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When it comes to overwater villas, Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ top-selling Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants (GIVC) are thrilled.
After the brand-new Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows complex at El Dorado Maroma was mentioned, travel agents attending the ninth annual GIVC Awards and Sales & Marketing Forum stood up and cheered.
The applause was even louder when the Karisma team announced that overwater villas would be added to Generations Riviera Maya, the all-ages resort adjacent to the adults-only El Dorado Royale property, where the forum was held from Dec. 7-10.
The new rooms will be the first overwater product for families in Mexico.
GIVC agents were also the first to learn about a number of other brandwide developments — from fresh restaurant concepts to new properties. Following are some of the highlights.
El Dorado MaromaFollowing the success of the Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma — the overwater bungalows that opened in September — a new two-story structure is being built adjacent to the bungalows (on land) that will house Naay Spa and a fitness center. It is slated to open this spring. It will consist of a beauty salon that includes separate stations for pedicures, manicures, hair and makeup; hydrotherapy facilities such as a cold plunge pool, a dry sauna, a steam room and a whirlpool; fitness areas; two wellness areas, including one for VIPs; and 13 spa suites including two wedding suites, one chromotherapy suite and nine couples suites. It aims to be one of the largest and most luxurious spas in Mexico.
The property also opened the oceanfront Joe’s Lounge above Lima Limon Peruvian restaurant in December.
El Dorado Seaside SuitesThe 192-suite El Dorado Seaside Suites, located on the Riviera Maya near Tulum, is a newbuild that opened this year. It features all-pool, oceanfront suites.
Two new presidential suites were completed in August, and the new Mezcalito bar was completed in 2016, as well.
The newbuild neighbors the former El Dorado Seaside Suites, which was renamed Sensimar Seaside Suites. Agents can now sell both properties. Highlights include oceanfront views and private pools.
Generations Riviera MayaAs of early 2016, Generations Riviera Maya extended its Kids Club hours to 11 p.m. The resort is planning to open a new ballroom this month. Karisma has yet to release additional information about the overwater villas it announced.
Azul Fives HotelAzul Fives Hotel, by Karisma has soft-opened Club 82, Jackson Family Wines’ first international wine-tasting room, which will also feature Mexican cuisine.
The hotel will also undergo a lobby expansion this year that will include a lounge area that will help expedite check-in. Azul Fives is also adding 60 brand-new one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, which will feature outdoor sky beds.
The property will also debut a Nickelodeon Experience in November that will include custom kids’ check-ins, themed amenities, character dining, chances to meet Nickelodeon characters and more.
Villa Casa del MarNext door to Azul Fives will be Villa Casa del Mar. The new stand-alone villa — slated to debut in February — will be 12,000 square feet, feature six rooms and include a wine cellar.
New PropertiesIn addition to new hotels in the Caribbean and Europe, Karisma will break ground on a new property in Huatulco, Mexico, during the first quarter of 2017. In 2018, the company plans to debut a new Nickelodeon property in the Riviera Maya.
Wine PartnershipKarisma is expanding its partnership with Jackson Family Wines with a new package featuring Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve. The cost of the program is $299 per room for a six-night stay — and agents receive $99 in commission on the program.