Azul Beach Resort & TUI Sensatori Resort Riviera Cancun
15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Karisma ruined my family holiday
"In January 2016 I booked Premier Swim up room direct with Karisma at Azul Sensatori for a 7-night stay from 14th November 2016. My family had 3 Premier Swim up Rooms booked with Thomson for the same week. We arrived at the hotel hot and tired after 15 hours of traveling but were only given a cold flannel and no drink was offered. We waited 30 minutes and finally my family were given their key cards to their 3 Premier swim up rooms but I was told that my room was not available for the first 2 nights and they offered me a 4th floor basic Premier room. I firmly rejected this room. Didn't they understand how unhappy I would be looking down from the 4th floor at my family in their swim up rooms for the first 2 days when I should have been there . This long awaited family holiday was very special to me as am over 70 and it was to be a "memory maker" of the last family holiday that 3 generations would enjoy together. My holiday was ruined!! and my family of 5 had to try to console me many times over the next week which spoilt their holiday too. I have only got praise for the Thomson reps who intervened on my behalf even though it was no fault of theirs. A message to Karisma "Don't Overbook" obviously Thomson don't. Do you not realize that customers take a long time to choose that special room for their special holiday and if you don't provide it their holiday is spoilt. I was eventually given a partial refund for the first 2 nights but I had spent many a day of my holiday composing and e-mailing customer services to recover what was due to me as they did try to partially charge me for the 4th floor room even though I had rejected it, never had the key or even seen the room . No amount of money can replace that ruined holiday and the unhappy memories it leaves behind. Karisma promised to make it up to me!! but I am still awaiting the remainder of my refund and no apology or gesture of goodwill has been forthcoming. Anyone thinking of booking directly with Karisma should be aware you may not get the room you booked no matter how far in advance you book it. I still cry when I think of that ruined holiday and the bad memories that cannot be replaced by good ones."
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of December 2016
Hotel Facilities & the R
"We traveled by Thomson (TUI) and stayed at this Hotel for 14 nights from 30/08/2016 and checked out on 13/09/2016. The Hotel was clean and we had a few dealings with the Concierge people like Santiago. He was quite good and helped as much as he could. The Receptionist, Adgar was excellent.
Our main purpose for choosing this Resort was that we had our Silver Wedding Anniversary coming on 07/09/2016. We went to Le Chic on the night the supposedly Posh Restaurant on that night and we had an experience at that Restaurant. That was something different.
We had no problem with the Location of this resort because everything was almost there even though we had to spend more money hiring Taxis in order to go where the shops were.
The rooms were cleaned everyday but the Sewage (Waterworks) was a problem sometimes because even when showering the water smelled of feces. We had a Jacuzzi in our room which was fun.
We visited the restaurants around the Resort and the best one was the Italian because of a guy called Jorge. The SPOON was the standard Bog eating place with adequate Breakfast and Dinner but we had a Bad experience at the Mexican twice while we were there and they tended to serve you with what they thought you had asked for and not what you actually ordered. Quite awful!!!
There were quite a lot of activities within the hotel and at the Beach which were part of the All Inclusive package. That was fun for me while my husband was reading books and completing his Puzzles.
When we checked out on 13/09/2016, my beautiful necklace which my husband had bought for me to match my dress on the third day of our arrival from the Jewelers within the Hotel across the Lobby was missing. We had kept all valuables in the Safe in our room. Then again, anyone within the Hotel could access the Safe (because they say it is at your risk to put stuff in there).
We arrived back home in UK on 14/09/2016, and on 15/09/2016, I phoned Azul Hotel and talked to 4 different people, the Receptionist, the Concierge and a couple other people about my necklace but there was no joy. I then sent 11 emails which I exchanged with the so called Public Relations Office including the Concierge. The emails flowed backward and forth between a woman called Ana Pegler who literally fobbed me off but pretended that someone was checking for my necklace and at the same time asked me to describe my necklace which I did. She then accused me of contradicting myself which I found difficult to understand.
The other woman called Paulina Carrasco assured me that they were going to check and ask all staff. The final email came from Ana Pegler telling me that they had interviewed the staff and that everyday they scan the staff each time they leave the Hotel. I told her that I found it rather unbelievable because even a huge company with plenty of resources would never scan staff everyday because that would not be cost effective for the business, let alone a Hotel like this in a country where they rely heavily on Tourism.
You may be thinking, it's just a necklace. Yes, it is but that necklace was bought for me by my husband as a Present for me to wear and match my beautiful dress on our Silver Wedding Anniversary on 7th September, 2016. I only wore it on that day and put it back in the Hotel Safe. I have rated 5 out of 10 because every time I think about my necklace, I feel very sad.
I am not sure what to think of the staff who were in and out of our room . We tipped the woman called Yasmin very well and there was another matured woman called Olga who used to come in our room at night to straighten the sheets. One other issue, was the constant knocks on our hotel room from the these maids asking if we wanted any towels even though there were piles of them underneath the sink. Some days it was exhausting.
- Travel date: Sat 1st of October 2016
"Spent Christmas and New Year here.The Hotel had not been open long and first impressions when entering the suite was WOW.It was amazing.The hotel and A La Cartes were excellent.The pools were freezing and the sea is full of coral,bad walking in it.We spent Chrsitmas Day sat on the beach on a Cabana drinking champagne and opening presents.New Year was brilliant we ate in the A La Catre and then went on the beach where there was music and things going on intil the New Year"
- Travel date: Tue 15th of January 2013
"This is slightly remote if you want to walk anywhere, and younger guests might want to head to cancun for the nightlife.
It is a 25 minute taxi ride to cancun and 40 minute ride to Playa de carmen.
For us; 3 couples late forties it was perfect, we went to Coco Bongo for an evening which was great but we wouldnt want to stay there as it was too busy. ( you have to be careful in this nightclub ), the vwaiters offer to get you up stairs because its heaving downstairs but they will expect money. We got them down to Â£30! It was worth it to us as it was spring breakfor the Americans and you were herded in like cattle. That said we had a good time.
This is a small hotel compared to some, the rooms are excellant and the whole place is spotlessly clean.
We gave it 9/10 because we were led to believe by Thomson that as a Sensatori Hotel entertainment was low key and took second place to the food, however the pool bar was very loud and really got on your nerves while trying to read and relax. We had swimup rooms and the bar was opposite.
The Thomson rep told us we would have WOW moments, we dont think she ment the loud noise or other guests throwing sunloungers in the pool or throwing beer cans to each other accross the pool!
That was our winge and we did have terrible service in the Caribbean restaurant one evening, they did rectify that with a complimentary meal on the beach for the six of us.
This is a fantastic hotel with wonderful staff and lovely restaurants although you need to expect a wait with most of them.
We would go back again if we could afford it! But its not the relaxing experience that Thomson portray, you also will be expected to tip and alot of our money went on that. The trips we booked at home before we came, but there were extras we had to pay for that we hadnt expected.
The Dolphin swim is fantastic but the disc of your photos will cost you Â£65 and you cant take your own camera!"
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of April 2012
Fairy Tale Holiday
"Undeniable value for your buck!!! The Sensatori Azul hosts beautifully landscaped gardens and walk ways, its cleanliness goes far beyond the gorgeous resort rooms right through the entire resort, the employees work so hard all day and night cleaning! The food is all gourmet cuisine and is impecably awsome featuring a 24 hour room service menu with something for every one on it! From the time we entered their doors to the time we left their resort we had incredible service from all of the staff at the Azul! Our bartenders CHRISTIAN AND OSMOND were an incredibly entertaining duo who I would defenetly recommend you finding them at one of the bars on this resort, these two had us in stitches even when we were not drinking, what an incredible place to stay. You will not be disappointed if you book in at this resort, we cant wait to go back at Christmas....the best gift we could ever give ourselves....another week with the staff at the beautiful Sensatori Azul.
Thanks to all staff who helped to make our holiday during march break such a wonderful experience in every way. "
- Travel date: Fri 29th of October 2010
My wife and I are very frequent travellers. We found this hotel excellent. The food was truly exceptional especially in the le Chique restaurant where we had a 13 course meal prepared by a chef experienced in some of the truly greatest restaurants in the world. We spoke with him and his experience is amazing. It would take me too long to describe how good and fun it was but all I can say is that it was the best meal I have ever had. Sorry mom.
Have to wonder about hidden agenda for the one very negative review I found. Understand the hotel just opened a few days ago and anyone who does not realize there will be a few opening issues must be a first time traveller. Beware of overly excited negative reviews."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of November 2008
Rough start but Smooth Finish, and GREAT STAFF
"I will make this short and sweet. (not really) We arrived on Nov. 3rd, Monday, day two of the resort opening. I was there with my wife to be and 64 guest. We were in the corner Honeymoney suit on the first floor of building one. The suite was beautiful. The total resort however was no were near ready. It should not have been open at all. This great hotel brand should have known better than to try and pull this stunt with peoples weddings on the line. (anyone out there ever had an upset bride and mother in-law, you do the math, ha ha, and I love my mother in law she is great)
A list of things not working on arrival: spotty water, no cold water, no hot water, brown water, stinky nasty tasting water, no water in the jacuzzi, workers all over, welding machines, grinding machines, missing handrails, open extension cords (bare wired)around the pools, no fire hoses hooked up or even installed, no numbers on the phone or the a/c control. OSHA would have had a field day with the construction standards and saftey issues. The list continues: room was only made up before 5pm one day of our 10 day stay, no ice machines, we did have alot of mosquitoes. We had more than just opening week stuff. Jacuzzies never worked and there was trash floating in the pools all week. Most of the floating trash was packing material from tv boxes, etc. The list could really continue but all of them are now fixed.
The best part of the whole week, especially being a home builder, was watching it all come together. The staff was incredible all the way around. Jose at the front desk, Miguel the manager, Jose the GM, Milton who was over food and beverage, Jimmy and Erik at the beach hut entertainment, Gabriel the beach butler, Fransico the beach waiter, Rafel the food waiter, etc. The Staff made the stay great. The staff was incredible, attenative and very sorry for the conditions at the resort. I felt that it was not the fault of the staff for the condtions.
Of all the things listed that did not work, most were working by the end of the week and everything but our jacuzzi was working by the end of our stay. They made every effort to make it right.
A few side notes. The lobster in the tank at Zavaz can be bought and eaten for dinner. Well worth the price of 65usd. And have Fernando the head chef make up some of his truffel mashed potatoes to go with the lobster. We ate at all the rest. on the resort and they were all really good. We did have a few bad things but most of it was out of sight great. Milton the head of all the rest. made sure we and all of our 64 guest were well taken care of.
The food was great and got better as the stay went on.
The service was great from all the staff around the pools and down on the beach. The drinks flowed and once they get their plastic plates and stuff I am sure the food will also.
The beach: fair at best, water was cloudy and yes the seaweed was heavy at times. The snorkling off the beach was good if you want to see a bunch of fish and stingrays and a good coral reef. The sponges were quite large also. Worth the 39usd if you have never done it before. If you have snorkeled or dived anywhere else do not waste your time with this tour. The sand makes great sand castles. The beach is rocky at the waters edge and as you go out into the ocean, but oh well. They do have cabanas all down the beach with chairs all over. Made up for the water. It is also not blue like Cancun and other parts of the area. Do not go to this resort for the beach, if you are expecting blue clear water, soft sand and waves you will not be happy.
The pools: awesome in every way, nice swim up bars, nice chairs, nice towels, and again great service from everyone on the staff. (once they get all the pools open there will be plenty of room for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves) They have cabanas everywhere and they were always available.
The rooms: We had the honeymoon suite and it was great. We had guest staying in every different kind of room and they were all comparable. Some had an extra sitting area like our suite, but most were just the right size. Beds great, pillows great, a/c worked great, got really cold. Maid service was good just took them a long time I guess to get to our end of the resort.
Tipping: If you can afford it, a little something for this hard working staff will go along way. Even if you do not they will still take good care of you.
The food: Make sure you get to each restauraunt on site. They all have different food. Really different food.(but in a good way of different) Most food was gourmet quality and tasted great. Breakfast has a staffed buffet set up or you can order off the menu. Zavaz has the best chocolate chip pancakes ever.
The alcohol: Top brand for liquor, Crown, Jack, Sky and other top shelf vodkas, good scotches etc. Tequila, a little suprised they did not have better. But El Jimador and someothers were ok but not Patron for sure. Only one kind of beer, Tap of the day. Just use the lime. The rooms had Tecate, but most was XX beer on tap. They did serve it in cold glasses or cold plastic glasses at the pool. Never saw a plastic dixie cup all week.
Over all this place is great and my wife and I will be going back for a couple of weeks in about six months, just to see the end result and use the jacuzzi in the room."
- Travel date: Sat 15th of November 2008
"Having never been to Mexico, my family was not sure what to expect when we arrived at this beautiful resort. We were served champagne upon arrival. What a great start. From there it just got better and better. Each nights dinner was a delicious treat. Italian, French, Mexican (the best chicken mole I have ever eaten), 24hr. room service,every kind of ceviche that you could ever imagine. Drinks, great wines, more drinks, more great wines and desserts that were not only delicious but also beautiful. This was a true gourmet's paradise. The staff was attentive to our every need. Our rooms were comfortable and offered many extras, flat screen TV, jacuzzi tub, all toiletries, coffee maker etc... The grounds and pools are beautiful. swim up bars, teak lounge chairs, beds by the pools, activities in the pool(water polo, aerobics) We had a wonderful , relaxing time at this first class resort. We will return."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of November 2008
WARNING BE ADVISED- DON'T STAY HERE
"My wife and I were staying that this hotel for my sisters wedding. We were told that the hotel open Oct 1, 2008. When we had arrived to the hotel it had only been open for 4 days.
There was still major construction taking place at this hotel.
The wedding my great, the hotel property and rooms where nice. The hotel food sucked, barely anyone working there could speak english. My sister wedding party of 28 people had everything from people stepping on nails that were in the pool, exploding toilets, nasty smelly water, cocroaches in there rooms, and one couple had there room robbed!
My wife works for the largest hotel chain in the world Marriott Hotel, as I use to work for them a long time ago myself. We have traveled many other islands/resorts and have NEVER experienced anything like this before. The hotel should be shutdown for health reasons. We will never be returning to this hotel again!
Also I wouldn't use Lomas Travel service either, they are a bait and switch operation."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of November 2008
Beautiful, yet flawed.
"So my girlfriend and I stayed there from Nov 5th through Nov. 11th for a wedding. When we arrived we found out that the resort had just opened on Nov. 1st, we werent able to check into our room until after 5pm and during our stay, and we could tell it was new from all the growing pains the resort was going through.
The grounds are still being worked on. Resort workers are still installing lights, cleaning windows, planting greenery, etc. Electrical wire, bare light fixtures, and bare concrete are seen everywhere.
The maintenance and fixtures are sub-par. We and others complained of an array of frustrating nuisances. The water, when poured into a glass or filled in the jacuzzi is tea-brown and smells of sulfur. You should have seen the sediment that was left in the jacuzzi after we filled it. For some reason our AC went out and we waited over 24 hours for someone to get it fixed. Two other rooms where friends were staying had leaks and they had to be moved...one of the leaks was from the toilet and was overflowing with raw sewage.
Worst of all was a friend of ours who had his ipod, watch, cellphone and wedding band taken from his room in the first 24 hours...granted, he didnt secure it in the safe which would have been safer, but nonetheless, the rooms are not secure. Later, a couple from Houston, TX came over to our group after hearing our complaints and told our group of a similar story of how people in their group had belongings taken from their room.
All in all, my girlfriend and I were spared many complications that would have made our trip a nightmare, but I felt empathy for those who had worse situations and I don't know if I would recommend this resort to others and would definitely never go back again."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of November 2008
Honest Review-Looong and Detailed!
"Just back from 9 days at the Azul Sensatori! What an experience! We arrived the day of opening and it was announced we were the 4th couple to check in. Another couple we met later said they were first and were greeted with a mariachi band and champagne, but all we saw was a resort bustling to be ready! Lomas travel had arranged our transportation and it was a pleasant 20 minute or so ride in a van with 2 other couples going further south. As you turn off the main highway, it seems as though you are driving into a mangrove jungle. Sensatori is just up the road from Azul Beach and it shares a driveway with Secrets Silversands. The entry is impressive, a lot of stonework with waterscapes. The feel is very modern, Zen-like.
We were greeted by a very friendly bellboy in a light blue shirt and I noticed he had a couple of wheelies of luggage still waiting outside. I suspected rooms were not yet ready. We arrived around 1230 PM, but check-in was listed at 300 PM on some paperwork I remembered seeing, so I was not worried. We told Jose, the front desk manager, that we were the first wedding and had booked a Jr. Jacuzzi Suite, but would prefer the highest upgrade available. He said it would be a little while and gave us a map of the facility. The concierge desk located just at the check in desk had two ladies behind it so we asked if lunch was being served. They pointed out Zavaz restaurant on the map and told us we could eat there. The lobby itself looked mostly completed. The bathrooms were gorgeous with slanted stone sinks and frosted glass stall doors. There was no music yet in the lobby and the gift shop was empty, with shelving still being installed. Behind the gift shop, there is going to be a gelato store, a photography vendor?, and wedding meeting rooms. There is also a Trilobite museum, as the Italian owner of the Azul properties is one of the largest private owners of these fossils and also digs for them all over the world. Nothing was yet complete of these on check-in, save an upscale silver jewelry shop.
Next to that would be an internet room, not yet operational, and the Mojitos Lounge and attached Roof Garden Lounge-a really nice arced balcony area that overlooks the resort with glass walls. Tapaz is the small restaurant on the other side of the Roof Garden Lounge.
We did not see any other guests in these areas and there were lots of staff running around doing lots of hurried tasks. We wandered off down the stairs to the outdoors to find the open restaurant.
WOW-the grounds of the resort are breathtaking! Water everywhere you look with architectural sloping concrete "pool beds" built right into the sides of the pool at each rounded end, swim up bars with thatched palupa roofs, gorgeous flowers, minimalist buildings with glass balconies, dark wood stained pool beds.
It is obvious that only one side of the resort is completely open, as far as buildings go, and we learn that 90% of the guests are staying in the Building 1 or Honeymoon Suite building. All of these rooms on the ground floor are swim ups with personal outdoor jacuzzis and concrete water pool beds included. However, the jacuzzis were still empty and the handrails had not yet been installed. There are staff everywhere, finishing installation of pool beds, cleaning pools, picking dead leaves out of foliage, sweeping invisible dirt, whatever.
We make our way to Zavaz, which is pool and beachside, and tell the hostess we would like a seat for two. She asks for our room number, which we don't have, and she seats us right away. There are about 10 guests or so in the restaurant and some others lying by the pools. There is no menu, but she asks us to come and take a look at some sample plates of what there is to eat as well to offer us a small buffet of cheeses, fruits and the like. My fiancee orders the burger and I opt for the grilled grouper filet with steamed veggies.
Unfortunately the food was practically inedible. The veggies and fries were fine, but the grouper was strongly "fishy" tasting and the burger had such an unpleasant texture and taste that it spoiled my appetite. We began to get nervous.
After our meal we went back up to check on our room. It was not ready yet, but we ran into Gilberto, our wedding planner we were scheduled to meet at 300 PM. He offered to take us on a tour of the facility, which we were very grateful for, as no one had offered that before. He took us to us upstairs to the spa (not yet finished) and we saw a small bridal group getting ready for a Skye wedding. These guests were apparently guests of the owner and most if not all of the rooms were comped for that weekend. The spa had the same Zen feel to it. It had no products and no niceties yet, but good bones. The fitness room was OK size, but had a full wall of mirrors, lots of excellently equipped treadmills and the like, as well as free weights. I did not see a sauna or showers as there was no water to the spa yet.
We walked back down by Zavaz to the beach to take a look at the wedding location. The sand on the beach is lovely, but there is seaweed. I do not know if that is always, or just this time of year, but it is strange that this part of the beach gets seaweed, while areas just north and south do not. There are manual laborers and tractors constantly coming by to clear the beach, so it is not a problem. But the water is not near what it looks like just 30 miles south in Playa del Carmen, where it so clear and turquoise, you want to drink it! We did not venture into the ocean, as the seaweed in the water seemed thick at times, but lots of people were in the canoes or swimming at various times. I did ask for snorkeling gear at the activity hut by the beach, but it had not arrived yet. Darn.
After the quick walk thru, we went back to lobby to have our wedding meeting. We were offered some champagne and went to an unfinished meeting room to talk about the wedding. You can read that review in the forum.
Our room was finally ready after the meeting, but my fiancee kept going to the desk to check, as he saw people coming in and getting taken right away to their rooms. He was a little frustrated by that, but we were given our room keys soon after. We were "upgraded" to a premium jacuzzi suite, but honestly, it was the same room as a jr. jacuzzi suite. Exactly the same. My fiance explored one day and went in many rooms and every room looked exactly same, just with one or two beds. We did not have the promised fruit and champagne in our room but it was not a concern for us. We were given a key to the safe also, but no paperwork. Weird. No one showed us to our room and we walked back over to building one and up to the third floor. Neither room key worked. We walked back down to the small concierge hut located at the base of the elevator and one of the girls went to get us new keys. We laughed and waited.
Once in the room, we saw that our luggage had been brought up. We thought the rooms were exactly as pictured, clean, more Zen-like with dark wood, white and teal linens and stone sinks. We toyed with the in-room jacuzzi, but it did not take long to realize that it would never work. It took 20 minutes to fill 5 inches and the water was so brown and smelled so strongly of sulfur that we drained it. Oh well, but it looked so nice! The shower was a decently sized rain shower with decent pressure, but same lovely smell. Same with sinks. There was plenty of bottled water, which we brushed our teeth with the entire visit. There was the ipod player, large flat screen TV (although most stations hummed annoyingly), minibar/fridge, in room safe, and a glass balcony with small coffee table and couch. They did provide bubble bath for the non-working jacuzzi and candle holders with no candles. Luckily, I thought to bring one with matches from home. We were on the back corner of the building and the view was still gorgeous.
Let me go ahead and talk about the water. Apparently there is a connection between the surrounding mangroves and the sulfur scent to the water. It was very strong from Saturday-about Thursday. Also, sometimes we would come back to the room and there would be NO water. Or there would be no HOT water. Very strange. We heard multiple complaints of flooding of the toilet water through the suites, water problems, only scalding hot water, etc. We never had plumbing issues and the times we had no water, we took a military bath with baby wipes and went about our night or day. I will say that by Thursday or Friday, something was different. I got in the shower and there was NO smell. I don't know what was done, but it was fixed by then!
For all its beauty, the shower will flood your room. It is either a drainage problem or a defect in the slope of the build of the shower or both. This was our corrective trick:
Pile towels in front of the shower door. I mean pile. Then, open the shower IN, do not pull OUT over the towels (you couldn't do that anyway), to enter the shower. This will keep a nice towel dam at the door. Then, don't go to full pressure on the shower and angle the rain head to the wall with the handle on it for better drainage. We hated to go through towels like this, but seriously, it was like a water park in there if we didn't!
The power went out at night at the resort at least twice. We were lucky enough to be in our rooms, getting ready to go to dinner, and not in the restaurants, but some people were in there or were working out in the gym. They had no power and no water to shower in before dinner. It did not last longer than 15 minutes.
Mattress was pillow top but was a nice firmness. My fiance has to have a certain level of firm for "old sport injury" back and he did not complain once about the bed. I thought they were great. There was no pillow menu as stated and no aromatherapy menu, whatever that is. Maybe that will come on the same truck with the snorkeling equipment...
We spent most of the first day lazing about on the beach beds. This time of year is fantastic in Mexico, with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-60s. We decided to take a walk north on the beach. There is a Peninsula? resort opening right next door in the next few months and then on the other side of that is Desire, a hedonistic, fully nude resort. That was interesting. Then on the other side of that is Azul Beach, which we wanted to check out. About a 30 min walk to Azul Beach.
First Night Dining
We decided to try Le Chique for first night dining as lunch was so bad. We made reservations but when we got there, they said it was not necessary as there were 4 other people in the whole place. And yes, I wore a strappy ankle length resort dress and my fiance wore some Armani slacks and a Hugo boss button down. The place is hot pink and black with a very nice looking wine "cellar". Gunther, the maitre'd, greeted us and walked us back to the kitchen to meet the staff and head chef, Jonathan, a 26 year old spitfire who trained for several years in Spain. They have a little table set up in the kitchen if you wish to eat back there, but we declined. Jonathan poured us a special mojito for us to try: phenomenal! We were shown to our chairs and Victor brought out menus. Good thing, because the food looks like art and we had to constantly refer to the menu to figure it out! It was about 13 courses, very small plates, but moves along very fast because they are always bringing out the next course. After the first course, my fiance gave me a "fist-bump" because, at last, the food was indescribably creative and good. We remember this because a neighboring couple saw and told us they saw at the pool and thought it summed up the experience nicely! Generally, you can have the meal with the house wines (which by the way, are Chilean wines and available throughout the property, and are very good) or you can pay $39 USD per person and get the 5 wine pairing. Since it was opening night, they gave it to us for free! Awesome! Jonathan came out for almost every course and talked about his inspiration for each dish. He said they were striving to be the only Mexican restaurant with "a star," if I understood him correctly. I think they will achieve it. The menu stays the same for one quarter but, he will mix up some portions of it. We ate there twice, both times fantastic, but he brought some off-menu things over the second time. An example of the menu is Transparent tuna with fennel and false mango caviar; cherry and raspberry gazpacho with garlic ice-cream, flower petals and sprouts, lamb in chipotle essence, crisp quelites and burnt corn puree...â¦MMMMMMM Every dish looked like a work of art! Gunther speaks several languages and I believe attended school in Switzerland; Victor's service was discreet and prompt. Excelente!
Freak Out Moment
On Sunday morning, about 630 AM, our first full day there, my fiance went to the door to check that someone had picked up our room service door hangtag for breakfast. We had planned to spend the day at Xcaret and wanted an early start. It was still there. He thought maybe it would still come. Dream on. Then he went to turn on the shower and it was dry as a bone. Dang. I said no problem, I will call. I went and stared at the phone and realized for the first time that there were no labels on the phones yet, no info book in the room, no room service menu, nothing. I yanked the phone out of the wall, and in my pajamas went to the lobby, placed the phone and the ignored room service tag on the desk and said, I want hot water or ANY water, I want a phone with labels, I want a phone list, and I want my breakfast that was ignored. Well, I could see the desk clerk was handwriting all the complaints, already at 700 am, mostly flooding or no water. He apologized and said all of the phones look like that and that there is no info book printed yet. He offered to handwrite the numbers to front desk, spa, concierge, etc. I accepted. He called for someone to get our breakfast and they came right away to pick up the order tag and said it would be at our room shortly. I went back to our room, waited on breakfast. When it arrived, the bread was cold, there was no cream, no salt and pepper shakers and the silverware was mismated. I had 2 knives and a coffee spoon in mine and my fiance had some other weird set. I pointed this out and he went and corrected everything and came back. The food was fantastic! Fresh fruit, and omelets with fresh veggies and salsa. Such a treat. I calmed down after that.
We saw our wedding planners in the lobby before we left for Xcaret, and told them we were considering moving to Azul Beach but that we would decide when we came back. After the trip, we decided to WING IT anyway and we are glad we stayed.
This was my wedding day and you can read the review. I have posted the link in the Puerto Morelos Forum to the www.bestdestinationwedding.com site. Very interesting manicure story. But the beachside candlelight dinner was lovely.
Rest of our Visit
The food only improved as the week wore on. Breakfast was in Zavaz during the week and in Spoon on Fri-Sunday for the larger crowds. There appeared to be 2 breakfast menus (all right! Now we have menus!) And a small buffet that included eggs, sausage links, bacon, french toast, quesadillas, muffins, tons of fruit and juices, and fresh salsa, cheeses and salamis. Sometimes they would make you omelets while you waited and sometimes they would make you order them from your table. 90% of the time, the service was STELLAR. Of course by Friday, when guests were coming in for the next wave of 3 weddings and the resort went from 60 people to about 120, service was a tad slower, especially during the breakfast rush at Spoon on the weekends. We all know with around 500 rooms, 120 people is still only 10% capacity! They were learning the pace to clean tables, provide coffee and juice and orders off the menu as the resort got busier. As an aside, we noted that the owner of the resort ate at all of the restaurants with everyone all of the time. He did not introduce himself to guests and was low key.
We did not find Sienna, the Italian restaurant until later in the week. It was really good, the cold cut plate with goat cheese, the stuffed chicken, the minestrone, pear and spinach salad, lamb (tasted like roast beef), linguini, all good. I thought the bread was so-so and could be served warmer, but maybe that's an American thing? The deserts were phenomenal, particularly the fruit tart and the amazing coffee blended tiramisu. I drank the Chilean house wines here and they went perfectly with the meals. The last night we ate here, the chef came out to meet us. He did not speak English but welcomed our feedback as he was trying to improve each day. We thought this was great.
At Zocolo, the lunch menu was different from the dinner menu. The poblano pepper and cheese turnovers were awesome as were the shrimp tacos. In fact, I think we found these late in the stay and hated that we didn't find them sooner! Probably our favorites! Hector, our favorite waiter works here. There is a great bar right outside here to hang out in and have cocktails. We had dinner here our last night, and it was great, we ordered many things and everything was fantastic.
In Zavaz, we usually got our lunches here, if we were at the pool or beach. Apparently all of the restaurants have kid menus if you ask, and we found chicken tenders and fries in here from some guests with children. I was nervous about this restaurant from day one and it never really wowed me after that. They had good Cuban sandwiches and fresh salads, but their fish and chips remained fishy to me.
We did not ever eat at Tapaz. You read about Le Chique, and Spoon was our dinner for one night. It was OK. My fiance had the beef tenderloin of some sort and he said it was head and shoulders above the burger. It was billed as Angus Beef. He ordered it Well Done and it came out Medium Well which is exactly what he wanted. Nice. We met the captain of the restaurant, Alexandra, a nice young lady from Germany, and she was always walking around, waiting on people, checking on them.
Beach/Pool Butlers and Beach/Pool Servers
Here's the deal on this. There were always servers coming around to the pools and the beach asking for drink orders. They would not bring food as they have not gotten their plastic serving dishes yet. For some reason this really annoyed me. Beach and Pool Butlers were there 3 or 4 days out of the 9 I was there. Hans and some others came down from Azul Beach for a few days and they were great while they were there, running over with cool washcloths, bottled water, fruit on a stick, suntan lotion, spritzer water, towels, fluffing your towels on your pool bed or chair, bringing you pillows, whatever. But sometimes they weren't there. Just opening glitch, maybe.
We tipped a lot. $3-5 USD at dinner if service was good, a buck or two at breakfast, a buck or two every few drinks for the bartender or poolside server, a buck per bag to the bellhop, a buck to the maid each day, several dollars to the beachside entertainers and pool butlers. We left much larger tips when warranted and I think you will know if and when that time comes. Get into a conversation about these nice folks salary and everyday life and if they are exceptional, you will not care that "tips are included." They work there for the tips.
Had it everyday except one. Don't know what happened there. No big deal. Had turndown service with chocolate one night only. Not sure. No towel art or flower petals. No big deal to us.
OK I think I covered this, but some folks left the resort for Cancun when they realized it was rocky down at the water's edge (bring water shoes) and sea-weedy in the water. Sorry. Didn't look too good for snorkeling, unless you go out a bit. It did not bother us.
Absolutely the nicest people. Ever. Service will be top notch in a few months.
Fantastic. Maybe one 5 minute sprinkle.
Not one bug in the room. BUT my fiance got bitten by the mosquitos at dusk. We noticed the mosquitoes partied in the elevators, hallways/breezeways, and outdoor bathrooms. Once the management were told, it was corrected. You could hear them spraying for the critters nightly and they disappeared from the bathrooms. The swampy mangroves are so close, I don't know how to prevent it. Sorry. We brought a DEET bug spray for our feet and spray for our clothing if needed. I never got bit once and never used the spray.
Well, what can I say. The resort was basically empty. The daily 930 PM shows on the Roof Garden Lounge were kinda juvenile, Mexican dancers and what not. I think this will improve as vacancies go down. We met more people as the weekend drew near and wedding parties came in. We thought about sneaking over to Silversands next door for the evening stuff but never did. The singer in the Mojitos lounge was great. Sounded like Norah Jones.
Cancun/Playa del Carmen
$40 cab ride each way. Way cheaper to rent a car for a few days, which we did. Highly recommended.
Beach Activity Guys
Omar and the others-really great guys! Always trying to get a game of soccer (futbol) on the beach, ping-pong, water aerobics, stretching, etc. Always had jokes and stupid trivia. We really liked these guys. They tried to organize a bus to Cancun one night but couldn't get enough interest. There are several places on campus to get tours arranged. Lomas travel has a guy in the lobby selling tours among others. Our Northwest guy was a disappointment but whatever. They did 3 snorkeling trips off the beach each day between 1030 and 200 PM for about $40 USD per person. We did not do the day trip to Isla Majeres but intend to do it next year with my 14 year old son. We compared prices in Cancun and Playa and they matched. No rip offs here.
Well, as the week wore on, we saw less contractor type workers but they were definitely on the other side finishing the interior of the family buildings. They were still installing landscape and pathway lighting and speakers so each day was better with soft music and lights at night. We noticed the absence of ambient music early, but it was there later in the weak. Never overbearing and never obnoxious. The decor was beautiful and unique, top notch in each restaurant. I will post pics.
One night they had a band, bar, and fires with marshmallows on the beach. Only 6 of us showed up, but it was very cool!
Honestly, I think every building, because of the way they are physically facing, has a fantastic ocean view. I will never get anything but the cheapest room. I have no interest in the swim ups although, if the outdoor jacuzzis work, they might be nice. It seems cool to walk out of your back door and get directly in the water.
The honeymoon balconies are huge, but we were NEVER in our room. The place was too nice with so many little spots to lay out or relax and read or whatever.
Everywhere. Beautiful. Attached. They were not pristinely clean but they were constantly testing the water and cleaning better each day. Many round parts that *look* like jacuzzis, but in effect, are not because no heating element. I bet the personal jacuzzis outdoors aren't heated either. This is the case across Mexico, I have heard. Too much upkeep and too much bacteria in the heated jacuzzis.
The last day I had a tiny upset stomach, but maybe it was because I was leaving! We brought Cipro, Immodium and Pepto and never needed it. We did hear a man got sick after eating undercooked chicken the first night. They called the front desk and brought him Cipro, no charge, and he improved by the next day.
Most of these improvement comments will be fixed in the coming months. We are glad we stayed, though others there at the same time were very upset and some left. We thought nothing was devastating and the beauty was hard to beat. We will definitely be back next year with our teenage son. Would like to give a 5 star, but honestly, they are not there just yet!"
- Travel date: Wed 12th of November 2008
"I just returned from a 5 day stay at the Azul Sensatori. My daughter and son-in-law had their wedding there. It was spectacular! The ceremony was held on the roof of the hotel, overlooking the ocean followed by cocktails on the beach and then a sit-down dinner under the stars. The staff couldn't have been more accomodating. The hotel is beautiful. Anything that you could possibly want or need is there - absolute paradise! Make sure you check out the Back to the Past Museum - it's fantastic!!"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of November 2008