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The Cabana Bay Beach Resort At Universal Studios Orlando opened in the Spring of 2014. It was meant to attract families and be a more moderately priced hotel at the Universal Studio’s complex of hotels, restaurants/marketplaces, and theme parks. The hotel itself was huge, with 1,800 rooms but the rooms are divided in three distinct groupings: rooms clustered around the lobby area, and then rooms sectioned in multiple buildings around one of two large pools, and the lazy river. As big as it was, it never really felt overwhelming tho. There were two basic room options:
- a 300 square-foot standard room for up to 4 guests, with prices ranging between $119 and $149 per night
- a 432 square-foot family suite for up to 6 guests, with prices range between $174 and $209 per night. Our family suite was $179 per night, but we were able to qualify for the Florida Resident Discount, bringing the room cost down to an ultra-reasonable $109 per night.
The rooms were 100 percent retro: think the Jetsons meet the Flintstones. The room was simple, but absolutely bathed in royal, orange and white, with a touch of brown to complete the vintage vibe.Our family suite had a kitchenette with a mini-refrigerator which was nice for breakfast, and snacks.The bathroom was nice in that it was separated into three sections: a separate toilet, a vanity area in the middle, and then a second sink with in the shower/tub combination.There were also two flat screen TVs – one in the living room, and one in the bedroom, and a sliding door which sectioned off the two rooms. There was free wi-fi in the room for up to 5 devices per room.
The property itself was fun, with heated pool areas, bars, a 600 seat cafeteria style dining room and even a Starbucks on the property. There was also complimentary bus transportation to Universal Studio’s park entrance called CityWalk were there was more dining, shops, and entertainment. It was nice to be able to park the car – self parking was $10 a night – and then not have to use the car for the three days we were there. Bottom Line:
The Cabana Bay Beach Resort was actually a pretty fun experience. The fact that the pools were heated (but not “hot hot”) was a bonus, as we were able to swim at night during the 4th week in November. Although the property was gigantic, we never felt like we were too far away from the pool, or the lobby and dinging area. If you have kids, this hotel is a smash hit. If you don’t have kids, I would strongly recommend one of the other three properties at Universal Studios Orlando – the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel or the Hard Rock Hotel.
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