If you’re planning a visit to Universal Orlando and are looking for endless family fun, look no further than Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Just minutes from the parks this on-site resort is designed for families. Themed as a retro beach resort from the 1950s and 60s, families can enjoy 2 zero-entry pools, an on-site bowling alley, a lazy river, special daily themed activities and more. The resort has my June Cleaver stamp of approval.
THE BENEFITS OF AN ON-SITE RESORT
When traveling to theme parks I always opt for staying in an on-site resort hotel for the extra perks. Universal Orlando offers great benefits to on-site guests. My family’s favorite perk is early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Other benefits include:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi;
- Complimentary transportation to and from Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk;
- Complimentary scheduled transfers to Wet & Wild-Orlando waterpark, SeaWorld, and Aquatica;
- Character experiences in the resorts;
- Golf Universal Orlando program;
- Resort wide charging privileges with your room key, and
- Complimentary Express-Pass if staying in one of their 3 Deluxe Resorts.
STEP BACK IN TIME AT THIS RETRO THEMED RESORT
Think back to the days when Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon starred in the “Beach Party” films. From the moment we pulled into the parking area we were completely immersed into the theming of the resort. Entering the lobby, my daughter commented on how they were playing “Dandy’s music.” (My father’s music.) Artists such as Buddy Holly and the Turtles are played throughout the lobby as well as the pool areas.
The Bayliner Diner has 2 giant projection screens with a constant reel of commercials and cartoons from the 1950s. The décor and all amenities are set to a retro beach party theme. Even the guest bathrooms are nostalgic with V05 hair products and Zest soap restocked daily.
As a mom of a tween and teen, we like rooms with extra space when traveling. The family suites at Cabana Bay worked perfectly for our group as everyone had plenty of space and we never felt cramped. Family suites offer 430 square feet with the ability to sleep up to 6.
The living room has a full-size sofabed, chair and 40″ flat panel television. The kitchenette has a mini refrigerator, microwave, sink and a Cuisinart Single Coffee Pod Brewer. I’m a coffee junkie so the ability to make a fresh pot in my room each morning is important.
The bedroom has 2 queen-size beds and a 40″ flat panel television. Other amenities include an iron, ironing board and in-room safe inside the large walk-in closet.
3 PEOPLE CAN GET READY AT ONE TIME
The extra-large bathroom in the family suites has preparation space for up to 3 people at once. The shower/bathtub is located in one room with the toilet in another. This setup helped us get ready in time to enjoy the extra hour in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter each morning.
There is a convenient sliding partition that separates the living area/kitchenette from the bedroom. We stayed in a poolside tower suite that was quite a walk to all of the amenities.
TravelingMom Tip: Request a courtyard poolside family suite so your door will open to the pool area.
BUDGET-FRIENDLY NIGHTLY RATES
Cabana Bay Beach Resort is Universal Orlando’s only Value Resort. As a travel agent, it is difficult for me to categorize this resort as value as typically that entails fewer amenities and standard rooms. I would compare Cabana Bay to one of Disney’s Moderate Resorts. In mid-2016, standard rooms start at $119 and family suites at $179 per night, plus tax. We were able to obtain a special rate using my travel agent discount. There is a parking fee of $12 per night. Guests have the option of choosing to self-park or use valet parking for the same rate.
MANY AMENITIES FOR EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY TO ENJOY
Hands down my favorite amenity of the resort was floating down the lazy river on an inner tube after a hot morning in the parks. There is a stand located in the lazy river courtyard where guests can purchase inner tubes ranging from $6-$15.
TravelingMom Tip: Bring your own tube to save money.
SAFE AREAS FOR CHILDREN TO SWIM
There are lifeguards stationed throughout the pool and lazy river areas so I was at ease floating with my husband as our children swam ahead. There are 2 no-entry swimming pools, the Cabana Courtyard pool offering a dive tower waterslide as well as individual cabanas that can be rented daily for $50 -$100 per day.
ON-SITE BOWLING ALLEY
Another one of my favorite amenities is the on-site 10-lane bowling alley, Galaxy Bowl. Bowling is $15 per person, plus a $4 shoe rental fee. Parties of 1-3 people receive 1 hour of lane time, while parties of 4-8 receive 1.5 hours. Galaxy Bowl Restaurant is located inside the bowling serving up burgers, hot dogs and more.
FITNESS CENTER & ARCADE
Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio is complimentary for all resort guests. My husband enjoyed being able to continue his gym regimen while on vacation. I personally had ample exercise walking through the parks but did find the gym to be one of the nicer ones I have seen. If you like arcade games, Game-O-Rama was a huge hit for my children.
PLENTY OF FOOD OPTIONS
Cabana Bay’s food court, Bayliner Diner, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Food offerings include sandwiches, a salad bar, pizza, pasta, as well as vegan options. Meals can be dine-in or carry out, which is great for an on-the-go family. Delizioso Pizza also offers pizza delivery to your room. A Starbucks is located in the lobby that serves coffee and pastries.
PARENTS CAN ENJOY A POOLSIDE COCKTAIL
There are 3 bars, the Swizzle Lounge located in the lobby, Atomic Tonic, a poolside bar found at the Cabana Courtyard, as well as The Hideaway Bar & Grill located in the Lazy River Courtyard.
Universal Orlando offers 4 (*soon to be 5) on-site Loews resorts: Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay Resort, and coming in summer 2016, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
Well there you have it friends, reasons why I think families traveling to Universal Orlando will love Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Have a swell day!