Universal's Royal Pacific Resort - A Loews Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Universal Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

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Pros

Cons

Bottom Line

Like all Universal resorts, the 1,000-room Royal Pacific has solid service, great dining, and modern, very comfortable rooms. While it lacks the spa of Portofino Bay (though guests have access to it) and the incredible waterslides at Hard Rock and Portofino, its more relaxing, Hawaiian style (including thrice-weekly luaus) and diverse dining options make it a very attractive hotel for the price.

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 Scene

Family-friendly, Pacific-island-themed resort right next to Universal Studios theme park

Exotic, human-like frog statues
Exotic, human-like frog statues

Like the other two Universal Studios resorts, the Royal Pacific is managed by the upscale, family-focused hotel group, Loews. Like its nighboring sister resorts, Hard Rock Hotel and Portofino Bay, it has comfortable, up-to-date guest rooms, a wide variety of on-site kids' features, and special privileges at the Universal Studios theme park, like skipping the regular lines for rides and preferential treatment at the park's restaurants.

The main differences between the three Universal properties lies in the hotel's atmosphere and a few choice features. Whereas the more expensive Portofino Bay creates a more romantic, Italian-esque setting (and has the only spa of the three resorts) and the Hard Rock Hotel has a louder, more energetic atmosphere and an impressive pool complex to rival that at Portofino, the Royal Pacific is a bit mellower and more relaxing.

The resort strives to re-create the spirit of Hawaii (or, at least rival the charisma of Disney's Polynesian Resort). Its giant statues of exotic, human-like frogs, lap-steel guitar music in the enormous lobby (which looks like the great room in the world's largest beach house), guest rooms with dark woods and wicker design accents, and friendly "Alohas" from staffers all work to capture that easy-going vibe on the islands.

But, of course, the Royal Pacific is less expensive than the two other Universal Resorts. That's because it has the smallest standard rooms and its features fall a hair short of those at the other two resorts. Its pool, though large and outfitted with a giant steamboat-themed play area, doesn't have a waterslide (compared to the huge slides at Hard Rock and Portofino), and the kiddie pool isn't quite as exciting as the one over at the Hard Rock. Still, the Royal Pacific's positive vibe, along with a solid variety of dining options (it's all Italian food over at Portofino Bay), tends to make up for what it lacks.

 Service

Diligent staff and special privileges at Universal theme parks

24-hour room service
24-hour room service

Staying at a hotel in Universal Studios has its perks. Guests get special privileges at Universal's parks, and a free water taxi makes the commute from theme park to hotel scenic and hassle free. As with the other two Universal Resorts, service at the Royal Pacific is fine overall, but not outstanding. The staff greets guests with an "Aloha" and ends conversations with "Mahalo." Although the entrance and lobby are adequately staffed with valets and bellmen, guests shouldn't expect the same initiative and personal attention found at higher-end Orlando resorts like the Ritz-Carlton or the Ginn Reunion.

  • Free water taxi to and preferential treatment at the Universal Studios theme parks -- bypass the regular lines at most rides and attractions; priority seating at all table-service restaurants (no waiting in line); free package delivery for purchases at the parks; guests can charge all purchases at the parks to their hotel rooms
  • Dedicated concierge
  • Evening turndown service (by request only)
  • 24-hour room service
  • Wake-up phone greetings from Universal characters (like Spider-Man)
  • Free shuttle buses to SeaWorld, Wet 'n Wild water park, and area golf courses
  • Self-parking and valet charged per day; Hertz car-rental desk on site

 Location

Inside Universal Studios Resort, a 10-minute walk or five-minute water taxi ride from the theme park

The Royal Pacific Resort is one of three hotels located inside the Universal Studios Resort complex in Orlando -- the other two are Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock. Universal is the second-largest resort in Orlando, next to Walt Disney World, with two theme parks -- Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure -- and a shopping and dining strip called City Walk. The Royal Pacific's proximity to the gigantic Orange County Convention Center also makes it a solid choice for conventioneers.

  • 10-minute walk or a five-minute, free water-taxi ride to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks
  • 10-minute walk or a five-minute water-taxi ride to City Walk, a strip with shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs
  • Five-minute drive to SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild parks; the hotel provides a free shuttle
  • Five-minute drive to International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's chock-full of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants. In the middle of this stretch is the Orange County Convention Center.
  • 20-minute drive to downtown Orlando; there's not much to see downtown, though Orange Avenue has a notable dining and nightlife scene, and non-theme-park attractions like the Orlando Science Center and Harry P. Leu Gardens are popular with tourists.
  • 25-minute drive to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom parking lot, followed by a 15-minute ride on a tram and monorail to the park itself; similar commute to Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios
  • 20-minute drive to the Orlando International Airport

 Rooms

Average in size and comfortable, with up-to-date amenities

Kid-friendly themes in The Kids Suites
Kid-friendly themes in The Kids Suites

With the dark woods and wicker furniture of a Hawaiian resort, the rooms at the Royal Pacific fit seemlessly into the Pacific-island theme.

  • At 340 square feet, the standard rooms feel roomy, but they're smaller than those at sister hotels Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock.
  • Standard rooms have either one king- or two queen-size beds.
  • Comfortable beds: 300-thread-count, 100-percent Egyptian cotton linens; Sealy Posturepedic Palatial Crest Cushion Firm Pillowtop mattresses
  • Large, 32-inch flat-screen TV with in-room movies and 25 channels, including HBO
  • iHome iPod-docking alarm clock
  • Daily fee for in-room Wi-Fi, but it is fast and reliable.
  • Average-size bathroom with tub-shower combo and high-quality Lather bath products
  • King suites have separate living areas, pullout sofas, and two flat-screen TVs; Kids' suites have separate rooms with kid-friendly themes (like Jurassic Park).

 Features

Excellent array of facilities, but there's no spa and the pool is only so-so (compared to the incredible water parks at other Orlando resorts, that is)

Giant boat-shaped water playground
Giant boat-shaped water playground

There's more than enough to keep any family entertained at the Royal Pacific, but the hotel falls short in a couple areas, at least when it's compared to the other Universal Resorts, Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock. There's no spa here, as there is at the Portofino, and the Royal Pacific has the least impressive pool of all three hotels.

  • Beach volleyball court
  • Croquet lawn
  • 24-hour business center has free boarding-pass printouts; per minute charges to use computers and per page charge for printouts or photocopies, as well as incoming or outgoing faxes; FedEx and UPS shipping available; secretarial services available for a per hour fee; notary public on-site
  • Free boarding-pass printouts (in the business center)
  • Video-game arcade
  • Coin-operatied laundry facilities
  • 85,000 square feet of meeting and function space
  • No on-site spa (though guests can make use of the spa at the Portofino Bay)

 Family

Lots of good features for families and a kid-friendly atmosphere, but the pools are better at Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock

The Mariner's Club kids' club
The Mariner's Club kids' club

Because all three Universal hotels have very similar features and services, families will do fine at any one of them; picking is really a question of priorities. Portofino Bay has the classiest, most grown-up atmosphere, which may not be a great fit for small children. The Hard Rock's rock-and-roll theme suits teens better. The Royal Pacific, meanwhile, has an easygoing atmosphere suitable for guests with youngsters in tow.

  • Standard rooms sleep a family of four on two queen-size beds; rollaway beds are an additional fee per night.
  • The Mariner's Club kids' club, available for children ages four to 14, charged per hour; activities include movies, video games, arts and crafts, and other games.
  • Kids' menu available for room service
  • Croquet lawn and volleyball court with free equipment rental
  • Kids can dine with their favorite character from a Universal movie at the hotel. Care to dine with Spidey or the Cat in the Hat? Make a reservation with the concierge.

 Pets

Pets are allowed, with restrictions and requirements, including a recent health certificate and a one-time cleaning fee.

As at any Loews Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel welcomes pets, so long as guests comply with some very specific rules, listed below. Two pets of any size are allowed per room, and there is a one-time cleaning fee. Each pet receives a pet tag, a bowl, and a treat upon arrival. Cats and dogs have their own menu, and it includes dry food (Iams Chunky or Feline) and hot entrees (Bow Wow Tenderloin and the Kitty Salmon Supreme). Dogs can even cap off the meal with a baked dessert, the Power Bark nutritional snack bar.

  • A health certificate for each pet, obtained from a veterinarian within 10 days of the pet’s arrival, must be presented upon check-in at the hotel.
  • Pets must be supervised at all times while in the hotel, and must be leashed or restrained in public spaces. Dogs may be walked in designated areas only. Pet-sitting services can be arranged through the concierge.
  • A per-hour "time out" fee is assessed by the hotel management if a pet is left unattended and needs to be removed from a guest room.
  • Arrangements must be made with housekeeping for daily room cleaning.
  • Owners are responsible for pet waste cleanup.
  • If the dog’s behavior results in complaints by other guests, the owner may be asked to board the dog in an outside shelter.
  • Pets are not allowed in the pool/lounge or restaurant areas.
  • Doggie park on-site

 Cleanliness

Overall, very clean

The hotel is clean, no doubt, but a few very minor details in the rooms could use some improvement, such as some soap stains on the soap dish.

 Food

A great variety of on-site options, including poolside sandwiches and a pan-Asian spot from Emeril Lagasse

Dinner at Emeril's Tchoup Chop
Dinner at Emeril's Tchoup Chop

As is normal at resort hotels, even the least expensive dining options at the Royal Pacific are around $12. Still, there's a solid variety, from standard poolside snacks to a sushi bar in the lobby and a pan-Asian restaurant franchised by celebrity-chef Emeril Lagasse. For other options, guests can take the short water-taxi ride to Universal's City Walk, which has 31 places to eat, including fast food like KFC and sit-down family chains like Bubba Gump and Buca di Beppo.

  • Emeril's Tchoup Chop is an upscale Pan-Asian restaurant with menu items devised by celebrity-chef Emeril Lagasse's (reservation required, open for lunch and dinner).
  • Orchid Court Lounge serves a continental breakfast in the morning and the Orchid Court Sushi Bar is open for dinner.
  • Wantilan Luau, a full-scale luau show (similar to those at most Hawaiian resorts), is performed every Tuesday and Saturday (as well as on Fridays in the summer).
  • 24-hour room service; gratuity and service charge included

 Bottom Line

Like all Universal resorts, the 1,000-room Royal Pacific has solid service, great dining, and modern, very comfortable rooms. While it lacks the spa of Portofino Bay (though guests have access to it) and the incredible waterslides at Hard Rock and Portofino, its more relaxing, Hawaiian style (including thrice-weekly luaus) and diverse dining options make it a very attractive hotel for the price.

Things You Should Know About Universal's Royal Pacific Resort - A Loews Hotel

Address

  • 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL 32819

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Loews Royal Pacific Hotel
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  • Royal Pacific Hotel Orlando
  • Royal Pacific Resort
  • Royal Pacific Resort Orlando
  • Universal Royal Pacific
  • Universal Royal Pacific Hotel
  • Universals Royal Pacific Resort

Room Types

  • Club Level Room
  • Hospitality Suite
  • Kids Suite
  • King Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • Standard Room
  • Water View Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 1000
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Universal Orlando, Orlando
Address: 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL 32819
(See Map)
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