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One of the pitfalls of using miles and points to offset the cost of vacation is the potential to splurge on other items at the same time, thus not really saving any money. Ha! I can’t be the only one who does this, right?
On my family’s recent trip to Orlando, one of our big splurges was booking the Future Rock Star Suite at Hard Rock Hotel. While my family of five could have all slept in one regular room, none of us would have slept well. Supposedly, my husband and I both snore. And one of our kids is so restless at night that I can’t bear it.
Spoiler alert: the Future Rock Star Suite is totally worth it. I have no regrets.
Future Rock Star Suite
This suite sleeps up to six people. It has a king-size bed (woohoo!), a double sofa bed and two twin beds. This is the layout:
When you enter, there is a gigantic walk-in closet on the left. The hallway has a small refrigerator as well as a coffee maker. The bathroom is very large and modern and features three sinks as well as a separate bath tub and walk-in shower.
The room feels like a small apartment with rock star memorabilia.
The best thing about this room is the enclosed kids’ suite, which is rock-star themed. There is a stage complete with a color-changing floor. Above the beds are twinkling stars that the kids can control. The furniture looks like roadie music equipment storage.
This room has a separate entrance to the shared bathroom, but does not have a door to the hallway. My kids loved it! And I loved having separate sleeping spaces.
Benefits of Staying at Hard Rock Hotel
Hard Rock Hotel at Universal is one of three on-site hotels that offers free Express Pass Unlimited for everyone in your room when you stay there. This is a HUGE benefit. It’s basically like having a FastPass for almost every ride in the parks. When we went, only two rides didn’t accept the Express Pass: Velocicoaster (it had a soft opening) and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
Since we were there over a crowded Memorial Day Weekend, I really wanted that Express Pass. You can buy it separately, but depending on the day it can cost over $100 extra per person. By staying at Hard Rock Hotel for one night, you get Express Pass Unlimited for two days (the day of check-in and the day of check-out). It’s well worth the money if you have a large family. We were able to ride everything we wanted multiple times.
In addition to Express Pass, another big benefit of staying at Hard Rock Hotel is its proximity to the theme parks. We only had to walk ~5 minutes to get to the gate of Universal Studios, and just a few minutes longer to Islands of Adventure. It was nice not having to wait on buses or deal with parking.
All on-site hotel guests also get to enter the parks one hour before opening. And although we didn’t use it, the hotel has a nice-looking pool with underwater music and a waterslide. The market place downstairs had a good assortment of grab-and-go food as well as made-to-order fast food.
Using Miles and Points
One night in the Future Rock Star Suite set us back about $800, but the rate varies by date. This suite was cheaper than booking two separate regular rooms.
Fortunately, I had some miles from my Capital One Venture Rewards Card that I used to offset the cost by a little over $300. (You can read more about the 100k bonus offer on Capital One Venture Rewards Card here.)
If (or rather when) we return to Universal, there’s a very good chance we will book the Future Rock Star Suite at Hard Rock Hotel again.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.