In 2018, we learned there were a lot of perks to staying onsite at a theme park resort, so at the beginning of 2020 when we booked our trip to Universal Studios Orlando, we wanted to take advantage of those perks. After a little research and weighing our options, we ended up at Loews Royal Pacific, just a ten minute walk from the entrance of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. And what a good choice it was!
Our 2021 trip is the first time we’ve transferred hotels, so it’s difficult not to compare one hotel to the other. We really enjoyed Loews Royal Pacific for many reasons – the staff, the amenities, and the room itself were all what I expect for the cost of the stay. But don’t take my word for it – let me break it down a bit more.
Checking in at Loews Royal Pacific was easy as pie. Our reservation was a bit weird in that we booked it almost two years ago and ended up delaying the trip due to COVID-19. Our reservations were not in their updated app, and due to the selections we made in 2020 that were no longer available in 2021, the reservations could not be transferred in. Knowing this, I expected checking in to be a bit of a bumpy ride and it absolutely was not.
At the front desk, we were greeted by a grinning gentleman by the name of Cornell. He was all laughs and smiles, and passed the time with us sharing stories about anonymous previous clients who’d made previous errors and making sure we didn’t make those same mistakes. He gave up a map of the property, circled all the important places and noted their hours. Then, after asking if we were attending Halloween Horror Nights, gave us recommendations on the best route to take to hit all the houses and avoid the worst lines. He also shared his personal favorites!
All this, and he was able to put us in a room that was already ready to go… at 11am. That rarely happens at any hotel (check-in is usually 3pm or later) and it was pretty awesome. 10/10 for Cornell!
Because of our older booking, we had to go to the Vacation Services desk to pick up all our tickets. That, too, was easy!
The room was extremely spacious and beautiful. It looked recently updated, with good in-room amenities. This is the only hotel I’ve ever stayed at where tea was provided alongside coffee in the rooms. THANK YOU.
The king-sized bed was clean and comfortable. The bathroom was spacious and the mirrors were large! Love me a full-length mirror! The custodial staff did an excellent job keeping the room clean and were always very friendly when we saw them in the halls.
As far as extra cleaning precautions went for COVID-19, the television remote was sanitized and sealed in an individual plastic bag. There were two travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer in the room – one next to the beds and another by the sink. Staff was wearing masks at all times, although there were no specific mandates anywhere on Universal property asking guests to do the same (and most did not). Housekeeping came daily and on the one occasion we slept through our housekeeping window (oops) I received a text message apologizing for the inconvenience.
One of the most important things to know about any hotel – the room was quiet. We were on the first floor of tower two, known as the “pet floor”. We were asked before being assigned this room. Another testament to the cleanliness – I am allergic to cats and dogs and I was fine in the “pet” room. There were a few dogs on our floor and we could hear them occasionally when we were in the hallways. But never, never did we hear the dogs in our room. It was wonderful.
The only minor gripes I have are these – the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash provided by the hotel dried out my skin and hair terribly and I was not a fan. That, and the view was pretty blah… but we were on the first floor and didn’t pay for a nice view so that was fine.
For this section, I’m talking about the theme park perks mostly. We were in the parks so much we didn’t use many of the other available amenities, although there were plenty! We also took our some food from one of the on-site restaurants, but I’ll talk about that in my Universal Dining post in a few weeks.
Loews Royal Pacific has all the basic expected perks of a hotel:
- Conference Room
- Fitness Center
And so-on and so-forth. Parking is not included at Loews Royal Pacific and costs $28/day if you are choosing to park on-site. The hotel provides a shuttle service to and from the airport for an additional fee. If you’re staying at Lowes Royal Pacific and aren’t planning to wander around Orlando or Kissimmee, you don’t need to have a car. Why? Because it’s a ten minute walk to the parks and City Walk.
Or, if you prefer, it’s also a quick boat ride.
While walking was definitely quicker most the time, we enjoyed taking the ferry boat so we opted to do that almost all the time. There was always plenty of seating for everyone, and no two parties had to share seating. The ride was smooth and pleasant every day, and I recommend taking advantage of that boat to save your feet just that little bit before going to the parks.
Hands down, the biggest perk was the Express Pass. Nobody in the entire world enjoys queueing, and there’s something wonderful about being able to skip past a line and wait for five minutes… or, usually, walk right on the ride. As many times as you want! This is a huge difference from Disney (I will be griping about Disney in its own special post in a few months). It made the experience so much more enjoyable.
Hotel guests also have access to special hours and are able to get into Harry Potter world early. This would make a big difference if you have your heart set on Hagrid’s Flying Motorbike, which gets a big line. We didn’t take advantage of this perk, although I can see its benefit! I will have a whole post in about a month about She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Universal Studios.
Checking out was even easier than checking in! We didn’t need to do anything but pack our bags and leave and it checked us out automatically. However, if a guest preferred to do it manually, they could email, text, or visit the front desk.
We checked into the hotel on a Wednesday and everything was a breeze and the lobby was empty. However, we checked out on a Sunday and wow what a difference in traffic! It was so nice we didn’t have to go to the front desk to check out, because that gave us more time to get on the road and over to Hollywood Studios.
We did not use the bell service at Loews Royal Pacific, but it is available! We pack fairly light – one suitcase and a carry on (but just so we can bring home souvenirs) so don’t require the service. The bellhops we saw pushing ferries filed with luggage were all very courteous and made sure to smile. All in all, a pleasant experience.
I would absolutely stay at Loews Royal Pacific if we were to go down to Universal Studios again. It makes the list of one of the best hotels I’ve visited, easily in the top three. The staff was amazing, the room was great, and the amenities are exactly the sort of thing we would love to have at any theme park hotel.
Loews Royal Pacific was a wonderful start of our trip and we are glad to have stayed there!