Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma // (C) 2008 Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Sometimes, it’s the little things that really elevate a resort experience. I realized this during a recent stay at Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma when I saw the colorful plastic step stool in front of the bathroom sink in one of the resort’s Family Jacuzzi Suites. This was proof that Azul Sensatori really “walked the walk” when it came to promoting itself as a family vacation destination.
Azul Sensatori by Karisma is part of the Karisma Hotels & Resorts family of brands.
“This is Karisma’s first multigenerational resort,” said Patricia Benitez, sales manager, Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma. “When we bring travel agents through the property, they are especially impressed by the family section.”
The 438-suite, all-inclusive property opened last year on the Riviera Maya. It is divided into three areas: a family section, an adults-only area and a premium section that is open to everyone.
The resort’s family section is the one that really packs a punch. The Family Jacuzzi Suites sleep two adults and three children and feature many thoughtful touches for kids, such as strollers, baby robes and — in a bid to satisfy both parents and kids — two televisions and two DVD players. Family Jacuzzi Suites are even supplied with Gerber baby food, which is all part of the all-inclusive plan.
Parents can reduce the amount of gear that they need to haul around by using the resort’s complimentary baby equipment, including a baby monitor, a stroller, a bottle warmer and a baby bathtub. Families can also loan Fisher-Price toys from a special menu and have them delivered to their suite.
Other family-friendly resort features include the Azulitos Kid’s Club, which offers a varying schedule of daily activities, a kid’s pool directly across from the wing of family suites and the Breeze Teen Club for children ages 13 to 17, who like to have their own dedicated space. The club has separate pool tables, a soft-drink bar and a music system. The only downside is that there is an extra charge to play the arcade games.
The resort’s spa also offers a kid’s suite designed for children ages 5 to 16. Treatments include the Teen Girl’s Spa Day, the My First Facial, the Sparkle Makeover and more.
Benitez noted that Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma is going after the family reunion market in a big way. The resort has a free service for reunion planning when five rooms or more are booked for a family trip or reunion. The family group also receives complimen-tary activity coordination and a private dinner. Although designed for couples, the resort’s 13 Honeymoon Suites have wraparound balconies that are capable of entertaining 20 people. While it is rare that a honeymooning couple would be looking to entertain 20 people, the balconies would be a great option for a destination wedding party or family reunion.
Once a week, the resort features a fish market and beach barbecue. Another nice touch is that guests can choose the fish they want to have cooked for them.
Benitez noted that the Luxury Jacuzzi/Swim Up Suites book the fastest. These have a Jacuzzi for two and access to the lazy river that leads to the pool and swim-up bar.
The two sections of the resort catering to adults and premium guests deliver a different ambience, more laidback and focused on Karisma’s Gourmet Inclusive experience. Pool Butlers offer drinks and reading
material, and also come by at various times throughout the day with trays of hors d’oeuvres they call Gourmet Bites. Pool beds are first come, first served.
The resort also has an open-air relaxation area that is refreshingly unstructured; when I walked through, there were guests napping or reading a book while a few feet away an organized poker tournament took place.
All in all, Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma has 14 restaurants, lounges and swim-up bars, enough to provide variety over the course of a week-long vacation. Of these, Cantina Zocalo serves typical Mexican fare, and Tapaz offers a meal centered on lots of tiny tapas-style courses. Le Chique is the adults-only restaurant and the only one where you’ll need a reservation. Le Chique offers a 12-course Author’s Dinner featuring innovative cuisine from the resort’s Michelin-trained chef. The dining experience usually lasts 2½ hours and includes eight courses; for an extra charge, guests can upgrade to 14 courses. There’s also an option for dining at a private table in the restaurant’s wine room. Le Chique tends to fill up quickly but, if seats are available, it can be booked more than once during a stay. It is advised to make a reservation upon arrival.