Review of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando®Kim Inman
written by Sara Toerner, Travel Specialist
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Sapphire Falls Review
“Impressive. Inviting. Photogenic. Grand but relaxing…” these are words I jotted in my notepad while exploring the freshly-painted passageways of Universal’s newest on-site resort: Loews Sapphire Falls.
Read on, as I share with you tips and tricks to help make your decision to stay at Sapphire Falls a confident one. As always, contact me directly to book the Universal vacation experience of your dreams and I’ll share my full list of useful Tips with you!
- The décor can be described as “modern Caribbean with a touch of luxury,” or “elegance with a beachy twist.” Blue, the color of the deep ocean is throughout, like the deep blue you see peering over the railing of a cruise ship.
- Resort guests have complimentary Early Admission to Universal’s theme parks – this is a feature of all 5 of the Universal on-site resorts (Sapphire Falls, Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, Cabana Bay, and Portofino with a 6th resort opening in 2018!)
- This is NOT an Express Pass hotel: guests of Sapphire Falls must purchase Express Passes if they wish to utilize that feature, as they are not a resort inclusion here.
- Pool is impressive, inviting, and LARGE, boasting zero-entry areas, a waterslide, splash play fountains for littles, and a few cabanas.
- Complimentary transport to CityWalk and Universal parks includes a choice between the shuttle bus or the water taxi. The water taxi docks every 15minutes ri
ght outside and so is the quicker method. Transportation runs until 2am so you’ll always have a ride back to your room!
- The grand, expansive lobby boasts high ceilings and natural lighting, an inviting den ideal for relaxed conversation, a vintage rum bar with an impressive collection, convenient car rental counter and a Universal theme park ticket counter, and a sizeable theme park merchandise store.
- A large meeting and banquet facility is attached, connecting both Loews Sapphire Falls and Loews Royal Pacific and offering space for both intimate and substantial events.
- Character breakfast are an option nearby: Sundays at Royal Pacific Resort and Tuesdays at Hard Rock Hotel.
- Universal/Loews Resorts encourages “resort hopping” and openly welcomes guests from any of their resorts to enjoy amenities (POOLS! RESTAURANTS!) at all of their properties. Even guests at Cabana Bay, their most economical resort option, can lounge by the pool at their high-end Italian seaside mansion, Portofino. Hop on a complimentary resort-to-resort bus and grab dinner at Emeril’s Choup Chop at Royal Pacific, Mama Della’s at Portofino, or the Bayliner Diner at Cabana Bay!
- Impressive features in each guest room: coordinating designer hairdryers and toiletries, Keurig coffeemakers, a shower seat (WOW!!!), a spacious desk with sufficient outlets and comfy chair, strong Wi-Fi (complimentary for up to 3 devices). The individual liquid hand soap at bathroom vanities give a feeling of luxury.
- Note: I shared a room with two fellow reviewers so we requested additional luxuries after checking in. A funny moment ensued as we were surprised with 6 rolls of toilet paper instead of 3 sets of “toiletries.” –We didn’t receive any additional toiletries the following 3 days, leaving us to wonder if hotels ration shampoo and conditioner these days…
- Rooms feel spacious compared to comparable resorts in Orlando.
- Park on the top of the self-parking garage ($22/day) for spectacular views of the hotel’s grand-yet-relaxed entrance which lends to its namesake.
- The on-site quick-service restaurant opens at 6am and is ideal for grabbing a quick bite to eat or loading your theme park backpack with snacks in route to the parks.
- The water taxi is convenient to a vast selection of uniquely-themed restaurants and night-spots and runs every 15 minutes, though the on-site resort’s chic full-service restaurant “Amatista” is refreshingly bright and airy, and the menu features savory, freshly-prepared dishes native to Florida and the Caribbean in an expansive open-air kitchen.
- This hotel oozes newness – you can faintly smell the fresh paint in the interior hallways.
- The stroll to CityWalk is pleasant, paralleling the water taxi canal and lined with tropical foliage. On several occasions we opted to walk to/from our resort and CItyWalk because of this, and the path took about 15 minutes each way.
- The waterfall features throughout Sapphire’s exteriors are as photogenic as they are beautiful.
- Sapphire Falls is designed to be a relaxing tropical oasis, and it succeeds at delivering that impression!
Ready to see Sapphire’s waterfalls first-hand? Contact me directly for FREE planning assistance! Universal Studios, Disney, and Cruise Line destinations are my passion and my specialty, and I’d love nothing more than to share the joy of travel with you!