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“The Boutique Paradise”

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Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma
Ranked #11 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“The Boutique Paradise”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

If you are looking around Jamaica for the best all inclusive then look no further, the Sensatori is the place to be. The hotel experience from start to finish is one in which you could mistake yourself for being a celebrity as you are certainly treated like one. The hotel is the perfect size, no getting up at 6am to put your towel on your sun bed as there are always free beds on the beach or at the pool, no queuing for hours to reserve tables at the restaurants as the hotel has a no reservation policy, and no request that is not taken care of, if you want champagne with your breakfast you get it, if you want two steaks you get it.
The quality of the food and drinks are fantastic and the attention to detail by the staff is incredible, constant cleaning, tidying, sorting, making improvements and making sure everything is great with your day.
The rooms are a great size, we had a standard room and there are many great options with the rooms also available, but even in the standard room you have a bed that the whole family could fit in, mini bar refilled every day, a huge tv with around 90 channels to flick through and lovely little perks such as hair dries and a iron and ironing board.
The hotel is on the beach which is amazing, as you can be from sea, to the pool to your hotel room in around 50 steps. This gives you the option of having a beach or a pool holiday everyday and assures you never miss a sunset.
The main reason to go is at many all inclusive they are very large and you are just another number, but at the Sensatori from the minute you arrive you are part of the family.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank Nick-ward84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarismaHotelsResorts, General Manager at Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Thank you for such marvelous feedback , we truly appreciate the insight you have provided into your experience. we are overwhelmed and we are very happy to hear you enjoyed a "celebrity" experience . we want each and very one of our guest to feel extra special when staying with us.

we hope you found your sensatoir moment

Best Regards and we await your next visit

Mario Chavez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Washington D.C.
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15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We stayed at the Azul Sensatori Jamaica in May 2014 for one week. It is a new/renovated resort now part of the Karisma Hotel and Resort chain, where we are Exotic Members. Apparently, it opened as the Azul in late December 2013.

It is truly a beautiful resort! It was still not 100% completed when we stayed; so it's hard to beat a new property.

The location is hard to beat: right on the beautiful 7 Mile Beach in Negril. The closest resort to us was a Sandals on one side and a Beaches a little further away on the other side. It is also not too far away from Hedonism II, we found via Kayak. The beach itself was outstanding: very calm, extremely swimmable and free of rocks, seaweed, etc.

We stayed in a basic room, the Ocean View Deluxe. There were only two of us and it was more than roomy enough. We were on the top, third floor, so we had nice views of the water and high ceilings. A little surprised the room did not include a Jacuzzi like the other Karisma resorts do; but after going back online and reading the room description: it didn't mention a Jacuzzi. Whoops! :) A nice feature the room did have was a pretty good size balcony with comfortable love seat. The daily stocked fridge had Red Stripe beer, bottled water, soda and some pretty tasty dried banana chips. Probably being picky here, but an option for Red Stripe Light in the fridge would have been nice. They did have it on tap at the Reggae Lounge; but maybe not as easily accessible in bottles? Again, not a big deal at all.

We've stayed at many of the other Karisma resorts in the Riviera Maya (El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Maroma, El Dorado Seaside Suites, Casitas Royale) and Azul Jamaica definitely compared nicely! Similar to those, the gourmet all-inclusive food and 24 hour room service was excellent. Let me temper that after reading some negative reviews: it may not be a 5 star/best meal you've ever had every single meal. But, it's certainly VERY good and fantastic considering it's all inclusive. It's also, outside of one buffet restaurant, sit down ala carte style dining. The portions are perfect size in my opinion; but not huge "American" style portions some may be used to. I don't understand anyone going hungry though, considering there is 24 hour room service and other restaurants you can go to.

We really didn't have any negative things to say about any of the restaurants or the service: always top notch! Room service was always prompt when we did order it, coming within about half an hour or so. The only minor thing we'd recommend for room service would be to cover the food with plastic wrap in addition to the plate covers to keep the food hot: it didn't arrive very hot, unfortunately. We usually ate at the restaurants, so wasn't that big of an issue.

No reservations were necessary for the restaurants and typical Karisma Hotel and Resort dress code, although not always followed by guests, unfortunately.

There usually wasn't too much of a problem getting a beach palapa or spot by the beach; but the resort didn't have 100% of the rooms completed, so I'm curious how that will play out. There was a limited number of spots with shade.

There are vendors off the resort on both sides of you selling goods and activities. They were all friendly for the most part, but a couple of them were not very gracious even after we gave them some business. For example, we agreed to a specific price on a couple of inexpensive bracelets, I gave them cash and then the guy said I was disrespecting him by not giving him MORE money than we agreed on. Oh well, what are you going to do, right? Most of the people on and off the resort were great.

As always, be cautious when venturing off the resort: there were some shady looking characters in addition to the nice ones. We felt very safe while on the resort; but there was an instance of a group of three or four people who walked right up the beach from off the resort and onto the property. They were NOT workers or guests. Surprised they were able to so easily do this; but otherwise the security guards did an excellent job of finding the balance between letting the vendors ask if we wanted anything and pestering us. I know it's not easy as some can get pretty aggressive, if you let them! :)

There is also a beach activity stand that is on property. Most activities are included, including kayaking which we did every day we were there. Everyone there was great, very friendly and made the activities fun! We didn't care for the aqua cycle ($5 charge) though. It looked very cool and we wanted to try it, but it was a lot of peddling for not much movement. lol. We did manage to tip the kayak maybe a mile off the resort; but were promptly "saved" by a couple of very nice fishermen. I'm sure we could have got it back on track; but they offered and we accepted. We, of course, paid their kindness forward by giving them some $$.

The location of the resort for families or couples that are "big kids" is ideal, as it is literally right across a two lane street from the Kool Runnings Water Park. We were excited to check it out; but it was unfortunately closed! It is/was closed most of May, up until Memorial Day I believe. I found this kind of odd, considering it is Jamaica and the weather was mid-upper 80's and sunny most of the week we were there. Considering it is a 50 foot walk from the resort, I'm curious their rationale for having it closed....

Speaking of the weather, it was almost ideal. It did rain for about 45 minutes to an hour each day, usually around 5 or 6 pm; but that was it. Sometimes a mix of sun and clouds during the day; but it made it easy to get a nice tan without getting burned.

There were two pools and one kiddie pool. The pools were a little small, IMO; but they did have swim up bars, so that's pretty great.

As with most gift shops, the prices were kind of high; but that's expected, I suppose. The Exotic Membership's 20% off helped when we did have to purchase some items.

We did have a couples massage through the resort on the beach which was amazing! Even with the Exotic 20% discount, it was pretty steep but outstanding nonetheless. Apparently, the spa is still under construction and I'm sure will be amazing, if it's similar to the other resorts in the chain. We did find the massages on the beach, listening to the waves come in to be very satisfying. It was very close to one of the swim up bars and we did have to listen to a VERY inebriated young man spouting off for the first 20 minutes or so; but he either tired of being obnoxious and loud or someone encouraged him to keep it down.

The fitness center was also under construction when we stayed. The building seemed to be completed, but they must have been working on the electricity, as the cardio machines were not operational. When completed, it will definitely be adequate.

We attempted twice to go to Rick's Café to see some cliff diving and sunsets; but it never panned out. We had a taxi reserved one night; but our sunset was going to be eliminated by a thunderstorm, so we put it off for another evening: which ended up being a couples massage, so maybe next time.

You do get a nice 1 1/2 tour from Montego Bay airport to Negril, however. You see a lot of the island and the driving is, well......Imagine everyone driving like NYC taxi drivers trying to flee the city. Not for the faint of heart, lol.

Almost all of the resort staff when above and beyond. We were a little disappointed when we checked out, though. Our front desk person was somewhat rude, unfortunately and not nearly as nice as everyone else we encountered at the front. Will not mention her name; but she almost made the end of our stay unpleasant: but we wouldn't let her ruin it. :) Mind you we were at the resort for 8 days and had talked to her prior to checking out. I realize there are a number of people staying at the resort, you can't remember everyone, etc; but she pulled something that left a bad taste in our mouths. Everything is normally taken care of ahead of time in terms of payment; but we did have the massages and some gift shop purchases. There was a slight discrepancy on the final bill for the massage, where one item didn't have the 20% discount. I caught it, pointed it out to her, showed her my copy of the massage receipt, the name of our concierge who booked it for us, etc. It shouldn't have been an issue, but it seemed she was trying to make it one, for some reason. ?. After she spoke with our Concierge, who verified the change/discount: she asked for our Exotic Membership Card. Really? This was already taking a while and we had our transportation waiting to take us an hour and half to the airport for our flight home. We found this very cold and impersonal, since we've been here for 8 days, our Exotic membership had already been verified through our reduced room rate, gift shop purchases and massage rates. You're really going to ask for proof again, now? Not a huge deal, of course, but very unlike the wonderful service we encountered during our stay. She also "doubled down" and raced after us in the transportation van asking for her copy of the credit card. We, of course, left it right on the front desk counter after signing it: which another front desk woman waved at her to show her. Maybe she was not having a good day or didn't like us, for some reason? lol. It certainly wasn't going to ruin a fabulous vacation at the Azul, though!

I thought it was a nice blend of family and couples, mostly couples. It's not really two separate resorts or blocked off sections like they make it sound in the description. I didn't see much policing of "this pool is adults only", etc. It wasn't an issue for us; but when the resort is at full capacity, I'm curious if that will be an issue.

Finally, the transportation. We were going to use the resort's service, where we've typically received a discount through our membership. This was not the case at the resort, was $100 cash only they said, so we went through Island Pride Tours. They were $70 each way, were excellent, took credit card, paypal or cash and would recommend. Our driver one way was Elroy and can't remember the woman who took us back; but they both were great. Elroy was very entertaining and made us laugh.

I understand that tipping is "included"; but we strongly believe that the workers should be taken care of for as hard as they work! We gave our housekeepers 2 or 3 USD per day, bartenders a dollar almost every round, our waiter/waitress or room service attendants a few dollars per meal, etc. I realize everyone's situation is different and the resort is pretty expensive; but please do if you can.

As an fyi, there was no working ATM at the resort when we stayed. Hopefully, that will change in the future?

We absolutely look forward to coming back!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank TravelTimeGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed here on our honeymoon after our original trip to Kenya was cancelled. We loved the sensatori. It is stunning, great food, amazing beach and lovely staff. We had a swim up room in the adult section which I really recommend. The italian restaurant is great and cocktails are brilliant.

I wouldn't recommend the club mobay at the airport - waste of money

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oxford
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

Can't speak highly enough about this hotel. The location is to die for with a beautiful, scrupulously clean, safe beach. The staff are fantastic and I found them genuinely keen to exchange a bit of banter. The hotel itself is pristine with just one negative that I can think of and that is some of the flooring gets very slippery when wet, which happened a lot whilst we were there as it is the rainy season. The food is lovely and if you don't like any of the choices, I found the chefs were quite happy to mix and match to your satisfaction. We did the sunset cruise to Ricks using the lads from the water sports centre. A thoroughly enjoyable experience, despite the rain in the middle. Will definitely look at booking another Sensatori after this experience.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

This place far exceeded expectations. Myself and my boyfriend came here for 10 nights traveling with Thomson and it was my birthday during the holiday. It isn't as large as the Sandals or Palladium which are close by but I think this makes the place nicer as it is more intimate. It has a lot of character and very friendly.

First of all the staff here are amazing. They are all extremely friendly and can't do enough for you. The Thomson reps were lovely and very approachable.

Secondly the hotel itself. We stayed on the second floor in the adult section. The room was superb, beautifully decorated and very clean. It was cleaned every day to a high standard. The air con was in excellent working order and quiet! I cannot fault the room at all. The pools were well maintained and the grounds were beautiful. The staff were constantly sweeping up making sure the place looked tidy. The best thing about the hotel itself is it is right on one of the most gorgeous beaches I have ever visited. Again it is well maintained. There were always plenty of sun beds to choose from and plenty of towels. People did tend to save beds but this wasn't a problem for us. The place is just amazing and so modern.

Thirdly the food is top quality. I highly recommend the Italian restaurant. It's brilliant that there is no need to pre-book which makes this place different to a lot of all inclusive resorts. The buffet restaurant was great with plenty of choice each day. Can't fault the food at all.

If you visit Jamaica you have to visit Dunns River Falls and Mystic Mountain but prepare for a long bus journey there! The downside of this hotel is the location for excursions as the tourist attractions tend to be close to Ocho Rios which is 3 hours or so away. Don't let this put you off coming to this hotel though because Negril is a lovely part of the island with, I think, the best beach.

On my birthday I was surprised with a bottle of champagne and homemade chocolates and I was later looked after at dinner with a beautifully created dessert along with a rendition of happy birthday. It was lovely.

I highly recommend Sensatori and we will definitely be returning. I read a number of reviews on here before going and I have to say the place exceeded my expectations. It was absolutely wonderful and wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to my family and friends.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Alice W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We booked this hotel for our honeymoon and was 100% the right choice. Excellent friendly staff, modern and stylish rooms. Hotel was fully booked for the duration of our stay but we never struggled to get sun loungers etc and the resort was certainly not as busy as you would expect for 150+ rooms. Location is great with its own stretch of beach and you are free to walk the full 7 miles of beach in safety!! Food is amazing (except for the Garfield beach house restaurant) and you will never get tired of the cocktails.
We are going back next year for sure!!!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jealzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livingston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

On arrival after a long flight, terrible experience through customs and a bumpy transfer you final realise your in paradise. Greeted with a cold scented towel and a glass of sparkling wine. The view at reception out into the Caribbean Sea is breathtaking.
Pools are lovely, beach is like a postcard picture and sunsets amazed me everyday.
Staff work unbelievably hard to make your stay enjoyable, I'd love to mention every member we felt exceeded expectation but every staff member are just amazing and are a real pleasure to be around, management should be proud of such a great team from dining staff to reception and entertainment to cleaners I can't say enough about them, they made our holiday!
So only bad point I have to mention, I feel horrible for adding this negative comment about such a great holiday but feel I need to for future guests. Our problem was with the guest relations, we booked our trips with them. Felt like they weren't interested in us and more bothered about taking our money, I understand it's business and that's what it's all about but just the service wasn't great in my view. So we booked dolphins at a cost of 300usd not the cheapest trip but felt this would be an amazing experience, unfortunately the days leading up to the trip date my partner fell ill, not seriously ill but she felt she wouldn't enjoy the trip with the way she was feeling and didn't want to spoil a day so we decided to cancel and chill out instead. I thought we would maybe lose a small percentage of the trip fee for inconvenience ect. Which I prepared for but having given more than 24hrs notice that we couldn't attend I atleast expected a refund but we were told we would not get anything back at all. We did not go, we didn't use the service and they had more than enough time to cancel any busses ect. So no charges would have occurred
My advice don't be pressured and feel you need to book trips right away, book them the day before there's loads of spaces and they don't fill up quickly as stated by guest relations. A company like thomsons can't get away with treating paying customers like this.

Don't want to end on a negative so il just say to anyone planning a trip to the Caribbean, please try Jamaica and sensarori you will be blown away by the whole experience.

Happy holidays!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jasonkerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma

Property: Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma
Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica (Formerly Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma)
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 285
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a coveted stretch of Negril's world-famous Seven Mile Beach, Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica is a pristine paradise where couples, families, friends and colleagues can reconnect beneath brilliant blue skies and tropical sunshine. This oceanfront hotel offers spacious, contemporary oceanfront accommodations, with special adults-only sections dedicated exclusively to romantic honeymoon suites. You'll find a variety of restaurants serving masterfully prepared and artfully presented International cuisine, enhanced by breathtaking ocean views. There's a world-class spa. Premium liquor. Live entertainment day and night. A near endless variety of activities on land and in the crystal clear waters. And supervised programs for kids and teens designed to make sure everyone has a great time. ... more   less 
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