Should I Stay at a Universal Hotel? A Universal Expert Answers This Question! {2024}

Planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort and asking yourself the question, “Should I stay at a Universal hotel?”

My answer to this question will always be YES!

But why should you trust me? Because I know ALOT about Universal Orlando Resort!

As a travel agent who specializes in Universal Orlando Resort, I have done site tours of most of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels and can vouch for just how incredible they are!

Plus, as a Universal Orlando Park guest myself, I always stay on-site.

There are just SO many benefits to staying at a Universal hotel and since Universal Orlando Resort has hotels for ALL budgets, there’s really no reason to not stay on-site!

Is it Cheaper to Stay Off-Site at Universal?

Universal Orlando Resort has hotels for every budget.

If cost is a factor do know that you can stay on-property at Universal Orlando for a very, very affordable price.

These super-affordable Universal Orlando hotels are categorized as “Value Hotels.” But don’t let the name “Value” scare you. These hotels are definitely nice! And I’m super picky about hotels.

There are two Value Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort: Surfside Inn and Suites and Dockside Inn and Suites. These hotels are clean and modern and even offer spacious 2-bedroom suites for larger families!

Oh, and they have a food court, a great pool area, a fitness center, a game room, a Starbucks, and much, much more! You get so much for your money at a shockingly low price!

Benefits of Staying at a Universal Orlando Hotel

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of staying at a Universal Orlando hotel.

And there are a lot of them! That’s why it is such a huge benefit to stay at a Universal hotel!

Early Park Admission

Staying at a Universal Hotel means you get EARLY PARK ADMISSION!

One of the best benefits to staying at a Universal hotel is EARLY ENTRY into the parks!! This includes all 3 parks: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay!

Early park admission means you get to go into the parks 1 hour earlier than the general public. This is a HUGE advantage!

Not all attractions are open during this early park admission time, but some of the most popular, busiest attractions are such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic World VelociCoaster.

If you plan on going to Volcano Bay (the water theme park) for the day, early admission means you can snag that perfect lounge chair at Waturi Beach. 🌋 🏝️

Free Transportation to Parks

Should I stay at a Universal hotel?  Yes, because that means you get free transportation to the parks and Universal CityWalk.

Another excellent benefit to staying at a Universal Orlando hotel is free transportation to the parks.

All Universal Orlando hotels offer complimentary transportation to the park by way of a shuttle bus or water taxi.

Because it’s so easy to get around, there is no need for a car on a Universal Orlando vacation.

Close Proximity to the Parks

Staying at a Universal Hotel puts you within close proximity of everything Universal!

When visiting the Universal Orlando parks, there’s no better location than being within close proximity to the parks and Universal CityWalk. And by staying at a Universal hotel you get this amazing benefit of LOCATION!!

The CLOSEST hotels to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk are the Premier Hotels.

If you want to stay as close as possible to Volcano Bay, then Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the resort for you. Volcano Bay is practically in Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s backyard!

Universal Express Unlimited Passes at Premier Hotels

Staying at a Premier Hotel at Universal means you get FREE Express Passes.

One of the best benefits of staying at a Universal Premier Hotel is FREE Universal Express Unlimited!

If you were to purchase Universal Express Unlimited it would cost a lot! These passes are definitely not cheap!

So by staying at the nicest properties at Universal Orlando Resort you also get the luxury of skipping the regular theme park lines all day!


Universal hotels have all the amenties you could want and more!

Another reason to stay at a Universal hotel is for all the great amenities! Universal Orlando Resort hotels have everything you need for a wonderful family vacation in Orlando, Florida.

Depending on what category of hotel you stay in will depend on the amenities the hotel offers.

But ALL Universal Orlando Resort hotels have dining options, a coffee shop, a Universal Orlando souvenir shop, a fitness center, a game room, and a fantastic pool area.

Premier Hotels will have the most amenities including extras like a Club Lounge, a spa, and table service restaurants.

Free Merchandise Delivery Back to Your Hotel

Staying at a Universal hotel means you get free merchandise delivery back to your hotel.

Free merchandise delivery back to your hotel is another excellent benefit offered to Universal Orlando hotel guests.

This is a benefit you don’t think you really need until you do! Imagine finding that perfect souvenir to bring home only to be disappointed you can’t get it because you can’t carry it around all day!

This is when free merchandise delivery back to your hotel comes in handy! When staying at a Universal Orlando hotel, Universal will deliver the merchandise back to your hotel for free!

Charge Dining & Shopping on Your Room Key Card

Another benefit to staying at a Universal hotel is the convenience of using your room key card to charge all of your dining and shopping.

It’s so nice and easy not having to bring all your cash and cards to the parks! Put your key card in your Universal lanyard and you are good to go for the day!

Which Universal Hotel Should I Stay At?

The beautiful lobby of Universal's Sapphire Falls.

Did you know Universal Orlando Resort has 8 hotels? There is a hotel for every budget and every style traveler.

So which Universal hotel you should stay at depends on your budget, what kind of theme/atmosphere you like, how close you want to be to the parks, and if you want the Express Unlimited Passes.


The first factor in determining which Universal hotel to stay at is your budget. Hotels at Universal Orlando Resort range in price with Value Hotels being the most affordable to Premier Hotels being the most expensive.


Universal Orlando hotels come in a WIDE variety of theming. By staying at a Universal hotel you could immerse yourself in one of the following atmospheres: retro-inspired, beachy, super modern and contemporary, tropical vibes, rock and roll, or the Italian Riveria.

Proximity to Theme Parks

The proximity to the theme parks is an important factor for people visiting Universal Parks. If you are looking to be the CLOSEST to the parks then a Premier Hotel is where you should stay.

If being able to walk to the parks is important to you, then I would not stay at a Value Hotel.

Express Pass

Do you want to skip the lines at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure? 🙋🏻‍♀️. Who doesn’t right?

When staying at a Premier Hotel you get free Universal Express Unlimited passes!!

When you compare the cost of purchasing the Express Passes separately you might find that the cost to stay at a Premiere Hotel is totally worth it!

Categories of Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

A collage of the 4 categories of hotels you can stay in at Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Orlando Value Hotels ($)

  • Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites
  • Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

Universal Orlando Prime Value Hotels ($$)

  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
  • Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Universal Orlando Preferred Hotel ($$$)

  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Universal Orlando Premier Hotel ($$$$)

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Booking Your Universal Orlando Resort Vacation

Now that you know all the great reasons to stay at a Universal hotel, let’s get your Universal vacation booked!

I love helping my clients find the perfect Universal hotel for them! So, contact me, and let’s get started!!

FAQs-Should I Stay at a Universal Hotel?

Here are the answers to some of your most frequently asked questions regarding “Should I stay at a Universal hotel?”

Kim answers all your most frequently asked questions about staying at a Universal Orlando hotel.
Are tickets included if you stay at a Universal Hotel?

No, tickets are not included in your stay at a Universal hotel. Tickets have to be either purchased separately or as part of a package. However, if staying at a Premier Hotel, Express Unlimited Passes are included to skip the lines.

How many nights should I stay at Universal?

I recommend staying 3 or 4 nights at Universal to get the full Universal Orlando Resort experience. Staying 3 nights is perfect if you plan on doing 2 days at the theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Staying 4 nights is perfect to also experience the incredible water theme park, Volcano Bay.

Is there a shuttle from airport to Universal hotels?

Universal offers a super easy and convenient shuttle from MCO (Orlando International Airport) to your Universal Orlando hotel. This shuttle service is called Universal SuperStar Shuttle.

Final Thoughts- Should I Stay at a Universal Hotel?

Staying onsite at a Universal hotel is a must when visiting the Universal Orlando Resort!

And since there is a Universal hotel for all budgets, there is no reason not to!

All Universal Orlando Resort hotels have excellent amenities including dining options, a coffee shop, a fabulous pool area, a game room, a fitness center, and a Universal Orlando Florida Souvenir Shop.

And besides all of these excellent amenities, there are so many benefits to staying at a Universal hotel!

Some of these benefits include early park admission, free transportation to the parks, close proximity to the parks, free Universal Express Unlimited passes for Premier Hotel guests, free merchandise delivery back to your hotel, and convenient charging privileges with your room key.

I hope you have found this article helpful. Now let’s get that Universal Orlando hotel booked!!


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