Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

Photo Gallery: First look at Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

by on April 1, 2014

Welcome to 1962! The first phase of Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened on March 31, and we are bringing you a photographic peek at Universal Orlando Resort’s first moderately priced hotel. As you can see, the new resort is inspired by the mid-century modern motor lodges from Wildwood, New Jersey, to Miami Beach, which once defined the American family vacation. We’ll be back in the near future with a fully detailed review of the resort, but for now enjoy this pictorial guide to the newly launched property.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Exterior

 

Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort photos

Photos by Seth Kubersky

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Photo Update: Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Garden Bridge Construction

by on March 14, 2014

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Garden Bridge is under construction (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Garden Bridge is under construction (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Last month, I brought you pre-construction photos of the pedestrian path that guests of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort will use to walk from Universal Orlando‘s newest hotel to CityWalk and the theme parks. Since then, I’ve received exciting new details on designs for the Cabana Bay Beach Resort Garden Walk, which will eventually supercede the existing sidewalks in the area.

The walking path on the north (westbound) side of Hollywood Way will have to serve temporarily for guests unwilling to take the provided shuttles buses during the hotel’s initial opening phase. The walk, which I documented in a video, is entirely navigable at this time with the exception of a crosswalk and traffic signal at the final intersection, which could be easily added before Cabana Bay’s first guests arrive at the end of March.

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Universal Orlando Cabana Bay Pedestrian Bridge Construction Begins

by on February 11, 2014

Cabana Bay pedestrian bridge

All photos by Seth Kubersky

The first phase of Cabana Bay Beach Resort opens on March 31, 2014, and while Universal Orlando‘s first value-priced hotel will have plenty of amenities (like a 10 lane bowling alley) it won’t have water taxi transportation to the theme like the original three Loews-operated resorts. Universal will provide bus transportation from Cabana Bay to the main parking hub, but many guests will find it quicker and more convenient to walk to the attractions. In order to accommodate them, construction began last week on a new Cabana Bay pedestrian bridge, which will permit safe passage across Hollywood Way at Adventure Way.

 

This bridge sparked a bit of controversy in Orlando last year when the city council voted to fund the project’s $9 million dollar construction cost from a special taxing fund in the name of “public safety.”

Universal Orlando Cabana Bay pedestrian bridge

This corner will soon be the site of Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay pedestrian bridge.

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First Look: New Menu at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop featuring Robata Grill

by on January 23, 2014

Emeril's Tchoup Chop new menu Robata grill

An updated sushi bar is just one of chef Ryan Vargas’ new changes at Emeril’s Tchop Chop

Since it opened with Loews Royal Pacific Resort hotel in 2001, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop has established itself as one of the best upscale eateries at Universal Orlando Resort. To kick off 2014, my favorite happy hour hangout has shaken things up in a serious way, with a new chef, new front-of-house management, new flavors, and a new high-tech tool in the kitchen. We’ll be returning in the future for a fully detailed review of Tchoup Chop’s new menu choices, but for now here’s a small taste to whet your appetite.

New chef de cuisine Ryan Vargas (a veteran of Four Seasons and Ritz Carltons in Hawaii and Palm Beach) came on board in October, but only recently introduced his completely revamped menu. The emphasis is still on “Asian-inspired island cuisine”, but there are a variety of new appetizers and entrees, an expanded sushi selection, and a brand-new specialty cocktail list.

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Universal Dining: Jake’s American Bar at Loews Royal Pacific Resort (Photo Review)

by on October 12, 2013

In early November I’ll be going to my first ever character breakfast on Universal property, and it will be at Jake’s American Bar at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. After I made my reservation (through OpenTable), I realized I had never eaten at Jake’s. I consider the Royal Pacific my second home in Orlando but spend a lot of my eating time either poolside at the Bula Bar & Grille or in the lobby area at the Orchid Court Lounge. So on my most recent visit to the Universal Orlando Resort, I decided to hit Jake’s twice in one day to check it out.

Jake’s is located on the ground floor of the Royal Pacific and is right across from the Islands Dining Room.

Jakes_Front

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Video Tour of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort

by on October 6, 2013

A stay in one of Walt Disney World’s hotels can transport you to a Polynesian isle, the Big Easy, or even a “cutting edge” cinderblock circa 1970. But if you want to be whisked off to the Italian seaside without leaving Central Florida, you’ll have to head up I-4 to the Mouse’s major competitor.

Today we’re kicking off an ongoing series of Universal Orlando video tours with a look at the resort’s flagship hotel. The Portofino Bay Hotel is a AAA 4 Diamond-awarded luxury property managed by Loews Hotels that is a picture-perfect replica of the famed European original, down to the painted-on “trompe l’oeil” architectural details.

Enjoy this exploration of the Portofino Bay, and come back for more Universal Orlando video features in the future.

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Sneak Peek: The View at Every Disney World Hotel Room

by on October 3, 2013

Resort View – Main Page

One of the first decisions you’ll have when booking a Disney World hotel room is which view to select. If you’re staying at the Yacht Club, for example, do any Garden View rooms have a view of the Stormalong Bay lazy river? If you’re on the monorail loop, does a Magic Kingdom View really improve your chances of seeing the Wishes fireworks? Is Savannah View at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the money?

To help you decide, we’ve spent the past year taking pictures of what you’ll see from the window of every Disney World hotel room – more than 30,000 individual photos. Today we’re giving you a preview of the first resort: Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.

The first page shows you a map of the entire resort. On the left side is a set of filter options you can use to find exactly the room you want:

  • Room Type Includes Disney’s description of the view, and the bed type in the room (if we know it). All-Star Sports has Standard and Preferred views, most with double beds. Moderates will show queen beds, and so on.
  • Walking Distance to Lobby Useful for cutting down on walking time
  • Walking Distance to Transportation Allows you to find rooms near bus stops, monorails and boats
  • Floors If you prefer ground or upper-floor rooms, you can specify that here
  • Sound Level Helps find the quiet rooms at the resort
  • Accessibility Identifies ADA-accessible rooms by feature, including roll-in showers and more
  • Our Picks Shows only the rooms which the Unofficial Guide has determined to be the best at the resort.
  • Prices You can also filter by price by entering the date you’re checking in.

Set any of these options and click “Show Matching Rooms.” The map will highlight in red all of the buildings which have rooms matching your options.

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Disneyland Announces U.S. Military Discounts Through September 2014

by on July 25, 2013

Image copyright Disney

As a way of thanking the service members who defend the United States, Disneyland Resort has announced special military park ticket and hotel room pricing valid through September 27, 2014.

Disneyland’s military promotional 3-Day park hopper tickets are valid for 3 days of admission to both Anaheim parks, and are not valid during Christmas week, Easter week, or on the Fourth of July. Tickets purchased at authorized military sales outlets now through September 26, 2013, cost $125, and must be used by 9/28/2013; passes purchased 9/29/2013 through 9/25/2014 cost $129, and must be used by 9/27/2014.

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New “Mysteries of Magic” Experience Available to Disneyland Hotel Guests

by on May 26, 2013

Photo courtesy Orange County Register

The “early entry” hours offered to select ticket-holders and resort hotel guests at Disneyland are a wonderful way to experience the magic of the Happiest Place on Earth with minimal wait times. But what if you've been on every Fantasyland and Tomorrorland ride a million times, and are looking for a new way to spend the early A.M. inside Disneyland Park?

The brand-new “Mysteries of Magic” experience is now being offered during Tuesday and Thursday “Extra Magic Hours” exclusively to registered guests of the three Disneyland Resort on-site hotels. Participating guests will get to participate in a private workshop inside the Main Street Magic Shop, where they will “be amazed, mystified, and intrigued” as they are introduced to the world of performing prestidigitation.

Participants (who must be 5 years old or older) in the hour-long program will recieve personal instruction on performing several magic tricks, training materials, and a 10% discount on any items purchased from the Magic Shop during the session. The experience costs $10 per person (plus valid park admission) and space is limited. This may be a temporary or seasonal event, but no closing date is announced. See the concierge or front desk at your hotel for more information or to sign up.

This program is so new that we have not had a chance to try it yet. If you've experienced the new “Mysteries of Magic” event, please leave your impressions in the comments below.

 

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Hotel Room Hacks: Ways to Make the Most of the Supplies in Your Walt Disney World Hotel Room

by on January 16, 2013

A while back, I wrote a post which listed all the things that you can expect to find in your Walt Disney World hotel room. Most of the items on the list seem pretty straightforward. I mean, an ice bucket is just an ice bucket, right?

Wrong.

In addition to being a container for conveying frozen water, your ice bucket can do double duty as a corral for your daughter’s hair supplies, a bowl for your microwave popcorn, or place to warm your baby’s bottle. Here are some hacks you can use to make the items found in your hotel room do double duty when you’re on your Disney vacation.

SHAMPOO

Your hotel toiletries can be used for many things other than getting clean.

  • Meant to: Keep your hair clean.
  • Can also be used:
  • As a gentle detergent to rinse the chlorine out of your swimsuit.
  • As a “stain stick.” Rub a little into a clothing stain. This will delay the stain setting until you can actually wash the garment.
  • As a bubble bath for cleaning kiddos. Pour a slow stream of shampoo into the running tub water and watch the bubbles appear.
  • As a “window cleaner” for your kids’ swim goggles.
  • Remember: If you’re not staying on points at a DVC villa, you can get as much free extra shampoo as you need just by placing a quick call to housekeeping.

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