My love for the Aventura hotel at Universal Orlando Resort functions as common knowledge. When colleagues plan to create content saying something negative about Aventura, they like to tease me first. In fairness, Aventura fails to be the right on-site hotel for many groups. For example, Cabana Bay Beach Resort makes a better choice for families with kids. However, Aventura offers many great options for other groups.
At risk of giving away tone of this report, this experience at Aventura rates as my worst over last four stays here. However, the check-in process went very smoothly.
As opposed to other Universal Orlando Resort hotels and most off-site hotels, the check-in process functions very quickly with or without mobile check-in. For this trip, mobile check-in would not work for me. The system kept restarting at the final pay screen. Since I have done mobile check-in at Universal Orlando many times, I knew a glitch was causing it. I reached out to guest services but found no adequate solution.
A huge strength of staying at Aventura revolves around the short walk to your room. Based on tower style hotel structure, guests can usually get from check-in desk to room in just a few minutes. On my check-in night, it took me less than two minutes (Yes, I timed it.)
The room, as usual, looked sleek and clean.
The tiny desk-like area near the coffeemaker serves me well during this trip. The beds were reasonably comfortable. With the exception of one night with a crying baby all night and morning, very little sound issues. The sound issues are far less common at Aventura in comparison to Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Endless Summer Resorts.
As usual, the food/beverage offerings at Aventura exceeded industry standard.
The price point for food at Bar 17 and Bistro seems high but the experience increases the quality. The Urban Pantry food court offers high quality options. In fact, the menu there has been recently updated. Many of the new (or returning) items looked and tasted good.
However, for a hotel built around technology, there were a few issues.
The in-room tablet provided an outdated menu. Even after mentioning this several times to guest services, nothing changed. Universal Orlando struggles to keep online menus up to date just like over in the Lake Buena Vista area.
Due to supply chain issues, the Urban Pantry pizza station only served smaller size pizzas. While I understand that, the mobile ordering system charges you according to larger size pizzas. That glitch continued for my entire stay.
Oh, thank goodness for Starbucks. Aventura has the easiest Starbucks to visit on property. I never waited in line to order more than 5 minutes. I also never waited more than 4 minutes for my food and beverage there.
In contrast, a major weakness for Aventura remains to be the bus transportation.
Sure, guests can “unofficially” walk over to Sapphire Falls to use the water taxis over there. However, the shuttle bus service near Aventura lobby failed on several occasions. Three different times did the shuttle bus arrive full. This left bus drivers with no ability to add more passengers at Aventura. These occasions happened in the evening hours. The key cause for this is Universal Orlando continued pattern to use same shuttle for Cabana Bay and Aventura after 11pm each day.
Walking to CityWalk proved faster than shuttle bus and/or taking water taxi at Sapphire falls.
During my stay, the elevator system underperformed.
On one evening, most of elevators were not functioning. Even a delivery robot got trapped waiting for a long time for an elevator. Guests desiring to use stairs in this instance faced an impractical goal. As opposed to my less than 2-minute trip from lobby to room, one night it took many guests 15-20 minutes from lobby to room.
Finally, the Loews team members functioned very well. I left many #UOFistBump tweets for them. However, the last week of April will not shine as the best week ever at Aventura.
Would I stay here again?
Yes! In fact, I am already scheduled to stay here again this year at least once. The overall amenities included for an adult trip to Universal Orlando here provide good value. Especially when factoring in the price paid, this hotel provides good value. Like all hotels, Aventura has strengths and weaknesses. May all your vacation time be enjoyable. Thanks for reading!
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.