Hotel entrance with grass and water fountain

Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel Review

The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando is one of the on-site hotels within the Universal Orlando Resort. It falls into Universal’s “Premier Hotels” category due to its location to the parks, room offerings and more. Our last stay here was a fantastic one and we’re excited to share those details with you in our review of the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.

Quick Breakdown of the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

  1. Location: The Hard Rock Hotel is located at 5800 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819. It is situated within the Universal Orlando Resort area, making it a convenient choice for guests looking to enjoy the theme parks and other attractions.
  2. Theme and Amenities: The Hard Rock Hotel is themed around the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, offering a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. It features rock memorabilia, music-inspired decor, and a lively ambiance throughout the property. The hotel boasts a range of amenities, including a large pool with a sandy beach, a fitness center, on-site restaurants and bars, and a kids’ club.
  3. Proximity to the Theme Parks: The Hard Rock Hotel offers convenient access to the theme parks of Universal Orlando Resort. It is within walking distance or a short water taxi ride to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay water park. Guests of the hotel can enjoy early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and select attractions in the parks.
  4. Dining Options: The Hard Rock Hotel features several dining options to cater to various tastes. You can enjoy a range of culinary experiences, from casual dining at The Kitchen or Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace to upscale dining at The Palm Restaurant. There are also lounges and bars, such as Velvet Bar and Beachclub, where you can relax and enjoy drinks.
  5. Accommodations: The hotel offers a variety of room options, including standard rooms, suites, and club level accommodations. The rooms are designed with a modern rock ‘n’ roll style and are equipped with amenities like flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
  6. Additional Benefits: Staying at the Hard Rock Hotel provides guests with various additional benefits, including complimentary transportation to Universal Orlando theme parks and CityWalk, priority seating at select Universal Orlando restaurants, and the ability to charge purchases in the parks to your hotel room.

The Hard Rock Hotel offers a combination of rock ‘n’ roll-inspired ambiance, convenient access to the theme parks, and a range of amenities for guests to enjoy during their stay at Universal Orlando Resort.

Guitar in case

The hotel is situated within the Universal Orlando Resort area, which is near the Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure theme parks. The hotel is easily accessible and offers convenient proximity to the attractions and entertainment within the Universal Orlando Resort complex.

Benefits of Staying at the Hard Rock Hotel

Roller Coaster coming down hill Roller Coaster coming down hill

 

Staying at Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel offers several benefits that enhance your overall experience at the Universal Orlando Resort. Here are some key benefits of staying at the Hard Rock Hotel:

  1. Proximity to the Theme Parks: The Hard Rock Hotel is located within walking distance or a short water taxi ride from Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay water park. This proximity allows for easy and convenient access to the parks, saving you time and providing flexibility in your park visits.
  2. Express Pass Unlimited: Each guests staying at the Hard Rock Hotel receives free Express Pass Unlimited during their stay to use in the parks. Each guest in your room will receive this game-changing service on their room key. Simply scan it at any park attraction that accepts Express Pass and you’re good to go!
  3. Early Park Admission: Guests of the Hard Rock Hotel enjoy Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and select attractions in Universal’s theme parks. This benefit allows you to enter the parks before the general public, giving you the opportunity to experience popular attractions with shorter wait times.
  4. Complimentary Transportation: The Hard Rock Hotel provides complimentary transportation options to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Guests can take advantage of convenient shuttle buses or the relaxing water taxis, which offer a scenic and enjoyable way to travel within the Universal Orlando Resort area.
  5. Priority Seating at Restaurants: As a guest of the Hard Rock Hotel, you can enjoy priority seating at select Universal Orlando restaurants. This benefit allows you to skip the regular waiting line and secure a table more quickly, ensuring a smoother dining experience.
  6. Complimentary Delivery of Purchases: When you shop at Universal Orlando’s theme parks, you can have your purchases delivered directly to your hotel at no extra cost. This allows you to shop without the hassle of carrying around bags and ensures that your purchases are safely stored until you return to the hotel.
  7. Resort-Wide Charging Privileges: The Hard Rock Hotel offers resort-wide charging privileges, allowing you to charge purchases made throughout the Universal Orlando Resort to your hotel room. This eliminates the need to carry cash or credit cards with you at all times and provides convenience during your stay.
  8. Rock ‘n’ Roll Theme and Amenities: The Hard Rock Hotel immerses guests in a vibrant and rock ‘n’ roll-inspired atmosphere. From the music memorabilia displayed throughout the hotel to the lively ambiance, you’ll enjoy a unique and energetic experience during your stay. The hotel also features a large pool with a sandy beach, a fitness center, on-site dining options, and a kids’ club.

Out of all these benefits, hands down the Express Pass Unlimited is the best perk. This can save you on average, $600 per day for a group of 4 guests. Next time you’re looking at resort hotels and are trying to figure out if that Premier Hotel is worth it; yes, yes it is.

Dining Options

Sushi roll on plate

Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel offers several dining options to cater to various tastes. Here are the available dining venues at the hotel:

  1. The Kitchen: The Kitchen is the hotel’s main restaurant, serving American cuisine with a contemporary twist. It offers a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including hearty breakfast options, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and seafood. The Kitchen also features a sushi bar with fresh sushi and sashimi offerings.
  2. The Palm Restaurant: The Palm Restaurant is a renowned steakhouse located within the Hard Rock Hotel. It specializes in prime cuts of beef, seafood, and classic American dishes. Guests can enjoy a fine dining experience in a sophisticated setting.
  3. Velvet Bar: Velvet Bar is a sleek and stylish lounge located in the hotel’s lobby area. It offers a wide selection of specialty cocktails, wines, and spirits, along with a menu of light bites and appetizers. Guests can relax and unwind while enjoying live music and a vibrant atmosphere.
  4. Beachclub: Beachclub is the poolside bar and grill at the Hard Rock Hotel. It offers a casual setting where guests can enjoy a variety of refreshing drinks, frozen cocktails, and light bites. The menu includes items like sandwiches, salads, and snacks, perfect for a quick bite by the pool.
  5. Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace: Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace is a grab-and-go marketplace offering a variety of snacks, pastries, sandwiches, and salads. It also features an ice cream counter with a selection of unique flavors and toppings.
  6. Room Service: The Hard Rock Hotel provides room service for guests who prefer to dine in the comfort of their rooms. The room service menu offers a range of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night options.

These dining options provide a variety of culinary experiences at Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel, catering to different tastes and preferences. It’s worth noting that dining availability and hours of operation may vary, so it’s advisable to check with the hotel directly or refer to their official website for the most up-to-date information, menus, and any potential changes or restrictions.

You can also take a look on the Universal Orlando mobile app for hours and menus.

Of all the dining options at Hard Rock, our favorite was The Palm Restaurant. Yes, it is a bit pricey but when you’re staying at the Hard Rock, you go big. Fantastic service and even better food. The menu here is all around amazing and your first bite to the last will be the same.

We highly suggest advanced reservations for The Palm as it fills up quickly.

Room Options

Hotel room with 2 queen beds

The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando offers a range of stylish and comfortable rooms designed with a rock ‘n’ roll theme:

  1. Standard Rooms: The standard rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel feature a chic and modern design with vibrant colors and rock ‘n’ roll-inspired decor. These rooms can accommodate up to five guests and come with either two queen beds or one king bed. Standard room amenities include a flat-screen TV, mini-refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, iPod docking station, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
  2. Club Level Rooms: The club level rooms provide additional benefits and exclusive access to the Club Lounge. Guests staying in club level rooms enjoy perks such as continental breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening hors d’oeuvres, and desserts in the Club Lounge. These rooms feature the same amenities as standard rooms but offer an elevated level of service and comfort.
  3. Suites: The Hard Rock Hotel offers a variety of suites, each providing a spacious and luxurious experience. Suite options include the Future Rock Star Suite, Hospitality Suite, Kids Suite, and Graceland Suite. These suites feature separate living and sleeping areas, multiple TVs, wet bars, and other upgraded amenities. Suite guests also enjoy the added benefit of Club Level access.
  4. Accessible Rooms: The Hard Rock Hotel provides accessible rooms with features designed for guests with mobility needs. These rooms offer modified layouts, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, and other amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.

Regardless of the room type, guests of the Hard Rock Hotel can take advantage of the hotel’s amenities, including the pool with a sandy beach, fitness center, on-site dining options, and the lively rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere.

We find that a standard room here does the trick for us but you may need some room that 1 king or 2 queens. Moving up to a 1-bedroom suite isn’t a bad idea.

Whichever one you choose, you’ll feel like you’re staying at a swanky hotel, because you are. Bed linens are soft and comfortable. So are the pillows. Plenty of space in the room for luggage, merch, clothes and a crib if needed.

Bathrooms having everything you need. Stylish vanities, great showers with good flow and lots of room. Be sure to throw on the complimentary robes and slippers.

Hotel Amenities

Shop with theme park merchandise

The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando offers a range of amenities to enhance guests’ experience and provide a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired atmosphere:

  1. Pool and Recreation: The Hard Rock Hotel features a large, sandy-bottom pool known as “The Beach Club Pool.” Guests can relax on lounge chairs, soak in the hot tub, or take a refreshing swim. There’s also a sandy beach area where you can lounge and enjoy the Florida sunshine. The pool area includes a separate pool for children, water cannons, and a poolside bar.
  2. Fitness Center: The hotel provides a fitness center equipped with a variety of exercise machines, free weights, and cardio equipment. Guests can maintain their workout routines while staying at the hotel.
  3. Rock Shop: The Rock Shop is the on-site gift shop at the Hard Rock Hotel. It offers a wide selection of music memorabilia, collectibles, clothing, accessories, and Hard Rock merchandise. Guests can browse through the items and purchase souvenirs to commemorate their visit.
  4. Kids’ Club: The Hard Rock Hotel has a supervised kids’ club called “The Camp Lil’ Rock.” It offers organized activities, games, crafts, and entertainment for children ages 4-14. Parents can enjoy some time for themselves while their kids are engaged in fun activities.
  5. Dining Options: The Hard Rock Hotel features several dining venues that cater to different tastes. Guests can enjoy American cuisine with a contemporary twist at The Kitchen, indulge in fine dining at The Palm Restaurant, relax at the Velvet Bar for cocktails and live music, and grab quick bites at the Beachclub or Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace.
  6. Live Entertainment: The hotel often features live entertainment, including musical performances and events. Guests can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and immerse themselves in the rock ‘n’ roll spirit.
  7. Club Lounge (Club Level Guests): Guests staying in club level rooms have access to the exclusive Club Lounge. The lounge offers complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. It provides a relaxing and upscale space to unwind and socialize.

These amenities at the Hard Rock Hotel aim to create a unique and enjoyable experience for guests, combining the excitement of rock ‘n’ roll with luxurious accommodations and a range of on-site activities.

Entrance into restaurant

We love the kids club offering here and have definitely used it! Even better, the kids loved it too! It’s a great way for parents to steal away of a great meal while your kids have.

The Beach Club Pool is a blast, especially with its sandy bottom which makes it feel exactly like the ocean, except you don’t have to worry about the salt or sharks. Easily one on the best pools on property for both kids and adults.

Early Entry and Express Pass Unlimited

Entrance sign for Universal Studios Orlando

Two of the best benefits you receive for staying at the hotel are Early Park Admission and Universal Express Unlimited access:

  1. Early Park Admission: Guests of the Hard Rock Hotel can take advantage of Early Park Admission to select attractions at Universal’s theme parks. This benefit allows you to enter the parks before the general public, giving you early access to popular attractions and shorter wait times. Early Park Admission typically begins one hour before the scheduled opening time of the park. The specific attractions available for Early Park Admission may vary, so it’s advisable to check with Universal Orlando Resort for the most up-to-date information.
  2. Universal Express Unlimited: Universal Express Unlimited is a separate add-on benefit available for purchase. However, guests of the Hard Rock Hotel receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited access for their entire stay. Universal Express Unlimited allows you to skip the regular lines at participating attractions and access a separate Express Pass line with significantly reduced wait times. This benefit can save you valuable time and help you experience more attractions during your visit. It’s important to note that not all attractions offer Universal Express access, so it’s advisable to consult the park map or check with Universal Orlando Resort for the list of participating attractions.

Both Early Park Admission and Universal Express Unlimited are exclusive benefits for guests staying at the Hard Rock Hotel or the other two Premier Hotels. These benefits can significantly enhance your visit by providing early access to attractions and expedited entry to select rides.

What else can we say about Express Pass Unlimited. It’s a game changer. Short wait times on some of the best attractions in the parks. And you can keep going on them, over and over again. It never runs out!

And Early Park Entry is killer for any guest who wants to be first on their favorite attraction. While it limits you to about one attraction before other guests start coming in, that one can make all the difference!

Hotel entrance with grass and water fountain
Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel Review
The Final Word
If you can make it work, we highly recommend staying at the Hard Rock Hotel. The atmosphere is fun, has great amenities, awesome proximity to the parks, and amazing benefits including Early Park Entry and Express Pass Unlimited. And the kids club doesn't hurt either!
4.7