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Azul Sensatori Brides - POST HERE!

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#1431 katken

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  • 268 posts

    Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:47 PM

    Originally Posted by Solidshan83
    Did Mrs.StephP.2Be already post her review and I missed it??
    I don't think it's been posted yet. There is an interesting (in a good way) review on TA that was written by a MOB.

    #1432 Mrs.StephP.2Be

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      Posted 29 January 2009 - 12:31 AM

      Hello Ladies!
      I am sorry this review is so late. I had a lot of catching up to do when I got home from our wedding. My review is really long so brace yourselves…

      First, I will tell you a little about our situation going into this wedding. My now husband and I are very simple laid back people. We wanted a small intimate wedding with no extended family (we come from very large extended families) and we did not want to start our lives in debt for only one day. This is why we decided on a small destination wedding. Our group of 11 people consisted of just immediate family. We arrived at Sensatori at a unique time. It was a week after the busy Christmas/New years season but a week before the January sales rush. The resort was not full but they still had almost full staff on. The service over all was great!

      Arrival- Check in was quick! So, quick we didn’t even get offered any champagne like the rest of our group but that was ok because we helped ourselves before being led to our room. Because we are from Canada and booked with Signature Vacations we could not get the free wedding package. We paid for a basic Jacuzzi suite room in the Adult section but upon arrival Carolina made sure we were upgraded to a swim-up Jacuzzi suite in the premium section-by the way, service in the premium section was unbelievable.

      Resort- 1st impression; this resort is breath taking! And it really is. Unfortunately, they rushed opening and some of the finishing touches are not perfect. By no means is it so bad that it would ruin my stay like it did for some people on Trip Advisor. We never had any problems with our room. My Mom had some pluming problems in the Adult section but they were quickly fixed.

      Food- All I can say is “yumm” the food was amazing. I would have ate 6 meals a day if I could. We ate at spoon only once, after discovering the Caribbean restaurant “Zavaz”. We ate pretty much all our breakfasts and lunches there, it was awesome. I did see a wedding set up in Spoon. I had a real hard time deciding if I wanted to go with spoon or pay for a private event. My suggestion is ask how many people can be accommodated on the raised platform area. It is actually very nicely set up and semi-private in this area. However, the wedding I saw was too big for this space and therefore was set up at one side of the restaurant. The hostess did her best to seat people away from the reception dinner but eventually it got too busy and there were strangers sitting right beside the wedding party. When I talked to Fabio it sounded like our group was too small to be put in this area alone. To be completely honest a lot of the real planning happened in our meeting with Carolina and Gilberto (I loved him!!). Maybe this is because we were such a small group or because it wasn’t very busy but we changed things and did the majority of our planning once we got there.

      Spa-I got a pedicure and manicure the day of the wedding and after that I had my hair done (which I loved! And was also very nervous about) but I did my own make-up. The spa is beautiful but the set up is kinda strange…and this why. When I was getting my pedi and mani there was another bridal party getting their hair done in the “bridal suite” right beside me in the same room. There are some wood screens that kind of separate you from this area but not really. At first I was a little turned off by the situation and that this was considered the private “bridal suite” that had been talked about. It wasn’t until later that I realized there is in fact a REAL private “bridal suite” down the hall. I asked to get dressed and picked up for the ceremony at the spa. I think this is the only reason why they let me use this room because the other bridal party before me did not have access to this area. It is a gorgeous private area that is really relaxing, but don’t get your make-up done in there because the lighting is too dark.

      Ceremony-It was beautiful and we loved it!

      Reception-We did a private dinner for 11 people outside at Zoloco. We wanted to do a private reception but because we were not enough people they wouldn’t let us. Instead we did Zoloco’s set meal for the evening. Kind of like what the Spoon reception dinner offers. We brought our own table decorations from home and they set them up for us at no charge plus added some blue lighting and sheer bows on the chairs. I was so thrilled to see that they did these little extras for us. Keep in mind that it is windy no matter where you are outside. I had tealights in what I though was a deep enough holder to block the wind, however they were not able to stay lit.

      After Party- They are very strict about the 11:00pm rule. But what is great now is that they turn the teens club into an adults only club after 10 pm. My husband and I never went but my 22 year old brother did a few times. He said some nights there was no one there but the few times it was full he had a great time meeting other people his age. If your wedding group is 20+ I don’t think you would have any problems continuing the party there. It’s open to 2am.

      Do not stress girls! And stop reading the nasty reviews from miserable people on TripAdvisor…I know its hard not to, but I was in tears before I left and I think back to how silly it was that I got so upset about a strangers experience. It is not worth the added stress.

      Here are a few tips:

      If you have a hot tub room don’t be afraid to go into the water. It looks a little green but they are all drained and refilled every day. It rained a few afternoons while we were there and it was great to sit in them to stay warm. I recommen turning it on when you first arrive and let it run for a few hours. After the tub refills the next day, enjoy it because it is the only hot tub on the resort.

      When you go in for your meeting with Carolina and Gilberto do not assume anything! I didn’t think they would use a microphone at the ceremony for our small group, but they did. Unfortunately, this was the one thing that I really did not want because it seemed so impersonal for our group but it was my fault. I shouldn’t have assumed.

      If you are trying to cut costs with the reception I recommend doing one of the $12 meals. Now my husband and I are total foodies but the reception food wasn’t a big deal to us and this is why. The resort restaurants all produce amazing food, so every meal you and your guests have during your stay is going to be good. We were all so busy chatting, laughing and drinking wine that hardly any of us ate. If you are trying to decide between Spoon and a private reception I’d recommend the private reception especially if you are not able to get the raised area in Spoon.

      Last, and it sounds like common sense but, be polite to the staff even if you are frustrated. It is amazing how some people treated the staff while we were there. A lady yelled at a server who was filling in for the bartender because he did not know how to make her drink. Later I over heard her complaining because she wasn’t getting enough service around the pool…go figure!

      I hope I did not ramble too much. More importantly I hope I have helped a few of you. If any of you have any questions feel free to PM me. I am more than happy to help. I do not have pictures of the wedding yet but as soon as I get some I will post.

      #1433 trayce2222

      • Jr. Member
      • 221 posts

        Posted 29 January 2009 - 01:11 AM

        Thanks Mrs.StephP.2Be!!!!! I loved your review! That makes me feel so much better! I had no idea about the raised area in Spoon....I will ask if we can reserve that for our rehearsal dinner! Were you nervous about having the people at the spa do your make-up? I have scheduled them to do mine, so let me know if you have any info about that! I can't wait to see your pics!!

        #1434 heather hunder

        heather hunder
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          Posted 29 January 2009 - 05:57 AM

          Thank you StephP.2be for remembering us!! I am so excited about the Adults only club! You have made my day with your review.

          P.S. I work at Ranchmans and I remember serving for your husband's Stag. He is a great guy. I also met your father with his red marks on his face from Paintball, I hope the pics turned out OK. I have already told my Husband-to-be to make sure the paintball is a month before the wedding!
          Can't wait for the pics.

          #1435 daifje

          • Newbie
          • 53 posts

            Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:24 AM

            StephP.2be CONGRADULATIONS!!! I'm glad that you had a great time and everything worked out for you!!!!! Your review was really helpful and I have a ton more questions to aks the corridnator when I get there. I have not chekced trip advisor but I may go on to read the nasty reviews so I can be more objective this weekend. Will post all my pics and opinions when I return!!!!

            #1436 jennik13

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            • 118 posts

              Posted 29 January 2009 - 12:23 PM

              what is the name of the old teens club / new adults club? i would like to add it to our oot letters to put in their room. thanks! congrats on your wedding. can't wait to see pics!

              #1437 milejilo

              • Jr. Member
              • 313 posts

                Posted 29 January 2009 - 12:58 PM

                thank you soooo much stephP.2be, your review makes me feel a lot better. can't wait to see pictures... congrats!!!

                #1438 beachbride2009

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                  Posted 29 January 2009 - 01:34 PM

                  Congrats & thanks so much...can't wait to see your photos!

                  #1439 jhawkev

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                  • 124 posts

                    Posted 29 January 2009 - 01:54 PM

                    Thanks for you review Steph! Congrats again and can't wait to see your pictures
                    I think I'll ask Tiffany in my next email to her because I've been chatting with a girl who's getting married at the sister property the Seaside Suites and she was told the WC at the hotel will man the iPod during the ceremony so no one has to be distracted...I would think it would be the same for all the Karisma hotels, plus it would be anice gesture, it's only a half hour or less of their time, but it means so much to the bride & groom, and we are all bringing a ton of business to their resorts!!!
                    I'm positive they play the songs for you during the ceremony, just not the reception :)

                    #1440 chloe

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                    • 13 posts

                      Posted 29 January 2009 - 01:59 PM

                      Originally Posted by trayce2222 View Post
                      Thanks Mrs.StephP.2Be!!!!! I loved your review! That makes me feel so much better! I had no idea about the raised area in Spoon....I will ask if we can reserve that for our rehearsal dinner! Were you nervous about having the people at the spa do your make-up? I have scheduled them to do mine, so let me know if you have any info about that! I can't wait to see your pics!!
                      We are back also. I wrote a long review and lost it. Should have backed it up. Our wedding experience thanks to Gilberto and Honey was wonderful. They do everything they can to do give you what you want.
                      Unfortunately for us, we were at the hotel with some other large weddings and a convention of like 200 people. The hotel is day and night depending on how busy they are. Slower it's a heavenly place, busy they get really disorganized. With that in mind, they still managed to pull of our wedding to almost perfection.
                      A word of advice. Call your TA and get the room you want in writing!!! If they are busy, you may end up in a room, such as us....our 'honeymoon' suite was on the ground floor along the walkway with two double beds. We had requested a higher floor room, but I was told later that they never recieved such a request and they use that as an excuse to not give you what you want. The second attempt to make this right, they gave us the room on the ground floor across from the other, it did have king size bed, but NO privacy. I was told there were no other rooms, but once i called my TA suddenly they found us a room on the second floor. It was beautiful! Ask your guests to call their TA's or yours and again get requests in writing.
                      Swim ups in the premium section are the nicest with an extra jacuzzi, but almost equally nice are the adult section 2, if they are in a swim up in section 3, they are going to be disappointed. Also the rooms on the higher floors in the section 2 building have some of the best views and they are considered the standard priced jacuzzi suites. Ask for these, so nice.

                      Given the disorganization and lack of responsiveness that was our first impression, I was worried about the wedding, but actually with that they came through for us with flying colors.
                      We ran into many frustrations, some days they seemed endless and resolving the problems took an act of god (but I don't think that is the case when the hotel is slow, only when they are busy), they would politely tell you the problem would be corrected, but it just wasn't. It is a beautiful place and the people are working so hard to try and please. But there are times they are just physically and mentally overwhelmed and the stuff doesn't get done.
                      An example of our dinner service: The first time we had a meal, was when the hotel was still slow, our waiter gave us such efficent, excellent service. We tipped him well and he was all happy, ask for me next time he says. So we go back, get him as our waiter and he was overwhelmed, ran around like crazy, was sweating and looked frazzled. We sat in the place for hours trying to finish this meal, often with no food or drinks. Not with this example , but on numerous other occasions we honestly, just wanted to go with the flow, but at times it was difficult and I would cry out of frustation.
                      We had our rehearsal dinner in the private room at the Sienna. This was the beginning of everything going perfectly. Once your wedding actually gets going they really take such good care of you. The dinner and the service there was so wonderful. I still smile at the thought of what a great night that was. And our wedding night was even better.
                      The ceremony was on the sky deck. It was so pretty, the decorations looked great. But very windy for us and the beach was equally windy. Do not get the violinist. He at least had the courtsey if he was going to be bad, to just be just outrageously terrible. He made the guests laugh, and they had endless material over his lack of musical ability. Not what I was aiming for, but we all kept laughing about it throughout our stay. My minister, Alina, was great. We wrote the ceremony out and she handled it flawlessly. Also left her some room to make her own remarks, which were beautiful and eloquent. Everyone commented on what a great job she did. There is also a sky cam on the deck which some of my friends and family who were unable to attend could watch (but not hear) the ceremony from miles away. They loved that and so did I.

                      As mentioned the skydeck was windy. The woman that did my hair used what I thought was a little too much hairspray, but I was thankful for it. Anyone without their hair tied back (including the men with the pull over hair :) ) had their hair standing straight up. Mine stayed in place. I thought my girl at the spa, Zadia did a great job with my hair and makeup. My family and friends agreed. Bring a detailed picture and I am confident she can pull it off. There is a language barrier, so they are appreciative if you bring a good picture of the hair and makeup style you want. Otherwise, yhey have books with outdated scarey pictures.

                      My flowers did not match the picture I sent exactly. I wasn't disappointed though. The color scheme and some of the flowers picked were in place, and I think I liked the ones they gave me even better. I thought they were really pretty.

                      We got the Mariache band for the cocktail hour, which everyone loved. Our photographer, Citalli and here assistant Tamaira were through Claudia photo. Our pictures will not be in for a month. But they were great to work with. Calming , easy going and so accommodating. I highly recommend her. Our ceremony was on the plaza, which was warmer (it was a cool night) and help protect us from the wind. We got the DJ. He got off the playlist, which I think may not have happened had I been firmer about it, but I got distracted. He did put a hault to some of the dancing with his poor music choices, but everyone was having a blast so it didn't really matter. We had paid extra for some wine is mom wanted and no one could find it. We are having difficulty getting that refunded. My TA, David from Destination weddings is helping me with that. He has been a terrific liason for us. But really if you can avoid getting extra stuff like that, it is probably much easier in the long run. We did get the budweiser we ordered extra and at first they couldn't locate that either, but then they found. Definitley small things. Oh, the cake wasn't too impressive and they didn't bring it out until the photographer left. Here I think had we requested it earlier, they'd have done it, but we were too happy in the moment to care at that point.

                      Sorry, my review is probably slightly more discouraging, but hopefully it helps you avoid some of the problems we had. We stayed over some nights after the wedding, the hotel emptied out and the place was relaxed, accommodating and heavenly.
                      Good luck to you all. Enjoy your wedding, that part I know will be perfect for you.
                      BTW: Honeymoon dinner was so romatic, just amazing out on the beach. Felt like I was an episode of the bachelor.

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