The Hard Rock Hotel is one of the original on-site hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort opening back in January 2001. The Hard Rock is one of our favorite on-site hotels at Universal featuring 650 rooms including 29 suites all with a rock star vibe. It is a Universal “Premier” resort which offers a host of on-site hotel benefits which will be discussed below.
From the moment you pass through the front gates you can feel the energy of the hotel as it is designed for rock icons right from the guitar fountain at the front entrance to the 2,000 square foot Graceland Suite. Throughout the hotel guests will enjoy the rock memorabilia, the electrified music and the full on rock star treatment.
Since you are located right on-site at the Universal Orlando Resort, guests will enjoy all that Universal has to offer right at their door step. Click here to learn more about the Universal Orlando Resort.
The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
5800 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819
When arriving in Orlando it will take approximately 20 minutes to get to Hard Rock Hotel from the Orlando International Airport and about 15 minutes to get to the Orlando / Orange County Convention Center.
Other Orlando area theme parks and local attractions are also a short distance to the hotel and 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.
- Vineland Premium Outlets: Approximately 10 minutes
Why stay at the Hard Rock Hotel when visit Universal Orlando? Here are 7 reasons why you will love staying here.
The Endless Summer Florida family has stayed at every single on-site hotel at Universal and depending on our plans for the individual visit, find that each hotel has their specific benefits. While we can make a long list of reasons to stay at Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel, here are the top reasons to do so.
- Amazing Pool Area
- Proximity to the Theme Parks
- Rock Star Vibe including the Sound of Your Stay®
- Dining & Lounges
- Club Level “Rock Royalty Lounge”
- Pet Friendly
- Universal Theme Park Benefits
The Hard Rock Pool Area
If you have ever stayed an any of the Hard Rock hotels throughout the world then you are aware of how unique they design their pools – and the Hard Rock at Universal Orlando is no exception. When staying at the Hard Rock, we highly recommend spending a full day at this amazing pool.
At 12,000 square feet with a zero-entry and sandy beach, this pool is one of the best resort pools in all of the Universal on-site hotels. There is an fountain area for kids along with a 260-foot pool slide, two hot tubs, a sand volleyball court and an amazing underwater sound system. Guests will find daily poolside activities as well as night time dive-in movies and at times, live bands or DJ’s spinning your favorite rock tunes.
There is poolside dining at the Hard Rock’s BEACHCLUB. Typically opening at 11:00 am, guests can enjoy light snacks, beer, wine an specialty cocktails in an open air (but covered) venue. Food options including a variety of appetizers, burgers, salads, sandwiches and flatbreads. Click there to see the full menu at BEACHCLUB.
If you are looking for the full rock star VIP treatment then we highly recommend one of the poolside cabanas including special cabanas themed after the Beatles and Stevie Wonder. The cabanas include a dedicated server, ceiling fan, wireless internet service, HD television and a mini-refrigerator with 6 sodas & 2 waters.
The cost of a cabana at the Hard Rock at Universal Orlando ranges from less than $100 to around $400 per day (varies per time of the year).
Proximity to the Theme Parks
The Hard Rock Hotel is the closest on-site resort hotel to the Universal Orlando theme parks. Just want out the back of the pool area and in just a few steps you will be at the entrance to Universal Studios Florida. Universal’s Islands of Adventure is on the opposite side of Universal’s CityWalk, just minutes away.
Being this close allows you to take a break from the theme park crowds or avoid the almost daily central Florida rainstorms without any inconvenience. We should note, however, that Universal’s Volcano Bay requires a 10-minute shuttle bus ride and is not easily walkable from the Hard Rock.
Rock Star Vibe Including the Sound of Your Stay®
Guests will find rock memorabilia, video displays, rock art exhibits and as rock music throughout the common areas of the hotel from rock icons like Elvis and Kiss to more modern artists like Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Swift. There is even a fully stocked Rock Shop right in the lobby you won’t go home empty handed.
If you think you are a rock star then you will enjoy the Hard Rock Orlando’s “Sound of Your Stay” program. This unique amenity allows guests access to their own personal music experience completely free of charge. These programs include:
- PICKS®: Pick from 20 different Fender guitars including Stratocasters, Telecasters and bass guitars and rock out right in your own room. Premium headphones are provided to avoid noise complaints. Click here to see the guitars that are offered in this program.
- TRACKS®: Download your curated playlists with hits from most of rock royalty and set the mood for your stay. Click here to see the playlists.
- WAX®: For the classic rock enthusiast, order up a Crosley turntable along with a curated collection of records carefully chosen by the Hard Rock team.
While most visit the Hard Rock Orlando for the theme park, we highly recommend taking some time to enjoy these unique amenities during your stay.
Dining & Lounges
There are a number of on-site dining options and lounges at the Hard Rock Orlando. Guests will find grab-and-go and casual dining options as well as family-friendly upscale dining. These include:
- Palm Restaurant
- The Kitchen
- Emack & Bolio’s Marketplace
And if these don’t satisfy the rock star desires, guests can try the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal’s CityWalk.
The main lounge at the Hard Rock Orlando is the Velvet Bar which is located in the lobby and has both indoor and outdoor seating. The Velvet Bar hosts Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel which is an intimate cocktail party featuring some of rocks biggest and best names.
Velvet Sessions is a premium experience (additional cost) which includes a live show, themed cocktails and light snacks. Typically shows were held on the last Thursday of every month (except November and December) but have been suspended since early 2020 – we are hoping this bring this back soon. Past performers included:
- Cheap Trick
- Better than Ezra
- Joan Jett
- Brett Michaels
- Psychedelic Furs
- Sebastian Bach
Club Level “Rock Royalty” Lounge
The Rock Royalty Lounge is located on the 7th floor of the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando and offers guests a number of perks when staying on the “club” level. This 1,200 square foot room opens from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM for a continental breakfast then offers appetizers and beer/wine from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Evening sweets are offered from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
Guests will also find complimentary coffee, tea and soft drinks available throughout the day along with personal concierge services and complimentary computer / internet usage.
There are 90 Rock Royalty rooms and 5 suites on the 7th floor that offer keyed access to the Rock Royalty Lounge.
The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando is a pet friendly resort so guests can bring up to two pets per room. The hotel charges a one-time $100 fee for allowing pets into the room and guests will be responsible for any damage or costs associated from their pet(s).
There is a pet walking area near the Woodstock Lawn near the Water Taxi pickup area and trash bags are available for guest use. A $10 per hour “time out” fee is also assess if an unattended pet is removed from the room.
Universal Theme Park Benefits
Since the Hard Rock is one of the “Premier” hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort, its enjoys some of the best benefits including complimentary Universal Express Unlimited which allows guests to skip the regular lines at most of the attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This benefit 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).
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.
Additional Universal benefits include:
- 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.
- Complimentary Transportation: Hotels guests can take the water taxis or shuttle buses 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 (select stores only).
- Complimentary Universal CityWalk Club Access: Guests receive complimentary access to select live entertainment venues and clubs at Universal’s CityWalk.
Hotels Rates at Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel
There are nine different room types offered at the Hard Rock Orlando ranging from 375 square foot Standard Rooms that sleep 5 guests to the 2,000 square foot Graceland suite which includes a baby grand piano, fireplace, whirlpool tub and dining area.
Hotel rates vary based on the room type and time of year. The individual hotel rates shown below are the best available rate for two adults and two-children in three individual room types offered at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The rates were obtained from the hotels web site at the time of publication of this article.
|Rates for 2021 – 22||10/15/21||12/15/21||2/15/22|
|Standard Room – 2 Queen Beds||$496.00||$348.00||$362.00|
|Pool View – 2 Queen Beds||NA||$383.00||$397.00|
|Club Room – 2 Queen Beds||$626.00||$473.00||$487.00|
Discounts are available for Universal Orlando Annual Passholders as well as Florida residents. There are no resort fees at the Hard Rock Hotel but there is a 6% resort tax on top of a 6.5% sales tax on rates for each of these hotels. Self parking is costs $28.00 per night and valet parking is available for $37 per night.
The Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Live at Universal’s CityWalk
The Universal Orlando Resort is home to the world’s largest Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Live. Not only can guests enjoy great food and rock memorabilia, but can experience a live show in the 3,000 seat concert venue.
Stay tuned for more information about the Hard Rock Cafe and Had Rock Live Orlando but in the interim, check out our video below for a full tour.
Planning Resources for Your Next Universal Orlando Trip
- Universal Studios Florida – The Definitive Guide for 2021
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure – The Definitive Guide for 2021
- Universal’s CityWalk – The Complete Guide for 2021
- Top 5 Rides at Universal Studios Florida
- Top 5 Rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- Universal Orlando – Tips & Tricks to Help Your Day
- On-site and Local Area Hotels – Universal Orlando
- The Universal Orlando Resort (Video Playlist)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Video Playlist)
- Best Rides at Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure (Video Playlist)
- Universal Orlando: Kid Friendly Rides & Attractions (Videos Playlist)
- Universal Orlando On-Site Hotels (Video Playlist)
- Luxury Florida Hotels and Resorts (Video Playlist)
- Affordable Theme Park Hotels (Video Playlist)