Universal Orlando has opened the first phase of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the new hotel that has become the cheapest way to stay on-site at the resort.
Whereeas Universal Orlando's three existing hotels are aimed primarily at the high-end of the market, the new hotel is designed to be an affordable option for families. It is themed around old-style "road trip" vacations, and will be managed on Universal's behalf by Loews Hotels & Resorts.
Guests at the new resort will not receive the same perks as those at the existing Portofino Bay Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort and Hard Rock Hotel. Most significantly, they will not be equipped with unlimited Universal Express passes, which enable guests at the other resorts to skip the lines for major attractions. However, they will be able to take advantage of early entry into Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure - a particularly important perk for those visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Located on a 37-acre site next to Islands of Adventure, the new resort will feature 900 family suites (capable of accommodating up to 6 guests) and 900 standard guest rooms. It will be heavily-themed, with 50s-style rooms, lobby area and pool. 600 family suites in the North Courtyard are now open, with the remaining rooms and suites in the South Courtyard due to open on July 1.
Let's take a virtual tour of the resort...
Bold colors welcome guests to the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, with the look designed to evoke the retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 1960s.
The nostalgic theme continues into the lobby.
North Courtyard and pool
The North Courtyard features a 10,000-square-foot-pool, as well as a dive tower waterslide. A second, 8000-square-foot pool will open in the South Courtyard in July, along with a lazy river.
The resort features a 10-lane bowling alley.
Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio
For those guests who find that traipsing around a theme park all day isn't exercise enough, the resort features a sprawling gym.
Retro-themed specialty cocktails are available from the Swizzle Lounge or Atomic Tonic. Elsewhere, the Bayliner Diner food court offers a salad bar, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and pasta.
Finally, here's a look at the one of the family suites, which come equipped with the usual ameneties and can sleep up to six people.
Here's an official video from Universal Orlando discussing the creation of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
What do you think?
Will Universal Orlando's newest hotel be enough to tempt you to stay on-site at the resort? Let us know in the comments section below!