Hey travel bugs! If you are reading this because you are debating whether or not to stay at Cabana Bay Beach Resort – look no further – JUST BOOK IT! This was by far my favourite hotel of all time! If you love the aesthetics and retro vibes of the 50’s and your main purpose of staying in Orlando is to visit Universal Studios, this place is for you! This is also the best choice for budget-conscious travelers if you are picking between Universal Orlando’s 5 hotel properties. Read on to see all the reasons why I loved this place so much.
We arrived at this hotel pretty late – close to midnight – due to our late flight arrival and then having to get our luggage and pick up our rental car. When we drove to the entrance, I was immediately awe-struck – it was like we were taken back a few decades! They have old American cars parked in front as decoration, and the fonts on all the signage were retro-inspired.
The standard rooms have 2 double beds and everything else you’d expect in a modern hotel like a flat-screen TV, phone, safety deposit box, iron, hairdryer, mini fridge, alarm clock, etc. I couldn’t get over how fun the retro vibe was, they had every detail down (hello Alberto V05 shampoos & conditioners and Zest soaps!)
In addition to typical hotel rooms, the resort has family suites that can sleep up to six people. The suites include two queen-size beds, a fold-out bed in the living space, a kitchenette with microwave and a mini-fridge, two flat-screen TVs and an oversized bathroom.
As mentioned, if your main purpose for staying in Orlando is to go to Universal Studios, this is one of your top choices for accommodation! The hotel is only 1.6 km away from the park and there is free shuttle service both to and from Universal Studios. A huge bonus to staying here is that all guests get Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water theme park 1 hour before park opening (valid theme park admission required). As avid Harry Potter fans, this was a huge plus for us!
The resort is so big – walking through it is a journey on its own! Our parking pass was for the west lot and walking back to the lobby was when we realized how large this property really is. Remember to keep the resort map on you at all times or else you will get lost!
Free WiFi and a free transfer to all 3 Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk are provided for all guests. The property has 2 zero-entry pools, a lazy river, and a “beach”. Cabana Bay Beach Resort also has a fitness centre, a bar, a 10-lane bowling alley, and a game room on site. There is a fee for parking, when we stayed here it was $20 a night, charged to our room.
There are shops here within the property too (in case you wanted to buy something from the park but forgot or didn’t get a chance to).
Cabana Bay’s Bayliner Diner is huge! You order your food from the separate cafeterias which have a large selection of food. The Bayliner Diner has four dining stations consisting of a grill, seasonal suggestions, pizza and pasta, a bakery and a center section with salads, candy splits and frozen yogurt. A coffee shop is on-site in addition to lobby and pool bars. We woke up early to get some breakfast as we were taking advantage of the 1 hour early park admission and surprisingly the diner was packed with other guests! I’m talking 7 in the morning with at least 300 people buzzing around looking for something to eat!
Buy your Universal theme park admission online, as you save $20 per ticket!
Take a picture of the free shuttle bus departure times on your phone so you know what time the next bus comes, as you will most likely stay longer than you originally planned (we definitely did!).
Being here just made me overall happy. I wish I could live in the 50s… Cabana Bay lets me experience this for a short time! The maintenance and care put into this property is top notch and the retro theme and colours just make you want to wake up and get on with your day. Free shuttle buses and early entrance is key!
6550 Adventure Way