As expressed in a previous article, Aventura reigns as my favorite Universal Orlando on-site hotel. However, Aventura fails to provide what many guests desire in a resort hotel. Even those of us who love it find several things we wish were better. Now, a common criticism of Aventura revolves around lack of unlimited express passes for guests. In fairness, if Aventura offered unlimited express passes, the cost would more than double if not triple. Thus, that criticism will not be factored into this list. For record, price point made the list for reasons we love Aventura.
Now, here are 5 things we dislike about Aventura.
The shuttle bus pick-up area resides near the lobby. Guests love that. Yet, the bus service fails to be as reliable as Cabana Bay and Endless Summer Resorts. During a recent stay at Aventura, the shuttle bus drove right past me as I stood at the bus stop. Universal guest services claimed the bus was full causing it not to stop.
After 11:00 each day, the shuttle service between Cabana Bay and Aventura uses the same buses. If a bus fills up at Cabana Bay, then Aventura guests may be skipped.
Also, when returning to Aventura from the theme parks, I twice experienced a bus driver pulling into Aventura driving directly through the bus stop without stopping. I had to move to front of bus both times telling drivers to stop. In my conversations with guest services about this, I learned this happens often.
Now, Aventura guests could easily walk next door utilizing the Sapphire Falls boat service. However, during a recent trip, that transportation took much longer than even the bus service.
Last thing, most guests have no issues with transportation at Aventura. Most guests experience a simplistic process. Still, the transportation at Aventura works less effectively than at other Universal hotels.
Aventura’s pool facilities have everything a guest could want. Guests can enjoy the sun, relax by the pool, soak themselves within the pool, nightly dive-in movies, and other poolside amenities. The reason to dislike revolves around small footprint of pool area compared to neighboring resort hotels. The pool functions compared to other Universal hotel pool as basic. In fairness, Aventura serves fewer guests than other resorts so may not need as big of a pool. Yet, the smaller pool hinders Aventura from a higher guest satisfaction score in this area.
FOOD COURT VARIETY
The Urban Pantry Food court area presents many types of cuisine. The primary style of cuisines is Asian, burgers/sandwiches, and pizza. If planning to stay here with picky eaters and/or younger diners, the choices might seem limited. For example, if someone in your group dislikes ramen bowls, Asian rice dishes, and sushi, a huge portion lacks appeal. The pizza station serves quality pizza. Will that work for you group every night of a weeklong stay? When comparing this food court to the Cabana Bay version, Urban Pantry lacks diversity. One might argue quality rates higher at Urban Pantry but the reason to dislike possesses validity.
Aventura offers magnificent rooms with modern technology. Robots roam the lobby and hallways. However, many guests compare Aventura to multiple high quality hotel chains. Aventura does not present guests with images of a faraway land or distant time. Aventura hotel could be placed in many other tourist areas blending into the skyline. If you are looking for a retro feel, a beach theme, an island paradise, a “Rock n Roll” theme, or a trip to Italy, Aventura will not impress you.
LEARNING CURVE FOR ROOM AMENITIES
Most features of Aventura’s room are controlled by an iPad style tablet. Even the most tech savvy guest needs some time to be comfortable with this. Many of the lights in the rooms require use of tablet. TV viewing demands use of tablet. Control of temperature in room appear on the tablet. If staying at Aventura for only a day or two, you may find this learning curve annoying.
Full disclosure, I love Aventura. Still, there exist numerous reasons Aventura might not be a good choice for you. As always, weigh the pros and cons, then consult with your travel expert when deciding.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.