El Dorado Maroma suites come with their own infinity plunge pool. // © 2015 Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Feature image (above): A beachfront suite at El Dorado Maroma // © 2015 Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Karisma Hotels & Resorts has kicked off 2015 with a slew of enhancements for travel agents and their clients. In Mexico, the company is expanding its resort offerings with additions and renovations that will give travel agents new reasons to book the Karisma brands this year.
One of the most buzzed-about updates is the 58 overwater infinity pool suites — 29 at each end of the property — to debut at El Dorado Maroma in Riviera Maya. Ground broke on the project in late 2014, and the first section of suites is scheduled to open in the fall. Each suite will have its own infinity pool with a glass-bottom floor. A restaurant and Sky Massage are also slated to open. All of these additions will be located next to the existing Beachfront Villas.
Azul Hotels by Karisma began a $40 million expansion of its Playa del Carmen property in October. The expansion of Azul Fives Hotel debuted in January and includes an Essence Section, which features 64 suites, and The Fives Plaza, with three gourmet restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop and a gym.
The Essence Section suites have one, two or three bedrooms. Essence Sky Suites feature private rooftops complete with daybeds, Jacuzzis, barbecues and views across the property. The newly expanded area also has two of its own pools with swim-up suite access.
At the center of the property, the 13,000-square-foot Fives Plaza will be the social hub of the resort. It is debuting three new a la carte restaurants: Koh Thai, Oka Sushi and La Brasserie, plus two new bars: Nineteen Ten Mexican Cantina and The Gin Bar, which offers 20 different types of gin. Much of the plaza is up and running now, but it is expected to be fully complete by the fall.
Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Travel Agent Portal
Agents who book Karisma Hotels & Resorts will be recognized this year with the company’s new agent portal and booking engine, Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Travel Agent Portal. It offers the travel agent community an online toolbox of new incentives and gadgets. Those who book through the portal receive 19 percent commission on all room categories.
Agents can take advantage of the portal’s live and on-demand online training to keep up to date with the latest offerings. The “instaquote” feature in the customized booking engine helps agents provide their clients with a realistic cost for an upcoming vacation. Members of the Gourmet Inclusive rewards program will also have new sales and marketing support this year.
Program benefits include booking bonuses, complimentary Wi-Fi access, 20 percent off spa services, welcome letters and amenities for clients and non-commissionable discounted rates to visit resorts with friends and family.
In 2016, Karisma will introduce Karisma Elite status for agents who book more than 2,000 room nights. Benefits will include additional added-value certificates, four five-night complimentary stays valid for two people each and a $15 cash bonus for every room night booked above the previous year.