ADVERTORIAL • January 2019
A palm-covered paradise hiding grown-up hotels and theme parks that’ll make you feel like a kid again, Universal Orlando Resort makes for an exhilarating romantic retreat. For those willing to wait until the peak-season crowds have thinned, here’s how you’ll be rewarded...
Stylish, smart and a soothing refuge from the non-stop action that lies beyond their pretty perimeters, five-star properties are an easy find at Universal Orlando Resort. Dreamy couple-selfies can be snapped at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort by its lagoon-style pool, in front of the Hard Rock Hotel’s rock ’n’ roll guitar fountain, or on the cobblestones of the Loews Portofino Bay at Universal Orlando Resort’s Italian-esque harbour. If these three most opulent escapes don’t take your fancy, try luxury for less at Universal’s Aventura Hotel, where a romantic rooftop bar offers unparalleled views of Universal’s three theme parks and Krakatau, the 200-foot-tall centerpiece of Universal's Volcano Bay.
Whether you’re sipping a Butterbeer in the wizarding village of Hogsmeade, riding through Hagrid’s pumpkin patch on the Flight of the Hippogriff, or breaking out of Gringotts bank under the glare of dragon’s fire, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is truly spellbinding. And for those looking for some off-peak enchantment, guests at all of Universal Orlando’s hotels can enjoy exclusive early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before they open to the public – all you'll need is valid theme park admission to enter.
For some off-season scares, visit the resort on selected nights throughout the autumn season for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, where a thrilling collection of haunted houses awaits. As the resort’s Christmas charms transform into New Year celebration, head to the mismatched world of Seuss Landing, where The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular show – a fun retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale – will be running daily until 6 January 2019. Then, between 9 February and 4 April 2019, it’s time for Universal Orlando’s famous Mardi Gras celebrations. Bursting into the resort with a riot of colour, confetti and crowd-pleasing street performers, southern-style live music and traditional Cajun cuisine bring that authentic New Orleans touch.
Still don’t feel like a VIP? Guests at selected Universal Orlando Resort hotels will also receive a complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access, which means you can explore the resort’s parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – minus the long queues. Not only can guests at these hotels enjoy shorter waiting times with their Universal Express Unlimited pass, but complimentary shuttle buses and water taxis equals stress-free thrills.
With the parks so close to your hotel, there’s plenty of time to pop back for a pampering pit-stop. Whether you’re cocooned in a world of soothing scents and de-stressing treatments in the plush Mandara Spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, or enjoying a colourful cocktail beside the Hard Rock Hotel’s azure pool, taking it easy has never been easier. At the Loews Royal Pacific, stick around for the weekly Wantilan Luau blowout - where fire dancers, mai tais and suckling pig turn the resort into an authentic Polynesian playground.
The self-confessed Epicentre of Awesome, date night takes on new heights at Universal CityWalk. With technicolour lights, a Roman Colosseum-style Hard Rock Cafe, and some of the best nightlife that Orlando has to offer, it's a party playground for adults looking to continue the action once the parks have closed. It’s also great for some souvenir-scouting, doughnut-scoffing at newly opened Voodoo Doughnut, or movie-night at the 20-screen Universal Cinemark.
British Airways flies direct to Orlando seven times a week. To book your Universal Orlando holiday, click here