Universal Orlando Resort – Loews Portofino Bay and CityWalk

For our recent visit to Universal Orlando Resort, we stayed at Loews Portofino – one of three premier resorts on property. It was already dark when we arrived, so this was our very first impression – a moonlit bay nestled on the Riviera. Breathtaking!

Loews Portofino was inspired by the quaint Ligurian fishing village in Portofino, Italy. It is complete with cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes, and grapevine-lined roads. The famous trompe l’oeil technique is used on the exterior buildings just as they would have been hundreds of years ago.

The interiors boast an elaborate dome, marble floors, and elegant furnishings. There is definitely an ambiance of being in the Mediterranean. That it was dressed for Christmas was the icing on the cake!

We stayed in a Standard, Garden-View Room. It was as spacious as it was lovely. I especially enjoyed having a Keurig in the room. Although we did visit Starbucks at the resort a few times.

The mornings were dreary, but that did not deter from the beauty of the resort. Italian classical music piped through overhead speakers.

There were multiple pool areas, private cabanas for rental, and an evening Kids’ Club. Between Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay, our days were pretty full. But I could see the appeal for non-park days on longer stays.

Back to this dreamy harbor view…

One morning, Stuart paid a visit to our resort! This was a nice perk of visiting during peak season. For the total minion fix, sister property Loews Royal Pacific offers a Despicable Me Character Breakfast.

There are stationary mopeds in the courtyard which made for cute photos.

Benefits of staying at this property:

  1. Unlimited Express Passes are included. This enables you to skip the line at participating attractions in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (Volcano Bay utilizes Tapu Tapu). If you plan to visit during peak season, Unlimited Express Passes are essential!
  2. Water taxi service to the parks and CityWalk.
  3. Walking distance to the parks and CityWalk (approximately 15-20 minutes).

As with all other Universal Orlando Resort properties, Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included.

CityWalk is Universal Orlando Resort’s dining and entertainment hub. It also connects Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is perhaps the most unique restaurant/patisserie/gift shop I’ve ever visited. This is also where Stinky and I embarked upon the Holiday Tree Scavenger Hunt. There were 14 ornate holiday trees between CityWalk, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure. By visiting each location and getting your card stamped, you could redeem a free gift at the end (the Minion ornaments Stinky and I received before leaving Islands of Adventure). Our very first tree was in Toothsome.

I couldn’t interest Blinky in the scavenger hunt, but she loved the macaroons!

Each tree was themed and unique to its area. Our favorites were in the Mulberry Street Store (Grinch Tree) and in Gear Shop (Men in Black Tree).

We had the most perfect vacation at Universal Orlando Resort, and absolutely cannot wait to go back! Hopefully in better weather.

Other recaps in this series:

As a full-service travel agent, I would love to be of assistance to you. I am passionate about what I do and pour that energy into crafting perfectly planned itineraries for you. Email ebony@classictravelconnection.com to learn more.

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