Universal Orlando will add a fifth resort hotel in the summer of 2016, the company confirmed Tuesday in an announcement with Loews Corp. The 1,000-room hotel, including 77 suites, will be called Sapphire Falls and will open in the summer of 2016.
Construction work is underway at the site, which is between the current Royal Pacific Resort and the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort. An air-conditioned, covered bridge will connect Sapphire Falls and Royal Pacific. Loews said the new resort will have a “colorful, Caribbean atmosphere.” It will be built around a tropical lagoon and towering waterfall.
The addition will bring the number of rooms at Universal Orlando to 5,200. Loews operates the four current Universal hotels, including Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock Hotel.
“Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will complement our four existing hotels as we increase the total number of guest rooms and continue to strive to offer unique experiences for all guests, whether they are visiting Orlando for leisure or meetings,” said Paul Whetsell, president of Loews Hotels & Resorts.
Sapphire Falls will include 131,000 square feet of meeting space.
A resort-style pool with a water slide, children’s play area, sand beach and fire pit will form a central courtyard that will be surrounded by guest rooms. There will be water taxi and shuttle access to all parts of Universal Orlando.
A full-service restaurant with scenic views and outdoor dining, a quick-service marketplace, a lobby lounge and poolside bar will be included, Universal said.
Reservations will be accepted in spring 2015, Universal said.