Resort Review – Universal Orlando Loew’s Portofino Bay

Have you ever been to Italy?  I haven’t, so I might be totally off base in saying this, but it FELT like I was there the whole time I was at Universal’s Portofino Bay Resort.  From the beautiful entrance with luxury cars and Vespas parked outside, to the stunning harbor, to the opera singers serenading me from the balcony each night at dusk, I felt fully immersed in la bella vita.

IMG_0909Once inside our room, we were even more pleased!  The room was very spacious, with 2 queen beds, a full size dresser, table and chairs, mini bar, and HUGE luxury bath with whirlpool tub, standalone shower, and large vanity.  The bathroom has a large window over the tub that can open into the bedroom, as well as speakers that will pipe in the sound from the TV while you get ready.  We requested a crib for our daughter and were very pleasantly surprised to receive a full-size portable crib with bedding, a Fisher Price DVD, and a Johnson & Johnson travel size baby care kit.  Very nice touch!

You can also enjoy fantastic dining on-site at Portofino Bay at their signature restaurant, Bice.  There are also quick-service options available, a character meal offered on select days of the week at breakfast, a fantastic little wine bar, and a gelateria to enjoy.

The resort also features 3 themed swimming pools, one of which offers a Roman aqueduct themed slide.  There’s a splash area for toddlers, Bocce ball courts, jogging paths, and a full game room arcade, as well as many retail and gift shops on property as well (and Starbucks too!!!).  Be sure to check out the nightly Musica della Notte show with live Italian music on the Harbor Piazza!

Overall, I think Portofino Bay is an excellent choice if you’re visiting Universal Studios on your trip to Orlando.  You’ll enjoy wonderful on-site benefits including Universal Express Unlimited ride access that lets you skip the regular lines in BOTH theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) FREE of charge — a benefit that alone is worth up to $89 per person, per day, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (1 hour before the theme park opens), complimentary water taxis and shuttle buses to both parks and Universal CityWalk, priority seating at select restaurants throughout both parks and CityWalk, resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card, complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel, and complimentary scheduled transportation to nearby Wet ‘n Wild, SeaWorld, and Aquatica.

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