top of page

Soap Box Blog


Americana Fun in the Florida Sun

It's the 1960's, life is slower, space travel is the American dream come true and sipping cocktails by poolside is a naughty pleasure. Pearl Davies visits with Cabana Bay and explores the properties quirky atomic nature while capturing some retro on the go.

Set upon the sunny east coast of Florida, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort takes you back in time to mid-century nostalgia with the popped colors and abstract shapes these times were known for. Philadelphia's Daroff Design collaborated with Miami based Architectural firm Shulman + Associates to deliver a family orientated resort and value priced space for hotel goers on a tight budget. Karen Daroff of Daroff Design has envisioned an affordable resort, capable of transporting guests from the hustle and bustle of today back to less hectic, free-living times. The resort's architecture evolved from a concept referencing the Cabana colonies which were popular within the United States throughout the 50's and 60's. This new venture is Florida's ultimate retro-inspired space, popular with both locals and visitors.

Within the lobby area, curls of aqua blue stream through the terrazzo, swimming past a sea of turquoise carpet set midpoint on the floor. Live 50 foot high palm tree grow in an enclosure in the center of the lobby; its white metal barrier reaching up toward an oval skylight. The exterior of the entry building contains a wall of port-hole lookalike windows, allowing light to flood the establishment upon entry. A striking multi-tiered diving platform in the pool area becomes a central hub for activities within the resort. Old fashioned family games and picnic areas circulate the main pool area, evoking a sense of playfulness and laid-back culture.

For drinks and dining, the 600-seat Bayliner Diner celebrates the era by continuously running vintage films in what Daroff describes as an “early space-age-inspired food court”. With NASA and Cape Canaveral just a leisurely drive from the resort you're just a stone's throw away from transporting yourself back to the 60's to reminisce and experience space history.

You can relive the 1950's bowling alley experience with dinner in the Galaxy Bowl Restaurant or head out to The Hideaway Bar & Grill in the Lazy River Courtyard. For cocktails there's the choice of the Atomic Tonic Poolside Bar, where you can work on your Florida tan whilst sipping your mojito; or the Sizzle Lobby Bar where you can indulge in some shameless people watching and selfies.

Guestrooms are located in long, narrow buildings punctuated by feature nodes that circulate guest traffic. With 900 family suites and an equal number of double queen guest rooms, Daroff adds “We approached this part of the design as though we were designing staterooms on a cruise ship, every inch had to count". The architecture (which includes carefully integrated catwalks, punctured roof projections, pylon stair towers, mesh balcony railings, carefully coiffured gardens, and prominent signage) is characteristic of the many postwar resort hotels, such as The Americana, Starlight, Thunderbird and Castaway. Plastic laminate and wooden-edged surfaces complimented by post-war era furniture and a palette of oranges and blues provide a distinct 1950s groove. “There is a fabulous kitchenette that feels like it has been magically transported from the stage set of I Love Lucy,” Daroff observes of each of the guest rooms.

Opened in 2014, The Cabana Bay Beach Resort blends retro design with affordability and fun. Nostalgic shuttle buses whisk guests away to the local Universal Theme parks for fun family days and fantasy night life. The Cabana provides a perfect spot for your family vacation or the ultimate getaway for any retro enthusiast. Head back in time for some Americana fun in the Florida sun.

For more information:

+1 407-503-4000

BOOK NOW: Your own Private, Commercial or Editorial Photography Session with Pearl Davies Today.

Miss Cherry De Vine:

"Honestly it was just Amazing. You can see just how much time and energy went into creating the atmosphere & design. Its a Retro Lovers Dream. You can jump back in time. The Cabana Bay Beach Resort is simply beautiful and a must see to believe it. Just Retro-licious!"

Miss Ria Von Strudel:

"I absolutely adore the beautiful Cabana Bay resort! To be here feels so very nostalgic! It's a lovely, light, airy, mid-century modern inspired oasis that we are so fortunate to have right here in central Florida. There is so much constant progress and change going on all around us, I applaud this gorgeous homage to classic Americana and the inventiveness and creativity of the fantastic architecture of the atomic era."


Vintage Pinup & Boudoir Photography

Atomic Hideaway: A Retro Revival themed short stay accommodation

Newcastle New South Wales Australia

bottom of page