Universal Orlando Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Review And Photos

Sappire Falls Resort Pool Orlando

We have just returned from a truly glorious holiday at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, which is based in the heart of Universal Orlando. During the planning stages of our trip, we looked at many options for our Florida base. But after much back-and-forth, we decided we wanted a resort with a big pool near Universal. With a luxury element, so we felt like staying there was a treat. We opted for Sapphire Falls, which is relatively new, only opening in Summer 2016.

We were travelling with friends who opted to stay at the Adventure Hotel, which was only next door. When I say next door, I mean a 2-minute walk; it is so close. This is great as the Adventure Hotel has lots of quick service options. So, if you do want a quick meal at night, you have extra options next door.

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Review Saphire Falls Resort Orlando
Photo Credit Sarah Christie

About Sapphire Falls Hotel

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal has a Caribbean vibe and a chilled but classy edge. Yet, it still feels welcoming. It is in the preferred resort category between the Premier and Prime Value Resorts. Sapphire Falls’ huge benefit is the complimentary water shuttle to Universal City Walk and the extra daily hour at Harry Potter World for Universal Hotel Guests. Plus, you can send purchases from the park back to your room, which I did when I ordered some mugs I didn’t want to break. A standard room at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort cost us £912 for six nights.

It’s important to note that Sapphire Falls does not have the Universal fast pass you get with the Premier Resorts.

To buy Universal Resort tickets do check out AttractionTix as they are great value.

Take Quick A Video Tour Of Sapphire Falls

Our Review of the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort At Universal Orlando

I had big plans to take more photos and a video of the room. However, thanks to BA for cancelling our flights and after an unexpected trek from Gatwick to Heathrow. Followed by a diversion via Miami with a 3.5-hour wait for a connecting flight. We arrived at 1 a.m. exhausted and ready to drop. We were stressed and tired, rather than the expected leisurely lunch by the pool and afternoon taking photos. After a quick email to update the hotel, we were able to check in later, arrived and went straight to bed.

Thankfully, we had planned a pool day for day 1 so could chill the next day. Despite it being so late, Sapphire Falls was so welcoming. On first inspection; we were thrilled with the hotel and our choice to stay here.

Reception at Sapphire Falls Orlando, Full Review
Photo Credit Sarah Christie

The Reception Area

The reception area was huge and the heart of the hotel. The Adventurer Hotel was directly across from the front lobby. To the back, there are views of the river and a lounge area to watch the water taxi back and forth from the Universal Parks. I had grand plans to sit here and enjoy the view, but we just never found the time during our six-night stay.

Just off the main lobby is a New Dutch Trading Co.™ cafe and coffee bar with snacks and light bites. This is a great place for grab-and-go meals, coffee or snacks at any time of day. You will also find a well-stocked Universal store for gifts and souvenirs.

The Cold Water Tavern serves delicious Tapas for a great sit-down meal. The bar is a weird combination of bar, sports bar, and tapas restaurant, but it works really well. We dined here, and I didn’t get a single picture; I guess sometimes you just chill a little too much. What I can tell you is that the food is fabulous, the portions are huge, and the service is great.

Reception at Sapphire Falls Orlando, Full Review
Photo Credit Sarah Christie

Resort Refillable Mug

We bought a refillable resort mug for around $28 for the whole stay. This was great value as our son could use it to fill up soft drinks at the Freestyle machine in the New Dutch Trading Co.™ and just by the pool. There was a massive choice of drinks available. The machine said 100 choices. I didn’t count, but there were so many flavours of Diet Coke alone, plus Minute Maid, Power Aid, and so much more.

The Pool Area At Sapphire Falls

I would say this was where the Sapphire Falls resort excels, but that would be a lie. I can’t choose where the hotel excels more. However, it’s worth booking Loews Sapphire Falls for the pool alone. Being only minutes from the Universal Parks is just brilliant. Having the water taxi going between City Walk and the hotel means afternoons by the pool are easy to do. But you can also nip back to City Walk for dinner and cocktails in the evening.

Sappire Falls Resort Pool Orlando
Photo Credit Sarah Christie

The pool at Sapphire Falls Resort is huge; it has a water slide and is zero entry across the pool’s centre. This is so shallow you can walk across from one side to the other in a dress or shorts. There is a sandy beach area off to one side for kiddies, plus a sandy area with a fire pit for roasting marshmallows at night, which you can buy from the store. You can also get free iced water just inside the Dhrum Club bar.

Free Frozen Water at the Pool
Photo Credit Sarah Christie

Plenty of Space Around The Pool

As the resort is very fluid, with people coming and going from the parks, there is always lots of space around the pool. We did not travel during peak season (At the end of April). But there was always so much choice of sunbeds and tables near the bar for lunch or drinks. I can’t imagine you would ever struggle; there are so many.

If anything the pools peak times were nearer to 5pm, Which I guess is the perfect time for families with younger kiddies to cool off after a day in the parks.

Pool Area
Photo Credit Sarah Christie

The Dhrum Club

The pool bar and restaurant is called the Dhrum Club. It has a dedicated seating area. However, there are also servers walking around the pool so you can order snacks and drinks directly to your sunbed. I have to say the service was exceptional, the staff are friendly and helpful, and you will never go thristy.

As a guide, a frozen cocktail or glass of wine costs $16, and a bottle of beer $10. The food was great, too. I had a starter portion of nachos with beef, which cost $18, and it was huge.

Poolside Snacks
Photo Credit Sarah Christie
Drhum Club Menu as Sapphire Falls Orlando
Food Prices at Sapphire Falls, Photo Credit Sarah Christie
Cocktail Prices Sapphire Falls Orlando
Pool Bar Drinks Prices at Sapphire Falls, Photo Credit Sarah Christie

Getting To The Universal Parks and City Walk

This is my favourite part of staying at Sapphire Falls. Not only can you get a water taxi to the parks, you can also walk via the garden walk.

  • The water taxi takes 5 minutes and is a great way to get to the parks. We never waited longer than 5 minutes. There was a queue one night coming back to the hotel, so we decided it was quicker to walk.
  • The garden walk takes 10-12 minutes and is a pretty scenic walk along the river right into City Walk.
  • You can also get a shuttle out front of the hotel, but this takes so much longer as it takes you to the parking lot entrance, which is a bit of a trek.
You can walk to Universal in ten minutes from Sapphire Falls
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers
Water Taxi at the Resort
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers
Water Taxi to Universal Orlando
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers

Our Room At Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

We were in guesthouse 3 in a standard room on floor 6 overlooking the freeway. However, beyond that was a view of Islands of Adventure, which was a pretty good view of the tops of the rides. This was such a great location as we had access from the hotel lift directly to the pool.

The room had two super comfy queen beds and felt very spacious. You need that after a 12-hour day in the parks. Not only somewhere to crash, but somewhere to get the best night’s sleep and the pillows and bed were just dreamy.

Rooms at Sappire Falls Resort Orlando

There was a coffee machine with a choice of regular and decaf coffee and tea with milk. This was enough for a couple of morning coffees, with take-out cups, which was so handy. There was water in the room, but there was an extra charge for this. ( We got a taxi to Walmart and stocked up on water and snacks)

Room at Sappire Falls Resort Orlando
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers

Other Amenities in the Room

The vanity and basin were separate from the bathroom, which housed the WC and Bath/Shower. This was handy, as I was able to dry my hair whilst Chris and Joe showered. The vanity area had complimentary toiletries, shampoo, soap, shower wash cotton wool pads and tissues, plus a magnified mirror. There was also a hairdryer and shaving point. Our maid was excellent, replenishing towels and, coffee, milk daily.

Vanity Area at Sappire Falls Resort Orlando
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers
Bathroom Sapphire Falls Resort
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers

Plenty Of Storage Space

There was a double wardrobe, which I initially thought would be too small. It was, in fact, okay. There was also lots of storage in the drawers under the TV unit. Our cases did not fit under the bed but did fit out of the way just next to the room door. The wardrobe also had an ironing board, iron and safe. The safe was not deep, but it did fit a laptop in, if you stood it on its side.

Safe, Ironing Board and Storage
Photo Credit Sarah Christie, Mini Travellers

Do We Recomend Leows Universal Orlando Resort?

In a heartbeat, the resort is outstanding and has everything you could need for an Orlando Holiday. Close to Universal and accessible to Disney by Uber. There are so many choices around for food, not only in the hotel but next door at the Adventura Hotel and Universal City Walk. I would go as far as to say this is my favourite place we have ever stayed in Orlando, and going forward, Universal Resort will be my first choice.

Plan Your Trip

Check out these handy links to help you book your next trip to Universal Orlando

Review and Photos of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Universal Orlando, a look at the rooms, pool and water taxi to Universal City Walk
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Sarah Christie is a craft, food, cruise, and family travel blogger Extraordinary Chaos, Cruising For All and Mini Travellers. Known for her unique perspective and ability to find beauty in chaos, Sarah designs and creates craft projects as well as creating recipes for people who want to cook from scratch the easy way. Whilst also exploring family travel and how to navigate it.

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