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One of my favorite memories was taking my husband on one of our first dates to CityWalk. We started the evening with cocktails and dinner at The Cowfish and then we played a round of Hollywood Drive-In Golf. While you might think he let me win on our third date, he certainly did not.
Fast forward a few months later, we booked a stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and had the most romantic weekend. We had dinner and drinks at Mama Della’s and had a night cap at Thirsty Fish. The next day we took a romantic cruise on the Water Taxi over to the parks to ride our favorite rides together. We were tired from spending the day in the parks so we decided to take some pizza to our room and watch movies in the fancy hotel robes. No romantic getaway is complete without a fancy robe night.
Here are some of my favorite tips for a romantic getaway to Universal Orlando Resort.
Where to Stay on Your Romantic Getaway
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Premier Hotel – $$$$
There should be no surprise that with Italian being one of the most romantic languages in the world, I believe this might just be one of the most romantic hotels at Universal Orlando. Pulling into Loews Portofino Bay Hotel feels like you’ve left Florida and have been transported RIGHT to the beautiful seaside village of Portofino, Italy. My husband and I have been to the real Portofino, Italy and this hotel is spot-on. The whole vibe of the hotel just feels incredibly romantic from entrance to the piazza, all the way to your room.
- You have two options for a romantic night out at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and I’d highly recommend you check them both out if you have time.
- Mama Della’s is cozy and intimate, featuring strolling singers to play a romantic ballad for you and your partner. I’m craving the Pollo alla Carbonara so bad just thinking about it.
- The other restaurant is BiCE Ristorante. I highly recommend the Prosciutto di Parma e Burrata and Cappellaccio al Brasato di Manzo con Salsa Cremosa ai Funghi (say that three times fast). That dish is Homemade “Little Hat” shaped Pasta stuffed with Braised Beef Short Rib, served with Fresh Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce. Pair all that with a glass of wine and I’d say that’s a PERFECT evening.
- We love ending the night with a drink and some live music at Thirsty Fish and taking a stroll on the piazza under the stars.
- Book an appointment for a couples massage at the Mandara Spa to really crank up the romance.
- Our favorite way to relax is by the serene Villa Pool, soaking up the warm Florida sunshine with a speciality cocktail in hand.
Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Premier Hotel – $$$$
If you and your s/o have a tropical getaway AND theme park vacation on your bucket list, Loews Royal Pacific Resort is the perfect hotel for you. The second you pull into the hotel you’re greeted with the sights and sounds of the islands and even some faint theme-park attractions (if you listen close enough because that is literally how close you are to the parks!).
Recommendations for Couples
- As a sushi connoisseur, I highly recommend sushi and martinis from the Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar. It’s also recently renovated and is absolutely gorgeous — perfect spot for a romantic meal.
- My husband and I love to grab our favorite books or magazines, and kick back by the pool with delicious tropical beverages from Bula Bar & Grill.
- My husband brews his own beer so we love tasting some new flavors with a beer flight at Jake’s American Bar.
A HUGE benefit to staying at Loews Royal Pacific Resort or Loews Portofino Bay Hotel includes FREE Universal Express Unlimited Pass, yes, FREE. All you need is your room key and you get to skip the lines at select attractions.
Looking for a different vibe for your stay? There are lots to choose from! Check out the full list of hotel options. The availability of some offerings at our resort hotels may be temporarily limited. Guests should check with the front desk for more details.
What to Do During Your Romantic Weekend Getaway
You’ve picked your romantic hotel and some activities, but what else is there to do on your romantic getaway to Universal Orlando? I personally love to take some time walking around the parks, grabbing a drink and/or snack, and making our way to our favorite attractions. Here’s a list of my favorites!
Experience Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands Of Adventure.
- I like to start off my romantic getaway raising our heart rates on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios. It’s a great way to kick off the day and get your adrenaline going.
- We are HUGE Jurassic World fans, so we love seeing our favorite dinosaurs on Jurassic Park River Adventure and meeting Blue, Baby Tango, and Baby Sierra at Raptor Encounter.
- Do you enjoy curling up on the couch and watching Jimmy Fallon together? You can experience it in real life riding Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
- Spark a little magic and experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter together. I recommend sharing a Butterbeer, taking a romantic trip on the Hogwarts Express and riding side by side on a motorbike on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
- I love taking a cute couple photo with my favorite Transformers Robot in the background. Bumblebee is sure to make your photos even better.
- We love a little friendly competition on MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack. A little secret from me to you: Aim high and don’t forget to push the red button! (Don’t tell my husband that tip.)
- I also recommend experiencing Skull Island: Reign of Kong to snuggle closer and even sneak a little hand holding in.
- A true test to any relationship is taking on The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Islands of Adventure. Who will scream the loudest?
Experience some carefree, island romance at Universal’s Volcano Bay.
- You’ve made your way into the park, time to find the perfect spot for lounging together with a cold drink on Waturi Beach.
- I recommend taking on Krakatau Aqua Coaster together once you’ve found your spot. If you’re seeing a theme, I like to kick off my romantic vacations with a bit of adrenaline.
- Speaking of an adrenaline rush, you can both compete to see who makes it down first on Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides.
- Watch each other take on Ko’Okiri Body Plunge if you’re brave enough! Personally, I’ll wait for my husband at the bottom while soaking in the Puka Uli Lagoon.
- For a bit more relaxation, soak up the sun while holding hands and floating down the Kopiko Wai Winding River.
- Or take it up a notch on TeAwa The Fearless River. I will say, holding hands might be a bit more of a challenge on this one.
- Take a break and grab some delicious tropical drinks while taking in a view of the volcano from Dancing Dragons Boat Bar.
- I’d also recommend riding Honu of Honu Ika Moana or Maku and Puihi of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides. These are fun slides to sit side by side on.
Indulge in an elevated date night at Universal CityWalk.
After the parks close, CityWalk is a great spot to take a stroll, listen to some live music, grab food or a drink, watch a movie, or even play some mini golf. Here are some suggestions for a romantic evening.
- One of my first dates with my husband was to Hollywood Drive-In Golf. It was such a perfect way to end the evening after dinner and drinks.
- We also LOVE going to the movies. It’s one of our weekly date night activities. Universal Cinemark Movie Theater has the most comfy seats ever and is such a great spot to watch a film.
Where to Eat on Your Romantic Weekend Getaway
I’ve told you where to stay, what to do but the most important thing is where to eat. Food is one way my husband and I love to bond. Talking about flavors, trying new things, and indulging in our favorites.
- There are some amazing breakfast options if you’re looking to venture away from room service at your hotel. I highly recommend checking out Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Sit outside next to the waterfall and lagoon while you enjoy some Caribbean French Toast with caramelized pineapple. Take a look at this list for even more options at the hotels. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if your stomach starts growling.
- TODAY Cafe is a great spot to grab a quick bite if you’re starting with Universal Studios Florida. We love Nova lox so I’d totally recommend the Al’s Smoked Salmon Lox Bagel, a refreshing Acai Bowl, or the Park Avenue Avocado Toast.
- Confisco Grille is the best kept not-so-secret spot for amazing food. The Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs are ::chefs kiss::
- Finnegan’s Bar and Grill will always have a little place in my heart. The most romantic experience is sharing a Finnegan’s Potato & Onion Webb.
- If you happen to be in CityWalk during lunch, one of my favorite date spots is Red Oven Pizza Bakery to split a pizza. There’s something romantic about grabbing a warm slice of pizza at the same time that really gets the sparks going.
- Hogs Head is one of our favorite romantic places to share a Butterbeer and take a break from the sun.
- One of our go-to snack items is sharing a warm, sugary cinnamon churro in Jurassic Park. Churros just hit differently from the land and there’s nothing more romantic than listening to the sounds of the Jurassic Park soundtrack, sticky fingers and a sugar rush — or even trying to take a bite at the same time.
- I highly recommend you go to the award-winning Mythos Restaurant if you’re having dinner at Islands of Adventure. The views are stunning and the menu often rotates to guarantee you’re getting fresh, seasonal flavors throughout the year.
- My husband and I love Tuna Poke and that’s why we love Lombard’s Seafood Grille. The Filet Mignon is also delicious, if you or your partner are looking for a non-seafood option.
- I love a romantic evening at Bigfire. The restaurant is so cozy and warm, making you feel as though you’ve entered a lakeside summer house. We love sharing the Wood Charred Brussel Sprouts and Premium Bigfire Steaks. We share because it’s a MUST to split the Tableside S’mores. The S’mores make for the cutest end to a great date.
- My husband and I love a great view and there is no place better to get an eagle-eye look at the parks while sipping on a craft cocktail than Bar 17 Bistro at Universal’s Aventura Hotel. Throw in a couple delicious, uniquely-flavored Bao Buns and we are all set for a phenomenal night of sight and taste.
- All of the places above have amazing dessert options, but one of my favorites is heading to Florean Fortescues and getting Sticky Toffee Pudding, Salted Caramel Blondie, and Chocolate Chili ice cream and eating it on the steps next to Gringotts together.
- I also love ordering a few doughnuts (Eight Mile Cake and Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bar are our go-tos) to share from Voodoo Doughnut and sitting on the steps listening to live music in CityWalk.
We know your romantic getaway is going to have some great memories, so share them with us! Oh, and all of those cute pictures that you’ve been taking? We want to see those too, so tag us on Twitter @UniversalORL and Instagram @UniversalOrlando in all your weekend getaway photos for a chance to be featured on our social channels.