Monday, July 14, 2014

Cabana Bay Resort at Universal Studios Orlando

This past March Universal Studios opened the Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort.  For many years the only onsite resorts were 5 star resorts:  Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel & Spa.  When Universal announced in 2012 they would open the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, this was great news for guests who wanted a more moderately priced theme park resort. 

Since July 4th was on a Friday this year, I decided to extend my holiday and spend a few days at the resort.  The Cabana Bay Beach Resort has the look and feel reminiscent of the 1960s from the time you walk into the lobby.  Small details take you back to the ‘60s, such as the vintage look of the Zest soap, VO5 shampoo and alarm clocks from the ‘60s.  The resort’s furniture and décor, including the rooms, lobby and pools all have a “retro-hip look”. 

Of the 1800 rooms, 900 are family suites that sleep up to six and include a kitchenette.  The other 900 rooms are small standard rooms that can sleep up to four guests.   The resort has a bowling alley that currently costs $13.00 per person including shoes for an hour and a half.  The Galaxy Bowl has a full- service bar and restaurant and is the only location that offers table service. 

The resort has two large swimming pools.  One is a zero entry pool that has a sandy beach area with plenty of lounge chairs.  The Lazy River is the most popular water spot at the resort and you can purchase floats starting around $7.  I found myself using the lazy river without a float as it was relaxing and a good workout.  The Cabana Courtyard pool has a water slide, cabanas, picnic tables, games and several fire pits, one of my favorite amenities.  The cabanas will accommodate 6 guests and include a TV, refrigerator, fan and phone to order pizza and other food items for delivery.  A cabana rental is $100 and I feel that is on the high end since they don’t offer personalized service.

For those who want to exercise, the resort has a Jack LaLanne gym with cardio and weight equipment.  The Bayliner Diner is a food court that offers plenty of selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  For full service dining, you’ll have to visit one of the other resorts or City Walk.  Since this is a Universal Studios resort, you can take advantage of early park admission, shuttle service to the parks and skip-the-lines-for-free in the parks.  And yes, for those that have to have a cup of their favorite java, you’ll find a Starbucks at the resort.

Here are some of my insider tips.
•Pack your favorite drinks and snacks since prices are high.
•Pack extra sunscreen as a bottle of suntan lotion will cost around $15.00.
•If you’re a light sleeper don’t book a pool side room.  Music around the pools start around 7am it’s not loud but a drawback if you want to sleep in.
•Need that adult beverage? The bowling alley has happy hour from 3pm to 6pm and 10pm to closing time. 
•The only table service is in the Galaxy Bowling alley.
•If you want a Cabana you’ll need to reserve one in advance.  Even at $100 a day all 17 are hard to reserve on weekends and holidays.

•The resort currently offers free limited Internet.
•Complimentary bus transportation to Universal parks and City Walk. The buses run about every 15-30 minutes, always check with the front desk for current schedules and times.

Overall this is a great resort.   The staff is extremely helpful and knows the resort very well.

 If you have questions or want to check rates and availability, please call 770-729-1881 x 103 or email me at