Karisma celebrates with top agent partners
Three high-profile openings on the way
Karisma Hotels & Resorts ended 2019 on a high, hosting more than 350 of its top producing agents and their guests from around the world in Mexico and sharing details of three upcoming high-profile openings.
Each year, Karisma hosts its Annual Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant (GIVC) Awards to honour its top performing travel professionals. The 12th edition of the GIVC Awards and Sales & Marketing Forum was held in December at El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort, by Karisma in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
“As we approach one of the most significant years in Karisma’s history, we were honoured to celebrate our recent success and exciting plans with our valued travel agent partners,” said Marilyn Cairo, associate vice-president of sales, North America for Premier Worldwide Marketing, the exclusive sales and marketing representatives for Karisma Hotels & Resorts. “We are thrilled to be opening three incredible new properties – Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Cancun, Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Maya, and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya – which we know wouldn’t be possible without the long-standing support and dedication of the industry’s top travel professionals. It was wonderful to honour their hard work, talent and achievements, and we look forward to even more success together over this next year and beyond.”
The four-day event offered attendees a first look at Karisma’s latest news. As part of its global growth plans, Karisma will open Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Cancún – representing Margaritaville’s first all-inclusive resort and its first resort in Mexico – in March, followed by the opening of Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Maya in the fall.
Additionally, Karisma is building upon the success of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana with the opening of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya in late 2020. Mexico’s first and only Gourmet Inclusive Nickelodeon resort will feature the destination’s largest water park with every suite offer-ing ocean views, two bathrooms and a private swim-up, including Nickelodeon-themed signature Penthouses perched on the top floors of two modern six-storey buildings.
Guests will be able to mingle with such Nickelodeon characters as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And, of course, the chance to get “slimed” will be high on many guests’ wish list.
A stay at the upcoming debut of Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun by Karisma in March was described as “laid-back luxury without any pretense.”
Encompassing “upscale coastal design, exceptional service and top-quality food and beverage,” officials say Karisma and Margarita-ville will deliver a vibrant, world-class Island Reserve Inclusive experience that provides travellers with new opportunities for carefree, fun vacations inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and bestselling author Jimmy Buffett.
Brad Schwaeble, chief operating officer for Margaritaville, attended Karisma’s GIVC Awards event and told agents that Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma will deliver “fun and escapism.”
“There will be a wide range of experiences, from concerts to beach… a little bit of discovery and a lot of fun,” he said. “[Guests] will walk away and say they had a quality time. Margaritaville is synonymous with paradise.”
Located beachfront along the Riviera Maya coastline in Mexico, the 148-room Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun will offer nine styles of guest rooms and suites, including oceanfront and swim-up options with direct access to the main swimming pools. All accommodations open to a balcony complete with Adirondack chairs or daybeds.
Other resort features include four pools, four restaurants (including Rita’s Taco House), six specialty bars (such as the Five O’Clock Somewhere Bar and the Stranded on a Sand bar Swim-Up Bar) and the 8,000-sq.-ft. St. Somewhere Spa, by Karisma, featuring an exclusive Couples Suite and Bridal Suite, an expansive hydrotherapy area and a full-service beauty salon. Other facilities include an herbal steam room, dry sauna and chromotherapy shower.
Joe Merchant’s Coffee & Provisions is the place for freshly brewed Mexican coffee and extensive beverage and snack offerings. For the honeymoon and weddings market, there’s the signature rooftop Sky Wedding location featuring 360-degree views.
And, for younger guests, the resort has the Parakeets Kid’s Club with supervised daily activities for children four to 12 years of age. Activities include cooking classes, mad lab experiments and movie nights.
During the event, agents had an opportunity to tour the new resorts. Additionally, Karisma hosted a panel featuring Dolores Lopez Lira of Grupo Lomas, Gerald Raines, senior vice-president, Global Location Based Experiences, Viacom International Media Networks and Nickelodeon, and Schwaeble to discuss the positioning, appeal and market segments for these world-class brands.
Mandy Chomat, chief sales and marketing officer at Karisma Hotels & Resorts, thanked agents for their support, saying, “you are influencers. As a group, you have more power than any [other] influencers out there. We need to work together.
“I thank you for being here, we couldn’t do it without you,” said Chomat. “We support travel agents, all we ask is that you support us, put our product out there to the consumer.”
The grand finale of the event took place during a formal gala, which revealed the winners of the Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Awards. The most awarded winners were Sarah Bonsall of Sunset Travel (Top 10 Producers El Dorado Spa Resorts, Top 10 Producers for Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, Top Producer Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows, Top Producer Karisma Villas, Diamond Level 5); James Berglie of Be Inclusive Outlet (Top Selling Home Based Agent USA, Top 10 Producers El Dorado Spa Resorts, Top 10 Producers Azul Beach Resorts, Top 10 Wedding Producers, Diamond Level 4); Randy and Lisa Otts of 2 Getaway Travel LLC (Top Growth Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant, Top 10 Producers El Dorado Spa Resorts, Diamond Level 5, Hall of Fame); Shelli Nornes of Romance Travel Group (Top 10 Producers for El Dorado Spa Resorts, Top 10 Producers Azul Beach Resorts, Top 10 Producers Generations Resorts, Top 10 Wedding Producers, Elite Level); and Anthony Tucker of All Inclusive Outlet (Top 10 Producer for El Dorado Spa Resorts, Azul Beach Resorts, and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana in addition to the Elite Agent award). Deanna Beatty of Romance and Foodie Travel was awarded Top Selling Home Based Agent Canada and Laurie Keith of Romantic Planet Vacations was awarded Top Selling Storefront Agent Canada.
For the first time, Grupo Lomas honoured its top producers and sellers for tour and transfers, as well, which included Salley Jane Smith of TravelSmiths., Inc., Nancy Finn of My Island Getaway, and Hilary Mike of Travel Zap, among others. Karisma also recognized two of its top performing agents with Elite status, achieved only with 2,001 approved room nights within a year, including: Anthony Tucker from All Inclusive Outlet and Shelli Nornes of Romance Travel Group. Finally, Randy and Lisa Otts of 2 Getaway Travel LLC were given the Hall of Fame recognition for their significant impact on Karisma Hotels & Resorts throughout the course of the year.