Updated February 2020
There are many available on-site properties at Universal Orlando ranging from prime value to premier hotels with the prices to match. Universal Orlando Portofino Bay is one of three premier resorts and a beautiful luxury hotel option for your visit to Universal.
Please note that Portofino Bay Resort will undergo room refurbishments during first and second quarters of 2020.
Loews Portofino Bay Resort Location
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort Overview
Loews Portofino Bay reminds me of a luxury Las Vegas resort. The hotel is a large, sprawling property with many different room types, restaurants, shops, and beautiful common areas. The Italian theme is found consistently throughout the resort and is well thought out.
A picturesque bay complete with colorful, moored boats framed by walkways, shops, and restaurants adds to the ambiance of Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort. Around the bay a few Vespa scooters are secured in the ground which make for fun photo opportunities.
Portofino Bay Resort Live Music
One of our favorite things about Universal Orlando Portofino Bay is Musica della Notte, a free concert nightly at Portofino. Each evening amazing singers stand on a second floor balcony and perform for the Harbor Piazza audience below. The exact showtime varies depending on sunset, so I recommend checking with the front desk for performance times.
Pro tip: About 15 minutes before the show grab a coffee from Starbucks, gelato from the Gelateria, or a glass of wine from The Thirsty Fish so you can really sit back and relax during the show.
Portofino Bay Resort Dining
There are several on-site restaurants to choose from at Loews Portofino Bay ranging from quick meals and snacks to full table service dining options.
Our favorite restaurant at Portofino Bay Resort is Mama Della’s. Each time we are at Universal Orlando we make reservations for dinner at Mama Della’s even if we aren’t staying at Portofino.
The food is fantastic at Mama Della’s and the atmosphere is like being at a cozy home. Musicians move around the restaurant playing live music which is the perfect addition to your meal experience.
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort Pools
There are three lovely pools at Loews Portofino. The Beach Pool at Portofino Bay Resort is surrounded by sand, has two Jacuzzis, a children’s pool, plus a waterslide.
The Villa Pool is a quieter pool area with upgraded lounge chairs and cabanas available. The Hillside pool is located on the east wing and billed as a more private and quiet pool option.
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort Room
We usually opt for a basic garden view room for our stays. It is a long walk from the lobby to our hotel room, but because of the distance our room is generally very quiet.
When entering the Portofino Bay room there is a small entrance hall with a coffee station on a tall table on one side of the entrance. A few steps further brings you to the closet on one side and the bathroom entrance on the other.
Portofino Bay Resort Bathroom
One of the best things about Portofino Bay Resort is the large bathroom. Over several stays we’ve had two different bathroom configurations at Universal Orlando Portofino Bay.
Our preferred Portofino Bay bathroom configuration has a traditional tub/shower combo. The other style bathroom has a bathtub with a window that opens to the bedroom area plus a small corner shower unit. This split shower and tub configuration is okay, but the shower certainly feels cramped.
Our Portofino Bay bathrooms always have a double sink vanity. Having two sinks and a large counter makes getting ready with a family much easier.
Portofino Bay Resort Bedroom Area
Portofino Bay Resort rooms are always extremely spacious with 450 square feet per room. These rooms are the largest of the premier resorts and much larger than the rooms at Royal Pacific Resort. There is a lot of furniture in the bedroom area, but it never feels cramped.
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay resort rooms come with either two queen beds or one king sized bed. We usually opt for the two queen room. This style room has two queen beds, a desk with two chairs, an armchair, plus a large TV stand/dresser combination with a mini fridge.
Our Portofino Bay Resort room has the following great features:
- Mini fridge
- Blackout curtains
- Large bathroom with two sinks
- Spacious room
- Desk with 2 chairs
- K-Cup coffee maker
- In-room safe
Express Pass Is Included With Your Portofino Bay Resort Stay
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort is considered a “premier on-site resort”. There are only three of these premier resorts: Portofino Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort.
One of the main reasons to choose a premier on-site resort at Universal Orlando is an Express Pass is provided to guests at no additional charge. Express Pass is a special ticket which allows you to skip normal standby lines at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for select attractions.
Transportation To City Walk, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure From Portofino Bay Resort
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort is an easy walk or boat ride to City Walk, Islands of Adventure, and Universal Studios Florida. Access to boats or walkways is behind the hotel in the Harbor Piazza area. We usually have a minimal wait for a boat when staying at Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort and enjoy the relaxing ride.
Please note: Shuttle boats do not run in inclement weather. If boats are not running because of weather, a shuttle bus provides transportation back to Portofino from City Walk near the parking garages.
Overall Impression Of Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Resort
Universal Orlando Portofino Bay Hotel is a beautiful luxury hotel and our favorite place to stay. Even though we always opt for the least expensive room, it has a spacious bedroom area, mini fridge, a well stocked coffee bar, large bathroom with a double vanity, and quiet accommodations.
Portofino Bay Resort’s location makes access to City Walk and the Universal parks easy, but is far enough away you can easily forget you are visiting a theme park. If you are looking for a premium stay that includes Express Pass at Universal Orlando I recommend Portofino Bay Resort.
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