Universal Orlando Resort has had impressive growth over the last few years with the addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley and Univesal's Volcano Bay water theme park. There have also been new hotels! There was Cabana Bay Beach Resort and then Loews Sapphire Falls. Universal's newest hotel, the sophisticated Aventura, opened in August 2018. We hopped to Universal's Aventura Hotel for an exclusive sneak peek during its grand opening, and then we stayed at the hotel during our visit for Halloween Horror Nights. The hotel lived up to the hype! While it's priced in the prime value category along with Cabana Bay and therefore toadally affordable, it feels more refined and luxurious. A lot of it comes down to the thoughtful details that Universal and Loews are known for.
Universal's Aventura Hotel Overview
This tower hotel, rising up next to Loews Sapphire Falls, is just a hop, skip and a jump from Cabana Bay and Volcano Bay. In fact, like Cabana, it's within walking distance to the water park, which makes it an excellent choice for families who are planning to spend time there!
Taking its inspiration from the flavors of Brazil and Latin America, Aventura was meant to be an extension of the modern-retro, Miami feel of Cabana Bay. But whereas Cabana is bright and funky, Aventura is sleek, and dare we say it, sexy. It's almost rock 'n' roll. It's plenty family-friendly too. The dining hall is open and airy, and tadpoles will love being able to go around to each food station and check out the yummy offerings.
With 17 floors, easily towering above all other hotels around it, Aventura offers spectacular views. In fact, every room features wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, but more on that later. Aventura is tucked into the larger Sapphire Falls property, and the two share a parking garage. (Keep in mind there is a daily fee for self-parking.) They are both across the street from Cabana Bay. Aventura's address is 6725 Adventure Way, Orlando, Fl 32819 for those of you who want to check it out by map!
Universal's Aventura Hotel Benefits
All of Universal Orlando's on-site hotels offer exclusive theme park benefits that make them a terrific value for guests, including free transportation to the parks and CityWalk, resort-wide charging privileges and Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal's Volcano Bay one hour before the parks open.
While Universal's Aventura Hotel offers free shuttle transportation to the parks, it's close enough to Sapphire that Aventura guests could easily walk to Sapphire to catch the boat (although shuttle and boat transportation times are about the same). As mentioned earlier, it's also just a few minutes' walk to Volcano Bay. Head out the gate by the pool, and you'll be on your way.
Universal's Aventura Hotel Rooms
Aventura offers four room types — standard, deluxe, kids suites and skyline kids suite. Standard and deluxe rooms offer the option of one king or two queen beds. The king standard and deluxe rooms have pullout sofas. The rooms are open and airy, with warm-hued, wood-flooring and a muted palette — the prime focus is on the views! There are sleek, modern fixtures in each of the 600 rooms and suites.
Every room comes with a tablet device that controls the temp, turns lights on and off, controls the television, and allows in-room dining, access to housekeeping and the ability to chat with the front desk. Fun fact: There is no remote!I was a little dubious about this tablet, but found that even requesting a late checkout was so easy.
Most of the standard rooms offer walk-in showers, so if you would like a room with a tub, this will need to be a request. Standard and deluxe rooms offer single vanities. Families with teens or planning longer stays should consider upgrading to suites, which offer bath tubs, separate walk-in showers and a double vanity (though shared in one bathroom). The suites also offer partitioned rooms, so that parents and kids get their own space. There is an additional "rec" room with a small pull-out sofa and TV. The only difference between the kids suite and the skyline kids suite is the floor its on — it's up to you whether the view is worth the upgrade!
Universal's Aventura Hotel Amenities
Aventura's zero-entry pool is on the ground floor and wraps around the pool bar. There is a fire pit, ample lounging space, a hot tub and a kids splash pad. While there is no pool slide, as an on-site hotel guest, you have the option of hopping to any Universal hotel pool. Sapphire is the closest and easiest to get to, but Cabana Bay is also close — and it offers two pools, a slide, a splash pad and a lazy river.
There is also a virtual reality game room and fitness center. Momma and Poppa frogs looking for a night out can use the kids' clubs at other on-site hotels. Those seeking a little extra pampering can take free transportation to the Mandara Spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
Universal's Aventura Hotel Food & Drinks
Aventura ventures out of the typical theme park fare with its on-site dining. While there is no full-service restaurant — you'll have to hop to a premier or preferred hotel or Universal CityWalk for that — you won't go hungry either. The first-floor Urban Pantry offers a mix of options, from sushi to pizza and burgers and fries. During our preview, we noshed on salmon pizza — a surprising mix of tasty flavors! — and chicken and seafood paella.
During our recent stay, we enjoyed more traditional fare but were equally impressed. The wood-fired pepperoni pizza was one of the best we'd ever had! There are a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. There is also an on-site Starbucks for your caffeine fix!
There is a lobby bar for a quick drink upon arrival, but just a few more steps will have you outside at the Sol Bar, where you can try the two signature cocktails — the Devil's Umbrella and One Fell Swoop. The former is a smoky and not-too-sweet mezcal concoction with coconut milk, simple syrup, lime juice and ginger beer. Highly recommended!
Aventura's modern, sleek vibe is the perfect backdrop for a cocktail or a glass of wine, and no place is this more appropriate than the rooftop, aptly named Bar 17 Bistro (on the 17th floor). This vibrant space offers ample, lounge seating, spectacular views and a variety of small plates — bruscetta, a meat and cheese board and several types of bao buns. There's even a kids menu for Tad and Lily. We were especially taken with pork belly bao!
Who Is Universal's Aventura Hotel Best For?
The creative minds at Universal and Loews have created a spectacular hotel that offers an elevated yet affordable stay. It feels more high end, even with the prime value price tag. Tad and Lily love modern and unique hotel experiences, so it's right up their alley. The sleek theming lends Aventura an air of sophistication that won't appeal to all families, but those wanting a more urban escape will feel right at home.
The proximity to Universal's Volcano Bay is perfect for those who plan to spend time at the water park. Those wanting a more relaxed, traditional beach vibe on their vacation will likely appreciate Cabana Bay or Sapphire Falls more. Aventura is perfect for couples and adults, weekend trips or solo getaways. Families should consider upgrading to the deluxe suites or kids suites for the extra space. For just a little more money, there is more space and a cooler layout! As Tad would say, it's toadally worth it!
Overall we loved Universal's Aventura Hotel, and we're looking forward to staying there again. Sounds pretty amazing, right? We'd love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you have about this on-site hotel. If you're ready to stay, hop over and book your room or suite with us for a discount!