Cabana Bay vs Aventura Resort
Today we are going to compare Cabana Bay vs Aventura Hotel. Located right across from each other on Adventure way, Cabana Bay and Aventura are Universal’s Prime Value resorts. But is Cabana Bay or Aventura Resort best for families? Let’s find out together.
Not to be confused with Endless Summer Resorts, Dockside, and Surfside, Universal’s Ultra Value Resorts. Endless Summer Resorts are further from the parks and have slightly fewer amenities than Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort. So we will not be comparing those today.
However, I have a YouTube tour of the 2-bedroom suite at Dockside Inn and Suites, as well as a Dockside Inn and Suites Review for anyone interested in that hotel.
We also have a Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Hotels, so check that out to compare every single hotel at Universal Orlando Resort! When you’re done here, don’t miss our 2023 Universal Orlando Planning Guide.
Although they are in the same resort category, Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort couldn’t be more different. You can check out the Aventura Hotel tour or Cabana Bay Beach Resort Tour if you prefer videos.
By the way, you’ll need a rental car if you’re flying into Orlando. I recommend renting a car from Discount USA Car Rental. They have the best prices, and you don’t pay until you pick up your car.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort vs. Aventura Hotel
Let’s compare a few factors when looking at Cabana Bay vs Aventura. Pricing, theming, rooms, pools, and amenities.
Pricing of Cabana Bay vs. Aventura
The first factor when comparing Cabana Bay vs Aventura Hotel is the price of the hotels. You can click on the links to check the current pricing for both!
The cost of staying at Cabana Bay vs Aventura Resort is pretty comparable. They are often the same price with only minor differences based on room type and travel dates.
The premier resorts at Universal have a higher cost (along with more amenities and Free Express Passes), while the Ultra Value Resorts are less expensive. However, the price of Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort is about the same. Instead of comparing price alone, 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!
Rooms at Aventura and Cabana Bay
Aventura’s rooms are immaculate, minimal, and modern. The iPad controls almost everything in the room. The iPad is a wonderful feature, from TV to A/C to ordering room service.
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 with more room options. Some are accessed outdoors, while others are accessed indoors. Some have views of the pool or even Volcano Bay.
The whole resort has the 50s and 60s themed, which also happens in the rooms. 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. This is an excellent option if you need much room for your family. However, they are not easy to get as there aren’t very many of them. Although more than a standard room, these suites are not as expensive as those in moderate and premier resorts.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort also offers an abundance of family suites with a kitchenette, two double beds, and a sleeper sofa. The family suites sleep 6, so families with 3 or 4 children can stay in one room.
Are the rooms at Aventura or Cabana Bay better?
While the basic room sizes are similar, that is truly where the similarities end. If you want more options, Cabana Bay has them.
Both resorts offer family room/suite options, but you may find more availability at Cabana Bay simply because it has more rooms. The family rooms at Aventura are 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. However, that is not always the case as Cabana Bay is a popular choice and sometimes sells out before Aventura.
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 vs 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. If you have children who are not strong swimmers, keeping an eye on them with how crowded the pools are can be difficult. And yes, there are lifeguards at all Universal hotels.
Aventura has a splash pad, plenty of lounging areas, 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 to take a bus.
The bus line can get long at Cabana Bay, so 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, 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 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 preferred Aventura. However, you can “pool hop” at Universal resorts (except Endless Summer hotels), so you can always check out pools at other resorts as long as you are a resort guest.
If you are staying at Aventura and want to visit a great pool, talk a short walk over to Sapphire Falls!
The good news is that you’ll be well taken care of no matter which Universal Orlando Resort you stay in. 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! Cabana Bay is a fantastic choice if you prefer a retro look, love a big pool, and don’t mind a bit of walking. 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 a better choice.
Universal’s Cabana Bay vs. Aventura
What do you think? Did I miss anything? When researching 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!
Whenever I return to Cabana Bay, I like it more (I’ve learned to request a room near the lobby!), but Aventura is still my favorite Universal resort. Or at least tied with Hard Rock Hotel.
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.
- 15 Amazing Volcano Bay Tips and Volcano Bay Hacks
- Dockside Inn and Suites Review | Universal’s cheapest hotel!
- First Timer Tips for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Star Wars Land vs. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- The 10 best thrill rides at Universal
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 on my Travel Agent website for more info. Please note that I only take on a select number of theme park clients!
If you plan to DIY your vacation, I understand that too! I highly recommend buying 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 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.
About Florida Travel With Kids
Florida Travel with Kids was started by a family who loves to travel the state of Florida with kids! This site will help you explore the fun state of Florida and all of the kid-friendly activities you’ll find here. Have you stayed at Aventura Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort? Which did you prefer? Let us know in the comments!
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I honestly would redo this. I would not tell people they had to get a car from Mco when there are plenty of Uber, Lyft and bus options. It costs more money to have a car at the resorts and let’s be real, if you are at a resort you probably are not leaving property. Save yourself a huge amount of cash and don’t rent a car.
Hi Amanda, I appreciate your opinion, but I am certainly not going to redo the post. It’s my personal preference to have a car, and lots of other people choose to have a car too. The parking lots at Universal resorts are always full of personal and rental cars. 🙂 It can actually save quite a bit of money to eat outside of the resorts, so it just depends. I like to be able to go to the beach or other places that are short drives from Orlando (we have blog posts on lots of this stuff), so having a car works for us. I understand some people don’t need one, so an option like the Superstar Shuttle or Uber is just fine for them.