Overview

A favorite of young families and solo travelers alike, the Royal Pacific is the least expensive and most relaxing of Universal's deluxe hotels. You may be tempted, as we were initially, to write off Lowes Royal Pacific Hotel as an imitation of Disney's verdant Polynesian Resort. While there are similarities, the Royal Pacific is attractive enough, and has enough strengths of its own, to recommend a separate stay to do your own comparison.

Opened in 2002, the Royal Pacific's Southeast Asia-inspired theming is both relaxing and structured. Guests enter the lobby from a walkway set two stories above a man-made stream which surrounds the resort. Once inside, the lobby's dark teak wood accents contrast nicely against the enormous amount of light coming in from the windows and three-story A-frame roof. Various species of palm line the walkway through the lobby, and through these you see that entire lobby area surrounds a large outdoor fountain.

The Rooms

The Royal Pacific's 1,000 guest rooms are located in three separate Y-shaped wings attached to the resort's main building. Standard rooms are 335 square feet about the size of a room at Disney's moderate resorts and feature one king or two queen beds. King rooms sleep up to 3 people with an optional rollaway bed, and queen rooms sleep 5 with that rollaway bed. The beds are fitted with 300-thread count sheets and are very comfortable.

The Royal Pacific's rooms and hallways were refurbished in early 2015 with modern monochrome wall treatments and carpets, accented with boldly colored floral graphics. Rooms include a 32-inch flat panel LCD television, refrigerator, coffee machine, and an alarm clock with a 30-pin iPhone docking port. Other amenities include a small desk with two chairs, a comfortable reading chair, chest of drawers and large closet.

As with the Hard Rock, rooms at the Royal Pacific have a dressing area with sink, and the dressing area is separated from the rest of the room by a wall. Adjacent to the dressing area is the bathroom, with a tub, shower and toilet. While they're acceptable, the bathroom and dressing areas at the Royal Pacific are our least favorite of the Universal resorts.

Some standard-view rooms look out over the Royal Pacific’s green landscape, while others see the parking lot or nearby roads. Water-view rooms facing the pool or lagoon are also available, many of which have a great look at Hogwarts castle.. Guests in north- and west-facing rooms in Tower 1 are closest to the attractions at Islands of Adventure and can hear the roar from IOA’s Incredible Hulk Coaster throughout the day and night. East-facing rooms in Towers 1 and 2 are exposed to traffic noise from Universal Boulevard and, more distantly, I-4. Quietest are south-facing pool-view rooms in Tower 1 and south-facing rooms in Tower 3.

Pool, Gym and Recreation

Like the Hard Rock, the Royal Pacific's zero-entry pool includes a sand beach, volleyball court, play area for kids, hot tub and rental cabanas, plus a poolside bar and grill. Designed to look like a cross between a tropical island and cruise ship pool (complete with faux exhaust tower and observation deck,the swimming complex pool is huge; it does not, however, have a waterslide. Lounge chairs line most of the walkway around the pool, and portable folding umbrellas provide shade where the palm trees and lush green plants can't. While there are servers from the Bali Bar & Grille taking food and drink orders, there is also free water that is usually mixed with lemon, oranges or strawberries.

A free torch lighting ceremony Polynesian dance, music, and fire-juggling is held by the pool around sunset on select nights (usually Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday during the summer). For the full island experience, the Wantilan Luau is held every Saturday night year-round, plus select Tuesdays seasonally.

The Royal Pacific includes a 5,000 square-foot fitness facility, with free weights and machines, treadmills, stair-climbers, ellipticals, and exercise bikes, plus separate lockers, dressing areas and sauna rooms for men and women. In 2015 the Royal Pacific expanded their already-expansive convention facilities to 141,000 square feet, which will be connected to the new Sapphire Falls Resort by an air-conditioned bridge. A business center and video arcade round out the on-site amenities.

On-Site Dining

On-site dining includes two full-service restaurants, three bars and a luau. Of the table-service restaurants, only the Islands Dining Room is open for breakfast. Its buffet is stocked with the usual eggs, bacon, pancakes and French toast. Another breakfast option is the grab and go continental style breakfast in the Orchid Court Lounge located near the hotel lobby.

Emeril Lagasse's Tchoup Chop is the other table-service option, serves Asian-inspired food too, and is open for lunch and dinner (reservations recommended through Open Table).

Several casual bar areas are located in the resort including Jake's American Bar, the Orchid Court Sushi Bar and, our favorite, the Bula Bar & Grille which has the insanely great Shipwrecked Loaded Nachos. These nachos are one of the rare appetizers that the entire family can share and since there are plenty of tables in the shade its a great place for the adults to relax with a drink as the kids play in the pool just a couple steps away.

2015 Rack Rates and Resort Fees

Rack rates for 2015 run from a low of $234 per night on weeknights in January to $404 per night during December's holidays, excluding tax. Though nice, the rooms alone aren't worth those rates, but adding in unlimited Universal Express, one hour early access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and a short walk to the parks makes makes it the best deal among Universal's deluxe hotels.

Hotel Photos

Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Guests in north- and west-facing rooms in Tower 1 (the Windward wing) are closest to the attractions at Islands of Adventure and can hear the roar from IOA Incredible Hulk Coaster throughout the day and night. East-facing rooms in Towers 1 and 2 are exposed to traffic noise from Universal Boulevard and (more distantly) Interstate 4. Quietest are south-facing pool-view rooms in Tower 1, and south-facing rooms in Tower 3.

The Royal Pacific was one of the first Orlando hotels to offer themed rooms for kids with their Jurassic Park Kid's Suite. These two room suites have a door connecting the kid's room to the main hotel room, but only the main room has a door out to the hallway. The kid's room has two twin beds with light-up raptor slash marks on the head boards while the rest of the room is fully themed to the Jurassic Park film, including on-set photos.

Strengths: Theming; pool; variety of on-site dining; pet friendly, character dining, close to IOA

Weaknesses: Guest room soundproofing; bathroom size; extra charge for self-parking

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