This was our 2nd annual Mexico all-inclusive vacation for our family with 2 kids (age 2 and 5 this year). We went to the Grand Sunset Princess last year - it was okay. The Azul Sensatori is a few notches better in every aspect. I would definitely go back to the Azul Sensatori but I wouldn't go back to the Grand Sunset Princess. This review compares my experience between these 2 resorts.
Azul Sensatori: Only 20 minutes away from Cancun airport
Grand Sunset Princess: About 45 minutes away from Cancun airport
Azul Sensatori: water was rocky and not swimmable. The sand was nice. There were palapas that you can reserve if you get to the beach really early (like before 6am). otherwise, there were a lot of loungers but no shade. Beach butlers will come to ask if you want drinks.
Grand Sunset Princess: I didn't swim in the ocean but the sand was nice. There are vendors all along the beach so you don't have a good ocean view. There were lots of loungers with shade. No beach butler.
BBQ Lunch at the Beach:
Azul Sensatori: there was a really clean picnic table area. They had the regular hotdog, hamburger, and salad but they also had something else that was different everyday (chicken wings, ribs, ceviche, paella, etc..). No long line-ups.
Grand Sunset Princess: there were often long line-ups to get food. there were little tables under each hut but no chairs to eat properly. you had to eat at your lounger and the little tables often had bird poop on it.
Azul Sensatori: had 1 buffet restaurant and 5 a la carte restaurants. Some of the a la carte restaurants were also open for breakfast and lunch. No reservations required except for Le Chique.
Grand Sunset Princess: had 3-4 buffet restaurants, 1 sports bar, and about 5 a la carte restaurants open for dinner. All the buffet restaurants served pretty much the same thing. You had to make reservations for each a la carte restaurant and you can only do it 2 days in advance so you had to go back to make the reservation a few times. There was a long line up (~30 minutes) to make the reservations.
Azul Sensatori: no wristbands needed except for renting a kayak. You pay $2 to rent a kayak for the week and you have to wear the wristband if you want to take the kayak out again.
Grand Sunset Princess: wristband needed to get into the restaurants and to get drinks
Azul Sensatori: had 2 wrap around pools with kiddie pools attached. had another kiddie area with a shallow pool and splash pad. Lots of loungers. Pool butlers come by all the time to ask if you want drinks.
Grand Sunset Princess: had multiple pools, some just for kids with lots of loungers. No pool butler.
Azul Sensatori: really nice. the safe was old school had a physical lock and key. If you lost the key, they would charge you a lot of money. Room service was included.
Grand Sunset Princess: really nice. The safe was a passcode safe like most modern hotel rooms. Room service not included.
Azul Sensatori: Everything was excellent. Buffet, Italian, Mexican, Seafood, Tapas, Le Chique (Adult-only). The only thing missing was a good steakhouse. We didn't have to pay extra for Le Chique because we went with Sunwing and it was a good experience but if I have to pay, I wouldn't go again. They tried to sell these really expensive wine pairings ($45+/person) and we are not huge wine drinkers so we didn't pay for this. I felt like the waiter was not happy about it.
Grand Sunset Princess: The food was good but the desserts were consistently not good and the steaks were consistently mushy, like they tenderized it with too much baking soda.
Azul Sensatori: We went to two shows - both of which were quite disappointing. They also had a "Dinner with the Princess" at the buffet restaurant (Spoons) which was moved to another location (the beach) at the last minute without notice which was disappointing because we had psyched up the kids to this. they tried to make it up to us by having one of the Princesses show up at our dinner anyway which was nice.
Grand Sunset Princess: Shows were very professional and entertaining. A big plus for this resort but I don't know if anyone chooses a resort based on the quality of the entertainment.
Azul Sensatori: Very good. Everyone is very attentive and the staff to guest ratio is high so you don't have to wait long to be serve. When you say "thank you", they always say "It's my pleasure". Both pool and beach had butlers to bring you drinks.
Grand Sunset Princess: Good. Sometimes we had to wait for service but it was okay. Some waiter's English level wasn't so good so sometimes they would get orders wrong but it wasn't a big deal. No pool and beach butlers.
Azul Sensatori: there's an indoor area with a gym, rock climbing wall, theatre, fisher price room, video games room, kitchen/tables. there's a outdoor wading pool, water slide, and splash pad but it's not always supervised. the staff are very friendly and hard working. there was a schedule of indoor/outdoor activities everyday, including evenings. we dropped off my son at the kids club a few times but he never wanted to stay very long. I think it's because it's mainly indoor activities. they also seemed to operate on Mexican time which was usually 15-30min later than when they said the activity would start. I know we were on vacation so it shouldn't really matter but sometimes it was annoying because if an activity was said to start at 3pm, we would get there by 3pm but it didn't start until 3:30pm, we could have spent that extra 30 minutes on the beach instead of rushing to the kids club. Or if we had to coordinate naps, a shortened or delayed nap time results in a very unhappy toddler. #firstworldproblems
Grand Sunset Princess: it's an outdoor playscape with a wading pool. staff are very friendly and hard working. there was not really a schedule but they did fun stuff with the kids throughout the day like face painting, taking them to the beach, taking them to lunch, etc.. My son enjoyed this kids club more because the playscape was fun. he wanted to go to this kids club every day and wanted to have lunch with them too.
Azul Sensatori: had fisher price highchairs, boosters, and toys at every restaurant. the buffet even had a mini kid's buffet where kids could help themselves to a selection of kid-friendly breakfast items (cereal, mini muffins, chocolate milk, etc..). they provided us with a step stool so
the kids can reach the sink in the hotel room. they also brought us a kid bathrobe for my son. They have characters roaming the resort all the time: the Fisher Price Little People (Eddy and Sonya-Lee), Bumblebee (the transformer), Princesses (Leah, Jasmine, Cinderella), Marvel heros (Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, etc..). When we checked in, all the kids got a welcome milkshake while they waited for us to get checked in.
Grand Sunset Princess: other than the kids club, they didn't have anything special for kids but there were plenty of kids at the resort so we didn't feel out of place.
In conclusion, Azul was just a bit better in every aspect compared to the Grand Sunset Princess. I would not hesitate to recommend Azul Sensatori to families with young kids. Because this resort specifically caters to kids, if you don't have kids, you are better off going to another resort unless you don't mind kids making noise and running around while you are trying to have a fine dining experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Gourmet Inclusive®, 438-suite hotel is just 20 minutes from the airport in Cancun. Special experiences foster togetherness for families, couples and groups of friends. Azul Sensatori caters to kids and teenagers, with the Azulitos Playhouse and Extreme Breeze Teens Club. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Azul Sensatori Hotel, By Karisma Hotel Puerto Morelos
- Azul Sensatori By Karisma Hotel
- Azul Sensatori Hotel, By Karisma Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos