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Cabana Bay vs. Aventura Resort
Today we are going to compare Cabana Bay vs. Aventura Resort. Located right across from each other on Adventure way, Cabana Bay and Aventura are Universal’s Prime Value resorts.
Not to be confused with Endless Summer Resorts, Dockside, and Surfside, Ultra Value Resorts. Endless Summer Resorts are further from the parks and have slightly fewer amenities than Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
If you’re planning a Universal vacation, don’t miss my 2022 Universal Orlando planning guide.
Pricing of Cabana Bay vs. Aventura
The first factor when comparing Cabana Bay vs. Aventura Hotel is the price of the hotels.
The premier resorts at Universal have a higher cost (with more amenities and Free Express Passes), while the Ultra Value Resorts are cheaper. However, Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort are about the same price. Instead of comparing price, let’s compare amenities and design.
Theming of Aventura vs. Cabana Bay
Cabana Bay is a retro-themed hotel based in the 50s and 60s. This theming can be nostalgic for adults (especially grandparents!) and fun for kids because it’s so different.
Aventura has a sleek, modern theme with modern amenities, including robots that deliver items to your room.
The theming of these two resorts could not be more different. Love a funky, retro look? Cabana Bay Beach Resort will not disappoint. If you love a modern, minimal look, you’ll love Aventura. If I ever seem biased toward Aventura, it’s because I love a modern, minimal look!
You might also enjoy: What to pack for Universal Studios (and what to wear at Universal)
Rooms at Aventura and Cabana Bay
Aventura’s rooms are immaculate, minimal, and modern. The iPad controls almost everything in the room. From the TV to A/C to ordering room service, the iPad is a wonderful feature.
Aventura has incredible views, especially from the highest floors. You can either view the theme parks or the Orlando skyline. Although I prefer the theme park view, you can’t go wrong. It only costs a few dollars more to ensure a high floor, so I recommend choosing a skyline view room.
The provided bath/shower amenities are all-natural and vegan, which is a bonus if you love natural items and don’t want to bring your own.
Aventura also has unique robots. You can bring items to your room upon request; make sure to try it. Overall, we found that Aventura feels more high-end while offering a great price!
Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a much larger resort and has more options for rooms. Some are accessed from outdoors, while others are accessed from indoors. Some have views of the pool or even Volcano Bay.
The whole resort has the 50s and 60s theming, and this happens in the rooms as well. From the artwork to the furniture, everything has a retro theme.
The soap and shampoo in the bathroom look like something I would have found in my grandma’s house in the 90s (VO5, etc.,) but I guess she just stuck with what was popular in the 50s and 60s. 😂
Aventura also has 2-bedroom Volcano Bay view suites. If you need a lot of room, this is a great option. Although more than a standard room, these suites are not as expensive as those in moderate and premier resorts.
Are the rooms at Aventura or Cabana Bay better?
While the room sizes are similar, that is truly where the similarities end. If you want more options, Cabana Bay has them.
Both resorts offer family suites, but you may find more availability at Cabana Bay simply because it has more rooms. The family suites at Aventura are a bit smaller and do not include a microwave like the family suites at Endless Summer or Cabana Bay.
Cabana Bay has about 2200 rooms total, whereas Aventura only has 800. So this means Cabana Bay may have more availability.
One more thing worth mentioning, you’ll do a lot more walking at Cabana Bay. Since the resort is spread out, request a room close to the lobby or transportation if you have any mobility issues or very young children. You will likely be walking all day anyway!
The pools at Cabana Bay and Aventura
This is one area where I will say that Cabana Bay is the clear winner. Cabana Bay has two large pools and a lazy river. Aventura has one pool, and while it’s a lovely pool, it is on the smaller side.
However, during my stays (I’ve stayed at each resort multiple times), the pools at Cabana Bay are always more crowded than the pool at Aventura.
Aventura also has a splash pad and plenty of lounging area along with multiple hot tubs and a pool bar.
Amenities at Cabana Bay and Aventura
Both Universal Prime Value Resorts have amenities such as:
- Early Park Admission
- Transportation to the parks and City Walk all-day
- Onsite dining
- Helpful staff
- Fitness Centers
- Gift shops (including resort-only merchandise.)
Cabana Bay also has a bowling alley. Aventura has quick access to Sapphire Falls, which offers a water taxi as a convenient way to access City Walk.
You can, in theory, walk from Cabana Bay to Sapphire Falls, but you can’t walk directly across the street, and it’s a very long walk and would be quicker just to take a bus.
The bus line can get long at Cabana Bay, so make sure to give yourselves plenty of time to get to the parks if you’re hoping to arrive early. That said, Universal keeps the bussing running, and you likely won’t have to wait long.
Pro-tip: If you stay at Aventura, make sure to catch the sunset from Bar 17 Bistro, the rooftop bar, and grill.
Sunset at Aventura with a view of Cabana Bay Resort!
Is Aventura or Cabana Bay a better resort?
Now that we have compared Aventura vs. Cabana Bay, which one is better?! Cabana Bay offers more room types, more rooms in general, and is hands-down a better option for families who plan to spend a lot of time in the resort.
For a couple or a family with older kids, I say that Aventura wins hands-down! My 13-year-old son and I stayed in both resorts to compare, and we both preferred Aventura.
You can “pool hop” at Universal resorts, so you can always check out pools at other resorts as long as you are a resort guest.
The good news is that no matter which Universal Orlando Resort you stay in, you’ll be well taken care of. The excellent staff and great amenities make it worth the slightly higher cost vs. staying offsite. We used to stay offsite, and now we’ll never go back!
So, is Aventura or Cabana Bay better? That is up to you! If you prefer a retro look, love a big pool, and don’t mind a bit of walking, Cabana Bay is a fantastic choice. If a quieter, more modern resort is for you, I recommend Aventura.
Families and groups will love the options at Cabana Bay, while a couple, parents of older children, or an adult trip might find Aventura to be a better choice.
Universal’s Cabana Bay vs. Aventura
What do you think? Did I miss anything? When doing the research before my last Universal vacation, I noticed that many people love Cabana Bay. It’s not that we didn’t like Cabana Bay, but Aventura was the clear winner for us. Again, you can’t go wrong no matter where you stay!
If you want to see more of my Universal content, check out the following posts:
- 7 things to buy at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- The top 10 best thrill rides at Universal
- 15 Genius Universal Studios Hacks
- The 7 best rides at Universal Studios.
- 7 things to buy before visiting Harry Potter World.
- 25 Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips.
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Secret song list.
- 20 things to know before going to Universal Orlando.
Are you planning a Universal Vacation?
I know that it can be overwhelming, especially with three parks, new resorts almost every year, and a HUGE new park coming in a few years! I am a graduate of the Universal Orlando Resort Travel Agent Training Program, and I’d love to help plan your Universal vacation! Contact me now for more info.
If you plan to DIY your vacation, I understand that too! I highly recommend buying your tickets through Undercover Tourist if you choose not to use a Travel Agent. There are a lot of really scammy sites out there, so make sure you’re booking through an approved partner (like Undercover Tourist) or an approved Travel Agent.
I also highly recommend staying online at Universal Orlando. Universal Orlando is now home to eight resorts; Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Loews Royal Pacific, Aventura Hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Universal Endless Summer Resorts – Dockside Inn and Suites and Seaside Inn and Suites.
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