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On-site hotels at Universal Orlando: Overview and rates

UPDATE: As of July 2016, we’ve completely revamped this page now that Sapphire Falls is open

Universal Orlando features five on-site hotel properties. Universal has split up their hotel offerings into 3 tiers: prime value, preferred, and premier. This page includes a quick summary of each category, along with each hotel. To learn more about each specific hotel, click on any of their names. To compare each of the hotel’s offerings and find out which hotel is right for you, click here.

Beach Pool at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel
Beach Pool at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel.

Universal Orlando’s “prime value” on-site hotel – general information

Universal offers one hotel in its prime value category: Cabana Bay Beach Resort. As the “prime value” name suggests, this is Universal’s most economically friendly hotel. Regular rates begin at $124 and room size begins at 300 sq ft. The hotel opened in 2014 and features 1,800 rooms, including 900 family suites.

Prime value hotels (Cabana Bay) offer select on-site benefits, including shuttle buses to the park and Early Park Admission. However, it does not feature some of the perks the preferred and premier hotels boast: complimentary Express Passes, priority seating at restaurants, pets being allowed, valet parking, 24-hour room service, and water taxi transportation to the parks.

Learn more about Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s “prime value” hotel.

Universal Orlando’s “preferred” on-site hotels – general information

Universal has two hotels in its “preferred” tier: Royal Pacific Resort and Sapphire Falls Resort. This is Universal’s middle category, offering some perks above the “prime value” category. Regular rates for Sapphire Falls begin at $179 and room size begins at 321 sq ft. Regular rates for Royal Pacific Resort begin at $244 and room size begins at 335 sq ft. Combined these hotels offer 2,000 rooms, 1,000 each.

The preferred tier of on-site hotels can be confusing; both hotels in this category do not offer the same perks. It’s important to note that Royal Pacific Resort offers complimentary Express Pass access and priority seating at select restaurants, while Sapphire Falls does not. Both “preferred” (and “premier”) hotels do offer benefits over the “prime value” category such as 24-hour room service, valet, and allowing pets, though.

Learn more about Royal Pacific Resort or Sapphire Falls Resort.

Outdoor sitting area at Royal Pacific Resort
Outdoor sitting area at Royal Pacific Resort, one of Universal’s preferred hotels.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Waterfalls at Universal Orlando
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Waterfalls at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando’s “premier” on-site hotels – general information

Topping off Universal’s hotel offerings is its “premier” tier, including Hard Rock Hotel and Portofino Bay Hotel. This category is home to Universal’s highest priced hotels, with matching accommodations and perks. Regular rates for Hard Rock begin at $278 with room size beginning at 375 sq ft. Regular rates for Portofino Bay begin at $304 and room size begins at 450 sq ft.

The major difference between the premier and preferred hotel categories is that both of the premier hotels offer complimentary Express Pass access and priority seating at select restaurants, while only one “preferred” hotel (Royal Pacific) offers these benefits. Subtle differences include a small amount of more theming and room size, as listed above.

With the difference of “preferred” and “premier” hotels being a common question, we reached out to Universal for clarification. “Our goal for the premier guest experience is that it is at the one-of-a-kind level,” the Universal Orlando representative said. “Our goal for the preferred guest experience is that it provides a perfect blend of resort-level convenience and amenities.”

Learn more about Hard Rock Hotel or Portofino Bay Hotel.

Velvet Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel
Velvet Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel, one of Universal’s premier hotels.
Portofino Bay Hotel
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, one of Universal’s premier hotels.

Universal Orlando’s hotels – Rates

Compare these numbers with our crowd level predictions to find the best time to stay on-site. While Sapphire Falls and Cabana Bay rates only fluctuates $80-85 based on season, the other three on-site hotels’ rates fluctuate greatly based on season: Royal Pacific fluctuates by $175, Portofino by $190, and Hard Rock by $201.

In case you were wondering changes to 2016 rates from 2015: A second peak pricing tier was added and Spring Break is now classified under Holiday Season. Cabana Bay increased their rates by $5 for 2015. Royal Pacific increased their rates by $10, $15 for the holiday season. Both Hard Rock and Portofino increased their rates by $10-15 dependant upon the season.

Overall, Universal has gone from 5 pricing tiers in 2013 to 8 pricing tiers in 2016. Rates at Royal Pacific have increased between $20-50 from 2013 to 2016. Rates at Hard Rock have increased between $24-60. Rates at Portofino increased between $25-55. You can see 2013’s rates here, 2014’s here, and 2015’s here.

2016 rates:

To compare each of the hotel’s offerings and find out which hotel is right for you, click here.

Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels – map

Click any marker to display the attraction or venue name. To scroll or zoom, use the controls on the top-left of the map. You may also switch to different map views by using the buttons on the top-right of the map.

View OI’s Universal Orlando Resort map.

Do you have a question about the information on this page, would like to provide feedback, or did you spot an inaccuracy? Please let us know by posting in our Universal Community Facebook group.

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