The Loews Royal Pacific Resort (in Detail)

When King and I were doing research for this trip, I found a HUGE lack of information on personal sites.  Everyone out there has blog posts and reviews of the Disney properties, but trying to find out something about Universal was like pulling teeth out of a angry cat’s mouth.

Because of this, I wanted to write a few detailed blog posts about specific parts of our trip.  My first detailed post is on our hotel.

King really wanted to stay on property, because at Universal your room key serves as your “Express Pass”  (a $40 value per person – limited number sold per day) and Islands of Adventure was opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour early for on property guests.  The “number” for the Day was 3 (at Touring Plans) – but that is VERY different than the Harry Potter area – I would say that was a 7 or 8.  The main ride was a 90 minute wait, while the rest of the park we could walk right onto rides.  So, because Harry Potter was our main focus – staying on property made sense.

The Loews Royal Pacific Resort (hereafter called “Loews”) claimed to have a 7 minute walk to the main gate, but also has a Water Taxi to CityWalk.  We left the hotel early on Friday morning and found the walk very pleasant.  The end of the day was just as easy – we didn’t even go for the Water Taxi, but went ahead and walked straight back.

the walkway underneath the main road

Upon first glance, Loews is a beautiful hotel.  The outside is well manicured – though more up to a Country Club standard – as opposed to Disney standard.  (For instance, there was an orange flipflop floating in the front water area for the entire duration of our stay…)  The walkways are clean leading to the inside, and it was very family friendly.

The front water feature, where the Orange Flip-Flop resides.

decorations on the front walkway

the opening walkway

The front door of Loews

We chose valet parking, but even if you self-park you will unload under the front overhang.  Valets will help you unload your car and take the luggage cart inside, to a holding area where a Bellhop will retrieve it after you check in.  I can’t see any way to avoid this, so I recommended having a few $1 or $5 bills for tips on hand when you arrive.  The Valets that helped us were extremely friendly and didn’t mind the kids running around under their feet.

Also, later when I realized the diapers had been left in the car – one of the Valets took me on a shuttle out to the Valet parking lot and waited with me as I pulled the diapers out of the trunk, then made SURE the truck was locked before driving me back to the front of the hotel.  Currently, Valet Parking is $22 per day (with re-parking privileges) and self-parking is $15 per day.  The extra $7 is worth it, especially if the weather is rainy or cold.

The lobby of Loews is absolutely stunning.  There is a beautiful water garden area, where the kids were playing while King and I checked in.  There were multiple stations with offerings of pink lemonade and cups of ice.  The Concierge desk was hidden in the back corner, but we found it when we needed it.

B10 outside near the water garden

Large glass windows surround the water garden, so the lobby is full of sunlight.

The Lobby Women's Bathroom

drinking pink lemonade

The front desk staff was wonderful.  I would say the girl we dealt with was on a Disney/Nordstrom level of customer service.  She asked us our preference for free newspaper (Orlando Sentinel is standard, but you can request USA Today) and made sure our names were spelled right.

checking in

As soon as she started with the room keys, she began handing out gifts.  The “catch phrase” is that Loews Loves Kids.  I didn’t realize they have a relationship with Fisher Price until the handfuls of items started being passed over.

Each child received a very fancy coloring book with triangle shaped crayons (so they didn’t roll off the tables).  The girls (Princess and GO) each received a DVD of two Princess Movies.  GO received a CD of Nighttime Lullaby Songs.  THEN she pulled out two Little People Toys (like the ones that go for $5-7 at Wal-Mart/Target).  She offered us more, but that seemed like enough.

Fisher Price Little People (one for GO and one for Princess - Princess gave GO her's at the end of the trip).

VERY nice coloring/activity books

first batch of gifts

DVDs and CD

When we arrived at the room, GO’s crib was delivered.  Inside was a Johnson & Johnson Travel Pack (with shampoo, lotion, body wash, diaper rash cream & baby powder) & a cute door hanger.

gifts delivered in the crib (they did also offer a Pack-in-Play option)

As I was unpacking the crib (with fancy sheets and a bumper pad) I saw a colored flyer.  It was a list of Fisher Price toys we could “borrow” during our stay for GO.  I checked off three items and delivered the flyer to the Concierge.

An hour later GO received a potty chair (which I somehow did NOT get a picture of), a huge playhouse and a push lawnmower.  She enjoyed playing with them during our stay, and they offered to exchange the toys every day – or bring us more.  The list was extensive and included DVDs to borrow, toys, books and board games for older kids.

the Fisher Price House and Lawn Mower

Hubby playing with GO

Each of our rooms had a Keurig Coffee Maker with Emeril’s coffee (plus two types of tea).  Hubby, Queen and I enjoyed these fresh cups of coffee (supply replenished daily) and we heated plain water up and gave the kids hot chocolate (I brought packets from home).

Kuerig Coffee Maker

Decaf Coffee by Emeril

Room Service and the restaurants inside the hotel are expensive.  King and Queen spent more on breakfast at the hotel then at The Three Broomsticks restaurant INSIDE the park!  If you have the money, the food is good – but for us, I packed fresh fruit for breakfast and the hot chocolate/coffee to drink.  For dinner on the first night we made sandwiches (with the rest of our sandwich fixings from our lunch picnic).  The second night we ordered pizza, calzones and salad from a Pizza Restaurant that slipped a menu under our door.  B10 wanted to try the sushi, but I’m not dropping that kind of cash for the atmosphere when he’s not old enough to appreciate it!  By the same token DO NOT drink the bottled water!  (It’s $7 per bottle for Fuji water – yes, the Orlando City water tastes like Sulfur, but it’s easier to bring a 24 pack from your local grocery store.  And the hotel understands, and doesn’t bat an eye.)

The pool is kept warm during the winter, so you can swim year-round…BUT it IS outside, so cold-natured kids will become chilled quickly.  They have lifeguards on duty (during posted hours) and plenty of pool toys (the kids didn’t fight over who got what), plenty of towels and a large station of reading material for the adults forced to sit in a chair while the kids are in the water.

As far as soundproofing goes, we were in an adjoining room – so we could hear things in the Royals’ room (worse for them – as they could hear GO crying when she woke up during the night that CW was sick and calling for me every hour).  But, we couldn’t hear anything else, so the walls/floor/ceiling that we shared with other guests seemed very soundproof.

WiFi is free in the hotel lobby, but costs (at this time) $10 per 24 hours per computer (we had 3 laptops in our room).  Personally, it is vacation, so we were trying to be internet free, but I would have sat in one of the comfy chairs or benches in the lobby if I REALLY needed to check my email.

Overall, if I was going to Orlando strictly for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this hotel would be where I would stay.  But, if I was going to Orlando for Walt Disney World, then staying on Disney property (or on the main strip) would make more sense.

If anyone reading this would like more information, or have specific questions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to answer.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Okay, that is just plain cool… the Fisher Price toys??? AWESOME! So glad y’all had a wonderful trip with the Royals (minus CW being sick of course)…

    Reply

  2. Posted by Boo on 10 01 11 at 10:46 pm

    Very cool!! The toys are a very nice touch. That is a great idea for an upscale hotel to be a little more family friendly. Thanks for the info. You never know when someone will ask, or if we need it 🙂 – Boo

    Reply

  3. Posted by Hubby on 10 01 11 at 10:48 pm

    The Concierge also was great when I was trying to find out where to get tires Saturday morning before we left. I ended up at Tire Kingdom and they made sure that they got me directions that did NOT include toll roads.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Ashley McLure on 11 01 11 at 10:17 am

    Very nice! Good info if I need to stay at a hotel in the area.

    Reply

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