The Saturdays’ Una Foden recently jetted off to our 5T beachside resort in Jamaica with her husband, 2-year-old daughter, and mum and dad. Here she gives us the verdict on her Sensatori stay…
Our recent stay at Sensatori Resort Jamaica was a special one. Not only was it our first time on the island, Ben and I were also celebrating our second wedding anniversary. What’s more, my parents, who came along with us, were marking their 37th year of marriage – they have a few years on us! – so we weren’t short of toasts over dinner.
We flew to Jamaica on the Thomson 787 Dreamliner. It was really comfortable and we were looked after brilliantly the whole way. The only reason for my lack of sleep was my 2-year-old daughter, Aoife – flying’s a lot different now we have a toddler. I always make sure I pack colouring books and an iPad filled with kid-friendly apps to keep her entertained, and she was happy watching the kids’ inflight entertainment, too. I managed to fit in a few movies as well, including the new Hunger Games and The Great Gatsby.
I can sum up Jamaica in 3 words: chilled, friendly and happy. There’s just such a positive vibe. The setting of Sensatori Resort Jamaica couldn’t be better – slap bang on Negril’s white-sand Seven Mile Beach. It’s absolutely spotless, and there’s no seaweed or jellyfish in sight, which are usually my pet hates on holiday. We did spy a starfish in the crystal-clear waters, though.
The hotel is tailor-made for relaxation, and we certainly made the most of it. Since everything’s All Inclusive, there wasn’t really any need to leave the grounds – although, Ben and I took advantage of my mum and dad being on hand to babysit Aoife, and we headed out a couple of times to Negril, just the two of us. We ate at the Rockhouse and Ivan’s, both of which were great.
Each day, we’d head down to breakfast at around 9am and tuck into the buffet – I was impressed with all the gorgeous fruit on offer – before Ben would take Aoife swimming. Lifting her in the pool for 2 hours was his daily work-out! Aoife’s obsessed with water. I think she’s taken after me, as I used to be a water-baby myself when I was little. At 11am she’d head to the kids’ club at the Azulitos Play House, and the staff kept her entertained with games, painting and crafts. They were fantastic. She loved it so much she’d ask to go there every day to see “the girls”.
It showered a few times during the afternoons for an hour or so, but it’s warm and refreshing compared to UK rain, so we didn’t mind. It also gave us a chance to have a siesta and take some time out from the sun, before having another swim later in the day. After that, we’d get ready for dinner and head down to either the main buffet or one of the 3 à la cartes, which included a really nice Italian and a Jamaican-style restaurant. We worked our way round them all.
There was a barbeque beach party twice a week, where I’d stack my plate with jerk chicken, the island’s speciality. We also enjoyed catching the entertainment after we’d eaten, and we headed to the Nesta Rasta Lounge for its laid-back reggae music a couple of times as well. One of Ben’s rugby mates was staying at the hotel with his fiancé, so we hung out with them on one occasion. Although, I have to admit, we’d head to bed pretty early most nights – sunshine and a 2-year-old will do that to you!
We were lucky enough to sample two different types of accommodation – we spent half the holiday in a swim-up room, then swapped with my parents and spent the rest of our trip in the honeymoon suite. Aoife stayed in the honeymoon suite the whole time, as the swim-up rooms are adults-only. The deluxe swim-up rooms have their own little patios and a proper bed to lie on, which is a nice touch. The pool’s right on your doorstep, and snakes alongside all the rooms connecting them to the main pool. The honeymoon suite had a lounge area – where Aoife slept – and there was plenty of room for her to play in.
The hotel’s very stylish, from the bedroom decor to the Amber pool area, which was created by fashion designer, Jonathan Saunders. It looked gorgeous. We were gifted with a sarong and a beach bag – also designed by Jonathan – when we arrived, all in his signature bright colours. Because the bags are light and fit all the essentials like towels and suncream, it came in really handy. I spotted lots of guests decked out in their sarongs, and using their bags.
The beachside spa was a particular highlight for my parents, especially for my dad, who’s never had a massage before. It was a very special treat for him. Ben and I had a couples’ massage, too, which I’d definitely recommend. The icing on the cake for me was swimming with dolphins, which I’ve always wanted to do it – it’s the stuff of bucket lists. We also took a sunset cruise to Rick’s Café, where you can jump off the cliff into the sea. Even though I’d taken part in the TV show, Splash!, I wasn’t brave enough to take the plunge. Ben was more of a daredevil, though. Rather him than me.
All in all, we had an amazing time at Sensatori Resort Jamaica – it was fun to travel with 3 generations. My parents loved spending so much time with Aoife, as well as the lovely warm climate – in fact, they couldn’t fault anything. Aoife was a fan of the pool and the kids’ club, and as for Ben and I, we loved the incredible setting and chilled atmosphere. One thing’s for sure, we’d love to go back to Jamaica someday.
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Author: El Berwick
Published: October 14, 2014
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