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  • Writer's pictureCollin Brazan

What staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel is like

Updated: May 21

We were were greeted by tall ceilings and a glass wall overlooking a luxurious waterway and much of Universal's Islands of Adventure immediately upon entering Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando.

The resort's water taxi takes those waterways to bring guests to the nearby Universal CityWalk in minutes, its route backed by the resort's gorgeous restaurants, lounges and beaches. Complete with private cabanas and a waterslide, every inch of the resort provides for ample entertainment no matter the age group or interest.

It all fits within the theming of the waterfall-rich, tropical paradise the resort stakes itself as, making every bit of our stay feel surrounded by luxury.

We had dinner at the floor-to-ceiling screen-filled Strong Water Tavern. During high-demand sports games, the restaurant can fill and be limited to reservation-only dining, where guests linger and finding a spot, even with a reservation, later in the evening can prove difficult. With a dining reservation earlier in the evening, it could make for the perfect destination to catch the big game. There is outdoor, balcony seating that watches over the water taxi launch for those who prefer a physical view.

The food was up to the highest of Universal's quality standards, with an abundant, rum-focused cocktail menu that provides some of the best mixed drinks in Orlando. Dishes are served tapas-style, where our table shared arroz con pollo, guava-rum barbecue pork belly, ropa vieja, pork pupusas buttermilk-fried chicken tenders and pork belly tacos. One of our top recommendations for Universal Orlando Resort dining, hotel guests should make this a must-stop.

Our standard room was upgraded to a children's suite, featuring two rooms, a king bed and two twin beds, multiple televisions, and a single, split bathroom. We found the room's size to be significant, with more than enough space for the guests the beds are able to house.

Parking is complementary for those who use self-parking for less than 5 minutes, $10 plus tax per vehicle for those staying 5-10 minutes, $45 plus tax per vehicle for anyone staying longer than 30 minutes (including overnight guests) and $38 plus tax per vehicle for those using valet parking services.

The luxurious, beautiful atmosphere, proximity to theme parks, bountiful offerings, excellent food, and sizable rooms left such a strong impression we found ourselves planning our next staycation while still on-site. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando receives our strongest recommendation, and we cannot wait to stay again.

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