- Surfside: Rooms
- Surfside: Public spaces
- Surfside: Pool area
- Surfside: Dining & lounges
- Surfside: Distance from the parks
Welcome to Orlando Informer’s coverage of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, one of two value hotels at Universal Orlando Resort (not to be confused with Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel, which are prime value properties).
There are two very important items to keep in mind when discussing this new hotel. First and foremost is its location: it was built on a 64-acre plot of land that used to house Wet ‘n Wild Orlando, the 1977 water park that Universal purchased in 1998 (and demolished in 2016) – meaning it’s a good five-to-10-minute bus ride away from the main Universal Orlando campus. While this might seem like a bit of a drive, it’s actually not that much longer than the trip from Cabana Bay Beach Resort to CityWalk and the two theme parks, which form the heart of Universal Orlando.
Secondly, Surfside Inn and Suites is part of the overarching Endless Summer hotel complex, which also consists of Dockside Inn and Suites. All Surfside guests have access to Dockside’s additional slate of amenities, which includes another Starbucks and two more pools.
(In case you were wondering, while this may be the first Universal resort to contain multiple venues, it actually isn’t the first to open in different phases; Cabana’s two courtyards bowed three months apart, with its tower expansion following three whole years later.)
Surfside Inn and Suites – general information
Relax in a beachside resort that intertwines the surf, sun, and sand to create a carefree getaway. This first half of the Endless Summer Resort hotel complex features 750 rooms, 390 of which are two-bedroom suites for summery family escapades at Universal’s lowest room rates ever.
- Address: 7000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
- Phone: 407-503-7000; Fax: 407-503-7010
- Official Loews website
- Official Universal Orlando website
- Opened in June 2019
- 750 rooms
- 175 standard double queen
- 185 double queen pool view
- 261 standard two-bedroom suite
- 75 two-bedroom suite pool view
- 54 two-bedroom suite water view
- Rooms start at 313 square feet
- The two-bedroom suites are 440 square feet and sleep six, including two queen beds in one room and a single queen in the other
- Prices for standard rooms range between $147 and $279 per night
- Guest rooms feature bright, beachy design with fun surf touches
- Free wifi for up to four devices per room. Faster wifi for up to eight devices is available for $14.95/day
- No club level
- Pool with pop-up jets in the shallow end
- Complimentary fitness center for guests
- Game room
- Universal Studios Store: offers sundries, guest necessities, newspapers, and magazines, as well as Universal and hotel logo merchandise
- Two dining options, including Starbucks, plus room service
A word on value versus prime value hotels
As already noted, the two properties of Endless Summer Resort represent an entirely new category for Universal’s hotels: value, which now joins the ranks of premier, preferred, and prime value. This may cause guests some confusion, so we figured we’d spend just a moment to clarify what the differences between the two value classifications are.
The “value” part of their designations means that, as one might expect, these four venues offer the most inexpensive room rates to be found all across Universal Orlando Resort. Where the “prime” part comes into play is in two benefits that both Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel offer that Surfside and Dockside Inn and Suites don’t (and, in fact, can’t): closer proximity to the theme parks and direct access, via private entrances, to Volcano Bay (which, if you’re planning on going to the water park, is actually a huge perk – waiting to be transported via shuttle can take a fair chunk of time, particularly if one does so from CityWalk as opposed to from any of the other hotels).
Is Surfside Inn and Suites like the other Universal Orlando hotels?
Given that Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites sits on its own little chunk of land out on Universal Boulevard, one is inclined to ask: is the new value venue technically still a Universal Orlando Resort hotel? In a word, yes.
Surfside still offers the same level of theming and service that can be found at the other Universal properties, along with – more importantly – most of the same bevy of benefits, such as Early Park Admission, resort-wide charging privileges, and package deliveries to your room. And as far as the distance from the parks and CityWalk goes, it actually is extremely comparable to that of Cabana Bay (less than five minutes, according to Universal itself), with the only difference being what is on the land that lies between the hotels and CityWalk’s transportation area. Yes, this, in turn, will affect the walk from the new resort to Universal proper, but, then again, we don’t expect a number of guests to make that attempt in the first place – after all, most don’t walk from Cabana, and the company laid out a nice pathway for that very purpose.
(We should also add that having non-contiguous parcels of real estate to build upon will now be the name of the game for Universal in Florida, as the main area’s approximately-730 acres have all been [largely] accounted for, and the company keeps scooping up additional tracts of land further on down the road – as we’ve noted in our Endless Summer announcement article here.)
Surfside Inn and Suites – vacation planning
We’ve already gone over a few of these points regarding Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, but we’re going to do so again, as it doesn’t hurt to have them all collected in one convenient location (and, also, it doesn’t hurt to repeat some of these finer details).
Being the first value hotel at Universal Orlando means the lowest prices that Universal has ever offered, but it also means that certain hotel benefits won’t be present, starting with the most important one of them all: guests staying at the resort will not receive unlimited Express Pass access. This is widely regarded as the single best benefit of staying at the three premier properties (Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort), especially considering that complimentary Express Passes hold a value of up to $170 per person, per day compared to buying them separately.
Second, Surfside Inn and Suites is located on a plot of land that isn’t contiguous with Universal Orlando’s main campus, which means patrons won’t have the option of using the water taxis that service four of the six other resorts. Again, the prime value hotels only offer bus transportation to CityWalk, with roughly the same length of time on the road.
Third, guests staying at Endless Summer don’t receive the benefit of priority seating at the full-service restaurants inside Universal’s theme parks or at CityWalk.
Fourth, Surfside doesn’t allow pets.
Finally, the ability to pool hop – that is to say, to take your room key from Surfside Inn and Suites and then go to, say, Hard Rock Hotel’s pool area to enjoy the amenities there – is also absent here. (And, conversely, those staying at the other six venues won’t be able to use any of the three pools at the overarching Endless Summer Resort complex, either.) This, presumably, is to prevent the several thousand guests staying at Universal’s two new value hotels from flooding all the rest of the resort (and vice versa).
(For more on pool-hopping around Universal Orlando, please see our Adventures in pool-hopping article.)
These are the five perks missing from Endless Summer’s benefits lineup. Just to remind you what is here, we’ve compiled this handy, dandy list:
- Early Park Admission
- Complimentary package delivery to your room
- Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key
- Complimentary scheduled transportation to SeaWorld and Aquatica
Oh, are you wondering about parking? Yes, Surfside Inn and Suites guests have to deal with the biggest complaint about all of Universal’s hotels: the per-night self-parking fee. Here, it costs overnight guests $15, plus tax, per night to park a car (paid at time of check-in). For daytime guests, parking is $45, plus tax, per day, per vehicle.
Universal Orlando’s hotels – cancellation policy
Since all eight resorts located at Universal Orlando are operated by Loews, they all feature the same cancellation policy: if you cancel your reservation six or more days in advance, you will receive a full refund. If it’s anything fewer than five days beforehand, however, you will be charged one night’s room rate, plus tax.
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites: Dining & lounges
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites: Distance from the parks
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites: Pool area
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites: Rooms
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites: Public spaces