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“Solid Value Hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

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Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #56 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Solid Value Hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

I've stayed at the other Universal hotels and wanted to give this one a try. Overall, the price was great, the hotel was new, clean, and has extremely nice pools. I had a family suite which was a large room at a great price. It was also comfortable and clean.

I liked the shuttle buses that alway appeared when you needed one. I do wish there was an easier way to walk to the resort (that doesn't involve running across a big road) because it is literally across the street.

The only real issue I had during my stay was that nothing was ever cooked well. In fact, the turkey I had on a sandwich at the bowling alley was almost frozen, and this was supposed to be a hot sandwich. I also had a panini on a separate occasion that had cold meat and bread but melted cheese. I don't even know how that happens. I'm sure things will get better once they work the kinks out.

Room Tip: There are several different buildings to choose from. The pools look really cool at night so I'...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank luca1280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Richmond, Texas
Level Contributor
119 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

In general, this place is what I'd hope for for the money. A nice pool area, with a really large pool, one water slide and a large sand beach. Visually, the place is very retro cool, lots of music piped in everywhere. Lifeguards at the pool. The main building houses the lobby, a bowling alley, big arcade, and a great workout area, including lots of clear space and mats for yoga, martial arts, etc. The breakfast cafeteria (also main building) was actually pretty reasonably priced. Plenty of secure parking. We liked the sliding door to separate the bedroom from the living area up front. Beds were good, though the pullout was typical pullout awful.

It can be a LONG walk to the front of the hotel and back. We were on the backside of the furthest unit ("Thunderbird") which meant we were literally across the street from Harry Potter. A shame one can't just walk across the street. We were on the third floor, and never noticed any road noise.

Getting back and forth to the park is a trip, as they have a shuttle bus stop set a ways from the lobby. So we had to walk over there, and wait for the next bus. They seem to be running pretty often, maybe every 10-15 minutes. They drop you at the usual drop area all the other non-Universal hotels use. It's maybe a mile walk or less if one wanted to do that instead. The buses are CLEARLY marked CBBR, so they are easy to spot as you are leaving the park, and indeed they have their own waiting area at the curb. Universal appears to be building a separate elevated pathway from the hotel to the gate, I assume for shuttles, though it appears to be months away from ready.

The front desk staff was very nice, caring and knowledgeable. We were warned that the cards might not work, they were having lots of issues with them, especially at the parking gates. And indeed, one of the three wouldn't work. When we arrived at our room, there was a half empty water bottle lying on the bed, with the pillows moved around like someone had been watching TV. Was there someone there? We looked around, no, called the front desk to see if someone else was also booked in the room, they said no. So it must have been someone on the housekeeping staff. Hmmmm.

Only half the hotel is open as of the day we were there, and hence the rest of the water attractions were also not open yet, including the lazy river. Might want to call and check on that.

The main reason to stay here is the early admission to get to Harry Potter stuff ahead of the mobs. That worked out very well, had only a ten minutes wait to ride, no problem. But even then, it IS a better than average experience, not just another generic hotel, good security, real lifeguards at the really large pool, and the price is not bad. We actually stayed here for three nights, as we had a wedding at Disney to attend. We only did one day at Universal, and we were pleased with the hotel in general. Heck of a lot cheaper than three days at a Disney resort.

Note there is one laundry room per building. We did not try them, but they never looked busy. And getting back onto I-4, or down the road to Walmart for shopping, was easy. We had purchased our Universal tickets online, and the hotel had three will call machines in the lobby, easy and quick to print out our tickets, WITH unlimited express. Bought a lanyard with waterproof case in the gift shop to hold the small (2"X4"?) ticket. At the other Universal hotels, they give you a wristband. As you have to purchase your express pass when staying at this hotel, might want to bring your own lanyard. The "Slitherin" one I got cost like $20.

Room Tip: I could not tell which would be bad rooms. I would imagine ground floor close to the pool would be n...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Godzilladude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
perry Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

Our family of six recently stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort in Orlando. We included me and the wife, along with 22, 20, 18, and 17 year old children. This is Universal's new moderate priced resort for families. Check in was very simple and quick. I do wish however you could have your tickets coded onto your room keys like you do at Disney resorts. You have to go to a separate Universal desk and print out your tickets.

The pool and water slide were very nice. On the Sunday when we arrived there was a DJ at the pool, and it was pretty crowded. If you go to the pool, you can get a virgin dacari for $3.50, which my daughter enjoyed. Also sodas at the pool bar are $3, BUT you get free refills for two hours, so it's really not that bad a deal. They also have free ice water cups at the pool bar. The rest of the week there wasn't much of a crowd. I would assume most people are at the parks during the day.

The rooms were fine, and had plenty of space. The bathroom area was nice in that there were more than one mirror/sink area. We enjoyed the pool, and the kids enjoyed the Starbucks as well. We really didn't eat at the food court but it looked nice.

I will say that where we stayed, it was a good walk to get on the buses to Universal. The buses ran very regular and we never waited more than a few minutes. Most of the time the buses were already there. The parking is $10, but I did not mind, as it is a secure parking area, and you have to have a key card to get in.

We did two days at Universal and then a day at Sea World. The parks were nice, and not super crowded. Most of the rides were less than 30 minutes. A few were an hour.

My wife and family were very pleased with the resort. I would return without a doubt. It was convenient with it's location. With my large crew in this hotel room, I would think any family of six would have no problem staying there.

Room Tip: Get a soda from the pool bar and it's free refills for 2 hours.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jdm0325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

I loved everything about the Hotel. It reminds me of Howard Johnson in the 60's. very colorful. You never have to leave the hotel if you do not want to, there is plenty to do in the Hotel. The pool was great. They have dance parties, movie nights, I saw sand i bet they have Volley Ball .They have a Bowling Alley and Arcade. They have a movie room. The food value could be improved and there is a variety .There is a Starbucks(genius) and a gift shop. But the rooms are outside and you will get wet when it rains. They need to add covered walk ways to the rooms. The other reviewer was right about housekeeping, they need more training. We always had to get more towels, never enough wash cloths. What is the purpose of the guys out front if they are not helping with bags. (Full service like the old days) You need that help. The buses came every 15 minutes. I like the fact that they had someone standing there on the outside so you never had to run. Warned you before climbing on that there was standing room only, I liked that. The entire staff was friendly and very pleasant. They need to have a shuttle going to Walmart so you can get snacks and water. $2.50 for a bottle of water is pricey and you can not live without water in Florida. The land scape was very nice. It reminded me of Hawaii. I would recommend to my friends.

Room Tip: Choose the room with the small kitchen area and living room. You get two TV's you will need it w...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank missyfine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

Good staff, clean modern rooms. Restaurant adequate for light meals. Transportation to Universal Studios park excellent. We had a handicapped person in a wheelchair and had absolutely no problems with the buses, etc. Everyone very helpful and friendly... our new check in person, Julie was so pleasant. We had a problem with the wheelchair and they sent someone from engineering who fixed it. Pretty good service I'd say.

Would go back in a minute.

Room Tip: We loved where we were, pool side in a suite
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Evelyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

I have just come back from Orlando and I was in this hotel with two friends. it is really good even for vacations with the family o with friends. The room had two queen size beds and a sofa bed. It was as an apartment, with a small kitchen: Coffee brewer, fridge, sink and microwave.
The housekeeping was not very good: It was a mistery when and how they would change the towels (some days they changed everything and some others the towel left on the ground was not touched), close or not the sofa bed, empty the bin... The beds could be done much better and the bathroom not always had a good cleaning.
Appart from that, OK to the shops of the hotel, for buying food or for buying the souvenir forgotten in the Universal Studios Park. And the best was the pool, with different spaces for young people, families, children, for eating, having sun baths, a big swiming pool and the open air cinema.
For people outside US (I mean, people who don't hate walking): don't ask them how to go to the park or to the outlets by walking. They will ask you that it is impossible, that it will take more than 2 hours...
There are roadworks outside the hotel so I think in the future you may do the whole route walking; now my suggestion is:
Take the free bus from the hotel to the park (10 minutes) and then go walking by International Drive. In 15 minutes you will arrive to the Walgreens supermarket (they call it pharmacy, but it is much more than that). 30 minutes or less (depending on your feet and the hot) you will achieve the Orlando Premium Outlets at International Drive.
If you prefer not to walk, a taxi should cost around 15$.
By the way, if you want to go the Downtown Disney, the taxi will be between 35 and 40$.
Another suggestion for foreign visitors: bring food with you. The food not good and the bad relation quality/price.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mosxxi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Universal's C, Manager at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, responded to this review, June 17, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your honest feedback with us. We apologize for the inconveniences you experienced at our property. We would like the opportunity to discuss the details of your experience further.

Please contact us at customerservice@cabanabayorlando.com with the best method to contact you and please include your TripAdvisor Username. We look forward to touching base with you soon.

Sincerely,

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabang
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

This is a brand new hotel that brings you back in time. The lobby, decors, rooms, piped in music are all retro and they really did a good job. It truly makes you feel like you are in the era. They even have a bowling alley and a video game room on the second floor. Pool is huge with slides which the kids will definitely enjoy. The dining area is humongous. There are vintage cars outside on display and you would really see how much work they put in to transport you back in time. What i liked in this hotel:
Strong Wifi
Facilities and Amenities (bowling area and large gym)
Toilet separate from Shower Area
Helpful Front Desk Staff
Shuttle to theme park very fast and efficient
What I didn't like:
No porter assistance (coming from Disney Hotel with their very friendly staffs, we were shocked that we had to bring in our luggages to the room by ourselves, this was actually fine until we discovered that walkway was so far from the main lobby)
Design of Walkway (could've been planned better, the hotel has 3 main buildings and going to and from the main entrance can be a challenge because of the path; doubly frustrating when it is raining)
In a general a good hotel very near Universal Studios.

Room Tip: Book a room fronting the pool area not the carpark on the back
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mikolopikolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Property: Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Address: 6550 Adventure Way, Orlando, FL 32819-7610
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando > Florida Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 1800
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy this vibrant, retro-style hotel with family suites, standard rooms and stellar recreation from a cool lazy river and pools to bowling and more. Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort is in the heart of the excitement at Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk. Guests of this hotel enjoy exclusive theme park benefits. Take advantage of Early Park Admission one hour before the theme park opens and more! (valid theme park admission required.) ... more   less 
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