You may be tempted, as we were initially, to write off Lowes Royal Pacific Hotel as an imitation of Disneyâ€™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 Pacificâ€™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 lobbyâ€™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 whole of the lobby area surrounds an enormous outdoor fountain.
The Royal Pacificâ€™s 1,000 guest rooms are located in three separate Y-shaped wings attached to the resortâ€™s main building. Standard rooms are 335 square feet â€“ about the size of a room at Disneyâ€™s moderate resorts â€“ 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. Rooms are decorated in neutral beige tones with dark wood and paint accents and forest-colored carpet, and include a 32â€ 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. Wireless internet is available for $10 per day in guest rooms, free in the lobby.
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. Unlike the Hard Rock, the shower area is not large enough for dressing except in a pinch. Water pressure in the shower is good. While theyâ€™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 Pacificâ€™s green landscape, others see the parking lot or nearby roads. Water-view rooms facing the pool or lagoon are also available.
The Royal Pacific is a pet-friendly hotel. Two pets can stay in each room. A $25 cleaning fee is added to each room with pets.
Pool, Gym and Recreation
Like the Hard Rock, the Royal Pacificâ€™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 â€œobservation deck,â€ the swimming complex pool is huge. Lounge chairs line most of the walkway around the pool, and portable folding umbrellas provide shade where the palm trees and lush green plants canâ€™t.
The Royal Pacific includes a 5,000 square-foot fitness facility ($10 per day, free with club-level rooms), with free weights and machines, treadmills, stair-climbers, ellipticals, and exercise bikes, plus separate lockers, dressing areas and sauna rooms for men and women.
A business center and video arcade round out the on-site amenities.
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. Dinner is from an Asian-inspired menu, with seared ahi tuna, duck soup and various stir-fries. Emeril Lagasseâ€™s Tchoup Chop is the other table-service option, serves Asian-inspired food too, and is open for lunch and dinner (reservations recommended).
2013 Rack Rates and Resort Fees
Rack rates for 2013 run from a low of $224 per night on weeknights in January to $369 per night during Decemberâ€™s holidays, excluding tax. Guests with cars will pay an additional $17 per day for self-parking, and in-room internet access is another $10 per day. The rooms alone arenâ€™t worth those rates, but adding in unlimited Universal Express and a short walk to the parks makes it more palatable.
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Guests in north- and west-facing rooms in Tower 1 (the â€œWindwardâ€ wing) are closest to the attractions at Islands of Adventure and can hear the roar from IOAâ€™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) Interstate 4. Quietest are south-facing pool-view rooms in Tower 1, and south-facing rooms in Tower 3.
Strengths: Theming; pool; variety of on-site dining; close to IOA Weaknesses: Guest room soundproofing; bathroom size; extra charges for self-parking and internet
Loews Royal Pacific Resort Dining
- Bula Bar & Grille (Table Service)
- Bula Ice Cream Shop (Counter Service)
- Emeril's Tchoup Chop (Table Service)
- Islands Dining Room (Table Service)
- Jake's American Bar (Table Service)
- Orchid Court Lounge (Bar or Lounge)
- Orchid Court Sushi Bar (Table Service)
- Wantilan - Luau & Brunch (Table Service)
|Islands of Adventure||13 minutes|
|Universal Studios Florida||13 minutes|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|