Review: Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, Continued
By Dave Shute
LOEWS ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT: BEST PLACES TO STAY
The Royal Pacific is laid out like a big Y.
See the not-so-great map below (It’s a photo of a sign; I could not find printed maps to scan…)
The ends of the Y are three room towers, themselves Y-shaped.
The tower on the upper left–labeled 23, and known as Tower 2 or the Leeward Tower–is the least convenient to the pool and boat docks/walkways to the theme parks.
The other two towers–22 on the lower left, known as Tower 1 or the Windward Tower, and 24 at the right center, known as Tower 3 or the Royal Tower–encircle the pool and are closer to the boat dock and theme park walkway.
The boat dock to the parks is just visible as the green point labeled 19 at the bottom of the map.
The walkway to the parks follows the upper part of the same lagoon (barely visible on the map) the boat dock is located on, and heads leftwards past the Windward Tower (on the map) along the boat canal to Islands of Adventure.
Convenience to the pools, the boat dock and the theme park walkway makes the Windward Tower the best of the three options.
GETTING TO THE THEME PARKS–AND ESPECIALLY THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
The boat is more fun and easier.
For most families, walking is faster unless the boat has no line and is ready to leave when you arrive.
Either way, once you are moving, getting to the entrance to Islands of Adventure takes about 5-10 minutes.
My trip, carefully but not thoughtfully designed to put me first in line for the wand choosing the wizard at Ollivanders, went as follows:
- Walk from my ground floor Leeward Tower room to the boat dock: 4 minutes
- No line for the boat at 7.28a; 4 minute wait for the boat to leave
- 6 minutes to the dock at Universal’s Citywalk, between NASCAR and the Hard Rock, with a very entertaining boat skipper
- Realize at 7.43a that I left my room key locked in my room, so won’t be able to get in for the early admission to the Wizarding World
- By 7.57a I had walked back to the Royal Pacific, gotten a dupe of my room key, and returned to the boat dock
- This time there was a longish line for the boat, but I got on the next (8.01a) departure anyway, was back at the Citywalk dock by 8.06a, and in Hogsmeade by 8.16a
MORE ON THE ROOMS AT THE ROYAL PACIFIC
As noted on the first page of this review, Royal Pacific rooms are on the small side and hold four.
As you enter, the split bath will be on one side and the closet and connecting door on the other.
The bath has one sink (this compromise lets the bedroom space be a little bigger) and a semi-screened cutout between the sink area and the bedroom. This cutout will be a negative for most families, as it limits the ability to manage noise and light from the sink area.
The other side has a largish round table with two chairs, and a credenza with drawers, a small TV, a mini-bar (but no separate fridge) and a coffee maker.
(You can order a mini-fridge for an additional fee.)
These rooms are adequate for a family of four.
There’s enough space, but no more than enough.
The theming of the rooms (and the room towers) is scant; one could be anywhere.
MORE ON THE ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT
The pool is particularly a marvel, and in its size, meandering, distinctive areas, and decoration has few peers at Walt Disney World.
My photos of the pool–on this and also on the first page of this review–don’t begin to do it justice.
The Royal Pacific is pet-friendly and takes a European attitude to smoking.
It has price seasons similar to those at the Disney World resorts.
Before Harry Potter opened, additional discounts were widely available. They are now much less common.