What to do in Florida: Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando {review and photos}

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My son and I arrived at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort on Friday, March 26, around 7:15 p.m, tired and hungry.  Our fatigue was quickly forgotten, though, when we stepped out of the car.  Our first reaction was “Wow, this hotel is awesome!”  The staff pointed to the front door, which was just across a long bridge that overlooked a lagoon-style river, which ran along the hotel.  We could immediately hear the roaring of roller coasters coming from the Universal Orlando theme parks, which were located on the same property nearby.

We headed to the reception desk to check-in and were greeted with a shell necklace and “Aloha!” by a friendly staff member.  The other bloggers were starting to gather at Jake’s American Bar for dinner (located at the hotel), so we quickly rushed up to our room to drop off our luggage.  When we walked into our room, we heard “Welcome Home!” by a cleaning crew member who was turning down  the beds.  It was a nice, warm welcome to a cozy, yet elegant room.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal hotel room

We took a quick look around the room, gave each other a “thumbs up” and headed back downstairs for dinner.  Most of the bloggers (there were eight of us total) were already there and greeting each other.  We made some introductions, met the representatives from the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Team Mom and finally sat down to order food.  Did I mention that we were starving?  What is it about traveling that makes you so hungry?

Jake’s American Bar had a great variety of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, steaks and more.  There was a little bit of everything on their menu, which I liked.  My son ordered a grilled cheese sandwich off of the children’s menu, and I requested the Southwest Eggrolls (I have a thing for Southwest Eggrolls).

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal food

I also ordered a Lemon Drop.  Hey, it was a long day of travel.  Don’t judge.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal cocktails

We inhaled dinner, chatted with the other attendees, then decided to call it a night.  Well, let me rephrase.  I wanted to call it a night, but my son had other plans that involved me getting into a bathing suit and going outside in 60° weather.  I was a little skeptical at first, so I called the front desk and found out that the pool was indeed heated, and stayed open until 11:00 p.m.  Score for the kid.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal pool

The pool was hopping with the excitement!  There were children and adults bouncing beach balls, kids splashing in the interactive play area, and several people watching the “dive-in” movie of the night, Batman.  The pool water was warm, but I would have liked it just a little warmer.  My son didn’t seem phased at all by the temperature because he was splashing around like a manic and was semi-delirious.

I met up with a couple of other shivering mom bloggers, Carol Cain from NY City Mama, and Mindy Roberts from The Mommy Blog, who were also lured into the pool by their offspring.  It was nice getting to know both ladies, whom I had never met before this event.  We chatted for a while, then all decided it was time to REALLY call it a night.  For reals this time.

When we returned to our room, we had a few little surprises waiting for us.  First, we had a nice plate of chocolate candies and a chocolate-dipped strawberry.  Uh, yum.  I also received an Orlando bag that contained the trip agenda, meal vouchers, etc., as well as a neat travel bag that contained helpful park items like chap stick, sunscreen, bottled water and Band-aids.  Smart.  After snacking a bit, we hit the hay.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal surprise

The next morning, we were scheduled to meet for breakfast at the Islands Dining Room, located within the hotel.  The breakfast at Islands offers menu items, as well as a buffet.  We opted for the buffet, which was full of anything you could ever want for breakfast.  Fruit, cereal, eggs, bacon, donuts, biscuits, and omelets cooked just like you like it.  Naturally, my son went for a glazed donut covered in sprinkles, but actually ended up eating more bacon and eggs than the donut.  The waiters kept the orange juice (or glass of sunshine, as they liked to call it) flowing, and the coffee warm.  I was impressed with the quality of food and service.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal fountain

After breakfast, our group met in the lobby before heading over to Disney Hollywood Studios for the day and most of the evening.  We didn’t return to the hotel until around 9:00 p.m., and since we had a very long day at Disney, I decided it was best that we skip swimming and instead watch some television and fall asleep.  It wasn’t long before we both passed out.

Sunday morning was overcast and dark.  It took everything I had to drag myself out of my deep slumber and get dressed.  I let my son sleep a little longer, which gave me some time to really look around the room.  It was very spacious and clean.  The view from my window was amazing.  I could see the same lagoon-style waterway below that we had witnessed entering the resort and could also see Universal Orlando theme parks, rides and all.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal view

After getting myself and the kiddo ready, we headed down, once again, to the Islands Dining Room for breakfast.  After eating, the group headed out for the day to Gatorland and Sea World Orlando.   As I said, it was overcast that day, so by the time we arrived at Sea World (our second adventure for the day), it began pouring.  It more or less poured throughout the entire tour at Sea World, so we decided to head back to the hotel early instead of having dinner at Sea World, which was the original plan.  We were all soaked and a tad cranky, so we headed back to the hotel to dry off and eat dinner there.

The group was pretty split up at dinner, with half of us staying in our rooms and ordering room service, and half of us meeting at the Orchid Court Sushi Bar.  The menu at the Sushi Bar was unusually kid-friendly for a sushi place, so it worked out nicely.  The kids ordered chicken fingers and quesadillas, and the adults ordered all types of crab, shrimp, and tuna sushi.  Unfortunately, the service was very slow, so it took a while to get drinks and food.  When the food finally came, we gobbled it up quickly, so I didn’t snap a pic.  Instead,  you will get one of Carol and I.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal

After sushi, I took my son to the pool (after much begging) and then we, once again, crashed, woke up, ate breakfast at Islands, and headed out to a new adventure, which was to the Universal Orlando theme parks.

We spent most of that Monday enjoying ourselves at the theme parks, then came back to the hotel via water taxi (one of the perks of staying on the property) to freshen up and have dinner at the Islands Dining Room (the same place we had our breakfast).  The water taxi ride was actually quite relaxing and gave us some new views of the resort.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal boat ride

We were told previously that we would have some “visitors” joining us for dinner, so we were excited about getting started.  As we all sat down and started looking over the menu, we were greeted by Kyle Post and Stacey Doornbos, who participated in 67 Days of Smiles in Orlando.  Basically, they experienced everything Orlando has to offer, over 120 attractions, which took them a total 67 days.  Stacey sat by us, so I was able to learn more about the “67 Days” and explain to her what “mommy blogging” was.  Soon after, we were greeted by a couple of other special guests – Shrek and Princess Fiona!  My son, being 10, felt that he was too old and cool to take a photo with them, but I was all over it.  Scooby stopped by later on, too, but I missed out on that photo opp.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal shrek

We ordered dinner, which consisted of beef stir fry for me and grilled cheese for my son.  Before our entrees came out, the Islands chef surprised us with some yummy appetizers.  Chicken wings, pot stickers, spring rolls, and a delicious marinated steak on a stick.  It was hard not to fill up!

Loews Royal Pacific Resort Universal food

We inhaled our food, once again, then headed back to the water taxi for a ride to the CityWalk so we could catch the Blue Man Group show.  It turned out that the water taxi was very busy with a very long line, so we decided to walk instead.  The walk wasn’t bad at all, and it probably did us some good after eating that huge meal!  The weather was becoming quite cool, so I was glad that I had layered up beforehand.  After the show, we got in line for the water taxi, which was a little long.  We waited about 15 minutes before getting on, and it was very chilly! (yes, Florida does get chilly in March)  It was a fun, exciting day, and we were, yet again, ready to go to sleep.  Not one comment about swimming that night!

We woke up Tuesday morning, our last morning in Orlando, a little sad that we were leaving, but a little excited to come home to see the rest of our family.  We ate breakfast at the Islands Dining Room one last time, packed up and then headed out.  We were lucky enough to ride with Amy Clark from Mom Advice and her son on the way to the airport.  Soon our plane departed and our stay in Orlando was officially over. *single tear*

Our stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort was beyond enjoyable.  The staff was helpful and friendly, the food was delicious, and the convenience of being on the Universal property was nice.  There is still so much more for us to see at Universal Orlando, so I’m sure we’ll be back, and when we do, we’ll definitely stay on property.

I want to thank the staff at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Team Mom, and the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau for giving my son and I an amazing experience!

DISCLOSURE – The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau sponsored travel, room, food, and park admissions for this Orlando event.  Read Mom Spark’s full disclosure here.