We’re making our first UOR trip next year, and debating which resort would be the best fit. Family of five, and traveling during a holiday week so Express Pass will be important. As I understand it, here are the main differences (aside from theme)
Royal Pacific Resort:
-Location to IOA, and to a lesser extent VB.
-Short walk to Citywalk.
-My favorite theme/vibe of the three.
-Smallest standard rooms.
-Only one sink.
-No waterslide at the pool.
-Largest standard rooms, with two sinks.
-Best sit down restaurants.
-Excellent pool area.
-Size; depending on your room location you could be a long way from the main pool.
-The theme is lovely but something about the urbanism of it bothers me. I think after being in the parks all day it would be nice to return to a resort with more greenery.
-Location. Best overall proximity to IOA, USF, and Citywalk.
-Awesome pool with the longest waterslide.
-Standard rooms are average size, with two sinks.
-Love the spanish style architecture with the abundance of palm trees.
-I’m not sure if this is a con or not… but hows the volume on the music? Are they blasting it by the pool or is it just right?
-The music theme… I guess not really a con, I can take it or leave it.
While there are price differences, they are fairly negligible in the grand scheme of things. With five of us two sinks is important, and kids love a waterslide (ok fine, so do their parents). Based on that, Royal Pacific is out, despite the appealing theme. Right now I’m putting Hard Rock above Portofino; location beats the larger room size.
Great analysis here! I think you hit on all the main points.
I found the theming so relaxing and serene! It’s worth a visit even if you don’t stay there. Also the walking around the resort isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. I would 100% stay here again.
The only thing I’d add is that this one seems the most run down of the three. It needs a significant refurb, including adding a slide to the pool. I’ve never stayed but I’ve walked around and I loved the vibe there.
I don’t like loud music and I don’t remember being bothered by it. In any case I slept really well.
Overall, I don’t think you can really go wrong. Go with the best price. If you have little kids, being closer is a huge boon, so I would default to HRH. Otherwise, PBR is the best overall experience, IMO.
Kids will be between the ages of 14 and 11 so they can handling walking just fine. But man that convenience from HRH is hard to beat. I can see us being at IOA and wanting to do the soaking water rides. “hey, lets run back to the room and change real quick”!
I enjoy loud music in small doses. Just not all day, all week. Especially after the constant stimulation in the parks; I mean, that’s great! But it’s also nice to retreat to some calm.
One other note, PBR will be undergoing renovations so it’s hard to know how much that will impact the experience.
At those ages, I’d pick HRH every time (I would anyway ). I don’t remember the music by the pool being excessively loud, they do play music in the lobby too which can be quite loud but it’s not like you’ll be hanging out there.
I’ve stayed at all 3 hotels. I didn’t notice HRH being loud at all. For convenience HRH cannot be beat. Even though RPR is closer to IOA, it’s on the other side of the lagoon, and the walk felt long. Also, while PBH does have two sinks, for most rooms, both of the sinks are in the same room as the toilet and shower. In some rooms they closed off the toilet so it’s in its own space, but the shower is still in the big bathroom.
We’ve stayed at HRH twice now and are going back this December. We love the short walk to the parks. The rooms are a nice size for a family of four. I particularly like the sink and vanity area outside the bathroom with the toilet, sink and shower. It made getting ready in the morning much more convenient. We never found it overly loud in the rooms or at the pool.
Just a counter to this, my kids absolutely loved the pool at PFB. I think it would be a hard choice for them if I asked them to decide. But the walk would probably win out. I’m glad we’ve tried both, though.
I’ve never stayed at the 3 Premier hotels, but I go to UOR regularly. I have been inside & dined at ALL of them. HRH is the “family” hotel of the 3. You’ll see many families running around. The dinning is family friendly with The Kitchen - breakfast buffet and on Wed. / Fri. nights they have tableside magicians going around to the tables.
HRH looks like a roman colosseum. It’s very impressive. Your kids will get a big WOW factor when they enter. (Assuming that you don’t stay at 5 star hotels / Première hotels on every trip!! )
I sincerely appreciate all of the feedback. Some great little tidbits in this thread I wasn’t aware of. Sounds like HRH will be the best choice. I mean… let’s be honest and of the premier hotels will result in a pleasant stay. But dang… if I’m paying premier prices it’s nice to know I’m choosing the best option for us!
Hard Rock Hotel for convenience (and it’s the smallest resort so less crowds which I prefer). I never noticed pool noise but have never had a pool facing room. It is the best slide.
Portofino is the prettiest. You’re really transported here and the rooms are huge so if you’re putting five in a single ordinary room I’d recommend this over Hard Rock (but if you’re gonna get one of the bigger rooms at Hard Rock then you’ll be alright).
I’m gonna add the best Italian food I’ve ever had anywhere. Mama Della’s is the best and I try to go every visit. (I did have a mediocre experience during HHN. They contacted me IMMEADIATELY that night. They invited me back that week for a free meal with anything I wanted later that week. I ate like a KING! )
They also sing Oprea at every table at Mama Della’s. They ask you for a genre of music like jazz or rock and sing a song in Italian that fits. They even take requests. I asked for “Unchained Melody” from the Righteous Brothers last time. It was beautiful!