I am always planning the next time my family and I can escape to an island paradise. Our family of 4—Darasak, Gabby, Michaela and I—had the chance to stay at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort during our visit to Universal Orlando’s brand new water theme park, Universal’s Volcano Bay.
Not only did we enjoy the parks and Volcano Bay, we thoroughly enjoyed our rest and downtime at Sapphire Falls.
Read on to discover everything you ever wanted to know about this resort—including how it’s a great place to stay for families.
Q: What Are The Grounds Like?
A: As soon as you walk into the lobby, you feel as if you’ve been transported to a tropical destination. When walking through the resort, you’ll notice waterfalls and lush tropical landscaping. One thing I noticed was the color of the hotel is a gorgeous sapphire tone and the style is Caribbean inspired. If you’re a sun worshipper, you’ll find a white sand beach areas to enjoy. The kids will love to play in the sand and you’ll love to lounge around the largest pool on Universal Orlando property.
Q: Are the Rooms Spacious?
A: Naturally, we travel as a family as often as we can. Sapphire Falls has large and comfortable suites and standard guest rooms for families to stay in.
We stayed in a standard guest room with a beautiful view of the pool. The room offered plenty of space and was comfortable for all of us.
It can sometimes be difficult to get going in the morning with 3 other people. But here the vanity and bathroom are separate, making it much easier to get ready.
The luxury suites let you relax and indulge. You can even get a kids suite if you’re traveling with your kids and want a little more privacy. The kids suites feature a king-size bed for mom and dad and two twin beds for the kids in a separate nautical-themed room. You can also book the Sapphire Suite if you’re looking for more room to relax. It sleeps up to 5 (with a rollaway) and has a living area, wet bar and two bathrooms.
A grand hospitality suite is perfect for entertaining, with a separate room, two bathrooms, kitchenette and living room area. Plus, some of these suites feature a balcony, where you can enjoy a cool drink and take in the view.
If you really want to go all out, you can book the presidential suite. It has a full set of rooms including a study, two bathrooms, a large dining area and more. The large soaking tub is to die for!
TIP: Sapphire Falls is pet-friendly. For an extra fee, pets are welcome to stay in the standard and lagoon view rooms. You receive a pet bowl and tag, welcome treat, local dog-walking routes and information on area pet services such as vets, pet shops, groomers and more. They’ll love the hotel as much as you do!
Q: Is There Wi-Fi?
A: Yes, you’ll have access to complimentary Wi-Fi in your room and in most common areas. You can upgrade to Premium if you need it for business or heavier entertainment. We used the complimentary and never had an issue with losing signal.
Q: Do We Get Early Park Admission?
A: If you’re huge Harry Potter fans like us, then you’re going to love the fact that you get Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay, which I definitely suggest you visit! If you’re wondering if you should fit the water theme park into your family’s vacation during your visit, here’s my story about why your family will love Volcano Bay.
Of course, you do have to buy park admission (sold separately). But we loved being able to get to the parks before everyone else. You can see more and do more this way!
TIP: If you’re planning for a day in the Polynesian-inspired Volcano Bay, be sure to head to the ride you want to get on first and use your TapuTapu to get your ride time. Hit the wave pool until it’s your turn. You can also look for rides that have a ‘RIDE NOW’ sign and hop on while you wait.
Q: How Do We Get Around?
Staying on-site means your vacation can be stress-free. One thing I loved about Sapphire Falls is the fun, free and easy transportation. You don’t have to worry about getting to where you need to be.
- Hop on a water taxi to get to the parks. Not only do you get to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk quickly, you get a lovely and picturesque ride on the water.
- Take a shuttle bus or one of walking paths to CityWalk.
- Head to Volcano Bay with a short shuttle ride from the hotel.
Q: Do I Need to Carry Cash?
A: It’s so convenient when you can go throughout the whole resort and charge things to your room. Using your room key, you have the power of purchasing at your hands.
If you decide to shop, there are certain shops that will even deliver your purchases right to your room. Plus, you get some perks like complimentary access at select venues at CityWalk. It makes your whole experience that much better.
Q: Where Do We Eat?
A: As self-proclaimed foodies, we love trying new restaurants and often plan our day around foodie experiences. At Sapphire Falls, there were many restaurant and lounge options to choose from.
- The Drhum Club Kantine gives you the full island experience. It’s located poolside and offers fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, nachos and taste-tempting tropical drinks.
TIP: Try the nachos! They come with black beans, cheddar cheese sauce, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole. The beef picadillo is bomb but, the chicken is great too! It’s big enough to share.
- Strong Water Tavern was one of my favorite places to enjoy at night. We could head down for a bevvie and the kids could enjoy appetizers. Just think, you have everything you need right at the resort. You never have to leave if you don’t want to.
TIP: Try the house-aged rum. Did you know that there are more than 75 types of rum offered at Strong Water? Cool!
- New Dutch Trading & Co is a quaint little shop off the lobby where you can pick up snacks, goodies, craft sandwiches, freshly brewed coffee, pastries and more. It’s great if you’re running low on time or looking for a quick bite.
- Amatista Cookhouse has a great ambiance and we enjoyed both dinner and breakfast here. We ate breakfast outside with a gorgeous view of the lagoon. They serve Caribbean-inspired cuisine prepared in an exhibition kitchen. The staff was incredible and the chef came out to greet us and to ask us how our dinner was. It was an exceptional experience.
- Every Friday you can enjoy Caribbean Carnaval at the resort. This fun dinner show is fun experience for the family with live music, dancing and a delicious buffet island eats. Tickets are required so make sure to book your reservation ahead of time!
TIP: Try the ceviche. Did you know that there are 5 variations of ceviche throughout the hotel? Try to find them all!
After you’ve tried all the dining options at Sapphire Falls, head on out and explore the many options you have at CityWalk. You can also take advantage of the hotel dining shuttle that provides transportation to and from Universal Orlando’s 5 on-site hotels to try all the restaurants. Shuttle pick-up is available in the hotel lobby approximately every 30 minutes from 6 pm–10 pm. Shake things up and try new and delicious eats.
Q: How’s the Pool?
I never travel without enjoying the pool and this totally happened at Sapphire Falls. When they were building this resort, they knew the pool was going to be important.
The 16,000-square-foot pool leaves plenty of room for everyone to have their own space and fun. My kids could play for hours in the pool!
I also took turns swimming and lounging in a chair on the pool deck. I spent quite a lot of time in the hot tub, too. It was large and the perfect temperature.
There are extra fun things for the kids like a children’s play area and a water slide. Let me tell you, the water slide was a hit. At night, you can enjoy sitting by the fire pits.
TIP: There are poolside activities the whole family can enjoy, like ping pong tables, water balloon tosses, hula hoop contests, an outdoor pool table and more.
Q: What Else Can I Do? Shop? Work Out?
A: I always make it a point to bring home a souvenir or trinket for my loved ones back home. I could literally shop for hours, much to my husband’s dismay. It was really convenient that there was gift shop right in the lobby of our hotel!
Want to do more than shopping? There are a ton of walking and jogging paths to enjoy. If you’d rather work out in a facility, there is a fitness center for you to get your sweat on.
If you’re in the mood for gaming, head to the arcade and play video games with the family. There is so much to do when you stay here! And don’t forget—CityWalk is a water taxi away with tons of restaurants, shops and entertainment.
Universal Orlando Resort has quickly become one of our favorite places for our family. Staying on-site at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort was a splendid experience and we’re excited to go back soon.
Now that you know everything you ever wanted to know about Sapphire Falls, it’s time to book YOUR stay in this tropical oasis.
Got questions I haven’t answered? Ask away in the comments!
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