Discerning guests who want some luxury mixed in with their theme park experience, a stay at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel can’t be beaten. It’s modeled after a picturesque Italian village and is Universal Orlando Resort’s flagship offering. Nightly strolling musicians serenade guests in a quaint, village-like setting that is a delightful departure from the Orlando theme park scene’s hustle and bustle.
The lavishly appointed lobby and striking grounds make this resort popular with both families and adult travelers. The proximity to the theme parks and special, guests-only perks ensure that visitors who stay here enjoy the best that Universal Orlando Resort has to offer. Is the Loews Portofino Bay hotel right for your next trip? The review below will help you decide if this place to stay is right for you.
Book Loews Portofino Bay with Even More Benefits
I can add the following Virtuoso amenities to your stay at no extra cost to you:
*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.
WHAT I LOVE
- Front of the line Express Pass included for all guests
- On-site gelateria and Italian specialties
- Early morning private access to the Wizarding World and Volcano Bay
- The option to book Club Level rooms
- Complimentary water taxis or shuttle buses that take you directly to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and CityWalk™
- Virtuoso Amenities at no extra cost to you
GOOD TO KNOW
- Loews Loves Pets so they’re welcome, with an added fee.
- Adults-only pools make this resort ideal for honeymooners and couples
- Rooms are well-appointed, but do not have refrigerators — call ahead if you want one included.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is not only the brand’s most exotic and high-end offering, but it is also one of the top resorts in the competitive Orlando theme park area. For travelers who want the latest and best in-room amenities, concierge, club level options, and simple elegance, the Portofino Bay is tough to beat.
This resort does an amazing job of balancing the needs of families with those of adult travelers. If you want a quieter, more romantic vacation, choosing the club level here and visiting the less populated “adults only” pool areas will allow you to relax in comfort and with a minimal amount of family groups.
I’ll give you an overview of the accommodations so that you can choose for yourself.
Guest Rooms and Suites
Standard rooms are well-appointed with the latest in technology. Flat-screen televisions, Keurig coffeemakers, and other amenities are standard in every room.
While both garden and bay view rooms offer luxurious textiles, themed furniture and artwork, and high-end toiletries, the higher level rooms and specialty suites at Loews Portofino Bay make this resort truly special. It is difficult to find a room with a poor view — most overlook the pool, gardens, or bay. Ask for a bay room overlooking the piazza for amazing nightly views and ambience.
With almost 100 club level suites and an oversized lounge, the club level at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is one of the best in Orlando, serving up a mix of exotic and rustic Italian specialties morning, noon and night — all complimentary for club level guests. We chose club level during our last stay. Evening canapes and adult beverages were a fantastic way to unwind at the end of a long day of theme park walking.
Turn down service, exclusive floor access and full concierge and staff support (on one recent visit, there were more staffers in the club level lounge than guests) mean that visitors who stay here get prompt attention and an unmatchable level of service.
For those visiting Orlando with kids, a limited number of Despicable Me Suites are available. These brightly colored, welcoming spaces are designed with the under 12 crowd in mind. Themed rocket ship beds, entry through the “parents” room, and kid-sized furnishings make this suite a huge hit with families. Despicable Me Suites are also able to accommodate larger family groups. There are only 18 of these resort rooms available so if you want a Despicable Me Suite, book your room early to secure it.
Love the idea of a family suite? While most hotels in Orlando are kid-friendly the Loews Portofino Bay goes the extra mile with kids play areas in several locations (including restaurants), board games, toys, and books in the onsite “Kids Closet” and even a nightly camp for kids up to age 14, just in case mom and dad want to get away.
Perks at Universal Orlando Theme Parks
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is located on Universal Orlando property, and the brand’s theme parks are just a short distance away via water taxi or shuttle.
One of the best amenities offered to guests staying at this and other Universal Orlando Hotels is the built-in Universal Express Unlimited pass. The pass offers exclusive, front-of-the-line access to most attractions in the park, allowing you to see and do more each day, with less waiting in line.
The front-of-the-line express pass just can’t be beaten, and it is included with your stay. While getting in the shorter Universal Express is fun at any time, it is essential if you are visiting during one of the busiest times of the year. I can vouch for this, having recently stayed during winter break, but you should know that during peak season, even the Universal Express lines can be long, so you can only imagine what the regular lines are like.
Early access to the popular The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an amazing perk as well, and one that is only offered to onsite guests. This pass is included in your stay and makes touring the theme parks at your leisure a truly memorable experience.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is also close to other Orlando theme parks and things to do in Orlando with kids. This includes the Walt Disney World theme parks and the SeaWorld Orlando entertainment complex Guests staying here are just a short ride away from LEGOLAND Florida and other Tampa based attractions as well.
Don’t forget that you can buy discount Universal Orlando tickets that you can use in combination with your complimentary Universal Express Unlimited pass.
Dining and Shopping Options
There are nine restaurants and food outlets on the property. This does not include the food and snack options offered in gift shops and other venues. The on-site gelateria offers the most authentic and fresh gelato desserts in town and is a popular destination for locals and repeat visitors.
An on-site Starbucks is a recent addition, but the highlight of the food scene at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is the nightly wine and snack offerings (a separate ticket is required). For those who want to indulge and love Italian specialties, from espresso to dessert confections, a stay on the club level yields an amazing lineup of food options not available to other guests. Onsite restaurants offer fine dining with Italian flair, robust and rustic family fare, and a wide range of coffee and dessert specialties.
In keeping with the resort’s theme. Room service includes family-pleasing favorites and elegant, in-room dining experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in Orlando.
On-site shopping is a stunning and lively mix of Italian imports, art, and food; you’ll also find works and products from Orlando-based artists and businesses here.
If you make purchases in the Universal Orlando theme parks, you can have these items sent back to your hotel, so you don’t have to tote them around with you. Not finding what you want, or need something special? The concierge team at the Loews Portofino Bay does a spectacular job of tracking down even obscure items and responds swiftly to requests.
Special Accommodations and Travelers
Like all Universal Orlando hotels, the Loews Portofino Bay is in full compliance with the ADA, so service dogs are welcome.
The brand has a stellar reputation when it comes to accommodating those with special needs and will go out of its way to ensure all travelers feel at home. Service dogs are of course welcome in any hotel room in the Orlando area, but receive an enthusiastic reception at the Portofino Bay.
For those traveling with kids with special needs, the pools offer full lifeguard support during open hours, wheelchair access and lifts and safety vests large enough to fit an oversized adult.
Letting the brand know about any special needs or accommodations needed at the time of reservation allows their onsite team to prepare for your visit and provide you with the best possible care and service.
Traveling with a companion animal, too? Loews Portofino Bay is one of the most pet-friendly resorts in Orlando. Pets are greeted with their own bed, a lineup of toys, and goodies and even some special, just for them treats. If you’re traveling with a furry companion, this is one of the most luxurious spots in Orlando that allows pets.
Book Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando With Extra Benefits
The best way to book Loews Portofino Bay is as a Virtuoso guest and you have access to these benefits by being a La Jolla Mom reader. These include:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (up to Deluxe Room Category)
- Continental breakfast daily served in restaurant for two guests per bedroom
- $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Please note: Amenities are not available with any other restricted discount or promotional rates, group bookings.
- Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
You can actually book it directly online.
*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.