We just returned from Universal and decided to give this hotel a try. We are a family of 4 adults and I asked the other 3 to give me their honest opinions and complaints about this hotel so I could give a review that would be helpful to others. Honestly I am surprised at the extremely negative reviews. Maybe since it is Universal property they expect more from a "Value" resort. We have stayed at both moderate and value at Disney and also 2 times at Hard Rock at Universal. Sure HR was nicer but I also payed a lot more. We found all of the staff to be friendly and as helpful as they could. There were some things they were unsure about or forgot to mention, but our first visit at the HR was when they also were only open 3 weeks and they also made mistakes. I assume that is why the rates are reduced now.
The pool area was very nice with plenty of lounge chairs and towels, the slide was fun and we found the music to be entertaining. The drinks were expensive and we all only had one each, but it was nice to have a drink at poolside( there were 3 servers on duty-it was a Saturday- and we got our orders very quickly.
The family suites are not overly big, but we managed well (as I stated my "kids" are grown)
It was nice having 3 areas to get ready with 4 adults. Kitchenette worked for us, we bought food at a Publix and also took restaurant leftovers back to room and heated in microwave. The fridge kept our things cold, plastic plates and bowels and silverware as well as coffee are provided, but you will need to ask for more when needed. Our rooms were clean when we arrived and well taken care of during our 4 nights ( maybe it was because my wife insists on leaving 4$ each morning for the maid). We did not experience any noise out of the ordinary but maybe it was because we faced the parking lot and were on the 4th floor at a corner room( at my request) The mattresses were hard but we slept well. The AC worked well and since it is central it was quiet. There is also a safe and ironing board in the large closet. Also plenty of drawers
We had no trouble finding parking near our room and the in and out key reader worked
We ate one night at Bayside and found it to be what one should expect at a park hotel. We did not think the meals were that expensive and we thought they were good.
Bus system was wonderful, the trip takes about 5 minutes and we waited at most 5 minutes but usually a bus was waiting for us. I wonder how this will work when all of the resort is open and the parks are busier. We definately were lucky and went at a rather slow time. I think it will also help when the walkway is completed.
All in all our main objective was to return to Universal for 3 days and stay at a nice, less expensive convenient hotel for 4 nights. Knowing that most of our time would be at the park and this would mostly be used for sleeping and resting I think our choice was a good one and am glad we stayed here. I did not give it the highest rating because that should be reserved for the truly exceptional but for a new value hotel- close.
One caveat to all this, I checked out using the TV and all looked good and I finished the process. They were then to send me an email receipt which I have not received as of yet. If there is a problem I will make a second review
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Orlando, Florida