Best Guide To Universal Orlando Resort Hotels For Families

A young girl holds out a hand to Spiderman, who does the same at Universal Orlando.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Your next magical vacation could be to one of these wonderful options on our Guide To Universal Orlando Hotels For Families! With unique themes, fantastic pools, and tasty dining options, each Universal Orlando Resort hotel promises families a fun stay near the parks. As a plus, staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel also gives guests a variety of perks. Enjoy the chance to skip the line, early park admission, bus transportation, and more. But, when it comes to staying at a Universal Orlando Resort, the hard part is choosing which hotel is right for you. Here, we’ve explained the difference between each hotel, including the different categories, and also what to expect when staying there with kids. With options to fit every budget, we’re sure you’ll find something you love. Keep reading for the Best Guide To Universal Orlando Hotels For Families!

Resort Categories

A large African-American family sits around a table eating dinner at one the best hotels for families at Universal Orlanda.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort
Loews Portofino Bay Resort

Universal Orlando Resort hotels are separated into four categories. Each resort offers an array of rooms to choose from for families. Not to mention, the perks you will receive when staying in the different resorts. Keep reading to find out which Universal Orlando hotels are right for families! 

Premier Category

The premier category is the most expensive of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels. Three resorts fall into this category: Loews Portofino Bay Resort, Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Families that stay here will also benefit from many perks. Expect Universal Express Unlimited (skip the regular line) access to park rides, early park admission, boat and bus transportation, priority seating at select dining sites throughout the parks, and complimentary merchandise delivery to your hotel. 

Preferred Category

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is the only resort that falls into the preferred category. Though you won’t have access to the same amount of perks as the premier category, this is still a great option for a more affordable vacation. Then, families will find boat and bus transportation to parks and early park admission. Plus, complimentary merchandise delivery to your hotel. However, you will not receive Universal Express Unlimited access or priority seating at select restaurants. 

Prime Value

Looking to save money on your next Orlando family vacation? Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort are both considered prime value Universal Orlando Resort hotels. Perks include early park admission, walking or bus transportation, and proximity to Universal’s Volcano Bay, a water theme park. Not to mention, complimentary merchandise delivery to your hotel.

Value

Finally, if you’re really looking to save money on your vacation, opt for the Value Category. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites & Dockside Inn and Suites, and Dockside Inn and Suites fall into this category. Families can take advantage of the free transportation, early park admission, and complimentary merchandise delivery to your hotel. 

Selecting Your Location

Three kids sit on hotel beds, while staying at Dockside Inn and Suites at Universal Orlando.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

Location is one of the key benefits of a stay on-site at Universal. The proximity to the parks will reduce the stress of driving and parking while also maximizing your time in the parks. Some of the resorts are close enough to walk. However, others take advantage of the free transportation provided by Universal Orlando. 

Universal Park Perks

A Harry Potter-themed roller coaster races around a track to face a three-headed dog.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

If your family wants to get a head start into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then you can do this with early park admission, a perk of staying in an on-site Universal Orlando Resort. Other perks include Universal Express Unlimited (only offered at Premier Resorts), merchandise delivery to your hotel, and free transportation to and from the parks. Access to these perks is a great reason to stay at one of the best Universal Orlando Resort hotels for families!

Best Universal Resorts for Families

Now that you know the perks of staying at Universal Resort, you can read our tips on the best Universal Resorts for families! 

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

A view of the colorful Loews Portofino Bay Resort from across the water.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Reserve your stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando with Booking.com here!

Book your family’s stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando using Priceline today.

If you’ve ever dreamed of vacationing in Italy while simultaneously enjoying theme parks, then Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is the answer you are looking for. Portofino is situated right on a lagoon and has cobblestone streets and towering Cyprus trees, featuring everything you would expect to see in the countryside of Italy. If you have a minion lover in your family, then you may want to consider getting a Despicable Me suite for your stay. Certainly, kids will love minion-themed beds! Finally, parents will love a little bit of privacy with a separate room!

Why Families Love It 

Staying at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel brings amazing park perks, from the Universal Express Unlimited access pass to receiving your merchandise directly at your hotel. Take advantage of the free boat and bus transportation to and from the parks, plus priority seating at participating restaurants. Portofino Bay also offers families 3 pools. The most popular and kid-friendly option is the Beach Pool. It also features a Roman Aqueduct-themed water slide and a sandy beach. Parents will appreciate the two hot tubs for a little relaxation, the on-site spa, and the many shopping sites for Italian resort wear and Universal merchandise. And, if you really want to eat like an Italian, don’t miss Bice Ristorante or Mama Della’s Ristorante. You may even get to experience some Italian music and song! What could be better than ending your days listening to live music while enjoying gelato?  

Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando

A view of the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando illuminated at night.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Book your stay at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando using Hotel.com now.

Reserve a room at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando using Travelocity now.

Is rockin’ out on vacation your idea of fun? Hip families should consider a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando! Rock fanatics will love the rock n roll memorabilia spread throughout the resort. Then, future rock stars in your family can feel like they’ve made it big by staying in one of the rock-star-themed suites. Aspiring musicians can even consider renting out a guitar during their stay. Yes, you can jam out with your own rented guitar while staying at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando! 

Why Families Love It  

At the Hard Rock Hotel, a 12,000 square-foot pool will keep kids swimming all day long. Families will also love relaxing poolside with some of their favorite tunes playing in the background. There are also 2 hot tubs, ideal for parents after a long day exploring the parks. Additionally, there are 4 restaurants to choose from. Try The Palm Restaurant if you’re looking for a good steak dinner! When it comes to amenities, families will love the perks that come with staying here. Enjoy Universal Express Unlimited access to rides, merchandise delivery, priority seating at participating restaurants, easy access to Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure through free transportation on-site. 

Taking a trip to Disney soon? Check out our Best Tips for Visiting Disney World with Young Kids.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

An aerial view of the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, featuring beautiful, lush grounds, and an airplane on the water.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Book your family’s stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando using Priceline today.

Research your stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando by using Hotels.com.

You don’t have to take a long journey to experience the South Pacific. Instead, the South Pacific comes to you at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Between the swaying palm trees, South Pacific-inspired décor, and warm weather, families will feel as if they’ve just been swept away to a tropical island! Additionally, with 1,000 guest rooms, including 51 suites, you’ll have plenty of accommodations to choose from. Finally, for any budding paleontologist in the family, be sure to book one of the Jurassic World themed kids’ suites.

Why Families Love It   

Several kids jump from a play pirate ship at the children's pool at Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

With two hot tubs and surrounding cabanas, the zero-entry pool with a sandy beach is a perfect way to unwind after a day in the parks. If you really want to get in the South Pacific spirit, then stop by the Treasures of Bali store and get outfitted in perfect island wear. Families will also love the dining options at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. If you want to hit the parks early and only have time for a quick bite, then Tuk Tuk Market is your choice If perhaps South Pacific-inspired cuisine is more appealing, then enjoy a meal at Islands Dining Room. Like the other two premier hotels, families can also enjoy added benefits like early admissions to the parks, merchandise delivery, etc. Finally, Universal Express Unlimited is also included at Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

The large pool with water slide at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, resort buildings can be seen in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Book your family’s stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort with Hotels.com here!

Reserve your room at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort with Expedia today!

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has families in mind and offers one of the best stays at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel. With the ’50s and ‘60s retro-theming and wonderful amenities, families will love everything the resort has to offer. Then, larger families will love taking advantage of over 900 family suites that can sleep up to 6. Meanwhile, others may want to stay in one of the standard rooms. Regardless of which room you choose, you can also enjoy proximity to the parks through the dedicated walkway for hotel guests to Universal’s Volcano Bay, or use the free Universal transportation.

Why Families Love It   

Featuring two massive pools, a lazy river, and a 10-lane bowling alley, it may be hard to actually leave the resort for the parks. So, if your fingers are pruning and the kids need a break from the water, then enjoy one of many billiard tables located around the pool or head inside for some bowling. If casual dining is in the plans, then make sure to take advantage of the many casual spots located on-site. Parents will love having Starbucks on-site, so they can properly prepare for a long day in the parks. Certainly, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is one of the best Universal Orlando hotels for families!

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

The exterior of the Aventura Resort at Universal Orlando at night.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Research your family’s stay at Universal’s Aventura Hotel with Booking.com today!

Reserve your stay at Universal’s Aventura Hotel with Priceline.com here!

Minimalist families will love the sleek, modern look and décor of the Universal’s Aventura Hotel. It’s a wonderful low-key resort that’ll instantly get you into relaxation mode after a long day in the parks. All the rooms have iPads that control everything while also giving you all the information you’ll need for your day in the parks. Finally, Universal’s Aventura Hotel is located within walking distance, by way of a dedicated walkway for hotel guests, to Universal’s Volcano Bay, a water theme park. Plus, it is an easy bus drive to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  

Why Families Love It  

Inside one of the chic, but classically designed rooms at Aventura Hotel, featuring two beds and a view of Universal Orlando through the window.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

The pool at Universal’s Aventura Hotel is a bit smaller than the other resorts, but it does have a splash zone for younger kids. Families will also find a lovely fire pit at the pool with Adirondack chairs. It’s a great place to relax together and recount your favorite ride of the day at the parks. At the end of the day, also make sure to grab a bite at the rooftop bar, Bar 17 Bistro, where you can take in amazing views of the surrounding parks while relaxing. Staying at Universal’s Aventura Hotel will also allow you to take advantage of the free transportation as well as early hour access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort- Surfside Inn and Suites & Dockside Inn and Suites 

An aerial view of Universal's Endless Summer Resort, featuring large resort buildings, a pool, and a waterfront location.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Looking for a suite at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites? Book with Expedia or Priceline here!

Ready to book your stay at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites? Compare prices from Hotels.com or Expedia today!

Budget-conscious families will love their stay at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort- Surfside Inn and Suites. Or, the sister resort, Dockside Inn and Suites. Combined, the resorts offer a total of 2800 rooms, almost half of which are two-bedroom suites ideal for larger families. A stay here also comes with park perks. In fact, you’ll get free Universal transportation and early park entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Why Families Love It  

The cozy pool at Dockside Inn and Suites at Universal Orlando, with resort buildings in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

Both resorts offer large pools, splash pads, and also ample seating, ideal for relaxing your tired feet. Families will also find plenty of dining options for quick-service meals to enjoy after a tiring day in the parks. Shuttle buses are available to take you to Universal Orlando theme parks. 

For more tips, read our Disney World With Kids Multi-Trip Itinerary!

Happy Travels!  

A roller coaster speeds along a track with happy kids on board at the Universal Parks.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Orlando Resort

We hope you liked this Guide To Universal Orlando Resort Hotels For Families! Whether you’re looking for a huge pool, spacious rooms, or other kid-friendly amenities, there’s surely an option for you. Enjoy Orlando with your kids!

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community. 

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Alison Netzer

Hi, I'm Alison Netzer, mom to three amazing kids, wife, and dog mom to two highly-spirited chocolate labs. I currently reside in Baltimore, MD USA where I work as a travel planner specializing in Disney vacations and other locations. I'm a travel blogger and avid traveler. When not planning someone else adventure, you can find me planning our next worldly, family adventure.