Friday, July 26, 2013

A Visit To: The Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando

Back in March my husband and I got to stay at The Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando for a weekend.

This luxury hotel is built around a man-made harbor/marina and recreates a gorgeous and colorful harbor fishing village actually called Portofino located on the Italy Riviera.

It's really spectacular! We had a really good time.

As you can see, it seems as though we practically had the whole place to ourselves. Although there were quite a lot of people there the hotel is big enough we weren't falling over each other.

The 'boats' in the 'harbor' are just props.

Features of the hotel are outdoor cafes, boutiques and cobblestone streets.

It's an easy walk along a shaded picturesque canal path to Universal Studios and the boardwalk. Along the way we visited a very well maintained butterfly garden (I picked up a few pointers, one of them being weed more often) and walked through a standing of mature bamboo trees that rattled as the rather chilly wind rustled through. Very cool. 

The canal water isn't photoshopped, it's really that color. They probably tint it to mirror the Mediterranean's turquoise colored water. No expense spared here.

Barges take you back and forth between the Portofino, Hard Rock Hotel and Universal.

This swimming pool is amazing. I believe we counted three pools in total scattered about the hotel. It features what appears to be a replication of a ruined castle, or maybe just old city walls. Since the actual Italian town of Portofino has a castle - Castello Brown (16C) - perched on a hill overlooking the village, this is probably where the idea came's a nice touch. The archway to the right with the water cascading down reminds me a little bit of the old 'Traitors Gate' at the Town of London, except there is no portcullis in sight and the water is a clear, aqua blue.

A lonely little duck swam around in the pool all by itself closely watched by the vigilant lifeguards!

When we got home I was thrilled to find this decorative dish which was made in Italy. It reminded me of the Portofino Bay Hotel so much, I just had to have it!

The real Portofino village in Italy was - according to Pliny the Elder - founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf.

To view pictures of the real Portofino in Italy go here. The Seaside Town Of Portofino in Italy

The photos are beautiful and you can see how much effort was put into the hotel in Orlando to replicate the pastel colors, authentic charm and ambience of the Italian seaside town. Trouble is I want to visit the real Portofino now! Viva le vacanze!


  1. did this place have a pool more for kids, or did you see any kids??? i would have whole family stay later in the year. family coming from louisiana. looks like a gorgeous place, for sure. very romantic! thx dawn!!!

    1. Yes very kid friendly, small playground right next to the pool shown in pictures. The other pools do not have lifeguards on duty. Great place to stay since Universal Studios and the boardwalk a short distance away with the Hard Rock. Bubba Gump etc, well worth a visit.

  2. The Portofino Hotel looks lovely. I've been to Portofino Italy and the hotel area is a good resemblance. America has some fantastic holiday areas, you'd hardly need to leave the country at!

  3. OOOh you're so lucky to have gotten to go to the real thing Kelli, but yes we do have some amazing vacation spots over here, and they're not all as grand and luxurious as the Portofino Bay. Sometimes just simple with gorgeous scenery works just as well.


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