How we paid only $99 per night on-site at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando: My spouse and I were offered a room for 99 bucks per night when we checked in at the Royal Pacific.

From Meow Mix
Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:42 PM
Upon check-in at the Royal Pacific during a crowded weeknight in December, my spouse and I were offered a rate of $99 per night if we accepted a room with only a sofa bed. The room was comprised of the living room and kitchen sections of a suite. No one had booked the whole suite. So we ended up with a lower rate, a bigger space, but a worse bed. We saved $75 per night below our reserved rate. Not too bad.

The “downgrade” was optional, of course. Apparently the hotel was fully booked or overbooked, so they were offering child-free couples the sofa bed option.

We stayed for three nights and experienced nothing but perfect, friendly service. Everyone was so attentive and kind. We became suspicious, why is everyone so nice here? What a great staff.

Complimentary coffee in the rooms is awesome.

There are free postcards in each room’s informational binder. The gift shop sells stamps and has an outgoing mailbox.

The fitness center has a decent set of treadmills and free weights. $10 for entry.

Alas, it was too cold to swim.

WiFi in the rooms costs $10, which seems a little greedy. If the connection is too slow, be sure to ask the front desk for a refund; they’re aware of the problem. WiFi in the lobby is free, which explains the kids draped over all the furniture staring at Facebook.

You can request the Times brought to your room each morning for free instead of USA Today, thank goodness.

The concierge sold park-to-park tickets for exactly the same price as online.

From Meow Mix
Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Water taxis depart from near the swimming pool, but the walk to theme parks and Citywalk is just so short, circa three minutes. Check out the glaring of feral cats along the walk.

From Meow Mix
Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:24 PM
Using the room key for express lines in the theme parks is unreal. After a few hours, you start to feel spoiled and unworthy. It’s that quick. In some of the well-themed queues, we even stood aside and allowed others to pass just to experience the creative perspectivism for a bit. Both parks were very crowded, yet we never waited long to ride any ride, except Hollywood Rip Rockit. And our wait for the Hogwarts ride (HPFJ) was only twenty minutes long – more on how we managed that in a later post.

From Meow Mix
Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:25 PM
We visited the other two resort properties while exploring food options. The public areas and restaurants of the Hard Rock Hotel are arranged like a food court at the mall. It’s pretty boring, despite the name. Meanwhile Portofino Bay Hotel has one amazing pool area, but the resort feels empty and austere. It’s very reminiscent of the new, mostly isolated mega-casinos on the Las Vegas strip. High ceilings, lots of plaster, and over-charged clientele. Stay at the Royal Pacific if you can.

Taxicab from the airport cost $45 with tip.

If you’re continuing on to South Florida, Amtrak’s service out of Orlando has roomettes for $60 per couple, which includes a free lunch in the restaurant car. Each roomette has a bed, sink, toilet, and total privacy. Kinda awesome. (Departs daily at 1:10pm.) The taxi from Royal Pacific to Orlando-Amtrak costs about $20, plus tip. There’s a deliciously cheap Cuban restaurant across the street from the Amtrak station if you arrive early.

Staying on-site at Universal is awesome. Relaxing. Romantic. Do it, hipsters.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Sounds like a great deal!

Something similar happened to my family at Disney awhile back. They overbooked Carribean Beach and asked us if we wanted to stay at some new resort for the same price, we said sure!

That resort was the Beach Club.....

From steve lee
Posted January 6, 2011 at 6:51 AM
I remember back when the Loews hotels accepted the Entertainment Card for a 50 percent discount on rack rate. Staying at Royal Pacific for under a hundred bucks a night was easy back then.

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