Review: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal

18 September 2019

By NEBeep

Adventuring to Universal Studios? Looking for a luxurious yet exciting hotel? Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is only a short walk to the world-famous Orlando theme parks and the bustle of the city walk entertainment. And it has all the benefits of a five-star resort.

The hotel masquerades as Portofino’s iconic pastel-coloured houses set in a Piazza lined with Italian restaurants, cafes and bars (and Starbucks!) in a beautiful harbour, from which boats busily journey to and from the theme parks. If the hotel was not Italian enough already, the Piazza comes alive with the sound of live opera singing from the balcony at 6pm every evening!

The authentic Italian theme runs throughout the hotel and grounds, providing a peaceful escape at the end of an active and busy day at the theme parks. The rooms are spacious with comfortable beds, large bathrooms and a TV, but not all rooms have a balcony. You can upgrade your room to club level, which is well worth the money as you can then enjoy breakfast, snacks and drinks throughout the day, and an evening meal.


As a hotel resident, you’ll get access to the parks an hour prior to the public and you’ll receive Express Passes which I recommend you use to jump the longest queues. These include the Harry Potter attractions, Rip Ride Rocket and the Incredible Hulk. However, be aware that you must be at least 54″ tall for this particular ride.

If you want a break from the parks, then take advantage of the three hotel pools including an adult-only pool and a lively beach pool which has many fun activities such as a water slide, volley ball, lazy river and enthusiastic kids’ entertainers!

Portofino Bay is the closest you’ll get to the Italian Riviera but with all the fun of Universal!

By Charlotte H at Newcastle High School for Girls, aged 11

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