I thought I’d give some thoughts on Cabana Bay since I’m (as my niece calls me) a hotel snob. We have only stayed Deluxe previously, but we only had one day at Universal and one day Disney, so I thought I would give it a shot.
We did online checkin, and there was no line when we got here (which I understand to be unusual). Room is in Americana section, a bit of a walk but not terrible. First night we arrived around 7pm and we wanted a drink and light dinner. Got a turkey wrap by the pool and a mango flavored drink that were both tasty. Bartender was a lot of fun. The only other food we had here was Starbucks and we used the hell out of that Starbucks.
Room is sparse, but very cute. I agree with those who said that the water pressure is terrible. Wifi is worse. The pool is great with a ton of loungers.
We booked it because you could walk to Universal and the walking path was a nice (25 minute) walk. We did take the bus on the way back (my first bus ride at UOR). We walked over and a bus pulled up - very easy.
I love the fact that you can do everything via text - request extra towels, report maintenance issues, check out - and Cabana Bay was no different.
Overall, if I wasn’t committed to Express Pass, I would completely stay here again. For $119/night, totally worth it.
I did a very long rant about CB during my September trip.
It’s “OK”…If you have small kids & want to hang out at a resort for a lot of the time, you’ll be happy. If you are more interested in the parks & CityWalk with the hotel being a place to sleep and eat - you can do better at the Endless Summer Resorts.
FYI - My rate at CB was $109 / night.
I’ve been called a “hater” for not loving CB as much as most people do!
Here’s the start of my Trip Report with photos of CB and such.
I’ve scrolled further down through the TR to find my complete thoughts –
here are my initial thoughts on Cabana Bay
Overall, it’s just “ok” for me. If you have younger kids they will love it.
For me, it’s definitely showing it’s age. The campus is too big. Getting to anything is a trek.
The floors are carpeted. lt is a great noise reduction! This saved me last night and today!
It takes longer to get to the parks because of traffic and construction.
I’m not thrilled with the buses. They aren’t bad, but seem to be less frequent than in the past when I was at Dockside. I will know more tomorrow when I can compare resorts buses.
If this was a value hotel I would recommend. Since it’s often $75 - $90+ more per night it’s not worth it for me. I’m glad I tried it and tomorrow I will go to Volcano Bay via the walking entrance.
If you want a nicely themed place and are spending a lot if time there you’ll get value.
However, if you just need a really nice clean room and comfy bed (with actual water pressure in the shower) go to either Endless Summer resort. I prefer Dockside because it’s newer and often a couple dollars less
The really big negative at Endless Summer resorts is they are loud because they have laminate flooring. You can hear every step above you and around you.
I did sleep better at CB because it was quieter with carpeted floor. I was concerned though because I was there for two nights and never once saw or heard a vacuum. I was in my room all day Sunday recovering. I heard housekeeping in the halls. Maybe they use “floor sweepers”, but idk…
I’m probably not going back. I’ve booked a room at Aventura in February to try as an alternative “moderate” hotel experience. I’ll probably always be a Dockside fan. It’s exactly what I need in a hotel and really well done.
While I admittedly only spent one (short!) night there, I’d go back in a minute. I didn’t love the bathroom set up, but I was happy with the size and thought the walk to the lobby was easy! We liked the pools and dining options.
They were also so kind to us at the end of a hideous travel day.
DH & I spent one night at Cabana Bay at the beginning of a longer trip. We had added on a day and I wanted to try it out. It was a great price with our AP discount. We didn’t have any complaints except that the pool was pretty crowded but of course it was a beautiful day and perfect pool weather. We walked the garden path to/from City Walk and the parks several times and it was lovely. I always like a walk instead of the buses. We would still pick RPR for our trips because our trips are on the shorter side and we can’t do without express pass (spoiled!)
FYI you can just park at the hotel and pay an exorbitant $40 I think and use that back entrance (we did that). I was told if you purchased $20 or $25 of something at the resort like food/bowling/merch you can get your parking for free…so we tried that but the people inside did not seem to know anything abou that…could have just been that cast member (do they call them that at Universal too?). But regardless the gate was just wide open so we didn’t have to pay to park anyway. Having said that, I’m sure if the word got out and tons of people started doing it, they’d tighten up.
I’ve stayed at CBR twice. The first time I paid extra for the VB view rooms in the tower at the far end of the resort. Yikes, that’s a long walk. The external design of the towers means some views are obstructed by architectural “features”, including mine. I could see the volcano from the bed but not from everywhere in the room.
The second time I was in one of the rooms with a single porthole-style window. It was quite bleak and austere, though it actually had a view of the volcano.
I never used the buses. I walked to and from the parks, but it’s quite a hike. The walk to VB was very convenient.
I’ve stayed at Aventura once. Paid for a Skyline view, which was of VB and was great. Because the hotel is a tower, there are no long walks anywhere. Everything clean and nice. Slightly gimmicky iPad to control everything in the room. Quicker walk to the parks. Used the buses a couple of times and they were great.
Stayed at RPR twice. Room very cosy. No special view to request. Super-convenient for walking to parks. Only stayed there for the EPs, though.
Staying at HRH in December: was cheapest option for EPs for our trip.
Am planning on staying at ES in April (and June, if I go). I would prefer to stay at a resort where I can walk to the parks but everyone says the buses are awesome. Slightly nervous about noise complaints.
I don’t think there was a separate parking fee but this was 2020 I stayed there as an add on to my Endless Surfside stay because I was driving and trying to beat the hurricane that was passing thru Louisiana. CB was the only hotel with availability…so I could be wrong about parking fees…my memory doesn’t go that far back really.
The parking gates were hit and miss when we were there. Sometimes down, but key swipe didn’t open them and you had to hit the call button each time. Sometimes up. We’ll see if they fixed them next trip!
Agree for the most part. I stayed in a family suite with a friend in June and she worked in hotels for years. We both felt it showed it’s age, inside and out.
The family suite would definitely work for a trip with my spouse and kids. It was quiet and I slept great. The pool was nice and the pool bar was fun (good deal on the “floater” add on to make any drink a double). We were able to park pretty close to our room in Americana. Easy walk to the parks and CityWalk.
The motel style buildings feel like Pop Century but the family suites are much bigger. I still felt I paid way too much for what I got, that’s my fault for going at peak summertime and booking just a few months out - $309/night (eeek!).
I’m trying Adventura next month (at half the price) and hoping for a more sophisticated feel so we shall see! I’ve only ever stayed at one other UO resort, HRH for one night, and it was very nice.
As someone with a car who’d only go with an AP that includes Early Entry and free park parking, I think the reason to stay at CB is for the nice walk to VB.
Otherwise I’ll stay premier for the EP’s or offsite for the price.