Retro is returning to Universal Orlando when their Cabana Bay Beach Resort opens early next year. On the eve of the Transformers: The Ride 3D grand opening, Universal offered a sneak peek at what visitors can expect from the new hotel, taking a distinctly ’60s motif and spinning it with modern amenities.
Inspired by beachside hotels on A1A, Route 66, and the Pacific Coast Highway from decades past, Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be Universal Orlando’s first “value” hotel, coating contemporary standard rooms and family suites with a kitschy color palate. But while the price point will be lower than Universal’s other hotels (all operated by Loews Hotels), the value level doesn’t take away from the fun, replacing what would be a standard ’60s concrete jungle with a lush, tropical oasis complete with a winding lazy river.
Cabana Bay’s executive project director Russ Dagon was on hand today to explain why Universal chose this theme for their latest hotel, seen in the video below along with a tour around a room model.
Video: Cabana Bay Beach Resort model room tour and interview
Approaching and entering into the lobby, guests visiting the Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be taken back to the late ’50s and early ’60s, drawing visual inspiration even from one of Loews’ own classic hotels, the Americana in Miami Beach.
Continuing the theme throughout the resort will be a particular color palate and careful use of architecture that evokes a feeling of that era. The hotel will also feature a 10-lane bowling alley, a popular past time from decades ago that’s still fun for the whole family today.
But a true typical ’60s hotel would feature the blandest of pools, a rectangular concrete hole filled with water and little else of interest. Universal decided to stray from authenticity in that detail, instead creating multiple lavish pools and a lazy river that Dagon hesitates to even call “lazy,” noting that it will move swimmers along at a good speed.
The rooms at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be offered in standard and family suite variations across multiple wings of the hotel, some with exterior hallways and others interior. Bathrooms have been sectioned into three smaller areas, allowing people to separately utilize the facilities without intruding on one another.
Dagon believes the hotel’s retro theme will carry itself well across multiple generations, certainly appealing to older visitors who remember that era, but also with younger guests who see it as a piece of history they never got to experience. They tested the concept across many age groups and found that people in their 20s and 30s were equally excited about the ideas as those much older.