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    Hard Rock Hotel

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Hard Rock Hotel Information: Rooms, Pools, Dining, and More

Overview

For younger adults and families with older kids, the Hard Rock Hotel is the hippest place to lay your head. Opened in 2001, it is the closest resort to Universal’s theme parks. The exterior has a California Mission theme, with white stucco walls, arched entryways, and rust-colored roof tiles. Inside, the lobby is a tribute to rock-and-roll style, all marble, chrome, and stage lighting. The lobby’s walls are decorated with enough concert posters, costumes, and musical instruments to start another wing of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Exhibits include outfits from Lady Gaga and Rihanna, and QR codes near each artifact let you take a self-guided memorabilia tour via your smartphone.

The Rooms

The eight floors hold 650 rooms, including 29 suites, with the rooms categorized into standard, deluxe, and Rock Royalty club-level tiers. Standard rooms are 375 square feet, slightly larger than rooms at Disney’s Moderate resorts and a bit smaller than most Disney Deluxe rooms. The rooms feature light-gray walls and linens, pastel furniture, and colorful retro-inspired accents, such as throw pillows crocheted with phrases such as “Quiet Please” and “Be Nice.” To be frank, the style looks more bubblegum pop than hard rock, but the brighter look is a bit more soothing after you stumble back from a fatiguing day in the parks.

Standard rooms are furnished with two queen beds, with plush, comfortable linens and more pillows than you’ll know what to do with. Rooms also include a TV, refrigerator, coffee maker, and an alarm clock with an iPhone docking port.

A six-drawer dresser and separate closet with sliding doors ensure plenty of storage space. In addition, most rooms have a reading chair and a small desk with two chairs. An optional rollaway bed, available at an extra charge, allows standard rooms to sleep up to five people.

Each room’s dressing area includes a sink and hair dryer. The bathroom is probably large enough for most adults to get ready in the morning while another person gets ready in the dressing area.

Guests staying in standard rooms can choose from one of three views: standard, which can include anything from walkways and parking lots to lawns and trees; garden view, which includes the lawn, trees, and (in some rooms) the waterway around the resort; and pool view, which includes the Hard Rock’s expansive pool.

A step up from standard rooms are deluxe rooms. Deluxe rooms with king beds are around 400 square feet and can accommodate up to four people with a pullout sofa and an optional rollaway bed rental. These rooms feature a U-shaped sitting area in place of the second bed, and the rest of the amenities are the same as in standard rooms. Deluxe queen rooms are 500 square feet and can hold up to five people using a pullout sofa, located in a small cubby just off the room’s entrance.

For families, each 800-square-foot Future Rock Star suite features an authentic piece of music memorabilia, along with a simulated stage inside the separate kids’ bedroom. Or you can really live like The King in the 2,000-square-foot Graceland Suite, which comes complete with a baby grand piano and fireplace.

Pool, Gym and Recreation

Situated in the middle of the resort’s C-shaped main building, the 12,000-square-foot zero-entry pool includes a 250-foot waterslide (the longest at any Universal hotel), a sand beach, and underwater speakers so you can hear the music while you swim. Adjacent to the pool are a fountain play area for small children, a sand volleyball court, hot tubs, and a poolside bar. The entire pool area is lined with tall palm trees, and private cabanas are available for rent. The Hard Rock also has a small, functional fitness center, but for spa services you’ll have to go to the Mandara Spa at Universal’s nearby Portofino Bay. Like all Universal Orlando Resort hotels, the Hard Rock has a business center and video arcade.

The Hard Rock also has a small, functional fitness center. Universal's nearby Portofino Bay hotel has a full-service Mandara spa.

A supervised activity center, Camp Lil Rock, serves kids 4 from 5 pm until 11:30 pm (Sunday through Thursday) or midnight (Friday and Saturday). Cost is $15 per hour per child, plus $15 per meal. Call (407) 503-2200 for reservations.

On-Site Dining

On-site dining includes The Kitchen, a casual full-service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that serves American food such as burgers, steaks, and salads. The Kitchen hosts strolling magicians on Wednesday and Friday, Kids Can Cook activities on Tuesday and Thursday, and random celebrity-chef sightings. The Palm Restaurant is an upscale steakhouse available for dinner only. There is also an Emack & Bolio’s ice cream shop and grab-and-go marketplace on the lower level; the stylish Velvet Bar in the lobby for drinks after dark and monthly Velvet Sessions rock-and-roll cocktail parties; and the BeachClub bar and grill by the pool. And, of course, the Hard Rock Cafe is just a short distance away at CityWalk. Oenophiles will want to keep an eye on tinyurl .com/HRH Wine Riffs for announcements about periodic Wine Riffs events ($125 plus tax and gratuity), which pair five courses of vino and victuals with a carefully curated soundtrack.

Guests can also stream a free personalized playlist at music.hardrock hotels.com, and swap their room key card for a free souvenir guitar pick at checkout. If all that musical immersion puts you in the mood to jam, you can borrow a Crosley turntable with a stack of vinyl records or 1 of 20 Fender guitars—including Stratocasters, Telecasters, and even bass guitars—with amp and headphones for free (after a $1,000 credit card deposit) through the hotel’s The Sound of Your Stay program; ask the front desk for details. Alternatively, investigate the Rock Om in-room yoga program (hardrock hotelorlando.com/rock-om.htm) if you yearn to achieve a state of Zen.

Hotel Photos

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
Shortest walk to Universal Studios Expensive dining
Pool Extra charge for parking
On-site dining options
Glitzy lobby

Hard Rock Hotel Dining

Commuting Times to the Parks
Park Resort
Transportation
Universal Studios Florida 10 min
Islands of Adventure 10 min
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