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Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

Price Level: Value

Robert Niles

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Published: August 22, 2015

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened March 31, 2014 at Universal Orlando Resort, on a 37-acre site adjacent to Universal's Islands of Adventure - just off Hollywood Way and Turkey Lake Road. With a 1960s-vintage Googie look, the resort offers 1800 on-site rooms - including 900 family suites and 900 standard guest rooms.

Like Universal's other three on-site hotels, Loews Hotels & Resorts operates the Cabana Bay. However, the Universal Express front-of-the-line benefit in the parks is not included at no extra charge to guests of the Cabana Bay.

Bayliner Diner (Counter Service)7
The Hideaway Bar and Grill (Counter Service)7
Galaxy Bowl Restaurant (Table Service)

Rob Pastor
We were pleasantly surprised with Cabana Bay. It's value priced, but it has the amenities of a Disney moderate. The main pool & it's environs are spectacular in the evening light. The second pool and the Lazy River are lots of fun, and the fire pits are a nice touch. We were able to book a suite during the off season, using our out of state annual pass discount, for the amazing price of $89 a night. Transportation was excellent. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a bus to the resort or back from Citi Walk. And now they have a beautifully landscaped walking trail as an alternative. This is a great cost savings addition to the Universal resort.
Mark Brockway
My wife and I stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort and really enjoyed ourselves. We stayed in Sept of 2014 and the price is definitely a deal. That said one should know that there are some compromises compared to the other three onsite hotels.
My wife has a disability and this hotel only offers shuttle service to Universal. This is great and the staff is wonderful, but when using a wheelchair there is some distance. The drop off point is at the beginning of City Walk so there is a fair distance to travel to get to the parks, unlike the drop-off points for the water taxi's the other parks offer.
There is no hotel to hotel shuttle without having to go to City Walk first. Not a big deal, but again if traveling with a handicap it is not as convenient. We had wanted to go to one of the other hotels to have dinner. Cabana Bay does not have a "fancy" restaurant and I wanted to take my wife out to a special dinner. We ended up choosing not to out of inconvenience in travel times and comfort related to her disability. And there is always the City Walk restaurants, but the hotels offer some unique places. The staff at Cabana Bay did say that the shuttle issue may change in the future, I hope so at least for dinner times.
If you stay here keep in mind that the pool view rooms are nice, but a bit louder as there is music playing around the pools. Something to keep in mind if you like quiet earlier in the evening. Was not a problem for us, but if you wanted to go to bed early, ear plugs may be a good idea to bring if you sleep light.
A hint I do have for food is to remember the bowling alley. The diner downstairs is OK, but the food offered at the bowling alley is far better. We only figured this out on our second to last day there, and I wish I would have realized this from the get go. Also the bowling alley has great happy hour deals on beer. That won some points from me too.
All in all I loved this hotel. The rooms were clean, comfortable, and very cost effective. The staff were all very friendly, informative, thoughtful, and a pleasure to do business with. I would give it a four out of five, and only doc points for lack of hotel to hotel shuttle service. It is a great deal and we had a blast. Hope that helps any future travelers.

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