About the Hotel
Universal’s Aventura Hotel is located across the street from Universal Islands of Adventure and City Walk. This prime value hotel opened in August 2018 and features 17 stories (the rooftop bar, Bar 17 Bistro, is the 17th floor), 600 rooms, and a modern aesthetic. It is located next to Sapphire Falls Resort and across from Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
This hotel features some pretty amazing views, especially from the upper floors and rooftop bar. Depending on which side your room is, you may have views of Volcano Bay, I-Drive, or Universal Islands of Adventure.
The rooms include some modern amenities, such as an iPad tablet with options to operate the TV, air conditioning, lights, room service, view park information, and even access live chat with a hotel employee.
There are many things available on site as well, including several bars, a food hall, snacks/drinks for purchase, Starbucks, fitness center, game room (VR), kids’ camp, lounge areas, Universal store, Avis car rental, pool, and outdoor game area (pool table, table hockey, etc.).
Other benefits of staying on Universal property is that Citywalk is within walking distance, but a complimentary shuttle bus is available. It states it runs every 15-20 minutes, but we fortunately only had to wait 5 minutes or less. Also, guests of this resort get early park admission to a select park (park varies by month).
Lastly, a parking garage is available to guests at this resort. It is an additional $18/day + tax (per vehicle) however. Day visitors are allowed 5 minutes of complimentary parking, $10 for 5-30 minutes of parking, and $45 for over 30 minutes of parking. These are per vehicle prices. There are several parking spaces located in front of the hotel for the handicapped, as well as dedicated spaces for guests checking in at no charge.
Rooms can typically be found starting at around $129/night as a special promotional deal (typically for 4+ nights), otherwise prices usually start at about $149/night and up. I personally recommend TripAdvisor when searching because they compare prices across a dozen or more sites.
Various styles of rooms are available, from a double queen (as pictured), single King (with pull-out couch), deluxe (larger double queen or single king with more windows), or the kids suite (includes a single king, double twin bed, & pull out couch). Skyline view rooms are also available for a slight upcharge and include views from the top floor (the 16th floor for rooms as the 17th is the rooftop bar). Our upcharge was an additional $20/night. Maximum occupancy is up to 5 guests in the kids suite, while the max is 4 in all other rooms.
Other Important Information
• Pets are not allowed.
• While they do accept packages mailed to you at the resort, they do not accept perishables like grocery deliveries. They do charge a flat $5 fee, as well as an additional upcharge for large packages, to accept them on your behalf.
• You must be 21 years or older to make a reservation.
• A credit & coin-operated laundry facility is available on-site.
Overall, the convenience of the complimentary shuttle bus and the benefit of early park admission is the main selling point for staying here. Upgrading to the Skyline View was also a really nice feature. Our room faced the Volcano Bay park and we could even see Walt Disney World’s nightly firework show in the distance, as well as the Star Flyer, Wheel at Icon Park (Orlando Eye as we call it), and Slingshot off of I-Drive.
The only negatives for us were the comfortability of the beds/pillows and the lack of a fan in the bathroom vent. The beds were firmer than what we have at home (while the pillows were too soft/flat) and we didn’t particularly like them.
The hotel also had robot room-service ‘butlers,’ but they were only in the lobby and food hall area. We heard that they were being tested within several hotels on Universal property, so hopefully they will be able to provide service directly to your room in the near future.
Would we stay here again? Possibly. While we definitely recommend staying on Universal property if vacationing at Universal Orlando, the jury is still out on if this hotel is truly worth the price. We appreciate the modern touches and the beautiful views, but would like to see an improvement in the mattresses and pillows. We really enjoyed the cleanliness of the hotel, the rooms, and the amenities. Next time, we will try another Universal hotel and update this post with a link so you can compare. Stay tuned!
Main image courtesy of OI.