You get a South Seas feel the moment you step on the Royal Pacific Resort property. It is green and lush, and the decoration details are beautiful.
Katarina and I stayed in a standard queen room. The beds were soft and comfortable, and the pillows were perfect. I could have slept in for hours in that bed if we didn't have a busy schedule of fun planned each day. They also have king rooms and suites if you need more room during your stay.
The bamboo screen detail on the dividing wall was nice. It fits the theme of the decor, but it also made the sink area of the bathroom feel larger with the natural light being able to filter in from the bedroom.
Because we were visiting at Christmas, the hotel was decorated for the holidays, but the South Seas decor and charm still shone through.
Orchids are everywhere in the Royal Pacific Resort. Between the lobby and the Orchid Court Lounge is an outdoor orchid court with over 400 orchids, representing 20-30 species, surrounding a gorgeous fountain.
It is serene and beautiful.
Katarina and I sat by the fountain each night, talking about our day, and using the free wifi that can be accessed in the lobby areas and poolside.
There are several dining options at the Royal Pacific. We ate breakfast at the Islands Dining Room breakfast buffet. The eggs, bacon, and sausage were great, and they had cereals and just about every breakfast food you could think of, but my favorite section was breads and pastries.
On Saturday night we wanted to relax after a full day at the parks. It seemed like a good opportunity to try one of the on-site restaurants: Emeril Lagasse's Tchoup Chop, Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar, Jake's American Bar, or Bula Bar & Grille.
Ultimately we chose the Bula Bar & Grille. It is the most casual of the dining choices, and is located by the pool. My friend Lee and I split the most amazing plate of nachos. I don't have a picture for you, because we scarfed them down without even thinking of cameras, but I can promise that the plate was huge, the toppings were piled high, and the taste was wonderful.
The pool. Here's something fun. Every night at 8pm, they set up a huge screen by the volleyball net, and show a kid-friendly movie. You can watch it from the Bula Bar & Grille, the lounge chairs by the pool, or from inside the pool itself. The night we ate at the Bula Bar, they showed Elf, which is always a great choice.
During the day, the pool is nice, too. It has a fun play area for kids with shooting and streaming water. The pool is lagoon-style, which is great for younger kids.
They also have hot tubs, a beach volleyball court, and you can rent private pool-side cabanas.
In the evenings there is a nightly torch lighting ceremony with fire dancers, and a weekly Wantilan Luau with authentic Polynesian food and a Hawaiian dinner show on the white sand beaches.
From the Royal Pacific you can take a water taxi, or there is a short walkway that leads to Islands of Adventure, making it easy to access the theme parks and CityWalk. We used the water taxis several times, but I really enjoyed the lovely path on the walkway.
Staying at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort was a wonderful experience. I was impressed with the helpfulness of all of the staff, the beautiful decor, and the comfort of the room. It was an amazing weekend, and I really felt I was vacationing far away from Orlando, even though I was really just down the street from home.
The biggest benefits of staying at an on-site resort is the Universal Express Unlimited ride access and Early Park Admission to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. When we were there, using the express access turned a 45 minute line at The Incredible Hulk ride into a 5 minute wait. That early park admission is awesome, too. We used the extra hour to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Saturday morning, and even though that is one of the busiest days at the park, we did not have long waits for rides or attractions.
Loews already has two other resort hotels on Universal Orlando property, the Portofino Bay Hotel and the Hard Rock Hotel. Loews and Universal recently announced that they will be adding a forth hotel, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort to this list.
The Cabana Bay will have a retro feel, and will provide a value priced option for families. I drove by the construction site the weekend I visited Universal, and it looked very fun. Reservations will open on March 31, 2014.
No matter which Loews resort hotel you choose, staying on-site at Universal Resort Orlando is a great option that will enhance your vacation. The Vacation Planner will help you plan the perfect adventure for your family, and chose the hotel that will best fit your needs.
*I was given media tickets to attend the Universal Orlando Family Blogger Press Trip, and was not compensated in any other way. I was not required to write this blog post or say nice things about our trip or the resort.