Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is not only the brand’s most exotic and high-end offering, it is one of the top resorts in the competitive Orlando theme park area. For travelers who want the latest and best in-room amenities, concierge and 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 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.
We’ll give you an overview of the accommodations so that you can choose for yourself.
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 the Portofino Bay make this resort truly special. It is difficult to find a room at the Portofino Bay with a poor view — most overlook the pool, gardens or bay — but 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 traveling 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
The 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 beat — and it is included with your stay. While getting in the shorter Universal Express is fun at any time it is absolutely 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 attractions, including 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 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 are the nightly wine and snack offerings (a separate ticket is required). For those who want to indulge and who 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 both 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 their 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.
How to Book Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
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 up to two in-room guests per bedroom
- One lunch for two at any Loews Portofino Bay Hotel restaurant (excluding Bice Ristorante), during your stay, excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuities, Amenity can only be redeemed at a Loews Portofino Bay Hotel operated restaurant. Cannot be exchanged for a Credit. Room Service does not apply)
- 20% discount at the Mandara Spa for a service of $100 or more.
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
You can actually book it directly online.
*If on a mobile device, scroll down to the black footer and click “Full Site” to access online rates and booking. Input the number of adults traveling and I’ll add on your kids when I’m notified and follow up with your booking.