The Hard Rock Hotel is one of the most fun and exciting resort hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort. Originally opened in 1999 as part of a major expansion to Universal, the 650-room hard Rock Hotel has a unique Spanish mission design to compliment a staggering amount of rock décor and memorabilia.
This full-service resort hotel is our favorite Universal on-site hotels due to the rock “vibe” and energy you pull up to the hotel – seeing the guitar fountain out front. Then when checking in to the Hard Rock, guests will find huge art portraits of John Lennon, Taylor Swift and Jim Morrison. And since it literally backs up to Universal Studios Florida, we are just minutes to the front gate and on to our first ride of the day.
The Hard Rock Hotel is managed by Loews Hotels and is a Universal top tier “Premier Hotels & Resorts” which means has the resorts highest level of amenities, dining venues and service. When staying at Hard Rock Hotel or any of the on-site hotels at Universal, guests are provided a number of exclusive theme park benefits which further enhance the value for the cost.
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The Hard Rock Hotel – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the hotel rates at the Hard Rock Hotel?
Depending on the time of year, hotel rates at the Hard Rock Hotel typically average from less than $400 per night for a standard room to more than $75 per night for the suites. Discounts are offered for Universal Orlando annual passholders.
How close is the Hard Rock Hotel to the Universal theme parks?
The Hard Rock Hotel is by far the closest hotel to the Universal Orlando theme parks. Guests can just exit the hotel property using the rear pool gate and be at the entrance to Universal Studios Florida in just 5 minutes. Water taxi service is also available.
Is there a Resort Fee or Parking Charge at the Hard Rock Hotel?
There are no resort fees at the Hard Rock Hotel but self-parking costs $28.00 per night and valet parking is available for $37 per night. Other costs include Florida state sales tax of 6.5% and an Orange County occupancy tax of 6%.
Is there a spa at the Hard Rock Hotel?
While there is not a full-service spa directly on site at the Hard Rock Hotel, guests can visit the luxurious Mandara Spa located at the Loews Portofino Bay Resort which is just a short water taxi ride away.
Does the Hard Rock Hotel offer complimentary Universal Express passes?
Since the Hard Rock Hotel is a Premier level hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort, complimentary Universal Express passes are included as a resort benefit. Other Universal Premier hotels include the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
Universal Express is the ultimate theme park benefit of any hotel in the Orlando area.
Is there a nice pool at the Hard Rock Hotel?
The 12,000 square foot zero-entry pool at Hard Rock Hotel is one of the best pool areas of any on-site hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort. Additional features include a 260-foot water slide and an underwater sound system.
What are the food & beverage options at the Hard Rock Hotel?
The Hard Rock Hotel features a number of dining options ranging from grab-and-go to poolside and upscale dining (including our favorite, The Palm). Learn more about the dining options in our post below.
What is the check-in and check-out time at the Hard Rock Hotel?
The check in-time at the Hard Rock Hotel is 4:00 pm and check out time is at 11:00 am.
What is the pet policy at the Hard Rock Hotel?
The Hard Rock Hotel is a pet friendly hotel allowing up to two (2) pets per room. There is a $100 one-time fee per stay two pets that are 50 pounds or less. Click here to see the complete Loews Loves Pets Policy.
What is the reservation cancellation policy at the Hard Rock Hotel?
Guests may cancel reservations for the Hard Rock Hotel six or more days prior to the visit for a full refund. A one night room rate plus tax fee is charged for cancellations from five days or less.
The Location of the Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel is within the boundaries of the Universal Orlando Resort, just across Universal Boulevard from the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Access to the hotel is fairly simple as there is an interchange at Universal Boulevard from Interstate 4.
This property is very well located and is fairly close to the Orlando / Orange County Convention Center, the International Drive attractions and several of Orlando’s major shopping & entertainment destinations.
Hard Rock Hotel
5800 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819
It will take visitors about 20 minutes to get to the hotel from the Orlando International Airport and less around 10 minutes to get to the Orlando / Orange County Convention Center.
In addition to what is offered on-site at the Universal Orlando Resort, there are several restaurants and retail venues within a very short distance along Kirkman Drive which include a Walgreens Pharmacy, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and TGI Fridays. Additional shopping outlets and restaurants are located along nearby International Drive and Sand Lake Road (along known as restaurant row).
Being in the heart of the Universal Orlando Resort, Universal’s CityWalk, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure is a 5-minute water taxi ride or short walk away.
Additional area theme parks and destinations are short distance to the hotel. Per Google Maps, travel time is as follows (non-peak hours):
- SeaWorld Orlando: Less than 15 minutes.
- The Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort: approximately 25 minutes.
- EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort: approximately 20 minutes.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort: approximately 20 minutes.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort: approximately 25 minutes.
- Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort: approximately 20 minutes.
- Downtown Orlando: approximately 20 minutes.
- Orlando Premium Outlets: Less than 5 minutes.
- Vineland Premium Outlets: Less than 15 minutes.
Hotels Amenities at the Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel is a large full-service hotel the Universal Orlando Resort and features a number of amazing resort amenities including:
Resort Swimming Pool
One of the main reasons to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel is for its 12,000 square foot resort pool. This pool features a zero-entry, sandy beach area, 260-foot water slide, a unique underwater sound system (listen to your favorite rock tunes while underwater) and two hot tubs.
The Hard Rock Hotel offers its guest a number of daily poolside activities including contests, games and more.
Guests visiting the Hard Rock Hotel have complimentary access to the “bodyrock” fitness center which includes a full compliment of cardio-vascular and strength training equipment.
In addition to the fitness center, guests can get a free “Rock Om” on-demand yoga package (comes with a yoga mat) and zen out right in their own room.
Sound of Your Stay ®
Rock fans will love the Hard Rock Orlando’s “Sound of Your Stay” program which provides its guests their own individual music experience. These programs are called Picks, Tracks and Wax – and best of all, they are free to hotel guests.
- PICKS®: Guests can choose from a selection of 20 Fender guitars including Stratocasters, Telecasters and bass guitars so they can rock out right in your own room (high quality headphones headphones are provided). Click here to see the guitars that are offered in this program.
- TRACKS®: Guests can download a curated playlists with hits from most of rock royalty to set the mood for their stay. Click here to see the playlists.
- WAX®: Guests can order a Crosley turntable which includes a curated collection of records carefully chosen by the Hard Rock team.
While there not a spa on-site at the Hard Rock, there is one at the adjacent Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. The 13,000 square foot Mandara Spa features 14 individual treatment rooms, a full-service salon, co-ed lounge and hydropool as well as separate men’s and women’s sauna & steam rooms.
Additional Amenities at Hard Rock Hotel include:
- On-site Universal Vacation Planning Center
- 24-hour room service
- 24-hour on-site business center
- Full service concierge
- Hotel Kids’ Camps
- Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the Hotel
- Game (Not) Over (arcade)
- The Rock Shop (store)
Did you know that the Hard Rock Hotel has it’s own butterfly garden? Just walk out near the garden pathway buy the water taxi dock and check out this amazing garden featuring numerous types of butterflies.
Dining Options at the Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel features multiple casual and upscale dining options that will fit any palette.
One of our favorite fine dining restaurant at The Palm. Along with the caricatures of celebrities & athletes hanging on the walls, this legendry New York steakhouse is known for its prime aged steaks as well as large Nova Scotia lobsters. The Palm is open daily for dinner service and the dress code is resort or business casual.
Guests will enjoy the ultimate in comfort food in a casual setting at The Kitchen. Located on the ground floor of the Hard Rock Hotel just adjacent to the pool area, this restaurant is open for daily at 7:00 AM breakfast, lunch and dinner service.
Open daily at 5:00 PM, the Velvet Bar is the Hard Rock Hotel’s lobby bar where guests can enjoy a variety of beer, wine and specialty cocktails while munching on light bites like flatbreads, sliders and charcuterie.
The Velvet Bar is also home to Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel which is a live show featuring some of rocks best artists. Former performers included Joan Jett, Brett Michaels and Cheap Trick.
Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace
Grab and go at this quick service dining restaurant. Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace features a variety of breakfast items, snacks, beverages (including Starbucks coffee) and ice cream.
Emack & Bolio’s is open daily from 6:00 AM to midnight.
Guests will enjoy burgers and sandwiches along with specialty cocktails all while sitting by the pool. beachclub is open daily for lunch and dinner.
24-Hour Room Service
From breakfast service to all-day and late-night dining, the Hard Rock Hotel offers 24-hour room service.
In addition to the dining options at Hard Rock Hotel, guests will find a number of restaurants ranging from casual and quick-service dining to fine dining at the other Universal on-site hotels as well as Universal’s CityWalk. Click here to see our Complete Guide to Universal’s CityWalk.
Universal On-Site Hotel Benefits
When staying on-site at the Universal Orlando Resort guests receive a number of benefits that greatly enhance the enjoyment of their visit.
The on-site benefits of staying at the Hard Rock Hotel include:
- Universal Express Unlimited: This benefit allows guests to skip the regular lines at most of the attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. If purchased separately, Universal Express Unlimited is worth the additional cost of staying at Universal’s premier hotels and can be a value of up to $129 per person per day (over $500 per day for a family of four).
- Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Typically either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure open one hour early to allow hotel guests additional time to explore the Wizarding World.
- Restaurant Priority Seating: Another exclusive benefit for guests staying at premier hotels is priority seating at select restaurants throughout the Universal Orlando Resort. This includes restaurants at other on-site hotels or the dining venues at Universal’s CityWalk.
- Complimentary Transportation: Guests of Hard Rock Bay can take the Water Taxi for a short trip to the theme parks and CityWalk.
- Room Key Charge Privileges and Purchase Delivery: Do you want to purchase a wand at Ollivanders? Guests can use their room key to charge their purchases and Universal will deliver their packages directly to their room at the Hard Rock Hotel (select stores only).
- Complimentary Universal CityWalk Club Access: Guests receive free access to select live entertainment venues and clubs at Universal’s CityWalk.
- Resort-wide Pool Hopping: Guests of the Hard Rock Hotel can visit other hotel pools throughout the Universal Orlando Resort. We would highly recommended you check out the pool at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
The Rooms and Hotel Rates at the Hard Rock Hotel
While the Hard Rock Hotel is fairly large, it is not a massive hotel like Sapphire Falls or Cabana Bay. There are 650 individual hotel rooms including 29 suites. As you can imagine, the rooms have rock star theming.
In-room amenities are extensive and include premium linens (300 thread count, 100% cotton bedding), mini-refrigerator, working desk with chair, flat panel televisions with premium and on-demand movies for rent, iPhone docking station, Keurig, coffee maker, iron / ironing board, in-room safe and hair dryer.
Several rooms have pool and garden views. Our most recent stay was within a room on the first floor with a limited, but pleasant view of the hotel grounds.
Hard Rock Hotel Room Types
- Standard Rooms: Rooms range in size from 375 to 500 square feet of living space. Some Standard Rooms feature garden or pool views.
- Deluxe Rooms: Deluxe rooms feature one-king bed with 400 square feet of living space. Some Deluxe Rooms feature garden or pool views.
- Future Rock Star Suites: These suites total 800 square feet of living space as the kids will enjoy their own rock themed bedroom as the adults get to relax in an adjacent room with one king bed.
- Club Level Rooms: These rooms are similar to Standard Rooms but offer guests access to the Rock Royalty Lounge.
- King Suites: The king suites feature 650 square feet of living space in an open floorplan.
- Two-Bedroom King Suites: Two full bedrooms and two full bathrooms featuring 1,025 square feet of living space.
- Three Bedroom King Suites: Three full bedrooms and three full bathrooms featuring 1,400 square feet of living space.
- One Bedroom Hospitality Suites: 1,250 square feet of with a separate king bedroom. Perfect for entertaining.
- Graceland Suite: Designed for the “King” himself, this 2,000 square foot suite is the ultimate in rock star treatment.
Located on the 7th floor of the Hard Rock Hotel, the 1,200 square foot Rock Royalty Lounge is offered with Club Level Rooms. The lounge is open daily for a continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres as well as complimentary drinks & snacks during the day and evening. Breakfast is served at 7:00 AM, hors d’oeuvers are offered from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and evening sweets are served from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
The hotel rates shown below are the best available rate for different dates during the year for two adults and two-children in three different room types. Theses were obtained from the Loews Hotels & Co web site at the time of publication of this article.
|Rates for 2023||2/1/23||4/10/23||7/15/23|
|Standard Room with Garden View – 2 Queen||$455.73||$879.00||$810.00|
|Standard Room with Pool View – 2 Queen||$484.47||$908.00||$839.00|
|Deluxe 2 Queen Room||$592.73||$965.00||$896.00|
There are no resort fees at each of this resort but there is a 6% resort tax on top of a 6.5% sales tax on nightly rates. There is also a $28 per night overnight parking charge.
There are a number of promotions offered during the year as well as discounts for Universal annual passholders and Florida residents.
Conferences and Events at The Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel features over 7,000 square feet of flexible event and meeting space including the 2,964 Avalon Ballroom and the 9,000 square foot Woodstock Lawn. The ballroom can accommodate up to 300 guests with theater seating while the Filmore Meeting Room can host up to 60 people.
The hotel is perfect for small to mid-sized weddings, business conferences and corporate meetings.
What We Liked about Hard Rock Hotel:
There are many different things to like at this resort property. Following are some of the highlights:
- High quality resort with great “rock star” vibe and energy
- Abundant amenities and on-site activities
- Walking distance to CityWalk and the Universal theme parks
- Excellent dining options
What We Didn’t Like about the Hard Rock Hotel:
There were a few things not to like when staying at the Hard Rock Hotel.
- Can be pricy during high season
- Parking fee of $28 per night
- Limited casual dining
- Lengthy walk from lobby to furthest rooms
What We Think the Hard Rock Hotel is Perfect For:
These hotels are great for a wide variety of travelers visiting the Universal Orlando Resort and are perfect for:
- Guests visiting Universal’s theme parks
- Vacation visitors seeking an elegant, full-service hotel with an amazing theme
- A great venue for small to mid-size conferences and events
Our Endless Summer Thoughts
Endless Summer Florida has been to many different economy, moderate and luxury hotels in the in the central Florida tourist area and have stayed at a number of extended stay type hotels. We feel that the Hard Rock Hotel is one of the most unique and highest quality resorts as compared to other similar category hotels throughout the Orlando theme park areas.