We Stayed At One of Universal’s FANCIEST Resorts

When it comes to picking your accommodations for a trip to Orlando, you’ll be faced with a lot of choices.

Welcome to Portofino Bay

Do you want to stay near Disney World or Universal? How much are you willing to spend — do you want a budget hotel or something a little more luxurious?

If the answers to those two questions are Universal and luxurious, we’re we’ve got a treat for you!

It’s no secret that we’ve already fallen in love with Universal Orlando’s Portofino Bay — we might even pick it over Disney World’s deluxe hotels! We recently stayed there again and enjoyed its restaurants, pools, amenities, and room.

Resort Atmosphere

The hotel’s theme is that it’s set in an Italian seaside village, Portofino Bay.

So scenic!

The theme just makes you feel like relaxing with lots of beautiful and open spaces. It’s dedicated to “la dolce vita,” aka the sweet life, and when you stay here, you feel like you’re enjoying just that.

SO calm and relaxing

Speaking of the sweet life, guests of the hotel also get exclusive Universal benefits, including a free Universal Express Unlimited Pass to skip lines at attractions.

Universal Express Unlimited Pass

It’s also close enough to Universal Orlando Resort that guests can walk to the parks, but there are also complimentary water taxis and shuttle buses.

Water taxi to Universal

So this is a beautiful resort that is also well-located.


You’ll also find several stores here, including L’Ancora, Universal Store, and Le Memories de Portofino.


So there are plenty of shopping opportunities.

Pools And Spa

There are three pools, The Beach Pool, The Hillside Pool, and The Villa Pool.

One of three pools

For a little pampering, you can visit the Mandara Spa.


When it comes to dining, the hotel offers a little something for everyone. For fine dining, there’s Mama Della’s Ristorante and Bice Ristorante.

Bice Ristorante

For a more casual dining experience, there’s Trattoria del Porto, Splendido Bar & Grill, and Sal’s Market Deli.

Sal’s Market Deli

Fancy a drink? Head on over to The Thirsty Fish. Or if it’s a morning or afternoon pick-me-up you’re after, there’s also a Starbucks on-site. You can also enjoy some delicious gelato at the Gelateria.

Room Tour

We stayed in Villa 3531, which is a Standard Bay View Queen Room.

Let’s head into our room!

The first thing you see when you walk inside is a short hallway that leads to the main part of the room.


Just to the right is a table with a mirror above it.

Mirror and table

This table holds a coffee maker and ice bucket.

Coffee and ice bucket

The ice bucket also has a tray beneath it.

Ice bucket and tray

The coffee station features a Keurig coffee maker, K-cups with coffee and tea, disposable cups, cream, sugar, and stirrers.


Right next to this table is a closet. You’ll find hangers in here, along with…

The closet

…an extra blanket…

Extra blanket

…a robe…

Fluffy robe

,,,a luggage rack…

Luggage rack

…an iron and ironing board…

Iron and ironing board

…and a safe.


To the right is the bathroom — as you can see, it’s quite spacious.

The bathroom

There’s a huge mirror and two sinks, with lots of counter space for your stuff.

HUGE mirror

The sinks have silver faucets and tap.


In the middle are some hotel amenities (soaps and lotions), along with facial tissue and extra washcloths.


The container has extra cotton balls.

Need cotton balls?

Underneath are extra hand and bath towels, along with a blowdryer and bath mat.


Here’s a closer look at the blowdryer.


There’s extra space underneath the cabinets for additional storage.

Extra space

You’ll find the toilet just to the left of the sinks.


The furthest wall has a walk-in shower with bath towels just within reach on a bar beside it.

Walk-in shower

The shower has a tall showerhead, as well as shampoo, conditioner, and a basket to hold soap.


Amenities here include shampoo and conditioner, as well as soap. Extra washcloths were stuffed behind the amenities.

Shampoo and conditioner

There’s also a separate bathtub if you’re wanting a long soak after a day at the parks.

Separate bathtub

This room comes with two queen beds. The room’s colors are light and seaside-ish, and include carpeting.

Two queen beds

The furthest corner of the room — nearest the window — has a chair with a reading lamp, as well as a footstool.

Little chill area

Opposite that is a table with a lamp and two chairs. There’s a small trash can next to it.

Table and chairs

Beside that and opposite the beds is a large flatscreen TV on top of a dresser with plenty of drawers for your clothes.


The drawers are spacious enough for whatever you might want to put in there.

Inside the drawer

Between the drawers is a cabinet — this is where you’ll find the mini-fridge.

The fridge

The table between the beds has an alarm clock on one side, USB ports and plugs for your devices in the middle…

Bedside table

…and a phone, notepad, pen, and hand sanitizer on the other side.

On this side of the table

Underneath is a cubby hole for storage, as well as a drawer.

Another drawer

Above that is a mirror with two lights.

Mirror and lights

As you can see, the room is very well-appointed.

Overall Impression

We’ve stayed here before and we’ve always thought this is more of what we would expect of a hotel in the “deluxe” category. The theming is subtle, but the entire property still makes you feel like you’re on vacation in Italy and not in the middle of Orlando, Florida. If you’re looking to splurge on your next Orlando trip, this is a good place to do it!

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Have you ever stayed at Portofino Bay? Let us know in the comments!


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2 Replies to “We Stayed At One of Universal’s FANCIEST Resorts”

  1. Portofino is a beautiful resort. I do agree that it is nicer than Disney’s deluxe resorts and rates are better.

  2. It could be a hotel anywhere. It just looks like an expensive hotel. Nothing extra inviting. Nothing themed.
    Bleh… I’ll save that kind of money for a cruise.