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Reviews (17,280)
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Reviewed 3 May 2018

I have been coming to Universal with my two daughters (now 11 and 14) every spring for years now and we always stay onsite to make use of the walkability, early park hours and (sometimes) the express pass. We decided to explore Cabana Bay this year in an effort to save money and facilitate eating and sleeping arrangements with 3 people in the room. We stayed in "poolside" "tower" family suite in mid-April with middling results. Here is what we did and didn't like.

Pros:
(1) More space for your family - Having the 3 of us spreadout across 2 queens and a sofa bed with a separation door was priceless.
(2) Easier to eat grocery meals - A kitchenette in the room made hot dogs and nachos, cold soda and beer MUCH cheaper than it would be buying from Universal or Citywalk. (3) Housekeeping - They were friendly and did an excellent job. Left us with plates, cups and cutlery every day.
(4) Walking distance to Volcano Bay & Bus to Citywalk - VB path is definitely not a pretty walk, but a short one. Buses much more regular than the ones we had at RP or Sapphire.

Cons:
(1) Cattle Call/Assembly Line Feel: The worst thing about the parks is feeling constantly surrounded and forced in line with other visitors. The size of CB is huge, SO many people, and they cram into the pool, dining and other spaces so you don't get much of a respite. I like my hotel to be a haven away from the parks, not a continuation of it. The pool was particularly awful this way, with drunk guys bellowing at each other across a row of beach chairs and your neighbors all squished around you.
(2) Upselling/Mislabeling Inferior Rooms: Don't bother to buy a "poolside" room. From our Continental 5th floor room we looked at buildings, and edge of pool and an employee sidewalk. Save your $. Do a Volcano Room if you have to but insist on actually seeing the Volcano. In the end I was just too freaking exasperated to fight for it.
(3) Staff Attitude (excluding housekeeping): This place is meant to look relaxed and more downscale but you are still paying premium prices. So having bored, attitude-ridden staffers treat you like a number is irritating - particularly since we had such better responses at the other onsite hotels. For example, the young woman checking us in had nothing but jaded malaise when I pointed out that our reserved "poolside" tower room had neither a pool view, nor was it in a tower. This is basic customer service but she was clearly over us before we even arrived. Once the subpar room was secured, 4 employees stood around and behind the customer service desk (gossiping, with no other customers) directed me to and watched me try to use the computer kiosk to get park tickets. Apparently 'if you type too fast' the kiosks don't work. One employee gave grudging assistance after it didn't work after four times. After a long flight, all of this attitude before we'd even sat down in the room irritated the heck out of me.
(4) Food - Diner food was poor quality, really salty and of course expensive. Not my fave. Coffee was atrocious.
(5) Theming - Ok but seemed like the "motel" theme really affected the staff's engagement with customers. This motel was actually quite costly and its customers deserve some basic focus and helpfulness from the service folk.

So. Not sure we'll be back to the Cabana Bay again, despite some of the perks. It actually did a bit to turn me off of Universal park itself (even with slow park days) with the constant cattlecall atmosphere. It will be awhile before I'm headed into that again.

Room Tip: Do not believe poolside tower family suite label. Ask to see room map.
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank FrozenMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2018

Location was perfect! Family suite was comfortable but a little smaller than expected. The lazy river isn't heated like the other pools and its poorly maintained.Its dirty & low pressure pushing you along, which defeats the purpose of being lazy. So that was very disappointing. However the other pools are very nice. Loved the sandy beach area for the kids. High lifeguard presence is a plus. You do have to buy innertubes but they are a nice souvenir. The bowling alley and arcade were lot of fun!! We found an uninvited room guest, a live cockroach in the kitchen area. Staff were always kind and helpful! Overall we had a great stay!!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Loews Hotels and Resorts
Thank vanya143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2018

My group and I had the greatest time at Cabana Bay. If you like kitsch, you'll enjoy the retro decor. The on-site bowling is fun and has great food, and the Bayliner Diner has an excellent selection (although not a lot of vegan options for the vegan member of our party). Getting to the parks is super easy, especially Volcano Bay, which is right next door! There are multiple pools, hot tubs, and even a lazy river. We had the BEST time and plan to come back!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with Loews Hotels and Resorts
1  Thank Casey520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Universal's C, Manager at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2018

Thank you for your review. We're so delighted to hear you had an amazing time during your stay at our resort and enjoyed all that Cabana Bay has to offer, especially the convenient walkway to Volcano Bay.

It is a pleasure when we can make an impression on our guests! We appreciate your feedback and look forward to many future stays.

Have a swell day,
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2018 via mobile

Visited this hotel with our 3 Year old Grandson and loved every minute.
Staff were very helpful, family room was very comfortable. Food court was cheap and good quality. Pools were excellent and included life vests and towels. Courtesy buses were constant, so no waiting around. Entrance to Volcano Bay was on site.
Definitely recommended

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
3  Thank OldBill883
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Universal's C, Manager at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2018

Thank you for your review and for choosing Cabana Bay. We're so thrilled to hear you had a fantastic experience at our resort and appreciate the overall feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back for another fun and memorable stay.

Have a swell day,
Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2018

We stayed in a family suite poolside on the 6th floor and from our room you could see Volcano Bay, the pool, lazy river, beach section and the firepit. Our family suite was very clean and spacious.The hotel grounds and pools were very well maintained and we enjoyed the bowling alley also. the Cabana Bay Hamburger at the Bayliner Diner was wonderful !! Customer Service was awesome !! We will be back !!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Loews Hotels and Resorts
1  Thank Kittykattpa03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Universal's C, Manager at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2018

Thank you for a wonderful review. We're so delighted to hear you enjoyed many aspects of our resort during your stay, such as the pool areas, Galaxy Bowl, fire pits, and more! We're also very happy to hear you loved the Cabana Bay Burger from the Bayliner Diner.

An experience such as yours is what we strive for when our guests stay at Cabana Bay, so we thank you for your wonderful feedback.
We can’t wait to have you back for more relaxation and fun times!

Have a swell day,
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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