NOTICE: Aventura Hotel is a step below other Universal Orlando hotels

“Stay in style, streamlined” is the slogan that Universal Orlando’s website uses to attract customers to its Aventura hotel.

I have another description for its style: a little dull.

Placed in the “Prime Value” resort category alongside the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura’s style is almost polar opposite. Rather than retro nostalgia, it emphasizes a clean and sleek design, as you’ll immediately notice its top-shaped curved exterior covered with floor-to-ceiling windows.

The exterior of Aventura (Theme Park Tribune)

But as a mid-level convention hotel, it feels utilitarian in places, compared to more lively theme park accommodations, besides making sacrifices when it comes to the pool and food court. Yet there may still be a place for a certain audience visiting Universal Orlando.

Bedroom

Aventura’s 600 rooms manage to be both very different from other theme park hotels – and a bit boring.

A standard room at Aventura (Theme Park Tribune)

The difference comes from the emphasis on technology. The Luddits among you will need to control much of the room’s functions from a tablet, which acts like everything from a switch to a remote. I liked the ease of entering passwords for my streaming service on my tablet compared to clicking on a bulky keyboard with a regular remote.

The “smart” room looks a bit futuristic if you’re not used to similar features at home. I just wish the future had a more interesting design. And carpet.

My standard room was 314 square feet and could accommodate four people in its two queen beds. Other options include slightly larger “Deluxe” Rooms with two queen-size beds, Standard and Deluxe Rooms with a single king-size bed, and 591-square-foot children’s suites that sleep five.

Approvals

By occupying the smallest footprint of any Universal resort, you get one of its smallest pools.

The Aventura swimming pool (Park Tribune theme)

Wrapping around the building, the pool does not have a slide (unlike its Prime Value neighbor, Cabana Bay), but the area does offer a playground, a fire pit, and plenty of lounge chairs. Space is limited here, however, so expect to see crowds on hot nights after the parks close.

You’ll also find one of the smaller Universal Studios stores in the lobby. Heavy on Harry Potter merchandise, but relatively light on everything else, this merch slot isn’t as likely to be your saving grace on departure day when you realize you’ve left a souvenir in the park. There is a small selection of Aventura specific products, but this store will come in handy in case you have forgotten some pool clothes or toiletries and don’t want to venture off the property.

(Tribune theme park)

(Tribune theme park)

Aventura’s best amenities come from its location. Guests can get to Volcano Bay quickly via an exclusive entrance located by the pool (key card required). If you’re going to both theme parks, you have a choice of the 2.5-mile garden walkway or the shared shuttle service with Cabana Bay. Buses usually run every 10 minutes, so avoid the garden walk, unless you fancy a scenic route.

You can reap additional benefits of Aventura by taking a short walk to the ritzier Sapphire Falls Resort. Not only can you find more dining options and a much larger swimming pool, but you can also use this resort’s boat service to get to and from CityWalk.

Technically, resort boats are only for guests of those resorts, but no one checks room keys. You’ll save time and steps by using the boats on Aventura’s own bus service, as the buses drop near the main security checkpoint and require you to pass through CityWalk before heading to the parks. The boats, however, drop you much closer to the park entrances. Your feet will thank you later.

What was (and maybe still?) The VR games room in November 2021 (Theme Park Tribune)

Aventura featured a virtual reality game room when it opened in 2018. However, at the time of my visit in November 2021, the game room had not yet reopened since its initial COVID-19 shutdown and its signs were obscured.

Food and drink

The Urban Pantry dining room features four stations: pizza, burgers, roast, and a wok featuring customizable bowls and sushi. While there are some quirky points with the wok station, the menu selection at the resorts feels more limited than its counterparts at the Endless Summer or Cabana Bay resorts. Personally, I would go with the pizza station, as the $ 15 pies can feed at least two people, and the perfectly charred taste wowed even this Chicago pizza snob.

Urban pantry (Tribune theme park)

The dining room had one service drawback during my stay: inconsistent night service. While Urban Pantry is supposed to stay open until 11 p.m., with the pizza station open until midnight, only the hamburger and pizza stations were open at 8 p.m. when I visited – and an employee had to walk away. move from one station to another to reopen the pizza counter. I’ve never seen this kind of partial closure at other universal food courts, and it seems like an odd choice at a time when guests are returning from the parks and looking to dine.

Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel (Universal Orlando)

What Aventura lacks in terms of dining options, it makes up for by going bar crawling. Guests can choose between the large, shaded pool bar, Bar Sol, the limited lobby spot BarVentura or go straight to the resort’s star, Bar 17 Bistro.

A view of Cabana Bay from Bar 17 Bistro (Theme Park Tribune)

The open-air rooftop bar offers fantastic views of Universal Orlando Resort and surrounding areas, with plenty of comfortable seating for parties large and small. There’s a limited menu – a few appetizers, like spicy Korean-style fried chicken wings and a burger – but what will hold you back here are the custom cocktails. I would recommend the Orlandos & Don’t, with Seagram’s Gin, sake, lemon, cucumber and raspberry. It is worth a visit even if you are staying at another Universal hotel.

The hotel offers an express lift to Bar 17 Bistro from the lobby. Be warned that the bar is sometimes closed due to cold or inclement weather.

The verdict

I left a little puzzled as to the audience that Universal’s Aventura Hotel is meant to serve.

If you’re coming with kids, Cabana Bay offers more to do at a similar price. If you’re on a budget, Endless Summer has better rates, especially for Family Suites, along with better pools and food courts. Those looking for better dining options might pay a bit more to stay in Sapphire Falls, although you can walk there from Aventura as well.

So who should to stay in Aventura? I can see some appeal to adults without children, especially couples, who aren’t looking to break the bank gravitate towards this clean design brand, want to spend most of their time in the parks, but maybe can. dive into the pool at night with less screaming kids running around. Or maybe you just want that rooftop bar to be a bit closer to your room.

To me, Aventura is the weakest of Universal’s onsite hotels. It’s partly my personal aversion to the overall aesthetic, but the smaller pool and dining room are real weaknesses. If hotels at the same or lower price feel like they are giving me more for my money, why would I stay here?

This is not a bad hotel at all; it turns out to be the worst of any pretty good programming at Universal Orlando.

Category B-


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