Budget Travel and Florida Theme Parks. These two things should more often go hand in hand. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the new budget travel destination for Florida Theme Parks. Cabana Bay is a nod to the old Howard Johnson’s but with a modern twist. You’re going to want to check this place, its got it made in the shade.
When you arrive at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort you’ll flip. The first thing you’ll notice is most likely color. The teals, banana yellow and coral colors can’t be missed and the patterns will catch your eye as well. It comes together quite nicely and will probably remind you of an old television show from the 50’s or 60’s brought to life.
The lobby has a lot of seating area and more than once I found myself relaxing with some chicks such as Shelly with OntheGoinMCO.com or Steph from GooberMonkey.com. As far as check in goes though, be ready for a wait. I was surprised by how long the line could get and the amount of time it took to turn the people over. But once it’s done you’re on your way to a great day!
The rooms are one of a kind. We were placed in a Cabana Bay family suite and we had plenty of room for four people. Once you step inside there is a small kitchenette containing a small fridge, a microwave, coffee maker and a sink. They even include some plastic place settings so you can eat in comfort. To the right is the family room which holds a television, coffee table, two chairs and a fold out couch. My oldest son claimed this as his room. He loved sleeping on the full size pull out couch on his own. This pad was something else.
Across the divide, literally there is a sliding divider, you’ll find the bedroom. There are two queen size beds and a television set. Pretty much what you’d have inside a standard room but there is not a desk (you can use the bar in the kitchenette). The best part though is the bathroom. I’d already read up on the bathroom and heard about how three people can use the area at once to get ready and was skeptical. But it was true. There was a sink and shower with a door. A sink on the outside with a mirror and outlets. And a toilet with a door. 3 people getting ready. Far out. My favorite thing though, of all the awesome things, were the tiny little bottles of VO5 shampoo and conditioner along with the Zest soap. I died. Yep, smack down onto the floor dead. Too perfect. I brought a set home for my Mother but she quickly exclaimed “I was a Breck girl.” Well, you can’t win em all.
Now that you’ve left the room where can you go? You can visit the Bayliner Diner for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This was the main food court and the hub of the hotel. My favorite part was that they play commercials from the 50’s and 60’s on huge screens bringing back old memories for many. There are a lot of food choices (a lot) for each part of the day. Prices are what you’d expect from a theme park hotel food court. The breakfast is delicious. I had the french toast.
There are also a few bars scattered throughout the hotel where you can grab a brew. The Atomic Tonic and The Hideaway Bar and Grill are both located in the pool area and drink prices are typical of any theme park hotel bar. You are looking at about $9 for a specialty drink but it’ll be delicious. The Swizzle Lounge is located in the lobby so you can stop in and grab a drink after getting off a bus from a park. There is also a Starbucks in the lobby area. It is open very early when other things are not. But be forewarned, the wait can get very long early in the morning. If you have heels on fire to hit the parks for the early hours make sure and get a serious jump start at Starbucks or you’ll end up spending way more time there then you’d like.
Now it’s hot and you’re ready for some poolside fun so you’ve come to the best hotel in town. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a lazy river and a pool with a fun slide! As soon as Spencer and Jason laid eyes on the Cabana Bay swimming pools I knew they were going to go ape! These pools are located at opposite ends of the hotel from one another so you must choose which you’d rather enjoy. The lazy river can be pretty cold in the morning hours so think about that when making a decision. It moves pretty fast too so it’s a ton of fun. Tubes can be purchased at the resort with prices ranging from $8 and up. There is also a pool near the lazy river. However on the other side of the hotel is the big pool with the mega slide. There are plenty of chairs to relax and even a fun interactive splash area for kids to enjoy.
Finally one of the coolest things about the Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the Galaxy Bowl bowling alley. There is an actual bowling alley inside the hotel. And the pins light up, obviously they set out to razz my berries. Like so much else, it has a 1950’s theme though I didn’t really pick up on it so it must not have been too heavy. It is 10 lane so you need to get there quick if you want to play. We had a blast. There is also an arcade next door which includes games from yesteryear and games from today. My kids went berserk. Best thing ever.
I would stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort again in the future. They don’t seem to have any kinks to work out which surprised me since they are still young. It is a value resort so there will always be the value hotel issues like harder beds and scratchier towels. And unfortunately you don’t get a lot of the On Site Hotel Benefits offered if you stay in one of the other Deluxe Hotels on property. However you are choosing to stay in a budget hotel for a reason. And this hotel is Far Out. Book your reservation at https://www.universalorlando.com/Hotels/Cabana-Bay-Beach-Resort.aspx
Right now I’m giving away a Universal Studios prize pack. It includes a black tote bag, a stuffed Minion, a Simpsons luggage tag and a Cabana Bay stress reliever. To enter follow the Rafflecopter below.
*I visited this hotel on an all expense paid press trip. However all opinions are my own. Ya dig. Giveaway ends 9/09 at Midnight. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize. Must be 18 year or older and US Resident.