Profile: Universal Orlando's new Sapphire Falls resort

Posted Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:16 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the profile:

The new, 1,000-room hotel has a delightful tropical vibe. Unlike the neighboring Royal Pacific, which takes its tropical inspiration from the South Seas, Sapphire Falls is themed to the Caribbean. Cascading waterfalls greet visitors at the hotel's main entrance as well as at the backside where water taxis shuttle guests to and from Universal's CityWalk complex and its two theme parks.

Read more from USA Today.

Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:30 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Starting to think I may really, really enjoy a vacation at Universal now. I've never done one, because I'm always down the road with the mouse and Uni is always a side-trip, if at all, but this place looks incredible.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, September 15, 2016 1:46 PM
Jeff's avatar

Without Universal Express, I think that Royal Pacific would be my minimum. I had a couple of years where I had annual passes, and stayed there a ton between 2004 and 2007. Service was suboptimal toward the end of that time period, unfortunately. Seemed like an institutional problem with Loews. Frustrating because I loved staying on-property.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, September 15, 2016 3:24 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Jeff said:
Without Universal Express, I think that Royal Pacific would be my minimum.

Agreed. If I am paying that price level I am going to want an Express Pass. It's worth it during busy times. In December however we are staying at Cabana Bay again. It's a bit large and sprawling and you don't have the boat or a reasonable walk but the pool, pool bar, and rooms are really nice.


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Thursday, September 15, 2016 5:20 PM

Jeff said:

here a ton between 2004 and 2007. Service was suboptimal toward the end of that time period, unfortunately. Seemed like an institutional problem with Loews.

We had a throwaway night there in 2012---it was cheaper to do that than buy express passes for the four of us for two days---but we though the hotel's general level of service was quite nice. Granted, I was comparing it to Disney DVC/Deluxe, so the bar was low, but still.


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Thursday, September 15, 2016 6:38 PM

Our stay at Royal Pacific was what made me finally decide once and for all to get to Hawaii. Sounds silly, but it worked.

I was at Universal in February staying somewhere across the street. But I drove by both of the new resorts (SF was still being built) many times and what shocked me was how close some of the buildings were to I-4. That side of both resorts, (Cabana Bay especially) looked right out onto the freeway.
At the time they were still very torn up with work on the new Universal exchange/exit (probably still are) and the men, machines, noise and lights were out there all night. It was the best/only time for the work, but it just looked miserable for the guests. I had some of that from my Clarion, but I was at 80 a night, so...

I realize available space at Universal is different than at Disney, but for that kind of money I don't want to look out onto a freeway and the tacky end of I-Drive just past. That, the proximity to the parks, and Express make the original hotels more attractive to me.

Last edited by RCMAC, Thursday, September 15, 2016 6:42 PM
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Friday, September 16, 2016 11:31 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

We are paying $110 a night for Cabana Bay in December. It's way nicer than what $110 a night.


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Friday, September 16, 2016 2:09 PM

It was 150? 180? When I was there. I said no.
Plus I was in Orlando for a week and at universal for 1 day outta that. I also got free parking.

Last edited by RCMAC, Friday, September 16, 2016 2:11 PM
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