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Inside the New Azul Sensatori JamaicaAugust 4, 2014 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
The Ocean View Deluxe rooms are available in both the adults and multigenerational sections.
Travel Agent has been to every Karisma Hotels & Resorts property in Mexico, so we were intrigued to hear back in 2013 that the company had acquired land in Negril, Jamaica (the former site of Beaches Sandy Bay) to bring its Gourmet Inclusive concept to the Caribbean for the first time. We spent a long weekend there and got a good look at what your clients can expect to find there.
Azul Sensatori Jamaica is practically a new build, considering that $20 million was invested into completely gutting the property and redoing just about everything. It should be a revenue generator for agents as it is a solid pitch for both families and couples. Allow us to explain.
The resort is divided into both an adults section and a multigenerational section (it is called multigenerational and not family because the resort does not want to exclude single parents). These two sections really felt like two different resorts.
The 54 luxury rooms and suites in the adults section have king-size beds, views of Seven Mile Beach and the Caribbean Sea, and daybeds for lounging on the balcony or terrace. It also has one oceanfront pool with a swim-up bar, which becomes a lounge in the evening.
The multigenerational section is divided into 82 luxurious rooms and suites with either two double beds or one king-size bed. Accommodations here also afford beach and sea views.
We stayed in Room #6306, an Ocean View Deluxe Swim-Up room. There are 64 of these distributed in both the adults and multigenerational sections. The best part of our room was the balcony, which offered both ocean and pool views, and enough space to fit at least three people. There is also a very comfortable daybed for an afternoon nap. The air conditioners can be operated using a remote control. All rooms also have rain showers with incredible pressure. Good to know: The in-room safe is large enough to fit a laptop computer.
Pool in the adults section of Azul Sensatori Jamaica includes a swim-up bar.
The best rooms are the Beachfront Honeymoon Suites. These roomy suites come with premium amenities, including an aromatherapy menu. They also have a wrap-around balcony, king-size bed and a separate sitting area and bathroom with his and her sinks. Clients can step right into a lazy river that crosses in front of the suite and connects to the section’s swim-up bar. All of the tiles in the pools in front of the swim-up suites are fluorescent and light up at night. There are only four of these suites, so agents should book these for clients at least six months in advance.
The property’s Vassa Spa has nine treatment rooms, including a couples room. Here, adult clients will find all the amenities they would expect at a high-class spa such as this, but children aren’t left out either. Vassa Spa provides an original experience for kids, so all family members can enjoy the spa.
They really go out of their way to make the young ones feel like part of it all, too. For example, the Pink Treatment welcomes little girls to a room bursting with pink, from the beds and walls to the pink-colored (non-alcoholic) beverage. They enjoy a relaxing massage as their hands and feet are pampered with the hotel’s special Pink collection, with red fruits and gum scent for manicures and pedicures.
For brides, the hotel offers the privacy of a Wedding Spa Suite for the day and they just have to pay for the treatments.
Dining and Lounging
Travel Agent’s favorite restaurant at the Gourmet Inclusive Azul Sensatori Jamaica was the Italian restaurant, Di Romagna. It opens at 6 p.m. and, like all of the restaurants on property, requires no reservations. However, agents should tell clients to get there around 6:30 or 7 p.m. It is packed around 8, but more or less empty before that. Guests who get there early pretty much have the restaurant to themselves. This almost guarantees them a spot at one of the three booths near the window, offering sweeping views of the ocean. Those seats lose some of their appeal past 8 p.m., when it’s too dark to see anything outside.
Our favorite spot for lunch was the Garfield Beach House, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. Here, we ate perhaps the best mussels (served in a delicious cream sauce) we ever had in the Caribbean. Agents should also note that the resort has an exclusive partnership with Kendall-Jackson wine.
As far as breakfast goes, Palms restaurant on the first level near the pool on the multigenerational side is great for a quick bite. But we suggest Ackee instead, simply because it’s located on the other side of the resort and therefore many guests aren’t aware that it offers breakfast. Chances are your clients can have the place to themselves, enjoying views of the Caribbean Sea.
The bartending service at Azul Sensatori Jamaica was excellent as well. Every time we were finished with a drink, there was another waiting for us. Although they are not required to offer beach service all day, most of the servers will bring cocktails to the beach if the swimming pool area isn’t too busy.
The Nesta Rasta Lounge is another cool hangout here. It is set in the fashion of an old rumba bar and offers roughly 30 different types of rum from all over the Caribbean. There is also live music around 10 p.m., just about every night.
The Kids Club was also noteworthy as it was set outdoors. Most of the kids clubs we usually review are inside a building. At Azul, children can enjoy activities under the sun, but also have access to a sheltered area of the club when they feel the need for some shade. Children aged four and older are allowed at the Kids Club without their parents, while younger ones need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Babysitting services are also available for $30 per hour.
Agents should direct any queries about the resort to Reservations Manager Nicola Roberts ([email protected]; 876-620-0100 or 876-618-0474).
Getting From The Airport
Most clients will fly into Montego Bay and then get a transfer to Negril, a roughly 90-minute drive. The best way to get there is with Errol Flynn Tours. Ask for Errol Cox, the owner, who will offer VIP transfers for an extra fee. We were picked up in a luxury SUV, which makes for a smooth drive. That’s important since most roads in Jamaica can be very bumpy. Cox also provides passengers with a cooler full of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and is also full of knowledge about Negril. Agents can contact him at [email protected].