Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort
The closest to the action of the three on-site Universal hotels, the Spanish Mission–style Hard Rock, managed by Loews, is a 10-minute walk from Universal Studios and from the CityWalk nightlife zone. The 650 cream-and-brown guest rooms are more contemporary than the Orlando norm, with especially comfy beds and stereo systems with iPod docks. The hotel is kitted out with rock memorabilia; in the lobby, check out the medallion that Elvis wore when he met Richard Nixon at the White House. From January through October, monthly Velvet Sessions concerts feature fondly remembered 80’s acts (Joan Jett, Foreigner). Perhaps the crowning feature of the property, though, is its 12,000-square-foot pool with underwater speakers.
Tip: Staying here wins you access to express lines at all the Universal park attractions.
Room to Book: Rooms facing the pool take in fireworks at Universal Studios every night around 10 p.m. in the spring-summer season.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.