Advertisement
  1. Fun

Universal opens first budget hotel, Surfside Inn and Suites

Universal Orlando recently opened its seventh hotel, Surfside Inn and Suites. It is the first phase of what will be called the Endless Summer Resort, the park’s first “value” category with rooms starting in the $100 range. The second phase will be the upcoming Dockside Inn and Suites, which will add another 2,050 rooms when it opens in two phases next year. [Universal Orlando]
Published Jul. 12

Universal Orlando recently opened its seventh hotel, targeting families on a budget by offering more affordable suites with on-site theme park privileges.

Called Universal's Surfside Inn and Suites, the 750-room, surf-themed hotel is the first in the park's "value" category. It is the first phase of what will be called the Endless Summer Resort, occupying the space on International Drive that used to house the Universal-owned Wet 'n Wild water park. Next up is the Dockside Inn and Suites, the second phase of the Endless Summer Resort, which opens in two stages in 2020, adding another 2,050 rooms.

Besides standard resort hotel amenities like two-bedroom suites, a restaurant and a pool, guests will get early park admission and shuttles to the theme parks.

A single-night stay ranges from $164 to $239. But a seven-night stay starts at $73 a night for a standard room with two queen-sized beds. Two-bedroom suites start at $113 per night for a seven-night stay. The suite includes two separate rooms with a total of three queen-sized beds, a kitchenette area, a picnic table and a bathroom.

The hotel also features Beach Break Cafe, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner of sandwiches, pizzas, power bowls and burgers, with most dishes under $12.

"The Loews-run hotel promises to disrupt the budget hotel industry on International Drive," said Robert Niles, the founder and editor of the Theme Park Insider website. "Now guests can get an 'on site' theme park resort hotel experience for far less than they've paid in decades."

Despite its price, the hotel doesn't feel or look cheap. It has a huge surfboard-shaped pool with a beachlike zero-entry slope on one end and loads of cushioned seats and umbrellas next to a poolside bar with reasonably priced drinks.

It compares to Walt Disney World's value hotel option, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, which starts at $112 per night.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Jeremy Piven participates in the "Wisdom of the Crowd" panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2017. CHRIS PIZZELLO  |  Invision/AP
    The Emmy-winning ‘Entourage’ star will host a bash on the poolside club WTR.
  2. The new show called the Bourne Stuntacular will debut at Universal Studios Florida in the spring of 2020, the theme park has announced. AP (2015)
    The new show called the Bourne Stuntacular will debut at the Orlando theme park.
  3. Anjelah Johnson attends the launch event for Kevin Hart's new streaming video network, Laugh Out Loud, in 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif. DANNY MOLOSHOK  |  Invision/AP
    A sold-out Tampa show from comedian Anjelah Johnson, the Sacred Heart Fall Festival in Pinellas Park and a Tampa performance by singer Bea Miller.
  4. Bratwurst will be the star of Brat Blast, replacing Ribfest as the Northeast Exchange Club of St. Petersburg's big charity fundraiser of the year. Tampa Bay Times (2014)
    Brat Blast will be the Northeast Exchange Club’s big charity fundraising party this year after the high cost of bands and security for Ribfest cut into its charitable work.
  5. Gondolas move to various locations at Walt Disney World on the Disney Skyliner aerial tram, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Disney officials said the resort’s Disney Skyliner started operating again on Monday.
  6. From left: Jason Mewes as Jay and Kevin Smith as Silent Bob in "Clerks II." The Weinstein Company
    Catch a showing of the ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,’ the Jokes on You Comedy Tour continues and celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Alien.’
  7. Alison Krauss will perform at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 20. Capitol Records
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday returns with a strong music lineup, Zac Brown Band plays Tampa and Barry Bostwick will be here to screen ‘Rocky Horror.'
  8. On Sunday, Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Wayne Brady performs at the Mahaffey, St. Petersburg hosts the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge and Taking Back Sunday stops by Jannus Live.
  9. J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    J.B. Smoove takes the Straz Center stage, plus Roboticon Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center and the St. Pete Side Lot hosts the Guerilla Art Market.
  10. On Friday, Chris Stapleton will take over Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre for a performance. Courtesy of Andy Barron
    Chris Stapleton appears at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Oktoberfest Tampa begins and Jeanne Robertson stops by the Capitol Theatre.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement