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Universal Orlando Sapphire Falls Resort Opening in 2016

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Only a few months after opening the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Orlando has announced that its fifth on-site hotel will be called the Sapphire Falls Resort and will open in summer 2016.

Universal’s latest Loews-branded hotel will sport a Caribbean theme and contain 1000 rooms, 77 of which will be suites. Landscaping will feature a tropical lagoon and large waterfall. The new resort is located between the Royal Pacific Resort and Cabana Bay Beach Resort, on the south side of Hollywood Way just east of Adventure Way.

Sapphire Falls concept are wide shot
Concept art of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando. Cabana Bay Beach Resort can be seen at the top center, with IoA’s Ripsaw Falls ride at the top right. (Images courtesy Universal Orlando/Loews)

Here are some of the amenities we know the new resort will include:

  • Water taxi and bus transportation to CityWalk
  • Early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Resort-style pool with water slide and children’s play area
  • Valet service
  • Fitness center
  • Sand beach and fire pit
  • Full-service restaurant with scenic views and outdoor dining
  • Themed lobby lounge
  • Quick-service marketplace
  • Poolside bar and grill

One perk Sapphire Falls guests will not get is unlimited Universal Express access to the parks’ rides and shows, which will remain exclusive to the original three resort hotels. That indicates this new hotel is considered a “moderate” property and will be priced in between Cabana Bay and Royal Pacific.

Sapphire Falls Resort lagoon concept art
A view of the Sapphire Falls falls lagoon, with waterfall and waterwheel in the background, and water taxi dock in the left foreground.


The rumor mill is relatively quiet at the moment regarding major additions timed to Universal’s 25th anniversary next year, but between Sapphire Falls and the Kong attraction under construction at IoA, 2016 is shaping up to be another banner year for the resort. Reservations for the new resort will not be accepted until spring 2015, but we’ll be following the construction with photo updates until the opening arrives.

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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

4 thoughts on “Universal Orlando Sapphire Falls Resort Opening in 2016

  • If I were a fly, I would be off to a Disney board room wall right now!
    Fascinating achievements at Universal and all implemented within ‘the blink of an eye’ compared to Disney.

  • Looks fantastic! Won’t this be the 5th onsite resort for Universal (Portofino, Cabana Bay, Hard a Rock, Royal Pacific, and now SF)?

  • Universal is on a roll these days. As a big fan of Cabana Bay, I’m looking forward to the newest resort (even if the name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue).


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