Loews Portofino Bay Hotel gives guests the perfect way to experience Universal Orlando Resort by mixing peace and relaxation with the thrills and let-loose fun of three amazing theme parks.
If you’ll be staying at this Italian seaside escape-from-reality, here are some tips and tricks for a rest day to take a break from the adrenaline and strike that perfect balance on your Universal vacation with an easy, rejuvenating day.
I enjoy sleeping in on vacations (and in life), but if you’ve got the workout bug, head over to the full service fitness center. For a more scenic athletic start to your day, you can take a jog through the dedicated garden path around the hotel.
Grab some breakfast and coffee at Trattoria del Porto. With an array of menu options from Quick & Simple to Smoked Salmon and Garden & Farm Strada, you’re sure to find something everyone will enjoy, including authentic Italian-style espresso and cappuccinos. Grab a table outside because nothing beats looking over the view of the Harbor Piazza.
The Ultimate in Relaxation
Unique to Loews Portofino Bay Hotel across the line of the eight amazing Universal Orlando resort hotels is the Mandara Spa. If I get asked for one thing every year for birthdays from my fiance, it’s a day at the spa, and let me tell you Mandara delivers. They have a relaxation lounge where we enjoy sipping champagne in bathrobes before we head to the couples’ rooms for fantastic massages to soothe those theme-park stretched muscles. And then of course we cap it all off with soaking in the hydrotherapy pool or roasting in the sauna.
DID YOU KNOW: For your theme-park days, your stay at Portofino Bay not only includes Early Park Admission, but Universal Express Unlimited. These are your ultimate tools to experience the theme parks like royalty. On the days you’re heading to the parks, wake up early and take the dedicated walking path right up to the gate of either Universal Studios Florida or Universal Islands of Adventure.
Check out Sal’s Market Deli for lunch. It’s quaint with menu options such as garlic bread sticks, classic italian sandwiches and of course a variety of great pizza. I also enjoy just soaking in the calm and inviting atmosphere while looking around the shop at all the Italian market inspired decor. They also have a kids menu and plenty of dessert options like cheesecake and tiramisu.
After lunch, I recommend heading over to the Villa pool for some relaxation. Of the three pools at the hotel, Villa offers the most luxurious amenities, including private cabana rentals.
If you want more isolation, though, the Hillside pool is located at the far end of the east wing. There is no bar or restaurant there, but you can always grab a drink to go from one of the venues at the hotel beforehand. I personally recommend this as a way to make the most of your “escape day.”
Of course, you can always grab lunch at Splendido Bar & Grill and then have fun at the more lively of pool options, Beach Pool, which has a water slide and children’s pool.
FUN FACT: Traveling during the cooler weather months? No worries, the pools at all Universal Orlando hotels are heated.
Learn more about the pools at Universal Orlando Resort hotels in our complete guide.
The afternoon is a great time to explore some and see everything Portofino Bay has to offer. There’s bocce ball courts and a game room, or you can stroll through the courtyards and admire the artwork throughout the hotel while snacking on some biscotti or homemade gelato from the Gelateria.
Portofino Bay has the most dining outlets than any other hotel on property.
Mama Della’s Ristorante is a must-do for anyone looking to enjoy a fine meal. I love listening to the strolling musicians throughout the restaurant, and of course this is any pasta-lover’s dream dining establishment.
Though I have to say, dining at Bice on the balcony overlooking the water as the sun sets may just be the pinnacle of your relaxing day. Both restaurants offer kind and amazing service as well as great food selections, so you really can’t go wrong here.
After dinner, grab a drink from Thirsty Fish and listen to Musica Della Note outside around the plaza. If you’re not able to recite Italian opera in full by the time you leave, you’ve done this day wrong (kidding, but it will be in your head!).
Or, if you’re staying in a room with a balcony, order room service (available 24-hours a day) and open the doors and let the music flow through.
DID YOU KNOW: If you’re a wine lover, Harbor Nights is the event for you and offered at select times throughout the year. There’s wonderful live jazz music that provides a great, calming atmosphere.
Universal Orlando Resort provides the ultimate in awesome and let-loose fun for everyone, and when you stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel you’ll be able to balance your thrills with absolute relaxation and bliss.