November 7, 2019
We went to Universal Studios for the second time this year in September, and this time we took my best friend and her family along for the ride! We had the privilege of staying at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, Universal’s new value resort. This place was amazing and is a go-to if you are looking for an affordable resort at Universal Orlando.
I was so excited to see how Universal does value. In this case, the most affordable does not mean most basic at Univeral Orlando! Surfside Inn and Suites exceeded my expectations with how beautiful and truly luxurious and affordable Universal Orlando resort can be. The theming is fun, family-friendly, Universal Resorts did an amazing job making “affordable” really and truly enjoyable!
As soon as you walk into this affordable Universal Orlando resort, it feels like you have arrived on vacation. It is so bright and happy, and the staff is really welcoming and helpful. Everything is surf-themed, and there are big double doors leading straight to the pool from the lobby! It calls you to come and play!
I headed out to the pool with the kids as soon as we could! It’s a huge zero entry pool shaped like a surfboard. They provide life jackets and swim diapers, and the kids had a blast playing in the fountain and just running around the shallow part of the pool. Unexpected details and amenities like this were not expected at the most affordable Universal Orlando Resort.
The pool bar at the resort was a hot spot during the heat of the day and into the evening. With plenty of seating and space to sit in the shade, people could take their drinks back over to the pool, or stay cooler and hang out at the bar. My bestie and I had a blast drinking frosé.
The rooms at Universal Orlando’s Surfside Inn and Suites were so bright and spacious! It truly exceeded my expectations for an affordable resort. We stayed in the 2 room suite, however there is a standard 2 queen room available as well. We were able to sleep all of us pretty comfortably in there. Having a fridge and table was so convenient for feeding the kids breakfast and snacks! It was wonderful to be able to put the toddlers in the bedroom for naps and have the rest of us hang out in the big space. This hotel is great for a family with older teenagers! They could have the bigger space with the table and fridge for late-night hangouts, and parents could sleep in the bedroom! I love these little years, but life without naps and earlier bedtimes will be a welcome change when it comes. It will be so fun to bring the kids back here as they get older!
Let’s talk about food! At some value resorts food can be basic and expensive but this was not the case at this Universal Orlando resort.
First off, we bought the resort mugs which allowed us to have unlimited beverages while we were there. Such a game-changer, especially for the days we hung out at the resort! All the coffee and sparkling water I could ask for!
The restaurant had amazing options. They had a huge breakfast spread. Eggs, sausages, bacon, breakfast pastries… everything we could want while the adults tried to eat a little more healthy on our vacation, and everything the kids could want too! Their lunch and dinner options were awesome. I had an amazing chicken quinoa bowl for dinner one night. It wasn’t just your typical theme park style food. They had tons of Gluten Free and Vegan options, and not just your plain blah options… like actually delicious Gluten Free and Vegan stuff! I was thoroughly impressed at all the options this affordable resort had.
The gym was awesome. It was so well equipped and bright! Definitely an open and airy space that made me not feel like I was in a dungeon working out on vacation like some value resort gyms do. The gym had open windows that looked out over the pool area and was a perfectly equipped spot to get in a quick workout before heading to the pool or parks for the day.
The busses to the Universal Studios Orlando parks were wonderful. There seemed to always be one waiting when we got to the stop, and with littles who were excited to get to the parks, it was so nice to not have to wait long! They do make you fold your stroller when you get on the bus, so be prepared to pull all your stuff (and your child) out of it and fold it. They’ll be sure to remind you when you get on the bus, but just so you can be prepared, know that this is a thing.
As you can probably see, we had a blast playing at the pool. As I mentioned before, the poolside bar made it very easy to grab drinks for us and smoothies for the kids to keep the fun coming all day. We spent two of our five days just hanging at the resort, it was a really nice respite from the busy park days and the perfect amount of amenities that we had everything we needed but didn’t feel the stress to have to “do” all the stuff at the resort – it was simple, beautiful, and everything we wanted and needed. I would 100% come back to stay here and can’t recommend it enough as a VERY affordable option for staying on the Universal Orlando resort property – which is WORTH IT. The seamless and easy bus transportation, perks of extra park hours, and overall ease of the experience make staying on property pretty much a non-negotiable in my book.
Stay tuned for my tips on going to the Universal Orlando theme parks with kids 5 and under. It can be done, and YES it’s FUN!
Planning a family trip to Universal Orlando? Read more about our time there and our experience at Volcano Bay with Kids.