By TandAGetHitched, · 281 Views · 0 Comments
Overall, we LOVED our time at Azul Senstatori in Riviera Maya – probably the best vacation we’ve had! We spent 9 wonderful days at the resort and we felt like celebrities the entire week – every staff member knew us and went above and beyond to make sure our stay, and our 58 guests, were having the best experience. We arrived to Azul on Monday, got married on Friday, and left the following Wednesday. We managed to convince 49 adults and 9 children among our friends and family to travel to Mexico for our special day and it did not disappoint! We will very likely visit Azul Fives for our anniversary trip next year - going for more adults only next time. Azul Sensatori is great for weddings and families!
The Resort & Spa
Check-in was smooth and easy – we were whisked off to a private area to check-in and given a delicious drink while we went through the motions. We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite, which was a larger room that overlooked the ocean and had an even larger, wrap-around deck. The only downside to this upgrade is that it was in the family building vs. the adults only building we had booked. This turned out to be a non-issue because we were at the end of the building and didn’t even notice any families around us.
Overall, a large resort, which meant lots of options! 5 large pools and 3 swim-up bars meant there was something for everyone. The kids loved the Nickelodeon Universe and the adults lived at the adult’s pool. We appreciated that there were 2 swim-up bars that were family-friendly so we could spend time with everyone. There was pool volleyball, soccer, archery, yoga, dance classes, Spanish lessons all over the resort.
The spa was great too. I had my hair, make-up, nails and a massage – all services were wonderful. Several guests had massages and enjoyed the water-therapy before the service – unique and relaxing. The spa prices are bit high ($130 for a 50 min massage), but a good experience overall. Anabel was my hair & makeup artist and she did a great job making me look perfect for the day. My make-up didn’t melt at all and my hair didn’t fall flat.
We watched one of the shows one night – great performers. On Saturday night they do a kids event with all the Nickelodeon characters – we walked into the lobby about 8pm and could hear every screaming kid at the resort - the kids were having fun, but not our style. Others from our group did go to the shows and enjoy the entertainment.
the only hiccup/issue we had - the Lomas Travel guy was NEVER at his desk. So our guests would visit his desk to confirm their airport return transportation departure and he was not there. Many people left notes for him, but no one saw him from Tuesday - Sunday. One of our guests notified our TA and she took care of it immediateily. The concierage called every guest and confirmed departures.
The Food & Staff
OMG – so many food options! We ate at Spoon twice, once for lunch buffet and once for a semi-private dinner with family with a set menu – both were lovely and the staff was amazing. We ate at the Mexican restaurant two evenings – great food and fun entertainment. We had Zavas twice as well – very tasty and friendly staff. We did get to Tapas and Italian each one time. I wish we had done Tapas again, but just not enough time! We also had a dinner on the beach our last night, which was super romantic and delicious. We did not try Le Chic – just didn’t want to spend more. We had breakfast in our room or on the beach every morning – the beach breakfast was one of my favorite moments in the mornings. We also did the beach BBQ for lunch almost every day – great food! Zavas has amazing burgers for lunch too – I think we had lunch there three or four times J
The swim up bars were great. We spent most of our time at the adult’s only pool with Alejandro and Uriel as our bartenders. Bars open at 10 and close at 5, but then reopen on the deck side at 6pm. They do offer top-shelf liquor if you ask for it. The Mojito bar in the lobby is a fun post-dinner spot, it’s the closest thing to a disco on the property.
On Monday evening we stuffed our giftbags – 1 per adult guest and 1 per child. We called the bellhop Tuesday morning and he showed up to deliver the bags. He charged $4 per room – so we paid $100 plus tip. I had printed a list of the adults & kids, but I didn’t have room numbers. I handed him the bags, the guest list and he did the rest. I heard from every guest that the bags were in their rooms when they checked in and they were lovely. The bellhop returned our empty suitcases to us the night before we left so we didn’t the extra luggage hanging around our room. If you do gift bags – trust the bellhops to deliver! I couldn’t imagine trying to hunt down 60 guests to give them their bags personally.
We started planning our wedding via email and phone with Javier in Feb 2017 – I spent the better part of 14 months planning all the details. When Javier left Azul in April, Claudy took over and wrapped up the details. I sent probably 100+ emails and Javier and I had 3 or 4 calls to discuss our wedding planning. It was quite simple to send Javier a request, a few days later he would confirm and then I could confirm it via the online wedding builder. Biggest piece of advice – don’t expect a response the same day via email – it takes 2-3 days, but if you go into it with that expectation it’s OK.
We packed 2 suitcases of wedding items and arrived at the resort 4 days before the wedding on Monday. We had initially planned a legal wedding, but about 3 months before, we decided to switch to symbolic to save about $1000. (legal is $500 for judge, $250 for blood tests, and $250 for apostle’s seal) and symbolic is FREE with the Always & Forever package. NO ONE knew that our wedding was symbolic, we got hitched at the local courthouse 2 days before we left for Mexico and we will always celebrate our Mexico wedding day as our anniversary.
Our 2 suitcases were gift bag items and decorations - I had receipts for everything in case we got stopped in customs, but we didn't. Best to be prepared.
We met with the wedding team on Tuesday and reviewed all the details we had planned – everything from how to hang the sheers, where to put the lights, how to set the chairs, meals, timing, and every little detail. This meeting took maybe 45 minutes – hard to believe it took 16 months to plan and it took just 45 minutes to confirm. Andy, Mayia, Bernice, Justin and Claudy were amazing! Big shout outs to Andy and Mayia – these girls were running around like crazy on our wedding day and did a great job making our dream come true.
We did use the semi-private dinner as our family dinner on Thursday before the wedding. We invited only family and our bridal party, because the semi-private dinner is limited to 50 (40 free, $25 fee for add’l up to 50 people). The staff was great at accommodating the special meals and the foods was delicious! We then moved to the Zocalo deck for informal cocktails with all our guests. We did not pay for this, it was just ‘meet at the bar for drinks.’
Wedding day!! We started our morning at the wedding office to review the weather and decided to keep everything outside. The staff thought we were crazy – it was supposed to be very humid and had 20%+ chance of rain, but we had a meteorologist in our party and she ran the models and was confident we’d be okay. It was a risk, but we signed the paperwork to keep it all outside. Spoiler: it didn’t rain!!
- Ceremony – beach @ 4 pm
- Cocktail hour – beach @ 5-7pm
- Reception – plaza zavas @7-11pm
We had only 1 MOH and 1 BM – so a pretty small wedding party. My MOH and I went to the spa and Mayia came up to show me our flowers and then delivered them to my room. The boys were in another room getting ready and enjoying lunch. By the time we got back to my room, lunch and champagne had been delivered – we enjoyed a quick bite to eat and then the photographer showed up. We hired Moments That Matter Photographer – Lincoln and his wife were great! We did some getting ready pictures, first look, family photos, and some bridal party photos for a few hours before the ceremony. We did pay the $800 outside vendor fee for our photographer.
At 3:30 Andy showed up and took me back to my room to cool down for about 15 minutes. As the guests sat at the beach and as the groom started the processional by seating his mom and my mom, Andy and I left my room and made our way to the beach. Andy executed the processional perfectly! Our music was perfectly timed and the ceremony space was PERFECT! After the quick ceremony, we did some more photos with our guests and the cocktail hour started right away. We spent about an hour with our guests before Lincoln pulled us away to get some beautiful photos of just us. We spent about an hour taking photos around the resort before taking a few minutes break to bustle my gown and prep for our grand entrance. This is where Jordan came into play and began to take over for Andy.
Our DJ, Diageo, was great - he was part of the DJ Max package. He found a few odd-ball songs that we requested. He kept the party moving all night long. We danced, we laughed, we cheered! We had so much fun, even thought it was so hot. Security showed up about 30 minutes before the end – we thought they were there to prevent us from jumping in the pool, but nope! They were there to tell us it was our own risk if we jumped in. My nephew got tossed in, but no one else took the plunge. We did have a few party crashers, but before anyone from our party could ask them to leave, the staff was escorting them away – they knew they didn’t belong!
We cannot say enough about the staff, at every turn, they were there to help us. Javier and Moreno never let our drinks get warm or go empty. Moreno as by my side all night with cold drinks and a tray to hold my drink while I dance. He asked a few times if I was too warm, given my heavy dress, and he offered me a cool towel while the sun was still out. He even brought me a plate of desserts after I made a comment that I didn’t get any. He was awesome! Our guests danced all night long! After the party on the plaza, we moved to the mojito bar, where we danced more. It was a wonderful wedding!
A few notes on the wedding planning:
- Weather policy is 20% rain or high humidity they recommend you move all your events inside. If it rains during your event, they move you as fast as you can, but all the décor and the details get left behind. If you agree to move inside before any of your wedding events start, they setup the indoor space with the décor to as best as possible. We opted to sign the waiver and keep our events outside. Weather app showed 20%, Azul showed 50% rain and our friend with us is a trained meteorologist, gave us a personal forecast so we took our chances. It didn’t rain! It was hot and humid, but we all expected it. I’m really glad we stuck to our outside venues – a ballroom reception was the last thing we wanted.
- Azul charges $5 per person for décor setup fees – so we paid $280
- Azul charges $4 per room to delivery gift bags- we paid $100 plus tip
- Trust the wedding coordinators!!! They know what they are doing. We gave a few simple directions and everything was executed perfectly!
Wedding Discounts & Credits
With our TA, Kate’s Travel, we knew we had quite a few credits coming our way. Check out the Cash for Your Bash estimator – this was VERY close to what we actually received for credits/discounts. The contract with our TA spelled everything out clearly and it is all based on the # of rooms & # of nights booked.
The Always and Forever ($950) and Spa TA gift ($500) credits was applied to our final bill before we paid the balance. The Cocktail ($540) and Dinner ($1080) credits were also applied before our final bill was due. The airfare credit was a special our TA was running – the best part is we used miles to book our flights and still got the $1000 credit! We received the airfare and room comp credits about 7 days after we got home from our trip.
- Always and Forever wedding – FREE based on rooms booked – ($950)
- Cocktail hour - We received $20 off per room ($540 savings)
- Dinner – we received $40 off per room ($1080)
- Bridal Hair & Makeup & nails – a gift from our TA ($500)
- Airfare credit – special with our TA ($1000)
- Room Comps based on # of rooms & # of nights – ($3,300)
- Total discounts/credits = $6400