Surf’s Up at Universal’s Surfside Inn & Suites

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Liliane Opsomer, the coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids, stayed at Surfside Inn, the latest property of Universal Orlando. Here is here review.

The Endless Summer Resort is Universal’s latest hotel complex featuring two hotel towers of which Surfside Inn & Suites opened in 2019. It is Universal’s first value resort with 750 rooms, including 390 family suites.

Surfside Inn

Standard rooms are 313-square-foot with two queen-size beds, a coffee maker, a 43-inch TV, and a mini-fridge. The 440-square-foot family suites accommodate a total of six people in three queen-size beds, one of which is in a separate room with its own TV. The separate bedroom is a big plus for me, as I do not like pullout sofas, not even for the kids.

The suites have a kitchenette complete with a microwave, sink, coffee maker, mini-fridge, and small dining area. All rooms feature one bathroom (with bathtub or shower) and a separate double-sink vanity area, as well as an ironing board and an in-room safe. Bathroom amenities are simple but nice, except for the rough towels.

The surf-themed rooms come in hues of blue and green; while there is not a lot of storage space, there are hooks everywhere that help keep your things off the floor. There are plenty of USB charging stations, and the rooms are soundproof. The rooms are tastefully designed, modern, simple yet fun, with coastal vibes throughout.

Surfside Inn & Suites sports a surfboard-shaped pool with a small splash area for little tykes. Family pool activities such as Hula-Hoop contests and Bingo take place. There is also a Ping-Pong table for guests to use. When you check into the hotel, ask the front desk for a list of activities during your stay, or talk to the lifeguards at the pool. When I visited, activities took place inside, as the pool was closed due to hurricane preparation, and Minions roamed the lobby to the delight of young and old.

Surfside Inn

Surfside Inn

Minion at Surfside Inn

The food court, with a variety of stations, serves three meals a day and is complemented by a pool bar, a coffee bar in the lobby, and in-room pizza delivery. The food court is less exciting than the amazing Urban Pantry over at Aventura hotel, but for families with small children it sure serves the purpose.

Surfside Inn

Surfside Inn

There is a well-equipped, state-of-the-art fitness center; a Universal Studios store; and a Universal vacation-planning center. And yes, in case you were wondering, there is a video arcade, something I could do without at any hotel.

The lobby decor is bright and inviting; there is plenty of seating. While less fancy than those of Sapphire Falls or the Aventura, Surfside Inn’s lobby is a welcome departure from uninspiring hotel lobbies. It even makes for a nice place to have a drink and play a board game with the children.

Surfside Inn

A word about the halls: They are as endless as the name of the resort, so make sure you know where you are going. I embarked in the wrong direction several times. A little more signage would go a long way.

Good to Know

Staying at Surfside Inn & Suites grants guests early park admission and free transportation to the theme parks and CityWalk. This includes early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay, one hour before the parks open. Your stay does not include complimentary Universal Express Passes. The bus transportation is free, fast, and excellent. I never waited more than 10 minutes in either direction. Free WiFi is included in the room rate, but a daily $15 self-parking fee is additional.

The Dockside Inn, opening March 17, 2020, will add 1,300 rooms, including standard rooms and suites, to Endless Summer Resort and will offer the same amenities as its sister property Surfside Inn.

With room rates starting at $85 with a minimum stay of 4 nights, the hotels of Endless Summer Resort offer the best value for guests visiting Universal Orlando, and the six-person family suites offer lots of room at a bargain price. When it comes to budget hotel space, Endless Summer Resort is hard to beat. I can’t wait to see if the much larger Dockside Inn can wow with equal quality and décor.

For more about all Universal Orlando hotels check out the upcoming edition of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando by Seth Kubersky.

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