Universal Resort in Orlando is one of our all-time happy places to be. It really is somewhere that we cannot stop smiling when we’re there and for precious family time together it can’t get better than that can it? To stay at one of Universal’s on-site hotels is one of the best ways to really enjoy your time there, particularly as it comes with some really great added benefits for those wanting to maximise time at the parks. There are a number of on-site Universal hotels and we checked in to their newest property, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to find out more.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Studios, Florida
We stayed in two inter-connecting standard 2 Queen rooms. Interconnecting is always my favourite way to stay as it gives everyone space to spread out a bit and really relax. The rooms were identical and each had –
A main bedroom with two queen beds, a desk area, television, coffee machine and tv –
The bathroom had two parts, a sink area –
And then a separate main bathroom which had a loo and a fantastic shower in it –
I really loved the products too which were really good quality.
There was also a dressing area which led off of the bedroom and through to the front door. In all it was a great space and we loved the Caribbean theme with lovely blues and greens throughout and photographs of sandy beaches and turquoise seas.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Studios, Florida: The Resort
The Loews Sapphire Falls Resort really was a great destination in itself. The whole feeling of the hotel was bright and breezy from the start with a beautiful, huge lobby with some great ball lights hanging from the ceiling as a real focal point –
There were some great views down over the river which winds its way to Universal Studios theme parks –
Outside there was a fabulous pool which while a little chilly when we visited in October was still somewhere the kids enjoyed cooling off from the sunshine in. There were water shoots and life guards on duty so it all felt very safe.
My favourite bit was that surrounding the pool was a white sand beach which was so nice to hang out on, the children enjoyed making sand castles there and it felt so nice underfoot and really did add to the whole Caribbean theme of the Sapphire Falls.
Inside the hotel there was a really nice sized shop to pick up any Universal gifts or merchandise you wanted to get as well as a car rental desk. There’s also a small cafe serving hot sandwiches and pastries and also items to buy such as bags of crisps or chocolate bars.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Studios, Florida: The food
We had dinner in the Amatista restaurant which is the main restaurant at the Sapphire Falls Resort. We loved breakfast which had a great mix of food from a really good selection of fresh fruits through to delicious pastries (the mini doughnuts were fantastic) and a small selection of hot foods. You could pay more to order from the hot a’la carte menu but we found plenty in the buffet and loved the touches such as freshly squeezed orange juices and pancakes.
We also ate one evening meal in the Amatista which in the night becomes much more of a Caribbean themed restaurant. We found the food to be fantastic and really enjoyed our meal here. We tucked in to dishes including veggie empanadas –
And my Caribbean curry was packed full of veggies and the perfect spiciness.
The children enjoyed a great choice too from grilled cheese sandwiches to fish quesadillas, all finished off with ice creams. They all ate really well here –
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Studios, Florida: Park benefits
There are some really significant benefits to stay at a Universal hotel. The first is the extra hour of park time you get as a hotel resident, being able to get in to the parks an hour earlier than the rest of the public get in is wonderful (and if you’re a Harry Potter fan this is the best time to get to those rides that can otherwise have longer queues).
Some of the Universal Hotels provide Express passes as part of the package but at the moment Sapphire Falls is not one of these.
The hotel links to the resort by shuttle bus, you can walk there along the riverside if you’re feeling energetic or our favourite way to travel was by taking the river taxi. This is such a fun way to get to the parks, the boats leave every 15 minutes and run until 2m, taking guests to and from the Sapphire Falls Resort and we absolutely loved this as a way to arrive at Universal Studios.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Studios, Florida: Worth bearing in mind
There’s not lots to say here, it’s great to see that wifi is complimentary but we felt the $7 price tag on the bottled water very steep, it would be nice to see this included in the room stay. Other than that there are no nasty surprises.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Studios, Florida: family friendly?
We thought the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort was incredibly family friendly and a really great choice for families visiting Universal. We loved the space in the rooms and the added benefits of the fantastic swimming pool makes it a great choice for somewhere to relax after a day out exploring in the parks.
Watch our video of our visit to the Loews Sapphire Falls here:
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We were guests of the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort but all opinions are our own.