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Karisma Hotels (Azul Five and Azul Sensatori)

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Hello Ladies


I'm excited and nervous to be planning my wedding and so happy that I came across this thread.   We are currently looking at availability for June - July 2014.  I'm wondering what your experience has been working with these (Azul Sensatori and Azul Five) hotels.  Have you been able to negotiate cost of room nights for your guests?  What is the name of the hotel wedding planner/designer that you worked with? Did you opt for one of the wedding package (Pure Glamour, Majestic Flair, Vintage Elegance)? 


Appreciate any response.

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I just came back from having my wedding at Azul Sensatori.  I will try to relay the experience working with the hotel as well as the wedding coordinators.  

I guess the first sign for me should've been when I was looking for a photographer and 2 companies refused to work with Azul properties.  Unfortunately, I already booked the hotel and could not change my venue.

First of all, note that you will be working with the coordinators based in Florida before coming to the hotel.  Once you arrive, you will get new coordinators at the resort, which sometimes creates some miscommunication issues.  My coordinator in Florida left the company about 1 month before my wedding (as a lot of brides experienced these past few months).  I received an email from her that tomorrow will be her last day and wishing me luck.  After multiple emails and calls to the hotel the supervisor emailed when it was about 2 weeks left and said he will personally work on my wedding.  He was probably very busy with all the other weddings and finally assigned a coordinator who was very responsive and I wish we got her from day 1.  However, I was pushed into paying the bill in full prior to going to the resort, which is not a norm as I would expect.  When I got to the resort everyone seemed very accommodating and helpful.  The first issue I had was at the "Welcome dinner" (which I had to prepay per plate).  The staff did not have enough seats/food for my full party.  For almost an hour into the party, I had 5 people (one of who was pregnant) standing and waiting for chairs.  In the meantime, the waitors just ignored me and kept telling me that they have sent for the wedding coordinator (the office is around the corner).  The coordinator showed up after one of my guests just stopped by the office personally, he apologized and instructed the staff to put 5 more chairs.  There was no room for them and I asked for additional table.  The waitors told me "no" because they have to clean it.  Only when I started to really get mad they accommodated.  I was told that everything will be better on the wedding day.  When I asked for a refund (since I prepaid for all people), I was told that the kitchen order was for the correct number of people, only the waitors did not know.  Since I already prepaid for the dinner, not much I could do at the time.

This is what I have noticed throughout the hotel.  They will give you some really stupid reason for not accomodating and only if you really start getting mad and complain they will do as asked.  I have seen it mostly at restaurants.

I was forced into having an afternoon ceremony because the policy of the hotel states that only two wedding can take place during the day and the later spot was already taken.  However, when I was there I have noticed at least 4 weddings on one of the days and at least 2 at the same time.  I have booked the sky terrace (which is gorgeous) and the other wedding was at the beach.  I still cannot comprehend why I could not have mine at the same time.

The wedding day:  I had a Jewish ceremony and my cousin knitted a cover for the gazebo herself.  The coordinators in Florida provided all the measurements.  In the morning when she brought it to be hanged the gazebo was completely different.  They have changed it 2 months ago and forgot to tell us.  I do not know the details how it was handled since my cousin and my sister did not tell me what happened so I would not get upset but I know they had confrontation with the staff about it and no one offered any real explanation.  Overall the ceremony was nice and since my family took care of the issues, I had a great time.

For the reception, we rented their sound system and the amplifier.  We were specifically told the microphone is wireless, it was not, which is not a big issue in itself, the problem came in when the cell phone would ring.  I mean any cell phone would set off some weird noise in the speakers and the music would stop.  Also, the system is very old and the quality of sound is horrible (for which I had to prepay $250).  


Most of my guests had some issues with the actual hotel.  The restaurants refused to accomodate groups that are more than 4 people.  They would try to send you to their buffet style restaurant "Spoon".  I guess from their point of view, why would they prepare each meal for a large group if they can send everyone to the buffet (I'm sure they have to make sure the food is consumed on daily basis).  


Overall, I had a very memorable and great time as everyone does at their wedding.  However, some of the issues could've been avoided.


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We just got married at Azul Fives, and would agree that there are communication issues.  Having said, this, i would still recommend the resort, provided you are prepared to have someone in your group coordinate onsite.  The coordinator provided by the hotel is lovely and sweet, but there were major communication breakdowns. 


Overall, the resort was great and my family and friends - traveling from all over the world - were generally happy, although a few had minor issues.


On the day of the wedding however, there were details that would not have been pulled off if my cousin hadn't stepped in to oversee.  For example, we met with the coordinators on Monday [our wedding was Friday] and gave all the decor that we had brought, including our place cards and table plans.  On the day of the wedding, they had no idea what to do with these, despite us having provided pictures, lists and details to our coordinator that we had been dealing with via email.  And having discussed and explained on Monday.  If my cousin hadn't stepped in, our guests would not have had any idea where to sit!


We chose a family style menu, which our guests raved over and was delicious. However, service started during the speeches, and the servers actually interrupted the best man to ask if he wanted the steak.


I'd suggest also not getting married on the beach.  Choose either the pier or the SkyDeck.  There is less space cleared around the beach gazebo than you would think and during the ceremonies, other guests are sitting around and lounging at the beach, and having showers directly behind.  Probably not what you want in the background of your photos!


I would also under no circumstances recommend DJ AllMusic.  We provided a specific playlist, and asked that no requests were taken.  However, he failed to follow this and took requests, including highly offensive songs that he played even after the Groom saw them on the list and said, Do NOT play this; The bride will be upset.  He still played them.  Sadly, we had to resort to making requests of the songs that were on our playlist as they were not being played. 


Generally the resort was accommodating.  We had 50 guests and the policy is that you cannot make reservations or have dinner tables in the restaurants for more than 6 or 8 people. We managed to get a special menu from the Asian restaurant for about 20 guests.  Although strangely, the desert turned out to be our wedding cake from the night before!


We also chose to pay the extra outside vendor fee for our photographer, and couldn't be happier!  Claudia Rodrigues is absolutely brilliant!  She is easy going, friendly and so so knowledgeable.  She helped to organize our first look pictures, made sure we were ready on time, and gave amazing tips - Powder, powder, powder!  She and her assistant were amazing and i can't recommend her enough.  


Despite our issues, i'd still recommend Azul Fives, although with a caveat that you are ready to do more work on site than you may think.

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