Loews Portofino Bay: It quickly became one of my favorite resorts we have ever had the pleasure of visiting.
So what can you expect when you stay at this Italian themed getaway?
As soon as entered through the doors, we felt like we had been transported to Italy. The attention to detail and decor can not be overlooked.
Upon check-in we received our room keys, which also doubled as our express passes. That’s right, when you stay at Portofino Bay you will received free expresses passes. These will let you skip the line of every ride the theme park has to offer. For us, this was the main reason we decided to stay on property. Express passes alone cost $100 each, but when you stay on property you will get to skip the crowds the day you check in AND the day you check out.
After relaxing in the lobby for a bit, we made our way to our room. Everything about it felt luxurious.
I was thrilled to see this beautiful desk that overlooked the bay. It truly was a bloggers dream!
We took advantage of the comfortable robes at night, as we drank wine and took in the view from outside our window.
My favorite feature of Portofino Bay is the breathtaking view. The harbor makes you forget that you are actually in Orlando, not Italy.
It’s also clear how much thought went into creating the architecture and theme. Every hall we walked through was decked out and reminded us of Italy.
I had plans to eat at the parks every day, but the food at the resort made that nearly impossible. Our first night we popped over to the Sal’s Market Deli, which was conveniently located right below our room. We opted to try their Salvatore pizza and we could see why it is so popular.
We returned the next day because we had been so impressed the night before. This time, we decided to split their HUGE signature calzone. I thought the pizza couldn’t be beat, but this calzone instantly became my new favorite.
We didn’t have time to check out every eatery the resort had to offer, but we plan on trying them out on our next visit. Some of the other restaurant include:
Mama Della’s Ristorante
The Thirsty Fish
Giving The People What They Want
Considering there is a Starbucks on almost every corner, I know I can’t be the only one who has a serious coffee addiction. Portofino Bay made sure I got the caffeine I needed every morning. On the right side of the resort there is a full functioning Starbucks location(which is connected to their gelato shop).
We made sure to grab a cup of coffee to start our day out on the right foot.
As if there wasn’t already enough to check out, this resort holds even more hidden treasures.
The water taxi is arguably the biggest perk of staying on property. You can hop onto Universal Studios water taxi throughout the day. It runs every 15 minutes until 2:30am. This boat will take you directly to the entrance of Universal. There is also a 10 minute walking trail if you want to get to the park by foot.
I’m disappointed to say that we didn’t find the time to experience it ourselves on this past trip, but Loews offers a gorgeous pool area, complete with 3 pools and a bar.
Your little ones will love this arcade located across from the pool. It is filled with entertaining games that you can play while you take a break from the crowded parks.
We might be the only ones who really care about this, but we were thrilled to see that the lobby has a game of checkers waiting for you. We went to the lobby after we got drinks at the bar. It was fun to end our long day with a competitive game of checkers.
I was in denial as we packed our bags and ended our vacation. Portofino Bay far exceeded any expectations I had before our visit.
Though I want to try every Universal resort, I will have a hard time staying away from this magical hideaway. If you are considering staying on property, I can promise you that this Italian themed hotel is worth the investment.
Have you ever stayed at Portofino Bay? How was your experience?