The budget hotel is getting a major makeover at Universal Orlando.

The new Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites features rooms starting at just $77 per night, with a mix of standard rooms and two-bedroom suites for larger families. (The suites, which sleep six, start at $115.)

But the wallet-friendly prices come with a surprising list of perks — including early theme park admission and specialty cocktails served at the Sunset Lounge, a lobby bar designed to look like a beachside VW van. (Visitors can currently sample the Mardi Gras-themed "Endless Carnaval" cocktail.) And the rooms even sport higher-end finishes like wood floors and vaulted ceilings.

"Our Universal creative team that does our hotels are the same team that does the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Fast & The Furious, Transformers, so you get storytelling everywhere you look," says Mandy Penn, senior director of Resorts Marketing at Universal Orlando.

The "story" at Dockside Inn and Suites centers on "the perfect sunset," with real, locally made Quiet Flight surfboards in every room and driftwood motifs throughout.

"It's the feeling of sand, surf and sunset," says Penn, noting that at the hotel's budget-friendly Pier 8 Market (most items are under $12) "the windows are designed to make the sunlight feel like it's filtering through planks of wood, so you feel like you are underneath the boardwalk."

Dockside was originally slated to open last March, just before the pandemic shut down worldwide travel. The opening was pushed to December, and its sister property, Surfside Inn and Suites, remains closed. The hotel joins Universal's six other properties and is priced just below its previous "value" resorts, Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel.

"Now we have a hotel for every budget, every family, every size," says Penn.

In all areas of the resort, COVID-19 guidelines are strictly enforced, with mandatory mask rules and temperature checks throughout the hotels and theme parks.

"We've created an environment where people can be safe and still have fun with their families," says Penn. "People are so happy to get out of the house."

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