 2 rooms until 4pm. With a little help from one of the managers, we got 1 room around 11am, so at least we could put our luggage there and send the kids off to Universal. My wife and I stayed behind and spent the day at the hotel and pool. The pool area is really the focal point of the property and both day and night, it was a lot of fun! Every night around 8p, they would show a popular movie by the pool for the families to enjoy. We ended up staying at the pool until it closed at mid-night! As you may know, if you stay at the Hard Rock, everyone gets the Express Pass, which was extremely popular with my kids. Try to eat at The Palms steak restaurant in the hotel. Their food was great and so was the service! You won’t be disappointed!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Atila-the-Hunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2012

Nice average rooms, clean!! Bathrooms a little small. Food at the hotel was pricey but good! Very nice to have transportation to and from the parks, very convenient. Definitely very friendly staff and very helpful. Would definitely stay there again. Kind of pricey for the room but very satisfied.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank lisa c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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