Universal Orlando invited members of the media to tour around and get a first look inside Endless Summer Resort as Dockside Inn & Suites before it opens to the public.
During our visit, workers were still adding the final touches around the resort, so we were not able to experience Dockside in its totality; however, it’s very clear that Dockside is all set to open.
“It’s all about process refinement at this point. The hotel is ready to go,” said George Cronk – Managing Director, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites. “We’re making sure our team members are ready for our first guests on March 17th”.
Dockside will open in two phases, with Phase 1 set to welcome its first guests on March 17. Phase 2 is still on track for a Fall 2020 opening. Once Phase 2 opens, it will add 2,050 guest rooms to the Universal Orlando hotel portfolio. Dockside Inn & Suites is the sister resort to the 750-room Surfside Inn and Suites located right across the street. s a whole, Endless Summer Resort introduces extra affordability with the introduction of the Value category, offering the lowest rates of any Resort hotel.
Dockside is very similar to Surfside, especially when it comes to amenities. The big difference is aesthetic. As the name suggests, Dockside is all about a coastal vibe – featuring warm colors, meant to envoke “that feeling at sunset”. As Dockside sits on a larger plot of land, the resort was able to take advantage of its space – most noticeably with the lobby, dining area, and pool.
Dockside features both standard rooms and 2-Bedroom Suites – which can accommodate up to six people, just like Surfside Inn & Suites. The suites include two separate rooms, a kitchenette area, a picnic table, and a bathroom.
The on-site restaurant, Pier 8 Market, will offer a variety of stations serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The featured item at the Market is the Dockside Wrap. Inspired by how dockworkers adjusted to eating their lunch as efficiently as possible, the wrap is filled with pastrami with swiss cheese, coleslaw, and, yes, even french fries. The dining area is massive, featuring over 364 seats, and designed as if you’re sitting under a pier.
The lobby bar – the Sunset Lounge – features a design inspired by a vintage, yellow Volkswagen bus, and serves specialty cocktails and craft beer, including the hotel’s own mango blonde called the Sunset Blonde. We asked Phil Klinkenberg – Director of Food and Beverage, Dockside Inn and Suites – which drink he would recommend, he quickly answered “Our take on the Mai Tai,” which interestingly features Matcha. Klinkenberg was also very high on the Lounge’s sangria, which is bourbon-based.
The pool at Dockside is much larger in comparison to Surfside, featuring over 900 lounge chairs. Universal once again did a fantastic job of isolating the pool area from the surrounding outside elements. The poolside bar, The Oasis Beach Bar will offer refreshing, beach-inspired beverages, and features a lot of shaded seating. As Endless Summer sits on the former home of Wet n’ Wild water park, the drinks at the Oasis Beach pool bar are named after the Wet n’ Wild attractions – including the Bubba Tub, Disco H20, and the Mach 5. The Bubba Tub is the bar’s signature 32oz drink, served in a souvenir Dockside bucket that all cocktails from the bar menu can be upgraded to, and is set to be priced at $16.
As we stated after our tour of Surfside last year, the hotel’s location “off” of the main Universal property didn’t feel like it was an issue. Transportation to and from the Universal hub is actually faster than traveling by bus from Aventura or Cabana. Unless your view isn’t the poolside rooms, it may not be something you notice.
And as many of our followers on social media asked, yes, there is a Starbucks on-site, located in the lobby.
Guests who stay at Dockside will still receive early park admission, complimentary resort-wide transportation, and charging privileges with their room key.
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites is set to open on March 17, 2020.
For more information and to book a stay at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, visit the official site.