In November 2015, my son and I stayed at Loews Royal Pacific Resort (a deluxe resort at the Universal Orlando Resort) for two nights before heading to Disney World. It was our first time lodging on Universal Studios property and I had no idea what to expect, especially as a longtime frequent Disney World visitor.
Immediately upon arrival, I was awed by the extensive South Seas theming. Tropical fronds and koi ponds greeted us at the entrance, and the theming continued throughout the resort with massive palm trees, floating water lilies, and fanciful statues. It was definitely Disney-caliber décor.
After pausing a moment to absorb Royal Pacific’s incredible sights and sounds, we headed to the lobby to check in. I must admit that I anticipated a lower level of customer service than I was accustomed to at Disney World, but I was pleasantly surprised. The front desk is very large, which helps expedite check-in. More importantly, desk employees were welcoming and helpful, patiently answering all of my questions. The outstanding service continued throughout our entire stay. Every employee we encountered was friendly and knowledgeable, from Bell Services to waitstaff to the ferry operators.
We decided that, after a long day of traveling, a quick visit to the pool was in order…and here’s the one area where Royal Pacific really disappointed. The pool is sizable, and that’s about all it has going for it. I would naturally expect that any deluxe resort would have a pool slide, and Royal Pacific does not. Plus, at least on the days we visited, the pool itself was dirty. Ducks were swimming in it, and there was debris floating in several locations.
Fortunately, our disappointment quickly abated when we sat down for lunch poolside at the Bula Bar and Grill. The menu here is much more extensive than I’d
expect for a casual poolside restaurant, offering both traditional quick-service fare and more interesting selections. And the cocktails? On point. The biggest downside to this restaurant (and all of the restaurants at Royal Pacific) is that it was pricey. Royal Pacific could definitely benefit from adding a lower-priced, quick-service option. Still, Royal Pacific offers a variety of restaurants and lounges. And, like the rest of the resort, the theming is impeccable (see pic to the right).
To end our day, we headed over to CityWalk, Universal Studios’ downtown area. While I’m not in love with the CityWalk area in general (we’ll talk more about that in a later blog), I did love the different transportation options to and from Royal Pacific. Because the entire Universal Orlando Resort is so compact, Royal Pacific guests have the option of strolling down a lovely walking path to get to the theme parks and/or CityWalk. Don’t feel like walking? Complimentary ferry transportation is also provided.
One final perk of Loews Royal Pacific Resort that should be mentioned: it is typically priced on the lower end of the deluxe resort category, but it still comes with a free Unlimited Express Pass that allows guests to skip the lines at all non-Harry Potter attractions. Huge bonus!
Overall, I enjoyed our stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. While I’m not sure that I would necessarily choose to stay there again (I’ve since found my go-to favorite Universal Orlando Resort ~ more on that next time), it was a great introduction to the Universal Studios onsite resort hotels at a comparatively reasonable price point.
Credits: Special thanks to "Magic Fan" Jen Landers for contributing her thoughts on Loews Royal Pacific Resort during the blogging process!