Which Onsite Resort Hotel is Best for HHN?

It’s a question we get asked a lot around this time of year. Many people are booking their Spooky Fall vacations and want to know which resort is best for stays during HHN. So here’s what we think:

Universal Orlando features six official on-site hotels totaling up to 6,200 rooms. All six hotels are located in close proximity to the Universal Orlando theme parks with guests offered free water taxi or shuttle bus service to the theme parks. The hotels are sorted into three categories which are all based on perks, luxury and price, they are: premier hotels, preferred hotels and prime value hotels.

Premier Hotels:

The Portofino is considered the most expensive and luxurious hotel onsite. It offers a spacious and relaxing styled resort that has all the amenities and perks you’d expect with any 5 star hotel. Sitting next to this hotel and slightly closer to the Studios Park is the Hard Rock Hotel. This is a popular resort as it is the closest hotel to the Studios. The resort is well appointed and provides a great number of features including their unique sandy beach pool and rock n’ roll ethos.

Portofino – Style 10, Price 5, Proximity 7, Features 10

Hard Rock – Style 10, Price 7, Proximity 10, Features 9

Preferred Hotels:

The Royal Pacific built during the formation of when the single studios park turned into a resort has a great South Seas theme and is packed with great features including some really great eating establishments. The other hotel in this category is the relatively new comer Sapphire Falls which opened in 2016.

Royal Pacific – Style 9, Price 7, Proximity 5, Features 8

Sapphire Falls – Style 10, Price 8, Proximity 5, Features 9

Prime Value:

The monstrous Cabana Bay might be the furthest from the horror but it is definitely a popular option with HHN fans who appreciate the great theming and all the great features of this 1950s styled resort. The newly opened Aventura also occupies this category and what it lacks in onsite amenities it makes up for in the view and that spectacular bar right at the top of its tower.

Cabana Bay – Style 9, Price 9, Proximity 2, Features 8

Aventura – Style 9, Price 8, Proximity 3, Features 6


Two more hotels are coming online soon with Surfside Inn and Suites, which will open on June 27, 2019, and Dockside Inn and Suites, which will open in 2020. Both will be located on the old Wet n’ Wild grounds making them the furthest away from the parks but they will be the most cost effective in price. If location is no issue but price is, there are also a number of International Drive hotels which are “within walking distance” and that offer shuttles to the parks. Prior to Universal building their own hotels, many of these in this area would be approved by Universal and sold through their main site for HHN guests. However due to demand, they still undertake this process and you can book Universal Partner Hotels for select HHN packages.

Score recap

Hard Rock – 36/40 *Winner*

Portofino – 32/40

Sapphire Falls – 32/40

Royal Pacific – 30/40

Cabana Bay – 28/40

Aventura – 26/40

With its close proximity to HHN, great availability and reasonable price we highly recommend Hard Rock Hotel for any stays during HHN. And if last year is anything to go by, some nights sold out ahead of time! So be quick and plan ahead if you want to stay here on a HHN night.

Packages for Hard Rock, Royal Pacific and Portofino currently include:

  • Stay in the heart of the horror and enjoy complimentary transportation and walking paths to Universal’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
  • Be among the first to scream with special access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights entry gate each event night until 8:00pm.
  • FREE Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. That’s a value of $1295 per person, per day. Valid theme park admission required. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay or for Halloween Horror Nights.
  • Priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort.
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel.
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card

For more information on booking a HHN vacation package speak to your Travel Agent or click here to go to the official HHN site.

So there you have it, we highly recommend Hard Rock but where’s your hotel of choice for HHN? Let us know in the comments!