One of the Loews-managed hotels within the Universal Orlando themepark complex (including the Portofino Bay, Hard Rock and their three newest properties (Cabana Bay Beach, Loews Sapphire Falls and Loews Aventura), the Royal Pacific Resort shares the advantages of an exotic style, top caliber service, proximity to the parks and special perks at Universal. And as a Loews Hotel, it features the many Loews Hotel family-welcoming programs for ages infant to teen that distinguish this small chain of distinctive properties.
Location, Location, Location & More at Royal Pacific
Guests at the Royal Pacific can take advantage of its super convenient location near Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, or CityWalk at any time day or night. Active families will enjoy the 15-minute walk around the landscaped lake front, but there’s also a free water taxi, free shuttle bus (it takes you to all the other hotels so you can try their restaurants and pools) and area transportation for a fee.
Loews’ families enjoy special Universal Orlando theme park benefits, such as one-hour early admission (essential if you are going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or the new Volcano Bay waterpark) and the ability to use the Universal Express ride system to walk right to the front of attractions and save time. It works the day of arrival and departure, so even if you’ve checked out, you can still get the family on as many rides as possible. Unfortunately, it won’t guarantee you the first row on The Hulk or the right rear seat on Revenge of the Mummy.
We also like the ease of visiting the other themed Loews resorts. For example, you can play with the water cannons at the Royal Pacific one day and in the sandbox at the Portofino Bay‘s Beach pool the next.
This Loews is an Asian Playground
As you cross the bamboo bridge over a lazy river outside its front doors, you realize that you’re in for an exotic treat. Men in native South Pacific costumes — banging on drums, blowing on conch shells — and women wearing grass skirts, welcome special visitors. The lobby itself, modeled after a Balinese pendopo or open air pavilion, encloses a courtyard with colorful fountains topped by dancing elephants. Balinese umbrellas are everywhere. The friendly staff really goes out of its way to greet families. At our visit one chilly evening, the concierge had set up a big movie screen by his desk and had a half dozen kids wrapped in blankets watching “The Mummy.”
Throughout the property, you can sense the attention to detail. Beautiful decorations adorn the woven reed, rattan and rice paddy backdrops, continually reminding you of the resort’s South Seas themes. Orchids (live ones as well as big painted ones in some bedrooms), carved teak murals, stone and wooden statues, and live tropical birds abound. There is even a small plane, reminiscent of the explorers of the 1930s, docked in the resort’s free-from lagoon pool. Everything seems unique about this resort, including the palm trees bent in dramatic angles, survivors of the damaging Hurricane Andrew. Universal decided to plant these unusual trees around the resort as well as in Seuss Landing, in their Islands of Adventure theme park. See if you can spot them in our video.
Royal Pacific: Like Being Stranded in Family Paradise
The heated outdoor pool is large and even comes equipped with a “ship” which is a water cannon station where guests can, well, soak other guests who are in the pool. The kids will love this and there are two lifeguards on duty.
After a busy day at the themeparks, relax with a nice meal while kids enjoy the supervised care at the Kids Camp. This “after-hours” program runs 5pm-11:30pm, Sunday through Thursday and 5pm to midnight Friday and Saturday (may change hours and hotel location seasonally). The fee is $15 per hour plus $15 for a meal if your child is there for dinner; reservations recommended at 407/503-1200.
Orlando’s themed hotels can be great money-savers because you can budget one of the on-site events and skip purchasing themepark tickets that day. For example, Islands is the hotel’s tropical-themed main restaurant, where a ukelele player serenades the crowds at night. Just off the main dining room and within easy view, young kids can play in a separate room stacked with toys and cots enabling them to make friends while you eat. On certain weeknights, characters from popular Universal movies come by in costume for photos; weekly there is a very popular Wantilan Luau with Hawai’ian music and hula dancing.
Jake’s in the lower lobby is a fun, casual bar serving burgers and salads with a flight of locally brewed beers — good value. Certain mornings it turns into the Character Breakfast Dining Room, featuring the latest Universal stars. There are many other dining possibilities including a poolside ice cream stand, but chef Emeril’s Asian-fusion Tchoup Chop is a standout. It’s a real foodie and kid-pleasing place. Our family dined on fresh fish and noodles at the counter overlooking the kitchen and were fascinated to watch everyone’s meal being prepared. We’ve returned several times since and are always happy to be back.
As great as the resort itself sounds, the Royal Pacific’s real advantage is its location — by a quiet canal — near Islands of Adventure. So, although it’s an easy jaunt to CityWalk for dinner and excitement, or a leisurely boat ride to the front gate of the theme park complex, you’ll find a tranquility and sense of well-being that may be expected in Bali, but is a total surprise in Orlando. Take advantage of that for a night off from the parks.
Trip Planning Details for a Loews Orlando Getaway
The Loews Royal Pacific Resort At Universal Orlando (407/503-3000 or 888/430-4999) is located at 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, Florida 32819. Double rooms are comfortable and spacious, sleeping four in two queen beds. However, each of these Loews Hotels has large one-bedroom kids suites designed with only one set of doors to the outer hallway, making them especially child-proof. Royal Pacific is proud of its “world’s first” Jurassic Park-themed suites (pictured above) that feature a king-sized bedroom for adults and kids’ room with two twin beds, raptor’s cage headboards, custom wall murals, artwork from the making of the movies, Jurassic Park-themed furniture, and 32” flat screen television with DVD player.
Seasonal rates vary a lot and there are always good promotions that include theme park tickets, making this one of the best value resorts. A last thought: don’t miss the yummy dumplings at Tchoup Chop.
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