The hotels follow similar patterns when it comes to rooms and rates. Two hotels have “standard” rooms and larger, pricier “deluxe” rooms. In all hotels, the view from the room also affects the rate, with “pool” or “harbor” views costing more. All hotels have a Club floor offering special amenities and perks for a price. Next come the suites. All hotels have “Kids’ Suites,” specially designed for families. For high rollers, there are larger, more elaborate suites with suitably larger, more elaborate price tags.
If we could give you an exact figure you’ll have to pay, we would. But hotel rates are notoriously volatile, rising and falling with the seasons, leisure travel patterns, and a variety of market conditions that are impossible to forecast. The hope here is to provide some general guidelines about the “going rate” that will prove useful in considering your Universal Orlando Resort hotel choices. Then you can use the tips offered in Getting A Good Deal (below) to zero in on the best rate for the room you want.
The resort hotels recognize five distinct “seasons.” The exact dates for each season change slightly from year to year depending on when certain holidays occur. Here, in ascending order of room cost, is a general overview of those seasons.
Value season. Roughly from early January to mid-February; from mid-August (when Florida kids head back to school) to early October; and from just after Thanksgiving to the Christmas/New Year’s holiday.
Regular season. From Spring Break (see below) to early June and from early October to just before Thanksgiving.
Summer season. Early June to mid-August.
Peak season. The Presidents’ Day period (mid-February to mid-March); Spring Break (late-March to mid-April); and Thanksgiving weekend.
Holiday season. The two weeks around Easter and the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period, which typically begins a week before Christmas and ends a day or so after New Year’s Day.
Standard Room Rates
The hotels play it close to the vest when it comes to room rates. Short of actually booking a room, it’s hard to tell what a given room category will cost when. However, the following standard room rates from 2008 provide a basis for making some educated guesses. These are “starting from” prices, which means that the actual price quoted could be as much as $50 higher.
To these rates, add $30 per night for a room with a view, $40 to $60 for a "deluxe" room, and $100 to $130 for a club level room. The more expensive hotels add correspondingly more for each step up. Kids' Suites start at about $500 and go up to over $700; nonetheless, they sell out quickly. If you need to ask the price of the so-called "super luxury" suites, you probably can't afford them.
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