Loews Portofino Bay at Universal Orlando | Hotel Tour & Review (2021 – 2022)


The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is one of the best, if not the best, on-site hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort. Originally opened in 1999 as part of a major expansion to Universal, the 750-room Portofino Bay Hotel has a unique Italian design / theming transporting guests to the Portofino harbor on the Italian Riviera.

This full service resort is among our favorite Universal on-site hotels as it has an amazing  style and theming. Rooms along Portofino Bay’s Harbor Piazza have some of the best views at the Universal Orlando Resort. In addition, the hotel features multiple pools areas, exceptional dining options and Universal’s only on-site hotel spa.

The Portofino Bay Hotels 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 Portofino Bay 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.

Click here to make reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hotel rates at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

Depending on the time of year, hotel rates at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel typically average from less than $300 per night for a standard room to more than $750 per night for the larger suites.  Discounts are offered for Universal Orlando annual passholders.

How close is the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel to the Universal theme parks?

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a Universal on-site hotel which offers water taxi and shuttle bus transportation to Universal’s CityWalk and Volcano Bay.  There is also a walking garden path that will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to reach CityWalk.  Pre-Covid there were free shuttle bikes which was a great way to travel.

Is there a Resort Fee or Parking Charge at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

There are no resort fees at the Loews Portofino Bay 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 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

The luxurious 13,000 square foot Mandara Spa located on-site at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel by the Piazza Ponte between the Beach and Villas pools.

Does the Loews Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offer complimentary Universal Express passes?

Since the Loews Portofino Bay 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 Hard Rock 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 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

There are three separate pool areas at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel which include: The Beach Pool, The Villa Pool and The Hillside Pool.  Individual pool features include a sandy beach area, water slide, children’s play area and multiple hot tubs.

What are the food & beverage options at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel features a number of dining options ranging from grab-and-go to poolside and upscale dining.  Learn more about the dining options in our post below.

What is the check-in and check-out time at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

The check in-time at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is 4:00 pm and check out time is at 11:00 am.

What is the pet policy at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a pet friendly hotel allowing up to two (2) pets per room.  There is a $100 one-time fee per stay  two dogs that are 35 pounds or less and includes a pet tag, bowl and treats.  Click here to see the complete Loews Loves Pets Policy.

What is the reservation cancellation policy at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel?

Guests may cancel reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay 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 lesser.


Click here to see the Photo Gallery for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Location of the a Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is within the boundaries of Universal Orlando, just across Universal Boulevard from the Hard Rock 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.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

5601 Universal Boulevard

Orlando, Florida  32819

407.503-1000

It will take travelers 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 10-minute water taxi ride away. 

Guests can also take the a walkway under Universal Boulevard and past the Hard Rock Hotel to an entrance just adjacent to the front gates of Universal Studios Florida (approximately a 15 to 20 minute walk).

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 15 minutes.
  • Downtown Orlando: approximately 20 minutes.
  • Orlando Premium Outlets: Less than 5 minutes.
  • Vineland Premium Outlets: Less than 15 minutes.

Click here to make reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Hotels Amenities at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a very large full-service hotel the Universal Orlando Resort and features a number of amazing amenities including:

Resort-Style Swimming Pool

There are three individual hotel pools at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, each with its own features.  The Beach Pool is the perfect family area with a Roman aqueduct-themed water slide, sandy beach area, separate kiddie pool, two hot tubs and beach cabanas.

The Villa Pool is more serene and offers private cabana rentals as well as upgraded lounge chairs.  The cabanas feature a refrigerator, flat panel television and ceiling fan.

The Hillside Pool is near the east wing of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and is the ultimate quiet spot to relax after a day at the theme parks.

Poolside Activities

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offers its guest a number of daily poolside activities including contests, games and more.

Fitness Center

Guests visiting the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel have complimentary access to the fitness center  which includes a full compliment of cardio-vascular and strength training equipment.  Separate locker rooms for men and women provide towels, showers and dry saunas.

Musica della Notte

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel hosts a nightly show along the Harbor Piazza by Italian-inspired classic opera performers.  This show is free to hotel guests as well as visitors and should not be missed during your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort.

Mandara Spa

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is the only on-site hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort which features a full service spa.  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.

Click here to see the spa brochure and list of spa services.

Additional Amenities at Portofino Bay include:

  • On-site Universal Vacation Planning Center
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour on-site business center
  • Full service concierge
  • Resort Kids Camps
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the Hotel
  • Game (Not) Over (arcade)
  • Universal Studios Store
  • Alta Moda store
  • L’ancora store
  • Le Memories de Portofino store
  • On-site Car Rental

Click here to make reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Dining Options at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel features multiple casual and upscale dining options that will fit any palette. 

Mamma Della’s Ristorante

Mamma Della’s Ristorante is all about authentic Italian cuisine with live musicians performing at your table.  Open daily for dinner service at 5:30 PM.

Click here to see the menu at Mamma Della’s.

Bice Ristorante

Bice Ristorante features Northern Italian cuisine in a elegant setting including seafood to veal as well as pasta specialties and steak. Bice is open daily for dinner service starting at 5:30 PM.

Click here to see the menu at Bice Ristorante.

Trattoria del Porto

Guests will enjoy casual dining at Trattoria del Porto.  This family friendly Italian restaurant lets guests dine alfresco overlooking the harbor (there is indoor dining as well) for either breakfast or dinner.

Click here to see the menu at Trattoria del Porto.

Sal’s Market Deli

Quick service dining is offered at Sal’s Market Deli.  Get your pizzas, sandwiches or salads here along with an array of drinks and snacks.  Open daily from 11:00 AM.

Click here to see the menu at Sal’s.

Bar American

This elegant lobby bar serves a mixture of beer, wine and specialty cocktails along with burgers and flatbreads.

At this time Bar American has temporarily suspend operations.

The Thirsty Fish

Serving beer, wine and specialty cocktails along with light bites from 5:00 PM daily.  Live entertainment is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Click here to see the menu at The Thirsty Fish.

Splendido Bar & Grill

Guests will enjoy burgers and sandwiches along with specialty cocktails all while sitting by the pool.  Spendido Bar & Grill is open daily from 11:00 am and serves lunch and dinner.

Click here to see the menu at Spendido.

Gelateria

Guests will enjoy Italian gelato, smoothies, biscotti, coffee, espresso and more at Gelateria. Hours of operation for Gelateria are from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Starbucks

What’s a luxury theme park hotel without it’s own Starbucks?  Guests will be able to get their favorite coffee, tea and pastries along the Harbor Piazza.

24-Hour Room Service

From breakfast service to all-day and late-night dining, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel offers 24-hour room service.

In addition to the dining options at Loews Portofino Bay 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 Loews Portofino Bay 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 Portofino 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 Portofino Bay (select stores only).
  • Complimentary Universal CityWalk Club Access: Guests receive complimentary access to select live entertainment venues and clubs at Universal’s CityWalk.
  • Resort-wide Pool Hopping:  Guests of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel can visit other hotel pools throughout the Universal Orlando Resort.  We would highly recommended you check out the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel and the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Click here to make reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Rooms and Hotel Rates at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is fairly large featuring 750 individual hotel rooms including 45 suites. With the exception of the Kids Suites, the rooms are elegantly decorates with soft colors and modern finishes.  

In-room amenities are extensive and include premium linens (300 thread count, 100% cotton bedding), working desk with chair, flat panel televisions with premium and on-demand movies for rent, iPhone docking station, Intelliblend coffee maker iron / ironing board, in-room safe, hair dryer.

The rooms have pool, harbor and garden views.  Our most recent stay was within a room with an expansive harbor view via the outdoor patio.  It was one of the best views of all the rooms we have stayed in at an on-site at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Loews Portofino Bay Room Types

  • Standard Rooms: Includes one king or two queen beds in 450 to 490 square feet of living space.  Some Standard Rooms feature garden or bay views.
  • Kids Suites: Kids Suites total 650 square feet of space as the kids will enjoy their own Despicable Me Minion-themed bedroom as the adults get to relax in an adjacent room.
  • Club Level Rooms: These rooms are similar to Standard Rooms but offer guests access to the Portofino Club Lounge as well as nightly turndown service and personal concierge service.
  • Portofino Suites: The one and two-bedroom Portofino Suites feature separate living / dining space as well as an additional bathroom.
  • Villa Suites: Similar to the Portofino Suites, the one and two-bedroom Villa Suites feature separate living / dining space as well as an additional bathroom.
  • Governatore Suites: The 2,265 square foot Governatore Suites feature separate living / dining space, a private office, kitchenette as well as additional bathrooms.
  • Presidente Suite: The 2,7255 square foot Presidente Suites feature separate living / dining space, fireplace, private office, kitchenette as well as additional bathrooms.  This suite has magnificent view of the Harbor.

The 3,500 square foot Portofino Club Lounge offered with Club Level Rooms and hotel Suites is open daily for a continental breakfast as well as complimentary drinks & snacks during the day and evening.   The lounge is open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

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 2022   2/15/21 4/15/21 7/15/22
Standard Room with Garden View – 2 Queen   $389.00 $643.00 $567.00
Bay View Room – 2 Queen   $419.00 $683.00 $607.00
Despicable Me Kids Suite   $719.00 NA $962.00

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.

Click here to make reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Conferences and Events at The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel features 42,000 square feet of flexible event and meeting space including a 15,000 square foot ballroom with 27-foot ceilings, 8 meeting rooms, three meeting planner offices and 47,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space.

The hotel is perfect for weddings, business conferences and corporate meetings.

What We Liked about Loews Portofino Bay Hotel:

There are many different things to like at this resort property.  Following are some of the highlights:

  • High quality resort with excellent design / theming
  • Abundant amenities and on-site activities
  • Water taxi to CityWalk and the Universal theme parks
  • Extensive dining options

What We Didn’t Like about the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel:

There were a few things not to like when staying at the these hotels.

  • 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 Lowes Portofino Bay 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 a great theme
  • A great venue for mid-size conferences and events

Our Endless Summer Hotel Rating

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 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is one of the most unique and highest quality resorts as compared to other similar category hotels throughout the Orlando theme park areas.

Endless Summer rates this resort a 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars and recommend this hotel for your next trip to Universal Orlando.

Click here to make reservations for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Endless Summer

Endless Summer Florida is all about amazing places to Vacation in Florida. From world class theme parks to white sandy beaches, there is so much to see and do in our state.

Recent Posts