Well, things didn't start off great, so If I'm being honest, I was already a little irritated when I checked in at 2 am. At some point, in the middle of the day that we were scheduled to arrive, we received an email that the suite room that we had reserved had been downgraded to a standard room. When I called to complain about being downgraded with no notice, I got the generic "maintenance issues" and was told that we had no choice. Here's the messed up part, the price difference for our beautiful suite with kitchenette and the standard room was only $5. That's all we were getting back to be down graded! After I complained (which I shouldn't have had to do, they offered us 2 free breakfast vouchers. Ok, fine, I can move on with that. Of course they didn't have them for us when we checked in at 2am so it was nice to have to wait and extra 15 minutes while they figured it out, but I digress....
The rooms are really nice, a decent size, and very nicely furnished with cute little throwbacks of vintage design. In fact the whole hotel is fund like that. Kind of a 50's beach party theme. That said, be prepared to get lost when you are first looking for your room, especially if they put you in a room out on the highway. I am fairly intelligent (at least I think so) and a great map reader (usually), but I was so confused and turned around based on how they constructed the map. To make matters worse, there are no signs anywhere. Why you would put room elevators in the back of a diner and not put even one sign to direct weary travelers is beyond me. Fail on that aspect.
Ok, now that I have whined for the last 10 minutes, let me get to a few more good things. The pool area is awesome! For a change, a resort has designed a pool area that is actually large enough for all of it's guests. There is a really nice lazy river, a waterslide, some lovely jacuzzi action, and of course, a nice-sezed zero entry pool. Wade on in nearly any time of the year, because the water's warm! There are also lifeguards everywhere. This is great because it encourages guests to behave appropriately, especially in the lazy river.
The look of the resort is great! It has a fun vibe and it's all shiny and new. I hope that Universal cares for this resort because it is a nice alternative to the more expensive Universal resorts that aligns better with their partner resort's pricing. For the Disney traveler, I would say that it would be wise to temper your expectations; Universal and Disney are two completely different experiences. They are selling this as a moderate, but aside from it being new, I would say that it is more in line with the value resorts, maybe more like Pop Century 20 or 30 years ago? All in all though, it is not a bad value for the price.