If you will need to receive mail or courier shipments while you are visiting the resort hotels, an increasingly likely scenario in our overworked world, have your mail sent to the address I give below for each of the hotels. As long as your first and last name is on the letter or parcel, no special markings or additional notations are needed.
Each resort hotel has its own parking lot. Self-parking is $15 per day for hotel guests, unless you take advantage of the valet parking service, in which case there is an $22 per day fee (plus tips, of course). If you fly into Orlando and plan to spend most of your time at the major attractions, you might want to consider foregoing a rental car during your stay and using shuttles and other options to get around Orlando. (See Good Things To Know About... Transportation Elsewhere below.)
For non-guests, there is a flat rate of $20 for self parking and $30 for valet service. If you come for a meal, ask to have your parking ticket validated at the restaurant and three hours of parking will be free.
Loews is a pet-friendly hotel chain and your furry friends are not only welcomed but pampered; they even get their own welcome gifts! If you’d like to bring a pet, be sure to let the hotel know when you make your reservation. A number of rooms in each hotel have been designated as pet rooms and a separate room service menu offers first-class pet dining for about $11.
You will be given a special sign to hang on your room latch to alert staff that a pet is in the room and you will have to make special arrangements with housekeeping since hotel policy is that no staff member will enter a room with a pet without the owner present.
A $25 fee for “extra thorough cleaning” will be charged once per stay. Maps provided by the hotels point out areas in which you can walk your pets. People with allergies should alert the hotel when making reservations to avoid being inadvertently placed in a pet room.
There is 24-hour room service in all the hotels offering an abbreviated menu drawn from the main hotel restaurant. As you probably know, you pay a premium for room service, whether it is for a pet or a human. At the Universal resorts there is a $3 per order charge plus a 22% gratuity added to the bill.
All the hotels offer “Star Service,” a one-stop, one-phone-call solution for just about any need that might arise during your stay. It even has a special button on your in-room phone. The folks at Star Service seem to pride themselves on providing speedy answers to all your questions.
Transportation to the Parks
Once you arrive at the resort, it’s possible to spend an entire vacation at Universal without riding any motorized vehicles (other than the ones inside the attractions), since all the hotels are at most a brisk 15-minute stroll from the action. The hotels are also linked to CityWalk and the theme parks by complimentary water taxi and shuttle bus. Each hotel has its own water taxi that runs between the hotel and a dock just below the NASCAR Sports Grille; from there, it’s a short walk to either park. If you want to go from hotel to hotel by water, you will have to change boats at CityWalk.
Shuttle buses run about every half-hour from each hotel to a bus stop area near the entrance to Universal Studios Florida, but walking or taking the water taxi is a far quicker and more scenic way to get to the parks. If you prefer the bus, check with the concierge for details. Another option is the cadre of pedal-powered two-person rickshaw
Complimentary bus shuttle service is also provided from all hotels to Wet ’n Wild and SeaWorld. Typically, there is one departure in the morning and, in the evening, one return from SeaWorld and one from Wet ’n Wild, although the schedule varies with park operating hours. Check with the concierge for more precise schedule information.
Mears Transportation operates on-demand shuttle services to and from Orlando Airport to the resort hotels, as well as scheduled shuttle service to and from each of the Universal Orlando resort hotels and the Disney World parks. Check with the concierge for schedules and the minimum advance notice required for pick-ups. Limousine and town car services are also available through the concierge.
If you prefer to do the driving yourself, all hotels have Hertz rental cars available. They can be reserved ahead but, if you decide you need a car at the last minute, chances are they will be able to accommodate you. Cars can be returned to the hotel or, for an additional fee, the Orlando Airport.
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