Gastronomy Takes Center Stage

Karisma Hotels & Resorts provides an award-winning culinary experience while offering travel agents up to 19 percent commission By: Monica Poling
Le Chique at Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma has been applauded for its extraordinary tasting menu. // © 2013 Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Le Chique at Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma has been applauded for its extraordinary tasting menu. // © 2013 Karisma Hotels & Resorts

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Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Love them or hate them, there’s no question that all-inclusive resorts provide an excellent value for clients who are carefully watching the bottom line. Still, the ongoing perception that all-inclusives provide a one-size-fits-all culinary experience can be challenging for travel agents dealing with clients who identify themselves as culinary travelers. While plenty of brands are elevating their gastronomic offerings in an attempt to convert this important demographic, Karisma Hotels & Resorts has designed an entire program to keep cuisine top of mind.

Karisma’s Gourmet Inclusive programs — which focus on more than just cuisine — were designed to provide guests with a similar experience to one they might find at a traditional luxury hotel, with an emphasis on exceptional service, amenities and epicurean, a la carte cuisine.

“Our Gourmet Inclusive concept is all about bringing the most exceptional gastronomic experiences to guests,” said Jeroen Hanlo, vice president of food and beverage for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, who spearheaded the Gourmet Inclusive concept.

Award-Winning Cuisine
Karisma properties have been ranked among the best of the best, as recognized by Conde Nast Traveler (Top 100 Hotels in the World and the Gold List), Forbes (Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels) and AAA (Four Diamond Award). The brand has also recently earned top marks for its culinary offerings.

The eight-course Author’s Dinner, designed by Michelin-trained executive chef Jonatan Gomez-Luna Torres, for Le Chique, the signature restaurant at Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma, beat seven of Mexico’s most renowned restaurants to earn Travel + Leisure Mexico’s 2012 Gourmet Award for Best Tasting Menu.

Meanwhile, sister facility El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort, by Karisma has been selected as the official host hotel of the 2013 Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, scheduled for March 14-17. Recognized by the festival for its superior culinary commitment, El Dorado Royale will host celebrity chefs, a series of daily wine tasting seminars and a number of celebrity chef cooking demonstrations.

“Not only does El Dorado Royale offer gourmet a la carte meals, premium wine selections, sommeliers at every restaurant, chef’s tables and 24-hour service, it is also home to the destination’s largest Greenhouse, a 100,000-square-foot facility that impresses locals, discerning gourmands and world-class chefs alike,” said David Amar, founder of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival.

Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants
Travel agents with foodie clients can earn a variety of elite rewards by becoming a preferred seller for Karisma Hotels & Resorts. The brand offers two travel agent reward programs, including GI Rewards, a complimentary program that allows travel agents to register and track their clients’ room nights.

Agents will reap the greatest rewards by becoming a Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant (GIVC). The program sign-up fee is $250 annually, and includes benefits such as attendance for top performing agents at the annual GIVC awards ceremony in the Riviera Maya. Other perks include 12 value-added certificates a year, which agents can offer to their clients for upgrades. Travel agents will also receive one free four-day, three-night accommodation for themselves and a guest. GIVC agents can also secure discounted, non-commissionable rates for future stays.

Each booking provides GIVC agents a 5 percent bonus commission on top of the standard commission, which equates to a 19 percent commission through the end of February. Every booking also earns points towards complimentary, positive-space vacations. Additionally the GIVC program includes ongoing training, including webinars, as well as a listing on the GIVC website, and 1,000 free business cards annually.

Karisma Hotels manages three brands throughout the Riviera Maya, including the adults-only El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels by Karisma, and the family-friendly El Dorado Generations and Azul Hotels by Karisma.

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