Being married to someone in the hotel industry turns you into a hotel snob. It’s true, I am a self-proclaimed hotel snob. I’ve stayed in some absolutely gorgeous hotels, and more recently than I’d like to admit, I’ve stayed in some not so nice hotels. I have an allergy to outdoor hallways, and I demand my room be spotless when I walk into it. There’s nothing worse than walking into a hotel room and finding chest hair on your “clean” sheets. Never has that chest hair ever belonged to me and needless to say, those rooms are quickly vacated.
When I rolled up on the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, I noticed two regal towers with indoor hallways and a lower building with outdoor hallways. I didn’t even have to ask which side I would be staying on. I knew it would be the outdoor hallway side and I was a little nervous. My fears didn’t last long at all. As soon as I walked into the hotel that opened in March 2014, I felt like I was home. The decor is retro vintage 1950s/1960s beach cabana style. The outside reminded me of a Holiday Inn that my Uncle Max used to work at on Colonial Drive in Orlando.
The inside was like being inside an old TV show but in color. Universal Studios and Lowes Hotels don’t play, they go all out. This hotel is full-on retro vintage right down to the travertine floors. No joke. Travertine floors and Doo Wop music dancing through the air.
If you’ve met me in person, you know I’m a lot vintage and the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios feels like home. You walk in and you feel like you’re in a different era. This is hotel living done right. It would even be the perfect place for a staycation because you feel so far removed from reality. Even the uniforms of the people working the front desk were reminiscent of another era.
My front desk attendant was so friendly and insanely informative. He took out a map, told me exactly where I was supposed to go to get to my room, and he also gave me a short history of the hotel. I learned that the towers opened in June of 2014, shortly after the motel section opened in March 2014. He told me that there are 1800 rooms with 900 family suites that sleep up to six, and 900 standard guest rooms. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a selfie with my informant.
When I got to my room, a family suite, the first thing I noticed was that there was a kitchenette. NO WAY! I wasn’t expecting that at ALL. The living area could be sectioned off by a super cool sliding partition and the room where the beds were was extremely spacious. The structure that separated the rooms was SO cool. I want one in my house. It was all wooden and retro and – OH shoot, don’t listen to me, just look at this picture!
Do you see the lower cabinets and the shelves in the kitchen? You guys. This is like my dream house. When can I move in permanently? That’s what I want to know. That awesome orange couch folds out to reveal a foam mattress that sleeps two, and the bedroom has two Queen sized beds that were far more comfortable than my Sleep Number bed at home. My back felt so good the whole time we were there and I slept like a baby.
I failed to get a picture, but the bathroom was insanely well thought out. The shower and one sink is in one room, there was another sink with plenty of counter space in the middle, and on the other side, a toilet with a door. You could feasibly have the entire family getting ready at the exact same time without having to smell someone or worry about your hair frizzing up with the shower’s humidity.
Don’t laugh – I’m using this color palate for my bedroom when we buy another house. It’s so much fun!
That night, the girls and I went down to the first lazy river at any Universal Resort. It was WAY too much fun just chatting and enjoying the current. It ended up being our favorite place in the whole resort.
You can purchase floats or bring your own, but the floats are super cheap and really high quality. The one I bought was only $15ish dollars and it came complete with a cup holder so you could enjoy your beverage from The Hideaway Bar & Grill while you enjoy the relaxing Lazy River.
The pool at the Cabana Courtyard, which was the view from my room, has a sweeping slide that empties into a 10000 sf zero-entry pool, which is perfect for both my littles and my teen.
OH, you forgot your swim diapers? No worries! The Cabana Bay Beach Resort has free swim diapers for you to use. This perk is one that I was incredibly excited about. I don’t have any more kids in diapers, but it’s a service I’ve never seen provided at any other hotels. I feel like this is courtesy times one thousand on the part of Universal Studios and Lowes Hotels & Resorts. Standing ovation, y’all.
The Bayliner Diner is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have great options for every taste at breakfast. I had a croissant sandwich one morning that was probably my favorite thing, but there are also omelettes that made my mouth water, waffles, french toast, bacon, fresh fruit, and yogurt. There’s also a Starbucks on location with all of your caffeine and pastry needs. You better believe I didn’t leave without a triple grande iced breve latte every day.
One of the risks of vacationing in Orlando is dealing with thunderstorms. Sometimes they pass in an instant, but others they roll in and stay for a day or three. If you choose the wrong resort, you’re basically screwed, bored, and stuck inside a cramped hotel room with your screaming children or cranky, sun-deprived friends. You don’t run that risk at the Cabana Bay Resort.
There is a 10 lane bowling alley called Galaxy Bowl that will keep you busy for hours. I know my kids would have a ball -HAAA!!!- there. It does cost a little extra to go bowling, but it’s worth every dime.
They offer movies on two different courtyards each night unless there’s rain, and then they move it inside. I think that’s a super fun perk. Why pay extra to go to the theater when you have a movie playing under the stars at your hotel?
I feel like I saved the best perk for last, though. The Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio. I’m serious, you guys. It’s like working out with Jack LaLanne! Can you imagine working on your physique knowing Jack LaLanne’s spirit is watching you? I know I wouldn’t want to slack off.
OK, let’s play like we’re on Love it or List it. How much do you think it costs to stay at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort? So? How much does it cost? Are you sitting down? I hope you’re sitting down. And you better not be driving while you read this.
The Cabana Bay Beach Resort standard rooms are only $119 per night and can run as low as $93 per night. The family suites that sleep six? They begin at $174 per night and can run as low as $134 per night. You guys. I’m serious. You get ALL of this for THAT cheap. This resort is considered both a moderate and value resort and it doesn’t feel like anything less than an expensive resort. I loved it and I really can’t wait to take my entire family to experience the fun.
All images provided by Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 24 Press Kit