Travel // Sensatori Resort Negril, Jamaica

October 06, 2018

A few weeks back, I was sitting waiting for an appointment - checking my emails as you do to pass the time. There were the usual press releases, sale announcements trying to encourage me to shop, annoying newsletters that I must remember to unsubscribe to, and then one with the subject line 'We want to send you to Jamaica, in the next 6 weeks'! This caught my attention, hook, line & sinker. Over the years I've been extremely lucky to be invited on various press trips, yet this one was a little different. Instead of shooting to promote a destination on my own blog & instagram, this would be shooting exclusively for TUI and their channels. I didn't even have to share that I was there if I didn't want to. I was ridiculously excited, as my husband could come too. But then I started to question whether it could work or not. The shoot was to celebrate the Sensatori Resort's 10th Birthday, at the end of the September, so our trip would have to be taken before then. We were just about to fly to Italy for a long planned trip until the middle of September! Could we really justify going away again so quickly? Shouldn't we spend some time at home to regroup, to sort our lives out and not just holiday every few days?! Quickly, I came to my senses. How could we say no to a trip to Jamaica. And boy, am I glad we did. It was such an incredible trip and a place that I'm so grateful to have discovered and know for returning to whenever we're in need of some tropical sunshine again. 

I must admit, I've never been a fan of TUI's marketing campaigns. They seem too mass market, a bit cheesy and packagey? But this trip completely changed my opinion. Granted, we were flying in their Premium area of the plane {which combined with the new Dreamliner fleet that they own, was literally a dream to travel in}. It meant we got to have fast tracked security and breakfast in the No1 lounge at Gatwick as part of this too {and Premium flights aren't that much more either, definitely less than premium economy with Virgin/BA but felt like a step up from this}. 

And we were staying in the Sensatori resort, the highest end/luxury TUI resort. There are ten of them scattered around the globe, mostly across Europe. The only part that I didn't like was the group coach trip from the airport to the hotel that felt pretty package holiday. It took around ninety minutes with scenic views across the island. But in all fairness, it was well organised and meant we could check in on the bus so that when we arrived, we already had our room key. But other than that, we couldn't fault TUI and we're converted! {we've even converted my parents too who are looking to book!}

With jet lag, we were early to bed and early to wake up. The resort is set on the famous seven mile beach in Negril, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. Every morning made me literally wow out loud as we padded out of our room, barefoot for a sunrise beach walk before breakfast.

The calm bay, the pink clouds, the pelicans swooping and the quiet lapping of the waves. It was heaven and those five mornings were the best way to start our day.

Spotting the sting-rays! We walked left out of the resort and round the bay to Beaches and back before feeling starving for breakfast! It's a fairly large resort, spread along the beach, which we really loved. I like having more than a few options for breakfast and different areas to sunbathe, also you probably know we like to get our steps in each day and out here, combined with a couple of beach walks a day, just walking around the resort added up too {and everyday we did over 15k! making us feel a little less guilty about the all inclusive options haha}.

I was SO impressed with the food. And it was better than any we've ever had in the Caribbean. As was the service. There were two restaurants for breakfast, or you could order room service {which we never bothered with}. There were amazing healthy, fresh options, combined with yummy treats like freshly cooked waffles or pancakes. We ate seriously well out there. Resort life, and having that food on tap, is just the best life.

I quickly discovered that waffles topped with nutella, pear and bircher museli is my new favourite breakfast ever. Try it! 

After breakfast, the sun hit the beach {it rose behind and then sets over the ocean}, lighting up the sea and showing us such beautiful colours. It changed into a different azure shade almost every time you looked at it.

We agreed that it was one of our top 3 beaches that we've ever been to. 

And most of our days were pretty beachy. In fact, aside from our beach walks, we didn't leave the resort.

The resort itself is the best looking along the beach, with a perfect mix of that traditional whitewashed Caribbean style with modern interiors.

I want to set this as my screensaver for Winter days! Oh to beam myself back there already.

Tile game strong.

Each room set had a swim-up pool bar to use, we didn't actually step foot in any of them at all during our stay as the ocean was so alluring. 

But the pool bars looked popular. Our room was a swim-out pool room which had a door straight out to it and a daybed.

On our first morning swim, we found two starfish just ten metres away from the shore! We took these photos, and then placed him straight back.

It's an all inclusive resort, with even the minibar included, although this was pretty wasted on us! We just loved the fresh coconuts each day when we'd spot a gardener and ask him to cut one down for us.

Beaches in Jamaica are public, meaning that vendors can walk along the shoreline across resorts. Everyday when walking we'd meet lots of locals too, some who would offer us ganga {it's the rasta way!} or shells to buy, although they were all super friendly if you simply declined. In fact, all of the Jamaican people we met were amazing. And some became so friendly over the few days, you have to laugh with Doctor Love if you spot him out there. Our favourite man was the steel drummer each day who would serenade us with reggae whilst sunbathing each day. I filmed it, with the palm swaying above, as it made me tear up - just one of those perfect Jamaican moments!

A few days a week there's a Jerk BBQ on the beach for lunch which we couldn't get enough of. Jerk pork, chicken, fish, rice, peas, salad and so much spicy jerk sauce. The best.

There are also a couple of lunch buffets {in fact, I just remembered that the word buffet is banned at the resort, it's called a food display instead as it really is so much better than your typical buffet}, a couple of pool bars with salads/jerk chicken/burgers/crepes etc, a coffee bar with cakes/soft serve/milkshakes open all day/evening and then for dinner a plethora of restaurants to choose from. Including an Asian restaurant, a fine dining Italian, a Caribbean and three others. We didn't have one bad dinner out there.

More morning walk photos.

Adventures with this guy <3.

The sea was so beautifully calm every day. During our visit, in the hurricane season, the mornings would start out like this but then by around 1pm each afternoon, the sky would turn black and there would often be a huge downpour for an hour or two, before the air cleared and then the clouds would clear for sunset. We knew this before our visit so just made the most of the mornings {which gave us more than enough sun on our skin anyway!}. But it's definitely something to consider & if you want a full day of sun, think about coming between say December-May? Although you can never guarantee the weather anywhere these days.

A million photos. You know me by now. Although some I'm not allowed to share until Tui have.

Happy, beach, tropical days soaking up the sunshine before winter.

One afternoon we felt like walking the other way along the beach, to the left of the resort past Sandals. It was, reader, a huge mistake as we stumbled across the Hedonism resort... Don't google it! A swinger's, nude resort where people go to be wild for a week. We caught sight of a pool party that burnt an image into our mind's we won't scrub out for a while. Haha and often the nude catamaran is seen parading in the sea past the other resorts.

These pelicans didn't seem to mind though.

The best fish and salsa for lunch! Which has inspired some of our dinners since we've been home. 

Negril was such a fun and beautiful part of Jamaica. Further along the beach were cool wooden, treehouse bars like these.

We were seriously impressed with the price of the resort, considering the location and the fact that it's a high end all inclusive. Granted, some of the rooms were close together compared to those stand alone villas you're used to in some Maldivian/Mauritian resorts. And there's not the same level of luxury or class perhaps. BUT you could visit this place a couple of times over and still have change compared to one of those trips. We would definitely come back, there were very few criticisms we had of the place. 

A sea littered with star-fish.

This palm was my favourite.

MORE beach photos.

One day we spotted an eagle ray in the sea, so cool.

I liked how the resort was as dressy, or relaxed, as you wanted it to be. I don't think I put any makeup on for the whole trip!

S u n s e t.

Dinner in Ackee, the Caribbean restaurant {probably the prettiest setting for dinner out of them all}. This sky look photoshopped.

Lobster & crab cakes.

Our last beach walk, and day, came around far too quickly. Our trip was just 5 nights, it was all we could fit in schedule wise!


So, on our last day, we took some photos of us to remember this dream trip by.

Nobody leave me in charge of holding the shutter remote again please, you can see it in almost every photo!

A HUGE, huge, thank you to TUI for giving us this opportunity and memories.

Before we knew it, those five days spent covered in sand & salt had come and gone and it was time to leave. 

Bye bye sunsets and that beach. Home to Autumn!

You can find more here.

Jamaica, we can't wait to come back already!!

Have you been?

R <3 xx

{I was a guest of TUI but not in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own}.

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