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Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
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Reviewed 15 January 2018

We stayed at the hotel as a treat during the Xmas and new year holidays, partly due to getting the express passes for the parks and also to experience one of the iconic hotels of Universal. We arrived early on check in day and were issued with the express passes, these are a must during the busy times, check in was easy no waiting around and received a text later in the day to confirm once the room was ready. When collecting the room keys later in the day we were surprised to have been upgraded to Rock Royalty this was amazing room overlooking the pool and able to see the parks. Room was excellent good size (as there was 5 of us sharing) complimentary drinks and food in the lounge was a super treat. This hotel has so much to offer with lots of other restaurants, bars etc and the rock/pop memorabilia around was in abundance. The staff were all very friendly and always happy to help. After a good nights sleep we made it back to the lounge for breakfast this was again a great bonus. We were actually sad to be checking out, would have loved to stay for more than the 1 night. I would definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos
1  Thank Tabers30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2018

Thank you for the stellar five-star review. We are thrilled you experienced the Rock Star experience from the moment you arrived. Our Rock Royalty Lounge is the perfect way to get those extra must have amenities while staying on property. With turn down service, continental breakfast, snacks throughout the afternoon, afternoon appetizers, 5pm to 7pm Complimentary Beer and Wine Happy Hour, and evening desserts you can't go wrong. Tie that in with our close proximity to the parks, Early Park Admission, and Universal Unlimited Express Passes, your vacation is setup for success. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon for another vacation fit for a Rock Star.
Rock On!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018

First, the pros - Great location, right next to the Univeralt. Well kept grounds, landscaping was nice, lobby and public areas are very nice, tons of rock memorabilia. Most of the staff was great, food servers, water taxi, etc.....but the booking personnel and room care is sub par, less than a Holiday inn would be. This room comes with the express pass so if you are going to the Hard Rock to just have a bed and get good Universal studio tix than it's a fair stay for a small family. The express pass is nearly a must on high volume days. For example if a ride has a 60 minute wait, the express pass might be 5 or 10 minutes so you can get a good experience Of the park, so that's the reason this gets a 2 not a lower score. This is the first hotel I have ever rated under 4 and the price for the room alone (take out tickets and express pass benefits) it's one of the higher priced places which we don't really mind but we really got some bad service and a terrible room aside from the price, this review is based on my experience alone, I am not put off by the price. I made that very clear when I made reservations, I wanted something nice, not a bargain cheap room and based on the price we paid it would seem this place should be 5 star.
Cons - ALOT - So I work in construction, decided to take a break with my kids and when I called the Universal package booking they said the Hard Rock is not too bad if you don't have a view of the pool under construction. I explained my family size of 5, 2 adults and 3 kids and they transferred me over to the lfront desk of hard rock and I explained the same. I did a lot of research, so I knew the standard rooms were only just under 400 SF, but she told me with a garden view we would not notice the construction and we would get a quiet room overlooking the butterfly garden. When she was reading back the reservations and said two queens I asked how 5 people can sleep on two queens and she said the rooms are layed out large enough and they rent a small rolling bed so I agreed. I arrived around 1:45pm for check in and the room was not ready, not an issue.....check in was listed as 4 so I am fine with that......we asked how long and they just said they have to say 4....again no problem we decided to sit down for lunch, as the food arrived about 15 minutes after I left the front desk, I got a text my room was ready so we asked the server to just box it up....again....still happy...in fact very happy to have a room, who cares if we eat on the go....all good.... I get to the room and the kids start eating in the room, first I noticed no space to eat, they have a dresser drawer that has two chairs so we made due it's a hybrid dresser and wall two seater counter....two ate on the counter and the others on the beds....I am still not unhappy yet.....then I looked out the window and saw construction. So I said this was a deal breaker when I booked and when I checked in. The bellman was apoligetic and called down the front desk and politely said you gave them the wrong room and he was actually arguing on our behalf because whoever was on the other end basically said who cares. I asked for the phone in disbelief and he left and said he would speak to a manager, never heard back which was very surprising...... She said you can leave your room NOW, key word now and get another room IF another becomes available by 4.........so I asked can we finish our food? Can I start to put things back in our bags and she told me no...they're busy and don't have time to hold this room and another as we move......I was shocked because no 4.5 star place ever does that right.., we just wanted enough time to finish eating and it's hard to explain but when your kids are hungry and just got unpacked and started eating you should be allowed to finish, in hinesight I should have just told the kids to throw the food away and asked for another room........the bellman seemed to be a long time employee and he suggested to ask again the next day. So we start our vacation argueing and were just suggested nicely by the bellman to try again....the following day....nice.
We went to Universal and enjoyed our day and then came back to the room and asked for a third bed and they said they're sorry No more beds. How do you book a room for 5 and reserve a roll in bed and then it be unavailable? I told the person I dont care if it cost money, I am fine with that, I just want a bed for my son......NOPE.... My son slept on the floor in the space between the two beds, three kids...who gets the floor......fun for a parent to choose......So the following morning we hit the park at 8, came back around 1ish.....it was the best weather day so we wanted the pool that was closed, but we were told we could take the water taxi quickly to the other hotel. We walked to the water taxi and they said it goes the other direction and unless we wanted to ride to the park and then back we had to get a car or shuttle. This may sound simple enough and it was not the end of the world, my wife and kids went to the front desk and again was told to take the taxi and she asked for a shuttle and just figured the person was new instead of explaining to their own staff that the water taxi goes the opposite direction.....I stayed to ask about my room, this person apologized and said she could give me a different room but cant guarantee when.....I was fine with that until she said they were busy and did not have time for us to really move, so I need to tell my kids and wife to come back and be fully packed.....no loose items so when a room came free they could do a switch. Re pack everything! I was actually almost ready to do that, but since everything was off so far I asked if I could see the room first, before we packed again I wanted to be sure it was the room I originally reserved......she said there was no time for that...... I am not sure they had kids because once you're on your vacation you cant just stay packed the whole time with 3 kids. I asked if maybe I could get a text and then have a few hours to get things together.....NOPE! She offered a free breakfast....I told her I was not bargain hunting and cannot accept money off or a free meal, I wanted my kids to have a good room and not overlook construction. I won't mention the safety issues I witnessed, but when you work overlooking safety in construction and you make plans based on NOT overseeing them the whole trip you'd expect that to be respected. Rooms face two ways, one to the pool under construction and another to their gardens.....I think normally the pool is the preferred view but NOT when it's under construction and a jobsite.....We stayed at this room the whole time and they slipped the free breakfast coupon under the door as a way of saying sorry. Another issue, our room was right next to the elevator and you can hear the ping as the elevator makes a stop. So beeping most of the night....the sound you hear when you are in the elevator lobby...so my son slept on the floor and me and my wife overlooked a pool under construction and our other two kids shared a queen. My son has a disability and that elevator beeping was a real issue but I was so done with arguing that I could not go down to the person who had been arguing and tell them my sons issue......I had to get over the room screw ups to be happy with my kids, that's why we go away and kids can tell when your upset so I did not want to ruin their vacation.......so we bought ear plugs and wore them at night to avoid issues.....and just told the kids all rooms had beeping noises......Room service was fair, they didn't change bed sheets and when your kids eat on it they should notice if it needs to be changed, I know the save water thing and we reused towels as much as possible but dirty sheets are normal for a budget hotel not one like this...We even removed the front cover sheets once and it wasn't changed.....they put the same one on.....it was stained, luckily at the foot area.....nice!
Other simple things need work badly. For example my wife wanted to wash a few things for the kids....we called down and they said to go to the 4th floor, or 2nd floor....she went to 4 we stayed on 3......, and used the machine and bought detergent on 4th floor, but 3 washing machines were all broken with no signs saying so......you put the coins in and it just doesn't work, try the one next to it, same game, then again.......she came back to the room upset and called down to the front desk and they said try the ones on level 2. It was so bad it was almost funny.....I mean you stay at a Universal resort property to have time at the resort, not to try out 4 or 5 machines. YOu explain what happendd and they suggest to give it another go.........we must be nuts, we did and the ones on 2 worked the first try, when we left we almost put signs on the others ones to help the next guests, I bet they eventually will.......The restrooms are tiny, the first two days we were given 4 towels with 5 guests and that was just a sign that these rooms are not really for 5, it's a shame we would have paid more to upgrade the room if they would have told us the standard rooms for 5 are too small but they gave me a false expectation it was larger.
I'll stop there, you should get the point by now, they just didn't live up to their ratings, I also highly recommend NOT going there when the pool is under construction, it takes away a lot and the staff is not really trained for what to do to help guest use the other hotels. I would literally cancel reservations if they shared pics of the pool site.... We did use the other hotel pool but it was much more work than expected, not like having a pool at your hotel or even close. It could have been close if they had a system to accomadate guests. The staff who helps guests travel to the resort (water taxi crew) and serve food are very good but the room care and standard rooms are in no way fit for 5 guests period. It comes with a mini fridge but if you want a microwave that cost 25 per day which was odd. They also provide a Keurig which was nice but they only gave 3 K cups for a fam of 5.......if you call down they'll give more but again it's just not designed for 5 guests. We had to ask for more a few times because when they clean the room they leave 3 cups, two coffee and one green tea.....most hotels leave plenty and especially if youre staying 4 nights like us to make sure we have what we want.

In summary, I was very disappointed with this resort, maybe when the pool is open and upgrading the room from standard helps but the standard rooms are not family sized and with all the issues we had we really got the impression they could care less. They should not sell those rooms as rooms for 5.......I am sure this resort is high demand because of the location but if you care about room qualify and service that all other good resorts provide, try another resort the Hard Rock is a resort with an ideal location and has great park access but the rooms are subpar and they don't even work to make your stay special.
Also, if you do stay here and they assign you next to the elevator say no! You will hear the ping from the elevator stopping at that floor all the time when you are in the room.
We loved Universal Studios and the kids had a great time there, but we could have stayed at a Holiday inn express and had a better more spacious room.

Room Tip: Standard rooms are too small, upgrade if you can afford it
Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
4  Thank jbudelis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2018

Thank you for taking the time to submit a review of your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. We are disheartened to hear about your experience as it falls short of the world-class service we pride ourselves in providing. I will be reviewing all of your comments with our management team as we are always looking for new and innovative ways to create a wonderful experience for our guests. We hope to get the chance to welcome you back the next time your travels bring you to Orlando.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018

We had a weekend business meeting here, but Hard Rock made it fun and comfortable. Fun, atmosphere and service were outstanding. They were available for any needs we had and went above and beyond when we needed anything small thing.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos
Thank 712lorit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Thank you for your rockin’ review and continuing to choose the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando as your vacation destination. Our Rockstar team goes above and beyond to bring the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll alive in each and every guest interaction and I am glad to hear you felt just that during your stay with us. We hope that we can welcome you back again soon for another rockin’ stay. Rock On!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2018

Stayed in the hotel in August 2018 as part of our honeymoon trip for 2 nights with our family and Rock Royalty was amazing. We had previously stayed at a Lowes resort and were underwhelmed, but not this trip. EVERY member of staff went out of their way to be friendly and super helpful. The club lounge was brilliant too our teenagers loved hanging out and watching the videos and the snacks and drinks were a brilliant way to unwind for a couple of hours on return from the theme parks.

The swimming pool and movies and music around the pool ensured our best night of our Disney/Universal holiday was a night where we were all swimming until late in the evening - it never felt too busy or too noisy, it was perfect for us and just 5 minutes from the parks and the express passes were also very much appreciated and great value.

Rooms were immaculate too and loved the Rock and roll touches.

Hard Rock, you really do Rock. We can't wait to stay again on our next Orlando vacation...

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Heather A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Thank you for the stellar five-star review. We are thrilled you experienced the Rock Star experience from the moment you arrived. Our Rock Royalty Lounge is the perfect way to get those extra must have amenities while staying on property. With turn down service, continental breakfast, snacks throughout the afternoon, afternoon appetizers, 5pm to 7pm Complimentary Beer and Wine Happy Hour, and evening desserts you can't go wrong. Tie that in with our close proximity to the parks, Early Park Admission, and Universal Unlimited Express Passes, your vacation is setup for success. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon for another vacation fit for a Rock Star.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2018 via mobile

We have stayed here a few times for fast passes. It is clean and the rooms are a decent size. The staff is polite but I haven’t seen anyone go out of their way to be overly friendly. I think this hotel is better for adults than families.

Pros- Location, early park access and the express pass. It’s just fantastic to be able to take a ten minute stroll or ride the boat over to either park or walk to city walk. There is tons to do in this area. The express pass is the primary reason we stay. We are annual passholders and having a pass to get on rides more quickly is beyond worth it. Especially in the morning if you want to see the Harry Potter areas.

Cons- Size, price , and no special hotel activities . It’s interesting but my son says he hates this hotel because there is nothing fun. And he’s right. From a kids perspective the pool doesn’t have a slide or a lazy river, no fun games or activities. We strictly come for the express passes. Price for this resort seems high and you feel like they want to squeeze every drop
Out of you by charge $22 for self parking and $25 for a rollaway bed. Explain to me why I booked a room for 5 people but they charge me for a bed for the 5th person. Why not just put it In the original price like other hotels do when you entered that 5th guest. Just annoying. The size of this resort means that if your room isn’t by the elevators you feel like you are walking for a long time.

On a side note if you are from managaement: do you really think when the pool is undrained and under construction you should be telling guests you are giving them an upgrade to “pool view” And acting like you are doing the guest a favor. Ridicidulous.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
3  Thank SueTravelsWithKids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HardRockHotelOrlando, Manager at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, responded to this reviewResponded 14 January 2018

Thank you for taking the time to submit a review of your recent stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando. We are disheartened to hear about your experience as it falls short of the world-class service we pride ourselves in providing. I will be reviewing all of your comments with our management team as we are always looking for new and innovative ways to create a wonderful experience for our guests. We hope to get the chance to welcome you back the next time your travels bring you to Orlando.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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