Updated May 26, 2022 by Thiago Khoury
Last week, Universal’s staff invited me to the premiere of the new edition of Halloween Horror Nights and I ended up having the opportunity to stay in the last two hotels opened by them: first in Aventura Hotelwhich is an economic plus, then at Sapphire Falls, which is Universal’s debut in the moderate category.
Look, Universal has always contributed very good with Orlando hotels: the inaugural Royal Pacific, Portofino Bay and Hard Rock were always well above average, so they were obviously more expensive and attracted a very specific audience.
That’s when Universal surprised us with the launch of Cabana Bay, an “economy plus” far superior to the economic ones that Disney traditionally offers.
This boost in the economy category was so successful that last month the brand new Aventura Hotel (click to see prices), surely the best option for those who want to stay in a park hotel without spending too much.
Universal Orlando Resort hotels
The Universal Orlando Resort complex has seven hotels divided into four different categories: category Premier (luxury), category preferred (moderate), category Prime Value (economic plus) and category Value (economic).
These are the seven Universal Orlando Resort hotels in descending order of luxury (remembering that the Universal’s Endless Summer Resort is split in two):
- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel (Premium category)
- Hard Rock Hotel (Premium category)
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort (Premium category)
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort (Preferred category)
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort (Prime Value category)
- Universal’s Aventura Hotel (value category)
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites (Value category)
How is the Aventura Hotel?
O Aventura Hotel (click to see prices) is an elegant hotel. Don’t get me wrong, I also like the retro coloring of Cabana Bay, but the technological footprint and minimalist style of the Adventure I love it much more:
Of course, the Cabana Bay’s colorfulness is an added attraction for those traveling with children (that’s exactly what Disney did when it launched into budget hotels), but the automated, minimalist, wood-toned rooms of the Aventura Hotel has a much greater appeal to “young adults”.
Aventura Hotel It is a tall building (17 floors), all made of steel and glass, very imposing and very different from all other Universal hotel proposals.
The lobby is very spacious, the ceilings are high and everything is so new that it’s a shame to use it!
Standard room with two queen beds at Aventura Hotel
I stayed in the standard room, the standard with two queen beds.
One of the things that we immediately notice is that it is not necessarily big, but the space is very well used: there is space under the bathroom sink, next to the door that gives access to the bedroom, in the hallway and in front of the beds, which is ideal for those traveling with more than one suitcase.
As I said above, I love the coloring of Cabana Bay, but I like the minimalist approach in wood tones more Adventurewhich is less childish and much more modern:
One thing that everyone has been talking about the Adventure (click to see prices) is the automation of the room through an iPad that is next to the bed.
I really liked the idea: through it you order room service, turn the room lights on and off, control the temperature and the television.
At first I missed a remote control, but now, we get used to it, because it’s easier to select a channel than to search for it by going from one to one.
The bathroom is great, I loved seeing a shower stall with a luxury shower instead of the traditional bathtub with a curtain (especially in a budget hotel; economic plus, but still economical).
Dining options at Aventura Hotel
eat at Aventura Hotel (click to see prices) it is no sacrifice, on the contrary, in all my attempts I had an experience well above average, mainly due to the amount charged.
And I say more: in times when any foreign purchase on the card can turn a hole in the budget for the following month, when I changed hotels and went to Sapphire Falls, I crossed the street at least twice to continue eating at Adventurewhich is fast and cheap.
Fast because there is no table service, just choose and order. Cheap because the options have lower prices and, because there is no table service, there is no tip.
As Disney did in the 1990s, Universal also used the food court concept in its budget hotels: Aventura Hotel she is called Urban Pantryand you can choose from four stations the type of food you want to buy.
I didn’t try any of the Japanese options, but I had a burger that was gourmet even in name (“The Urban”, with caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, smoked bacon and two cheeses, Swiss and cheddar), thin crust pizza and the combos. of a protein with three side dishes.
The breakfast was delicious, but I think they could offer smaller options and charge less for it – apart from the Starbucks snacks, the Urban Pantry it always consists of a main course and two side dishes, which is a lot!
Anyway, the price usually hovers around 16 dollars per meal.
Is it worth staying at the Aventura Hotel?
Yes, it’s worth staying in Aventura Hotel.
It’s worth it because it has a great cost-benefit ratio: compared to other equivalent options, Adventure it charges little for everything it offers – the price alone is competitive, between 90 and 120 dollars at its lowest rate.
It’s worth it because if you like the idea of staying in a theme park hotel, as I said above, the Aventura Hotel is the newest, most technological and the only one with an adult profile.
It’s worth it because those who visit Universal’s parks have free transport, both by boat and by bus, to the parks, in addition to an hour of early entry.
It is worth it because Universal has a privileged position in the city: it is very close to a Walmart, a Premium Outlets, towards the airport…
I love to drive and don’t give up on renting a car at all, but if you’re traveling with friends you can get by with Uber most of the time when you have Universal as your starting point.
Is it better to stay at a Disney or Universal hotel?
This is a tricky question and the answer requires a more comprehensive analysis (invite me for a beer and we can talk more about this), but let’s restrict ourselves to comparing Disney budget hotels with Universal budget hotels so that I can help you. it.
Assuming that no child will stay alone and will always be accompanied by adults, Disney hotels win by being more colorful and child-friendly, because in terms of food (quality and variety), size (in this case, practicality) and amenities ( such as a gym, automated rooms, and VR arcade) I’d choose Universal’s without a second thought.
Look, for those who have no doubts: between Disney’s economics (and very moderate too, by the way) and Universal’s “plus economics” I’d go with Universal’s without thinking twice.
Anyway, here’s the summary: do you have children and want to accommodate four people in the same room? Choose Cabana Bay. Just with friends or older kids? choose the Aventura Hotel (click to see prices).
Other blog tips for planning your trip:
Already know where to stay in Orlando? I made a list with the best options around Disney and another in the central region of International Drive, but one that I really like is this complete Holiday Inn.
Have you already purchased travel insurance? Insurance is essential in the United States, especially in times of covid! The Insurance Promo comparator offers at least 10% off for blog readers and even pay on the card!
Can you travel without a cell phone? Do not forget to leave Brazil with your American SIM card with real unlimited internet – and through the blog link you will take at least 15% off and free and unlimited calls to Brazil!
For rent a car in Florida for the lowest price search all rental companies at once on Rentcars. They have an office in Brazil with service in Portuguese!