It’s not often that we stay in a hotel that exceeds our expectations. Happily, our stay at The Cabana Bay Resort proved to be one of those occasions.
To give the hotel it’s full title ‘The Cabana Bay Beach Resort’ is one of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotel which is co-owned and managed by Loews Hotels & Resorts.
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The Cabana Bay Style
The hotel is styled in the classic American space-age designs of the late 1950’s early 60’s. A colourful mix of Diners, The Jetsons and Rock ‘N’ Roll Beach Parties. The design made us smile as soon as we entered the large lobby which really reminded us of a newly opened 1950’s airport building as if it had been lifted directly from the film ‘Catch Me If You Can’.
Outside in the car park are a selection of classic American cars, just some of the little retro touches which are repeated throughout the hotel.
Although the Cabana Bay was big the service was excellent. Check-in was quick and easy and the staff were very helpful, arranging a slightly later checkout was not an issue.
The only slightly negative aspect was that our room was quite a long walk from reception, however, help with the bags was avilable if required.
Our room was in the ‘Beachside’ building, this building was the latest addition to the Cabana Bay resort and was adjacent to the new Volcano Bay water theme park which was useful.
The rooms were a decent size and decorated in retro colours of blues, whites and oranges. They even had vintage style packaging on the shampoo and soaps.
The view from our room on the 4th floor looked over one of the large pool areas but there was no noise. In fact, the rooms were very quiet and as the Beachside building was a tower at the far end of the hotel there wasn’t any ‘though traffic’ noise in the corridors.
The Cabana Bay Facilities
Although staying at the Cabana Bay does not give you Universal Express Passes for the theme parks it does give you early admission, one hour before the parks open. Also, it has it’s own residents only entrance to the new Volcano Bay water theme park.
This water park has just opened and the queues were long but with the early admission, we managed to get sunbeds on the beach in the shade and simply walk onto 5 of the big attractions before the main gates opened to the public.
The hotel is not on the boat service to City Walk and the other Universal parks but there is a shuttle bus. We were initially concerned there were going to be long queues in the morning but this was not the case. There were plenty of air conditioned buses and the longest we waited in the morning was 5 minutes, the rest of the time the buses were already there waiting for us.
The facilities also included:
- 2 Swimming Pools
- A Lazy River
- Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio
- A Bowling Alley
- Lobby and Pool Bars
as well as game rooms and play areas for kids (which we avoided).
As a couple, we are not a big fan of quick service restaurants and unfortunately, there was not a full-service restaurant on-site. The food in the Bayliner Diner was good but it would’ve been nice to have a ‘proper’ restaurant.
This was our only minor criticism of an otherwise outstanding hotel. In their defence, they do offer a dining shuttle which takes you to signature restaurants in their other resort hotels and there are plenty of options in City Walk.
Although the hotel is big with over 2000 rooms it didn’t feel crowded, we had plenty of space by the pools and the public areas were spacious.
Would We Stay At The Cabana Bay Resort Again
That would be a definite ‘Yes’! The hotel exceeded our expectations, the styling was really good fun, the pool areas were great and the service was excellent. We actually enjoyed our stay at the Cabana Bay more than our previous stays at the Premier Universal hotels, The Royal Pacific and The Hard Rock Hotel.
We hope to return very soon.
Have you stayed in a reasonably priced hotel that exceeded your expectations?
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