Loew’s Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Orlando
This past summer we had the privilege of staying at Universal Orlando Resorts, Portofino Bay. This uniquely designed Italian resort is situated around a beautiful harbor and truly has an elegant feel to it. Included in your stay at Portofino Bay is Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, transportation to the parks, and the Universal Unlimited Express Pass.
When you first step into the lobby at Portofino Bay, you can truly feel how elegant this Resort is. Immediately as you walk in you will see the Front Desk and large Lobby area. It was quite busy when we arrived in the afternoon, but everyone was very helpful and attentive. Once you leave the main lobby area you will find the Express Pass Kiosks, shops, and staircase to the Harbor Piazza. One thing you will notice about this Resort, is the size. It is the largest Resort on Universal Property and depending on where your room is, it can mean quite a walk to the water taxi or Main lobby. They do though offer the largest rooms on property, which was very important for my family of 5. Rooms begin at 450sq ft.
There are 3 pools at Portofino Bay. The Beach Pool being the main pool. It offers daily activities for everyone to enjoy, zero-entry, a slide, and a kid’s play area. Games are also played throughout the day here for adults and children. There is also a small store to purchase sunscreen, towels, and sand toys. The sand and a slide make this pool fun and exciting for children and adults alike. The Villa Pool offered a relaxing atmosphere with a jacuzzi for unwinding. The Hillside Pool is considered a more private pool for those looking to just relax.
There were many food options, like Sal’s, for instance, where they create wonderful pizza and other fine Italian foods. Starbucks is also located by the Bay area. Some other dining options include Mama Della’s Italian Restaurant, Trattoria del Porta, and the more upscale restaurant, Bice. Looking to enjoy a quick drink and small plates? Try Bar American and The Thirsty Fish.
As mentioned earlier, complimentary transportation is included in your stay here at Portofino Bay. Boat transportation to and from the Parks is included in this and is a favorite way to travel to and from the parks. The water taxi begins departing from the Resort about 30 minutes prior to the parks opening and typically run until 2:30am. You will pick up the water taxi by the Harbor, which is in the middle of the Resort. Here you will go through security before boarding the water taxi. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the 10-minute boat ride. Bus transportation and a walking path are also options when going to and from the parks. If chosen, the walking distance is about 15 minutes. All transportation provided by Universal Orlando are wheelchair/ECV compliant.
This past summer we enjoyed Portofino’s Club Level room, which offered plenty of space for our family of 5. There is a double sink, tiled shower, and bathtub. The 2 Queen beds were very comfortable. There is room enough for a roll away bed, if needed as well. HD TV is offered in every room for your enjoyment. Coffee drinkers will enjoy the Keurig machine in your room. Need something in your room? Now you can text the front desk! One thing to mention about the Club Level rooms here at Portofino Bay, is that they are not all on the same level as the Club Level Dining room. Our room was located on the floor below. They elevators though were close to the Club Level room which made it a little more convenient. Parking is also available at this Resort. It is $22 a day to self-park and $29 a day for valet service. Even though we arrived at a very busy time we had no problems finding a parking spot and getting assistance with our luggage.
Club Level was worth the money. Enjoy a breakfast spread before heading out for the day. Breakfast included coffee, juice, cereal and milk, muffins, pastries, bagels, yogurt, eggs, hash browns, sausage and bacon. Snacks and drinks are provided throughout the day to tide you over until dinner. Dinner is offered each night from 5-7pm and varies each evening. From fajitas to pasta! Each dinner offering was carefully prepared, and delicious. Cheeses, for cheese lovers, are also available during this time frame. A side salad compliments any of the dinner offerings. You could choose to create a salad for your main course since there is a wonderful variety to include in your salad. Dessert is also offered in the evenings. Cheesecake squares were my favorite. The children will love the chocolate chip cookies and a nice cold glass of milk. It’s the perfect way to end your day at the parks.
Portofino Bay at Universal Orlando Resort is designed to help you experience a small piece of Italian charm. There is an opera singer who serenades guests each evening from the balcony. The view of the Bay area at night is something to behold. You almost forget that you are just minutes from a theme park.
Contact me for more information on this beautiful Resort or any of Universal’s 5 properties!