Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

Hundreds of top-producing travel agents gathered last week to celebrate Karisma Hotels' Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant awards at El Dorado Royale, on the Riviera Maya.

The annual event brings together the brand's most loyal and productive travel agents for a week of networking, meetings and, of course, parties. As part of the event, Karisma executives share brand updates, giving travel agents and media a first look at what is to come.

The biggest news to come out of the meeting was the announcement that Generations Riviera Maya will be expecting overwater bungalows in the near future. This announcement comes after the overwhelming success of the new overwater palafitos that opened at El Dorado Maroma last year.

At Azul Fives, a new Mexican restaurant, Mestizo, has been added to the culinary mix, along with a new wine bar, Club 82. The resort will also be adding 60 new one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, with the option to have a swim-up or sky deck. And in 2017, Azul Fives will be adding a Nickelodeon partnership as part of its experience.

Latest in luxury

Karisma will be adding a six-bedroom villa to its villa collection. In March, Villa Casa del Mar will join the exclusive fold, located next to Azul Beach. The 12,000-square-foot villa will accommodate up to 12 people. It will have its own butler, private chef and its own wine cellar.

Looking ahead

Karisma has 26 properties in its portfolio across seven countries. Its forecasted expansion for 2021 will be to add nine new hotels, adding an additional 4832 rooms, doubling its inventory by 2021. The brand will expand in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Croatia, Antigua, Colombia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Coming in May 2017 will be Azul Beach resort Sensatori, Negril, which will add 98 suites, all with ocean views, and four additional restaurants.

Sensimar Cap Cana, Dominican Republic will come in 2018.

The ground-breaking for the El Dorado Huatulco will begin next year. And a Nickelodeon Riviera Maya will open with 556 new rooms next to Generations Riviera Maya, sharing all of the facilities at sister properties Generations and El Dorado Royale.

Karisma is also looking to open its first Nickelodeon hotel in Latin America in Colombia, most likely in the next three years. The company is also exploring opportunities in Brazil, and forecasts aggressive growth in the Caribbean. As far as Antigua, Karisma will open one, and maybe two, resorts. They are still working on the branding, but the first part is scheduled to open in 2019.

Stay tuned as more details of these developments are announced.

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI