We do quite a few resort tours and walk throughs, from Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Springs, to beach resorts, even Las Vegas. However, Orlando especially is known for its tourism and a major part of that is the hotels and resorts all around the area and its various theme parks. One of those theme parks that is expanding it’s resort options is Universal Orlando Resort. With the news of Volcano Bay opening at the end of the month, I felt the urge to stay at one of the resorts that we have visited previously on stream, Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Resort.
As soon as you arrive to this resort, you are sort of taken back into times gone by, the yesteryear of an era where things were simpler and the architecture was hip. The color scheme is a fun but muted one, full of lime green (or is it avocado?), oranges and mustard yellows and it all fits very well in drawing you in, not only to a old”Miami Beach” sort of feel but just a relaxed and very chill atmosphere that causes your stress to start melting away as soon as you hit the lobby. With tall palm trees right in the middle and large windows, you already feel like you need to have that umbrella drink your hand and glad you have those flip flops ready to go.
As we checked into the room through the app, touchless and very seamless, we got even more excited. The room is very spacious, vibrant and again, with that sort of retro vibe that is consistent throughout the resort. The furnishings are also consistent with the theming even down to the light fixtures in the room. We had two queen beds, plenty of storage space in the closet and dresser, a table and chairs as well as a mini fridge (sorry, no microwave but their is one down in the lobby for guest use). The most spectacular part of this particular room, which is why I booked it, is the floor to ceiling windows that not only are amazing but allow you to look out to Volcano Bay and see everything down below and on all sides. It is an incredible sight and the only thing that could have made it better would have been if the Volcano was active, which it was not due to the water park being closed during this time. Regardless, it was still a sight to see and a great way to wake up in the morning.
We did get to see them working hard to get the park ready, cleaning and rearranging, testing out some slides and such, which made it kind of fun to ‘get a behind the scenes’ glimpse and also raise anticipation of the park opening up at the end of February.
As we made our way around the resort, we stopped in for a bite to eat and I have to say the food court here, called the Bayliner Cafe, is awesome. They have a very large variety of options, even vegetarian ones, and not sure if we were just really hungry, but the food was great. I had chicken alfredo and it was a large portion and very tasty. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and there are also snacks that you can pick up as well during the day. We ate there another time during our stay and it was just as good. They also have a pizza place, the Hideaway, which is there poolside bar which offers not just adult beverages but also things such as burgers, sandwiches and fish as well as vegetarian options. There is also the Swizzle Lounge which is super fun and nothing like any other hotel lobby lounge that I have visited.
We went to bowl at the bowling alley at the resort, yes, they have a bowling alley, but we did not have enough time to try out the lanes this time. We loved it though and we will certainly be back again and see who can be the “King (or Queen) of the lanes”. It is very themed and I know that this is somewhere that I would have liked to spend time if I had been around during the 50’s and 60’s. The also serve food and drinks so it lends to a fun afternoon, especially if the Florida weather is not cooperating outside, but no matter what, a great place to spend some time outside of the parks.
Speaking of outside, let me tell you Mayne Mafia, it is another great option to spend some time. Not only are there two pools, one on each side of the resort, known as the Northern and Southern Courtyards, but they are both zero-entry and heated. They also have a large hot tub and plenty of space to grab a lounge chair and relax. Some of the chairs are located on the white sandy beach areas and for this beach bum, I loved this! There is even sand in the pools which sort of took us by surprise at first but again, we loved this. If you are looking for a little more privacy, there are cabanas that you can rent (they run between $175-$250 according to how many people or how large you need) that are covered, have comfy furnishings, mini fridge and food and beverage service.
The main focus of the larger swimming pool in the Northern Courtyard is the huge dive tower, very hard to miss by the way, with waterfalls flowing from each tier. As you go down the Twisting Water Slide, you pop out of the bottom of this structure and let me tell you, that is 90 feet of fun. The shallow end of this pool also has some fountains that are erupting from it which makes it fun for both young ones and adults alike.
The major attraction here is the 650 foot Lazy River that winds around on the other side of the resort. Floating down the river on your own intertube (they clean each one of them as well after use), it is a great way to let your cares just melt away. We loved the waterfalls, shrubbery and even shady spots along the river which makes it fun and also very relaxing. Needless to say, I would have been very happy spending the day right there.
There is also several fire pits located around the pool areas, towel stations, pool tables and ping pong tables, and the Hideaway Bar and Grill just steps away in case you get thirsty or hungry doing all that chillaxin’.
I cannot say enough about this resort and even though we were here for two nights, we could not do everything that we wanted. We did hop over to Universal Orlando during our stay, a great advantage of staying at the resorts, as you can take the bus right over there and back. Frankly, when Volcano Bay opens, you could walk to Volcano Bay and definitely walk there from other Universal Orlando resorts as well. I highly recommend Cabana Bay and we will be back again (very soon) to experience some of the things that we could not do this time.
If you would like more information or would like to book your stay at Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Resort or any of other awesome resorts, visit Universal Orlando’s website at: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us for tickets, packages and more.
Spokesmayne; Universal Orlando Resort