Inside the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort as phase one opens with retro chic rooms and amenities at Universal Orlando

in Entertainment, Featured, Food, Hotel, Universal Orlando

cabana-bay-sign

Today Universal Orlando officially opens the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort, welcoming its first guests. Though the entire hotel won’t be open until June 16, the first phase adds value and moderate level rooms in this fourth on-site hotel, themed to retro beach resorts of the 1950s and ’60s.

Universal Orlando’s fourth on-site hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is now open! The retro-inspired hotel features incredible amenities for endless family fun including a 10,000 sq. ft. zero-entry pool with iconic dive tower waterslide, 10-lane

Take a tour through all of the new hotel’s features and amenities in the videos below, followed by a closer look through photos.


Video: Cabana Bay Beach Resort tour at Universal Orlando – Pool, Lobby, Bowling, Food & more


Video: Cabana Bay Beach Resort family suite room tour at Universal Orlando


The hotel’s vintage look is obvious from the outside and in, beginning with classic cars parked outside the lobby courtyard, circling the hotel’s tall marquee.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Inside the lobby, vibrant colors surround a tower of greenery reaching upward to a skylight. And on this first day, Universal’s popular “Despicable Me” characters Gru and some Minions greeted guests, including helping to celebrate Cabana Bay’s very first family check-in.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando


Video: Minions welcome first Cabana Bay Beach Resort guests at Universal Orlando


Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Opposite the lobby desk is the Swizzle Lounge, one of many bars on property serving up quite a few signature drinks. Throughout the entry area, period appropriate music is playing – a mix of doo-wop, rock n roll, along with some mod and jazz tunes.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

The guest rooms of this first wing of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort are heavy on the vintage theme, with pastel shades of orange, aqua, and brown mixed with comfortable furniture and modern amenities including flat screen TVs. These family suites sleep up to six people and include a fold-out foam bed, kitchenette, sliding partition for privacy, two TVs and a bathroom with preparation spaces for three people at once.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Even the soaps are retro themed, featuring vintage style labels for Zest and VO5.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Once checked in, guests will find Cabana Courtyard at the center of this first phase, featuring a dive tower water slide and 10,000 square foot zero-entry pool. The slide is simple but fun for all ages, dousing riders at the bottom by a giant waterfall cascading off of the dive tower. (No actual diving is allowed from way up there!)

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

The pool is surrounded by ample seating in the sun, some of which is set atop sandy “beaches,” giving a convincing feeling of being near the ocean while actually sitting in the middle of busy Universal Orlando roads.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Keeping with the hotel’s name, private cabanas are available to rent around the pool.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

The outside world is mostly hidden while walking through the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, though some nearby attraction peaks are visible in the distance, such as Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall and Hogwarts castle.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

A few retro pinup-style girl characters walk around and mingle, as if they just stepped out of a time machine and were transported from the 60s to today’s era.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Other pool areas include an activity area with bean bag toss, ping pong, and pool tables, another bar, and a fire pit.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

During the day, a poolside DJ alternates with a live band. The DJ plays an odd mix of period appropriate music from the ’60s and today’s thumping top 40 hits, though it’s likely the music of today will fade away from this hotel soon. The band plays the right mix of songs, beginning their first opening day performance with Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock.”


Video: Cabana Bay Beach Resort band plays “Jailhouse Rock”


Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

This whole area is accessible only via room key for resort guests and closes promptly at 10pm, keeping the courtyard quiet for those who want to sleep early. But it also leaves little to do for those who want to stay up late, with employees encouraging those guests to visit nearby Universal CityWalk – about a 10-15 minute walk away.

Each of Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s buildings is named after classic hotels that inspired this one. The feeling of being at a brand new, yet decades-old beachside New Jersey hotel is spot on, while keeping modern amenities present.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

The rest of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort complex includes several more attractions, the most enjoyable of which is its 10-lane Galaxy Bowl bowling alley. Though rather pricey at $15 per person plus the cost of shoe rental, the vintage feel of the hotel continues through Galaxy Bowl, keeping the feeling of stepping back in time present. It’s successful in elevating the overall experience of staying at the resort.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

The hotel’s video game arcade is surprisingly not filled with vintage machines, instead only the most modern high-definition games.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Those looking for more physical activity can enjoy the new Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio, the first to have LaLanne’s name on it. There’s even a statue of him inside, along with plenty of memorabilia and video clips.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

The food of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort is an odd mix of cuisines, found at the hotel’s Bayliner Diner – a food court that includes a salad bar, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and grab-and-go items. The signature dishes inspired by favorites of the past are the tuna casserole and Swedish meatballs. The Brazilian chimichurri beef is also among the best.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Breakfast is also divided into stations in the same food court, serving made-to-order omelets, pancakes, waffles, french toast, and other standards.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Other food options will arrive in the form of local food trucks parking at the hotel’s Flamingo Park. On the first day, the Yum Yum Cupcake truck was there. On the second day, it was Tamale Co. Other trucks will follow in the future.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

One of the most confusing aspects of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort is how they handle their soft drinks. Guests can purchase standard soda cups at roughly $3 each, able to fill and refill their drinks at regular soda fountains. But those who want to use the Coke Freestyle machines with more than 100 flavors need to purchase the souvenir cup. For one day, it’s only a couple dollars more, allowing refills every 5 minutes until midnight. Guests can also buy additional days or a length-of-stay cup. It’s all driven by RFID chips embedded into the cups, preventing guests from unlimitedly refilling their drinks.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Naturally, there’s also a gift shop selling plenty of hotel-branded items, Jack LaLanne merchandise, as well as the usual assortment of Universal Orlando T-shirts, mugs, plushes, and more.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

After dark, the whole hotel beautifully twinkles with neon lights and soft orange glows.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Overall, Cabana Bay Beach Resort perfectly evokes the feeling of decades past, mixed with all the comforts of today. From the music to the colors to the cars to the characters to the furnishings and decor, Universal Orlando’s new hotel already works on every level its designers set out to create – and it’s not even complete yet.

Following phase one, this summer will see the full grand opening of Cabana Bay Beach Resort on June 16, which will add a second 8,000-square-foot zero entry pool, Universal Orlando’s first lazy river at an on-site hotel, The Hideaway Bar & Grill, as well as family suites and value-priced standard guest rooms. (Under construction, seen below.)

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

When complete, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will feature a total of 1,800 rooms – 900 family suites and 900 standard guest rooms.

Though Cabana Bay does not offer free Express access to rides at Universal Orlando’s theme parks like their other three (more expensive) hotels, guests do receive Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens.

Rates for the family suites begin at $174 per-night, and can run as low as $134 per-night depending on the length of stay. Rates for the standard guest rooms – which will be available this summer – begin at $119 per night, and can run as low as $93 per-night depending on the length of stay.

Parking is a bit pricey, $10 per car, per night for resort guests and $20 for visitors between 30 minutes and 24 hours. Those staying less than 30 minutes can pay $5 to park.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is co-owned and managed by Loews Hotels & Resorts.

More photos from the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando:

41 Comments

  1. Lexie

    The retro ’60s look is great! I don’t know if this is the Universal equivalent of a value or moderate resort at Disney, but I know I definitely prefer it to any of the Value resorts at Disney!

  2. EricJ

    No boat service to Citywalk, though?

  3. Alex

    Cabana Bay looks great! I’ve got to ask, in person how does Cabana Bay compare to the value hotels over at WDW?

    1. Melissa

      Blows Disney out of the water. We just stayed at the Coronado, a moderate hotel not budget, and we are at Cabana Bay right now……Not even close in comparison. This hotel is gorgeous. The details are amazing, wonderful food service and the lazy river pool is great! Worth more than every penny.

  4. Eric B. Freeman

    Eat your heart out Disney.

    1. Jeff Lynch

      Disney should just shut down now. I mean, once Diagon Alley opens no one is going to ever want to stay at a Disney hotel again and no one will be going to any Disney parks. Everyone will just be going to Universal and Disney will have to fire everyone and will be begging people to buy tickets for like $10 and people will still say “No I am going to Universal”. Ha! Change is coming!

      1. Josh

        Jeff, that won’t happen. But I do agree Disney needs to step up their game.

        1. Michael

          New Fantasy Land isn’t what you call stepping their game up? What about Disney Springs will that be consider stepping up their game? Or how about Pandora (Avatar)?

          1. Ed

            New Fantasyland is a (incredibly well themed) restaurant, a C ticket (in an E building), and a D ticket kiddie coaster. Pandora, when open should be really nice but again, will take forever to build. Epcot is stale and needs a lot of love; Wonders of Life and Imagination Pavilion to begin with along with some rides in WS. DHS needs a lot of help as well; Pixar place has only 1 ride (a C/D ticket) and why hasn’t construction begun on a Star Wars land? But hey, at least we have Magic Bands and now have to plan our rides 2 months out….

    2. Lisa

      Hhmmmmmmmmmm, it looks a lot LIKE Disney! Ya think, that’s why you like it?!!

      1. Eric B. Freeman

        Well, I have never been there before, but I am sure that I would love go there and see if I like it really. After all, the designs of the hotel is very more Disney-ish as it looks. So what kind of theme hotel that Universal would think of bulding it to overshadow Disney?

        1. Eric B. Freeman

          I mean what kind “next” theme hotel that they think of.

  5. Julie Phillips

    I will be staying there in October for HHN at Universal. I can’t wait to see it. Thanks for sharing the pictures and video.

    1. Kirstyoz

      Same! Hubby and I are visiting from Australia. This will be our first HHN (finally!) and really excited to check out Cabana Bay. We’ve stayed in all the other on-site hotels and they are really tired these days, I don’t think they’re good value. Hope you have a great time!

  6. Love this retro fit out. And it looks like a real top family friendly hotel. Best wishes to the future. May you have plenty of guests all year round. It’s co-owned with Loews so more than likely it is also a pet-friendly hotel.

  7. Roddy Barros

    What the blazes is chimichurri? I’m Brazilian and have never heard of it!

    1. Ludvig

      Chimichurri is really an argentinian sauce to be used with beef.

    2. Michael

      Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce made from parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and wine vinegar; it’s not Brazilian. It’s usually served on grilled meats, particularly, beef.

      1. Roddy Barros

        Oh, ok. We call it “vinagrete” down here.

    3. Sergi oVieira

      E arroz com feijao e bife.

  8. Roddy Barros

    So besides the Hogsmeade early entry thing, are there any other perks?

    And what’s a zero entry pool?

    1. Ludvig

      There are perks similar to the partner hotels. NO more.

      A zero entry pool is the one that does not have steps… you enter walking and it’s gradually deeper.

      1. Roddy Barros

        Thank you for your answers. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. :)

  9. Victoria

    Does anyone else think this looks exactly like a Disney value resort just with a different theme? All I could think of was pop century and art of animation!

    1. Dawn

      My thoughts exactly Victoria. Looks like a value resort, has refillable mugs, food trucks (even though food trucks are popping up everywhere now). I guess I’m one of the very few who could care less about Harry Potter so I’m not really excited about all the changes that have been going on. I did like the transformation of Springfield though.

      1. Roddy Barros

        Uh… It is a value resort. It says so right up there. It’s moderate for the family suites and the value suites are opening up soon.

  10. chris

    is there a shuttle service to wdw? I would want to do both. universal and wdw.. I have reservations for may and I just might want to change my reservations and stay here if I can get to WDW

  11. Kookie

    How about a Wizarding World themed hotel?

    1. michael mallozzi

      Only cost $400 a night.

  12. Eric B. Freeman

    And it is also looks like if it dose made in the 50s or 60s right before Universal owned it and be part of Universal Orlando, right? But not really, per say. I would love to go there someday maybe.

  13. Michelle

    Very nice theming. Paid parking for registered hotel guests is ridiculous. Disney doesn’t charge hotel guests a parking fee. If you want the Ride Express pass you will have to pay for it or stay at the more expensive Universal hotels, since you don’t get that perk at this hotel.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      It’s like that at all of the on-site Universal hotels. I agree that it’s unnecessary, but it’s also not new.

  14. Gelimaurk

    I like what Universal is doing. I like what Disney is doing. It is Ok to like both!

    Let’s put it this way: The level of quality put out by both Universal and Disney beats a Six Flags park any day of the week, twice on Sunday, and by a factor of 10!

    1. Lexie

      Dude (I’m a California girl, I use it as gender-neutral), I worked at a Six Flags last summer, and, yes. Just. Yes.

  15. Universal Bob

    I heard a nasty rumor that Cabana Bay guests will only have early admission to Hosmead and not Diagon Alley. Is this true? I don’t see why CB guests should be punished for staying at a value hotel and the other on-site guests be rewarded with EA to DA just because they spent more money on their rooms.

  16. Kelli

    I took my daughter (she’s 11) down a few weeks ago and we stayed here. We really liked it. It’s new and bright. Pool was pretty nice with a decent slide and lifeguards are all around. Everyone working there there was very nice. Lots of security checking on everyone. The shuttle is just for Cabana Bay and they run constantly and early/late. We never had to wait and they were never crowded. It was nice to not have to drive for a change. I don’t trust shuttles at off site hotels. We stayed in a family suite and it was decent in size. We both liked it better than the Disney value resorts. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the hotel will look like when it’s finished. Early entry is nice but they really need to expand that to the whole park, it backs up quick with all the other hotel guests. The parking fee is lousy and make sure at check in you tell them right away you don’t want charging privileges on your room keys or they will put a $100 a day hold! I told them when I made the reservation that I didn’t want it and they didn’t mention it at check in. The only other issue we had was some leaking in the bathroom from the shower light. I called up and they sent maintenance to check it right away but we ended up having to change rooms. They were very nice and even helped us move! Someone from the front brought our keys and gave us free meals at the Bayliner. We have annual passes so we get a little discount on rooms, that helps a bit. Can’t wait to go back for HHN and we will most likely stay here again.

  17. Sergi oVieira

    Do you provide room service?

  18. I go to see everyday some websites and sites to read content, however this blog
    presents feature based articles.

  19. DO they sell postcards in the gift shop? I mean surely they will?

  20. Dagmar

    We just stayed there last week and loved it. The 50’s and 60’s look is funky and fresh and the entire resort, including the room are so colourful. It is quite a bit cheaper than Hard Rock or Portofino hotels. It is great for families, they have movie screenings for kids and teens on the lawn each night. The food is OK too. I highly recommend it.

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