What a UNIVERSAL Destination…
I am excited about this newsletter because this is the first time I am writing about something that has changed so much since I had previously been there. As with all high school band students, the trip to Walt Disney World® to showcase your talents was something I really looked forward to doing. On my 1994 band trip, our group also had a chance to head over to Universal Studios® for the day. At that time It was not a large park by any means, but the rides were thrilling.
When an opportunity to attend a travel agent conference at Universal Orlando® came up, I quickly took the opportunity and booked my room at the on-property Loews Royal Pacific Resort. It took all of two seconds to convince my husband to come down with me for a few days so we could run around the parks like teenagers. But I will get to that a bit later.
Since my band adventures 23 years ago, Universal Orlando® is now a destination. With five on-property hotels, two theme parks, and CityWalk™, shopping, restaurants, and activities, there is so much to keep you occupied that it is hard figuring out where to start. They are also opening their own waterpark, Volcano Bay™ next week, and building another hotel, Adventura set to open soon. Again, it is no longer just a theme park, it is a destination.
Seeing all of this “destination” while pulling up to our resort was confusing for me, but the moment we stepped out of our transfer from the airport, the Loews Royal Pacific Resort made us feel like we stepped into the French Polynesia. Lush greens, waterfalls, blue water, tiki torches, and animal totems. Everyone says “aloha,” and the lobby and check-in are very welcoming with all the natural light that floods in. Our room was exceptional clean, and large for two people. Since we were staying at this particular property, we had access to the Unlimited Express Pass for the parks, and boat transportation to take us to the parks and CityWalk™.
The resort offered plenty of dining options from burgers and salads at Jake’s American Bar to top notch cuisine at the Emeril’s restaurant, Tchoup Chop. The pool area was much larger than I expected. The main pool itself was long and curvy, with a separate kid splash area. There were plenty of chairs around the pool area so you didn’t feel like you had to claim your space. Seeing a state of art fitness center was something that I had not seen before at any resort I have stayed. When I say state of the art, I mean several treadmills, elliptical machines, weights, etc, and you they had an attendant on hand to make sure the equipment was clean. For a rainy day with the kids, the game room would be able to keep them occupied for a few hours.
My overall impression of the resort was that it was quite large, but when I was attending the conference, it felt even larger. The conference space that our travel agent group was in took up an entire wing, and there were two other conferences going on while we were there. I didn’t venture to see where they were meeting, but I imagine that area was quite large also.
Being that I was extremely curious how the other resorts faired in comparison to the Loews Royal Pacific, I checked out each resort. I loved them all for different reasons, but one thing they all had in common was that they will not disappoint. They all offered a different vacationing experience, and depending on the needs of your family, I can say with confidence that I will be able to pair the hotel perfectly for your family’s Universal Orlando® vacation needs.
Stay tuned for my next article where I will get into the difference in the theme parks since 23 years ago, until then, remember…Life is Better Traveling.
Loews Portofino Bay
Hard Rock Hotel
Loews Saffire Falls
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All Photos in this article taken by Mary Yohannan