Skip to Content

What We Loved at Sensira Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya

Hotel and pool overlooking the ocean for a review of the Sensira Resort in Riviera Maya
About the Resort

Sensira Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya is a boutique resort that fills the gap between budget and ultra-luxury all-inclusive resorts. Opened in 2021, it offers a wide variety of activities and offerings for both couples and families.

4.5 Travellers Rating ⬤ ⬤ ⬤ ⬤ ⬤
  • Amenities 5.0
  • Cleanliness 4.0
  • Service 4.0
  • Value 5.0

Key Property Facts

Location Petempich Bay, Riviera Maya
All-Inclusive yes
Oceanfront yes
Adults-Only no
Number of Rooms 359

Our Experience

First Impressions

Disclaimer: I was given a free 3 night stay at Sensira, including flight, accommodation, food, drink, and a massage in exchange for my honest, unbiased review of the resort.

I’ve visited a lot of resorts in Mexico. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I’d never heard of Sensira until Juan, the resort’s PR rep, reached out and told me about this family-friendly, all-inclusive resort.

Opened in 2021, the resort is very new and from what I can tell seeks to fill the gap between the typical family-friendly, budget and luxury resorts commonly found in the Cancun area. On paper, the resort looks great; it has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and activity options to keep both couples and families occupied.

Prior to visiting any destination, I always hop onto Reddit, TripAdvisor, and other sites to get an idea of what I can expect. The reviews of Sensira were mostly positive, with guest largely complimenting the wealth of activities and food/drink options while also mentioning there were a few issues with attention to detail that could be ironed out.

With that in mind, I got off the plane and took the 20 minute ride to the resort. I arrived on an overcast day in September, which is the first month of the resort’s off-season. As such, intermittently cloudy skies are to be expected.

Stepping out of the car, I was greeted by a bellman who introduced me to a friendly employee on the dedicated concierge team. As I was staying in an Amber (adults-only) room, we bypassed the traditional check-in process and walked to the Amber lounge. Here, I was offered a drink and completed the check-in process.

I do have to admit, the process was a bit clunky, as I signed my room rental agreement and was shown my room. Apart from showing me how things work in the room and asking me which restaurants I’d like to dine at, there was no tour of the property. To know where everything is at the resort, you’ll need to scan the QR code in your room.

As a note to management, the check-in process is very brief, and it’d be nice to spend at least 30 minutes with the guest walking them around the resort, explaining the hours and intricacies of every dining option, the required dress code for each, and making them feel fully comfortable with the resort, instead of having to ask about each one of these things on your own.

Sensira Resort in Riviera Maya seen on a cloudy day from the balcony overlooking the courtyard/kids pool

My first day had a few clouds, which is to be expected in the off-season.

After checking in, I walked around the resort. My first impression was that while there’s lots to do, the layout is a bit strange. There are multiple bars and restaurants on several different floors. And because I was there on a gloomy day, the lobby and some of the hallways by the elevators were very dark, as they turn off the lights in those areas in the day.

Perhaps I’m being overly picky, or maybe I noticed it because the clunky check-in process, but the first impression was so-so. However, this improved greatly during the rest of my stay, as I’ll detail below.

Our Accomodations

I was given an suite with 1 king bed in the Amber section, which is supposed to be the more exclusive, adults-only section. With this room, you’ll get an in-room whirlpool tub, access to the adults-only Amber lounge, and a better view.

I was impressed with the view of the ocean, which reminded me of the condo I rented in my honeymoon in Hawaii. With such an amazing view, however, I was surprised they cut off half the balcony by adding a tub.

View looking out from my room at Sensira toward the right

Evening view looking right from my room.

I was going to try out the tub (its there, so why not?), but each time I turned it on, it initially spit out yellow water. While it quickly cleared up, it was clear that these tubs aren’t used much, and I wasn’t sure what would make this yellow, so I drained the water and went to the pool instead.

View from the jacuzzi out over the ocean

The from the jacuzzi out over the ocean. One of the best oceanfront views I’ve seen!

Overall, the room was spacious, well thought out, and comfortable. I’m 6’3″ so most hotel beds don’t tend to fit me, especially in Mexico where the king beds are wide but short. I found this bed to be semi-firm but comfortable and had adequate room for my tall frame.

There were 2 options for pillows, both firm and soft. While the room didn’t ever get down to the 65 degrees I set it to, it was still mostly comfortable, albeit a bit warm. Unique to Sensira is that all of the soaps and snacks that are included in the room are made by locals, which I thought was a nice touch.

While the thought of an exclusive adults-only Amber lounge is nice, I found the snacks there to be lacking, just as they have been at nearly every other such lounge I’ve visited. Seeing that I went by myself, it was nice to have a nice rooftop area on which I could sit and enjoy the sunset.

In the Amber rooms, you’re also paired with a “butler” which is really just a concierge. I did try to contact him about getting a “do not disturb” sign, but he did not get back to me. I found the folks at the front desk to be much more helpful and got me one immediately.

Another room view looking toward the door at Sensira

Another room view looking toward the door.

One more thing to note about the rooms is that while this resort is family-friendly, if you book a single room, you’ll have the shower in the middle of the room, which is typical of most Mexican resort rooms. If you’re visiting with a family, you’ll want to book one of the Sapphire or Jade suites, as they have the bathrooms and rooms separated.

That said, while I loved the view from the room, I wouldn’t personally upgrade, as I didn’t find the extra features to bring any extra value, and if you want to see the ocean, you can just go to the pool. That’s just my own opinion, though.

The Rest of Our Stay

After check-in, the rest of my stay improved significantly. Perhaps this was because they found out that I was a resort reviewer, but I think it’s more likely that they rest of the staff was just excited that I was there in the typically slow off-season.

The Service

Although the butler service was a bit of a disappointment, the rest of the service I received was amazing. I’ve been to a lot of resorts, but I’d classify the overall staff here as being in the top 10% of my visits. Ever and Samuel at La Pergola saw me walk in for breakfast each morning and immediately came over to shake my hand and bring me my standard black coffee and water.

The author and Ever, one of the awesome wait staff, at Sensira

Ever, one of the waiters, remembered me and had my coffee and water ready each morning

Alexander at La Tentazione took time to get to know me, why I was at the resort, and ask about my family back home. One time I was sitting by the pool and the pool concierge (I wish I could remember his name) stopped me to ask if I need anything. When I said that I was “bien”, he told me that he’d love the chance to bring me something, and that as long as I was here, he’d like me to use the poolside services.

So he brought me a cold towel and a coffee. I had no clue they even had cold towels by the pool, and I appreciated him being proactive in an effort to make sure that I felt like I was at home. Ivan at the Knights Bar told me several stories from his time working in the resort industry and let me pick the songs that were played in the bar.

I was also shocked that there were so many entertainment options available, especially seeing that it was the slow season, when other resorts close down half of their food and drink options. The resort was easily over-staffed for the amount of guests that were there, but I found this to be quite nice, because whenever I needed something, I’d just flag someone down and they’d get it for me.

Unlike other resorts I’ve stayed at, Sensira didn’t seem to cut corners in the off-season, although I’d argue that’d be the smart financial move. But as a guest, I was extremely pleased with the service I received after I’d checked in.

The Spa

As part of my stay, I was given a lap in the hydrotherapy circuit and an 80-minute massage. The hydrotherapy spa was quite nice, though smaller than others I’ve experienced. It has the standard wet and dry saunas, a couple water fountains that massage your neck and back, and both cold and hot tubs.

The cold tub was cold, but not quite freezing, which made it manageable. I’ve been in below-freezing cold tubs and they’re as bad as an ice bath; I prefer hot tubs to cold tubs, but who am I to complain… after a couple days in the hot Cancun sun, I was in a perpetual state of overheating.

The massage was quite nice, but I’m not big on the “energy” aspect of these massages. If you book the new “aero-meraki” massage, know it’s meant to “reset” you, which I’m not really into. However, it was a wonderful massage that was quite relaxing, and I was pleasantly surprised that it lasted an entire 80 minutes. I’d highly recommend getting a massage while you’re here, as the masseuse was an obvious professional.

The Food

There are 5 options for food:

  • Galerie des Sens – 10 course tasting menu
  • La Tentazione – Italian
  • La Finca de Ana – Mexican
  • Rodeo Grill – Steakhouse
  • La Pergola – Rotating category buffet
  • Las Brisas – Typical poolside grill

I was only there for 3 nights, and I opted to try La Tentazione, Galerie des Sens, and La Finca de Ana. I can confidently say that the Galerie des Sens was one of the best meals of my life. It was a 10-course tasting menu with a wonderful mix of pretty much all types of cuisines, each with a unique presentation that tells a story.

Yet another great dish. This was a mussel soup.

Yet another great dish. This was a mussel soup.

For example, there was a mussel soup that came on a dish with rocks and dry ice, meant to symbolize finding a mussel after walking on the beach on a foggy morning.

My first time having caviar on some of the best sourdough bread I've ever eaten.

My first time having caviar on some of the best sourdough bread I’ve ever eaten.

Or, for the last dish, there was chocolate in the shape of a kiss. Inside were pop rocks, inspiring you to think back to the fireworks you felt when you had your first kiss.

Chef John making ice cream with liquid nitrogen

Chef John making ice cream with liquid nitrogen and cream. I loved the presentation of the dishes on the tasting menu.

Chef John was friendly and explained each dish in detail as it was brought out. I’ve never seen such a culinary offering at a resort, and while it’s expensive $100+ USD per person, I’d highly suggest trying it. The waiters (I had 4 total) went above and beyond to suggest various wines and drinks that paired well with my food, and were extremely friendly and welcoming.

I also ate at La Finca de Ana, the Mexican restaurant, and La Tentazione, the Italian restaurant. While I found the environments to be lackluster (think boring square rooms with a few cultural decorations sprinkled throughout), the food at both was excellent, with high-quality and unique menus that went a step beyond the typical fare found at all-inclusive restaurants.

I had the catch of the day (seabass) at the Mexican restaurant, whose menu was also created by Chef John.

I had the catch of the day (seabass) at the Mexican restaurant, whose menu was also created by Chef John.

At La Finca de Ana, I chose the ceviche (one of my favorite dishes to eat while I’m in Mexico) and the catch of the day, which happened to be sea bass. Both were impressive, with the ceviche being one of the best I’ve had at any resort. It’s no surprise, though, because this menu was designed by Chef John.

Given the basic design of the restaurant, I was shocked at the quality of the food. Again, big win here. While I was at La Tentazione, I tried the chicken parmesan, which was delicious. For desert, the chef made tiramisu in a cocktail glass. I didn’t ask for this, but the entire wait staff highly suggested it and I’m glad they did. It was delicious!

I love chicken parm. The sauce at Sensira was lacking in flavor but the breading was spot on

I love chicken parm. The sauce at Sensira was lacking in flavor but the breading was spot on

There was even a lasagne dish that I wanted to try, but was on the old menu. No problem, they’ll make it just for me, said Alexander. And sure enough, they brought out the dish, just as it appeared online. Talk about great service!

I really love Italian food, so I ate here for lunch too, and was not disappointed. The shrimp ravioli and beef tenderloin were excellent, and the portions were relatively small, so I was able to finish both dishes along with the caprese salad (which came inside of a hollowed-out tomato… very clever) relatively easily.

The shrimp ravioli at Sensira's Italian restaurant was delicious

The shrimp ravioli that I had was delicious

Breakfast at La Pergola was wonderful, with practically any option I could think of. Served as a buffet, there was a nice mix of both local Mexican favorites and traditional breakfast foods such as pancakes, bacon, sausage, pastries, and more.

Now, one thing you should know about me is that for some reason, I have a special love for all-inclusive breakfasts. I don’t know why, but at every resort I’ve visited, I’ve specifically looked forward to their breakfast. While I’m often disappointed (I set my hopes way too high), Sensira exceeded my expectations. Big win here.

The food at Las Brisas, the poolside restaurant, was nothing special but was on par with most other all-inclusive poolside restaurants, so this was not a disappointment or a surprise. I got the hot dog, which was decent, but small, so if you get this make sure to order 2.

The Pool and Beach

Overall, the pool and beach areas are pretty well thought-out. There’s a family pool, a kid pool, and an adult pool. I spent most of the time by the adult pool, as it was less busy and the music was quieter there.

Another view of the family pool at Sensira looking out toward the ocean on a nice blue-sky day

Another view of the family pool at Sensira looking out toward the ocean. I loved this view.

My only complaint is that the adult pool is under the block of Amber oceanfront rooms and between 2 towers, so you have to keep moving chairs to stay in the sun.

The pool deck below the overhang with oceanfront rooms at Sensira resort in Riviera Maya

The overhang provides nice shade but as you can see, it also blocks some of the view

However, a few hours in the direct Cancun sun had me taking cover for shade, so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Both this pool and the family pool are on the beach, and both have unobstructed views of the ocean. I didn’t visit the kids’ pool, but several families were there and the kids looked to be having a wonderful time.

Another view of the pool at Sensira on a nice sunny day with a few clouds overhead

Another hot and sunny day at the resort. I’m glad I had a pool to cool off in!

I thought the poolside service was lackluster on the first day, but on my second and third days, the waiters checked on me about 5 times per hour, which I was very impressed with. The bar is right by the pool, so even if service is slow, you can easily get a drink or food yourself.

A view of Sensira's family pool

The view from the deck of the family pool. This one gets more sunlight than the adults-only pool, but is much louder and busier.

Unlike other resorts, you don’t have to walk far to get what you need. The concierge was by the pool on my third day and explained that if service is slow, just ask him and he’ll make sure it changes, which is a helpful tip for your own visit.

In every pool, there’s a nice mix of cabanas, loungers, and in-water chairs. The loungers each have their own umbrella or pergola, which made it easy to escape the hot sun. Overall, even though I was unsure how I’d like the pool area, the option to pick sun or shade was nice, and I ended up really liking the setup.

The beach at Sensira is narrow but nice and has little foot traffic

The beach at is narrow but nice and has little foot traffic.

The beach is quite narrow, but was nice with little foot traffic. Unlike other resorts in the area, this is in a fairly secluded area, as the Desire resort (for a specific type of adult that I won’t mention) blocks off their beach, and there’s several undeveloped properties on the other side.

As a result, there’s not many people walking up and down the beach. This was nice, as it was secluded, but I found it to be a bit tough to take beach walks, as there’s not much coastline to walk. This is just a minor gripe, though.

Things to Do

Neat orangutan-themed mini golf course at Sensira

The mini golf course it neat, but you’d never find it on the 4th floor without looking at a map

It’d be an understatement to say there’s a lot to do at Sensira. It seemed like everywhere I turned there was something for every age and taste.

One of the kids' areas at Sensira. The climbing structure is about 5 times bigger than this.

One of the kids’ areas at Sensira. The climbing structure is about 5 times bigger than this.

There’s a cinema which plays movies in the afternoon and evening, a trampoline park, rock wall, 18-hole mini golf course, zipline, air hockey, and video games, not to mention the kids’ clubs, featuring all sorts of activities to do when they aren’t playing in the tunnel/climbing structure.

The baby/toddler area at Sensira

The baby/toddler area that’s very secure.

Though I wanted to try the zipline, it’s only open for a limited time in the morning and afternoon, and I didn’t feel like getting out of the pool to put on closed-toed shoes. I did hear several excited “whooooooaaaaaaaa’s” above my head, so I’m confident it’s just as exciting of a ride as it looks.

Trampoline park and rock wall as part of my Sensira resort review

I loved that they included a legit trampoline park in the resort. I’ve never seen this at any other resort.

For the adults, there’s a bunch of bars and a nightclub. As I mentioned above, I grabbed a drink at the Knight’s Bar, which is huge and overlooks the pool and courtyard. It has an English pub theme, with unique themed drinks, pool tables, and live music. If I had brought my wife, I’d likely be here in the evenings grabbing a drink.

The gym at Sensira

The gym is small, but well-equipped with plenty of equipment and a yoga room.

Throughout my stay, there were plenty of options for live entertainment, including a Caribbean-themed theatre-style show, a dance party by the pool, volleyball, painting lessons, and much more. I prefer to park myself in a pool lounger without moving for the day, but for the more active traveler, you won’t have to struggle to find things to do… the entertainment team is creative and has thought of countless unique activities for guests every day.

A view of the cool media/workspace

A view of the cool media/workspace next to the gym and spa.

Finally, Sensira has thought of even the remote worker and working professional who can’t fully uncouple from their work. In either case, the Remos workspace provides an excellent and private space to work.

The neat little Remo remote working station at Sensira

The neat little Remo remote working station

For an extra $40 or so per day, you’ll get what equates to a small room in a standalone, air-conditioned building with an amazing view of the forest below.

View from the balcony of the Amber lounge, which is where I worked when I wasn't at the pool.

View from the balcony of the Amber lounge, which is where I worked when I wasn’t at the pool.

Though I just used my balcony or the Amber lounge’s patio, I could see the Remos workspaces being useful for people who need to get away from the noise or conduct private conversations. In either case, there’s also a well-equipped workspace in the basement next to the spa that could serve a similar purpose.

Other Considerations

One unusual thing that I noticed about this resort is that it had lots of elevators. And I mean a ton of elevators. Elevators everywhere! I’m used to having to walk to the middle of the building to get to the elevator, but there were at least 3 within 30 seconds of my room. This was a nice and unexpected feature.

Final Thoughts

I think that Sensira packs a mighty punch when it comes to value per dollar. It has more things to do for families than any other resort I’ve visited and think it nicely fills the gap between budget and luxury resorts. While I think that their attention to detail could use some work,  it’s still about half the price of a Secrets or Sandals while offering some featured that you’d only typically see at a such a resort.

If you’re looking for a unique and semi-luxurious experience without having to pay a ton of money for it, Sensira Resort & Spa is worth considering. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

We Liked
  • Attentive staff that remembered the small details. I didn't expect this at a boutique resort.

  • The 10-course tasting menu was mind-blowingly good. Very delicious.

  • An overwhelming number of activities and places to hang out for such a small resort.

We Didn't Like
  • The check-in process was confusing and lackluster

  • Adult pool is shaded from all 3 sides and above

  • The Amber concierge service was poor

What We Loved at Sensira Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya

Why You Should Upgrade Rooms

I typically suggest that my readers upgrade their rooms, but after staying in an upgraded room, I wouldn't suggest this. I didn't find the whirlpool to be particularly interesting, especially given the pool has a hot tub.

In theory, the Amber lounge and butler sound great, but I found both to be underwhelming. But that's just me. I like to be out among the crowd and not in any sort of "exclusive" areas, so perhaps someone with a bit more of an affinity for luxury will find the exclusivity of such a lounge to be attractive.

I did, however, love the view. It brought back great memories from my honeymoon and, while other resorts taught rooms as "ocean-front," often times they have poor views or distant views of the ocean. At Sensira, you're almost smacked in the face with the ocean view because it's so close. If that's your thing, I'd suggest upgrading, but if not, you can get just as good of an ocean view by sitting in both the family and adult pools.

What are you waiting for?
Book Now!