Thursday, December 13, 2018

Karisma Previews New Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya Vacation Destination [Updated]

Karisma Hotels and Resorts’ new Nickelodeon hotel in Mexico is now set to open in 2020. At the organization’s annual Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants Awards (GIVC Awards), Travel Agent spoke with Kelly Poling, Karisma’s senior vice president of marketing, to learn the latest on what guests and agents can expect from the new property. The 11th annual GIVC Awards took place at the El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya, a Spa Resort by Karisma from December 5 – 8.

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya

“When it opens it’s going to become our new flagship Nickelodeon hotel,” Poling says.

Situated next to Karisma’s Generations Riviera Maya property, the newbuild Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya will draw some design inspiration from its fellow family-friendly resort, Poling says. For example, its extra-large rooms will be configurable into one-, two- or three-bedroom suites to allow maximum flexibility for multigenerational groups, or families who wish to have a separate room for the kids. Every room will also have two bathrooms.

That said, the new hotel will also have plenty of Nickelodeon-themed features, as well.

“We’re making everything with Nickelodeon in mind,” Poling says.

SpongeBob's Pineapple House at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

The popular SpongeBob SquarePants-themed Pineapple Villa from Karisma’s first Nickelodeon property in Punta Cana will be here. In a similar vein, there will also be a new, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed “lair” Penthouse, as well. All told, there will be four character-themed Penthouse suites on the resort’s roof, all of which will have infinity pool swim-up access.

Another key selling point: “All of our rooms will be oceanfront,” says Poling. Additionally, every room – regardless of floor – will have swim-up access. In addition to the four Penthouses, there will be 276 Pad Suites and Flat Suites. The rooms will be set across two six-story buildings, in a design reminiscent of the Generations property.

Another major difference from the Punta Cana property will be the resort’s water park, which, at 500,000 square feet, will be much bigger. “It’s five to 10 times bigger than the one in Punta Cana,” says Poling.

Dubbed “Aqua Nick,” the new water park will have activities ranging from a lazy river to waterslides, a splash park and an interactive water playground for toddlers to mini relaxation pools. The variety of activities will be one way that the resort appeals to kids of multiple age ranges.

“The water park will be organized into different ‘lands,’” says Poling, with a more toddler-friendly land and a land with more thrill-type rides for teens.

“I think the Nickelodeon characters can appeal to kids of all ages as well,” Poling says, citing more young-kid-friendly characters like the pups from Paw Patrol and Dora the Explorer, as well as characters like SpongeBob, who can appeal to older kids.

The variety of activities could be a draw for repeat guests from the Punta Cana property, Polling hopes. “As children get older, they can ‘graduate’ to the Riviera Maya resort,” she says.

In terms of the resort’s culinary product, Poling says that the focus will be on experiential, social media-friendly venues and dishes.

“We know that people want to be able to see and capture amazing images, so we’ll have plenty of ‘Instagrammable’ dishes,” Poling says. “For example, at the Punta Cana property, we have the ‘Machete Burger’ – it’s so big, they have to cut it at the table with a giant machete. We’ll be carrying those types of things over to the Riviera Maya.”

All told the property will have six restaurants, including the Bikini Bottom fast-casual restaurant, the seafront Yacht Club, and the Mexican cantina Expadin, as well as four bars, including Bikini Bottom Bar, The Bar, and two swim-up bars. There will also be a Lobby Lounge that will aim to serve as a family-centric hub with music, entertainment and broadcasts of live sporting events. Much of the resort’s organic produce will be sourced from Karisma’s greenhouse, which is located next store at the El Dorado.

For more information about Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya, visit

Also, via Travel Weekly:

Karisma expanding with Nickelodeon, Margaritaville hotel brands

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is expanding its footprint in the Caribbean.

The hotel company, which has several resort brands under its umbrella, has already made quite the name for itself in the Mexican Caribbean as well as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. When it comes to expanding, it is showing no signs of slowing down.

"We own a massive stretch of beach property, called Sugarcane Bay, in Jamaica," Kelly Poling, senior vice president of marketing for Karisma, told me. I was on location at the Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant awards, Karisma's annual awards ceremony and marketing forum for its top-producing agents, held every year at El Dorado Royale just outside of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

"We own a number of different plots," Poling said. The plan is to build "a complex of hotels, which will be a combination of Karisma-built hotels and others that will be built [separately] and that Karisma will manage."

Poling elaborated that this is the opportunity to build out the brands that Karisma is most focused on at the moment, Nickelodeon and Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience by Karisma.

There is a Nickelodeon hotel in Punta Cana and one in construction in Riviera Maya, which will be located next to the Generations Riviera Maya property when it opens in 2020.

One of the first hotels to open in Sugarcane Bay, Jamaica, will be a Margaritaville. Poling said that the Margaritaville brand could be applied to almost any island on the Caribbean. "Jamaica is obvious," she said. "As it stands now, the first will open in Riviera Maya, but shortly thereafter it will open in Jamaica. We've looked at the entirety of the Caribbean that has hotel inventory, and we think that Margaritaville can be supported anywhere."

With that said, the plan is not to bring massive hotels to smaller islands. The primary reason that Karisma envisions Margaritaville on smaller islands is that the Margaritaville hotels are flexible, from small hotels of 100 to 200 rooms on up. "When we build in Jamaica and the Riviera Maya, the resorts will be large," Poling said. "But smaller islands with smaller room inventory are possible for a boutique offering."

As for Nickelodeon, the next one to open will be in Riviera Maya in 2020. This resort, with 276 oceanfront swim-up suites, as well as four signature Penthouses, will be the flagship property. It is being built from the ground up.

Karisma is looking at expansion opportunities for Nickelodeon all over Latin America, where Poling said brand awareness is strong.


Also from Travel Weekly:

Karisma commits to Riviera Maya growth

Karisma Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its presence in the Mexican Caribbean. At the company's 2018 Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant (GIVC) awards and marketing forum last week, I learned about the company's aggressive growth plans for the region.

Karisma's latest property, Xolumado Inspiration Village, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony during GIVC. The village, which had its soft opening this month and will have its official opening in January, was announced at last year's conference. Tucked in the jungle behind Generations Riviera Maya, Xolumado Inspiration Village comprises 41 villas within 2.5 acres of a jungle retreat.

Surrounded by gardens and pathways, Xolumado Inspiration Village has cottages in three suite categories: Serenity Suites, which have palm thatched roofs, open terraces, and Mexican and Asian-inspired decor; the Zen Garden Suite, with a private balcony; and the Tranquility Suite, which comprises two adjoining Zen Garden Suites. The property also has a pool, access to beach cabanas, and the Xolumado Restaurant BBQ & Bar.

The vibe at Xolumado is tranquility and relaxation, with daily yoga and meditation, and a Shhh Experience complete with sound healing, outdoor breathing exercises and massage lessons. There are also Spanish and Mayan classes, Mexican cooking classes, tequila and mezcal tastings, movie nights in the jungle, pottery painting, diving and wine pairings. Guests can also access Generations Riviera Maya, including its five restaurants, three bars, lounges, pool and beach.

Karisma is also in the process of constructing Mexico's first Nickelodeon Hotel & Resort Riviera Maya, which will open in 2020 right next door to Generations Riviera Maya.

Nickelodeon already has a property in Punta Cana, but this will be the brand's first for Mexico. "This will be the flagship Nickelodeon," said Kelly Poling, senior vice president of marketing for Karisma. "As great as the Punta Cana property is, this hotel from pencil to paper was always going to be a Nickelodeon and I think it will be the best in the portfolio."

The resort will have 276 oceanfront swim-up suites, plus four Nickelodeon-themed signature Penthouses on top of the two six-story buildings. Penthouses are being designed in accordance with Nickelodeon characters like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob Square Pants. All four penthouses will have infinity pool swim-up access, and sky-high oceanfront views of the property's white-sand beach.

But the piece de resistance of this property will be Aqua Nick, a 500,000-square-foot water park, and one of the largest water parks in Mexico. Activities will include a lazy river, waterslides, splash park, an interactive water playground for toddlers and mini relaxation pools.

At the heart of the resort will be Nickelodeon Place, where guests of all ages can mingle with characters like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob. Within the Place is Club Nick, a hangout for kids; Plaza Orange, for music and games; and MainStage, a theater for entertainment experiences. A spa has kids' treatments, individual suites, couple's suites, a bridal suite, and outdoor treatment areas.

Restaurants will be part of the Gourmet Inclusive Experience, from the seafront Yacht Club to the Mexican cantina, Espadin. The Bikini Bottom gourmet corner is a fast, casual, midday meal venue, and guests will also have access to the restaurants at Generations Riviera Maya.

"Nickelodeon has extreme brand awareness," said Poling. "When looking at where to expand we did a study on the entirety of Latin America. Nickelodeon reaches 25-30 percent of kids in Latin America. It's a vast household name." Karisma has plans to expand the brand across Latin America, but Poling specifically noted looking at Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.


Also, via Travel Pulse:

Karisma's GIVC Awards: A Breakdown of the Event, Plus Exclusive Nickelodeon News


Nickelodeon’s Future Plans

Karisma’s second Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts property will open in the Riviera Maya in 2020. Mandy Chomat, chief sales and marketing officer at Karisma, said the project was set back a few months for various reasons, including delays in securing permits needed for the hotel’s main attraction, the water park.

This will follow the successful debut of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, which Chomat said has been “booming” amongst both the U.S. Millennial market and the local Dominican Republic market since it opened in 2016.

Chomat said Karisma will officially be announcing the third location for Nickelodeon within the next six months, but told TravelPulse that Cartagena, Colombia could very likely be that destination.

Karisma already has three properties in Colombia, including two in Cartagena, all in the form of the company’s Allure Hotels, which are all high-end, boutique, EP properties. Allure Bonbon, by Karisma and Allure Chocolat are located in Cartagena, while Allure Cafe Mocawa is located in Armenia.

Rafael Feliz, chairman and CEO of Karisma, also added that Jamaica is also in consideration for the third location.

Although Nickelodeon will continue to have a growing presence in the Caribbean and Mexico, it appears the brand is heavily targeting Central and South American destinations.

“Let's just say we would love to have a Nickelodeon in every single country in Latin America,” said Chomat. “We are looking at every single country to see which ones would work and the best plans. We are always scouting land and always looking at places where we can get a lot of the domestic market in these locations.”

Feliz told TravelPulse that Peru, Brazil and Panama will all be scouted for possible Nickelodeon hotels. However, two Latin America destinations you might be able to cross off the list of potential Nickelodeon landing spots are Argentina and Ecuador, mainly due to obstacles the weather at each destination could pose for an outdoor resort, said Feliz. Feliz also told us Dubai is being looked into as a possible Nickelodeon destination.

Rienk de Jong, vice president of sales and marketing at Premier Worldwide Marketing / Karisma Hotels & Resorts, noted that many locals in the destinations Nickelodeon is eyeing do not have visas, making it even more likely that a heavy portion of Nickelodeon’s Latin America business will be domestic.

“Nickelodeon has a lot of brand recognition,” said de Jong, “and a lot of the destinations (in Latin America) have a lot of locals who don’t have visas, so they cannot travel to the U.S. for something like Nickelodeon.”



Also, via La Verdad Noticias:

Chetumal.- Quintana Roo tendrá, en la Riviera Maya, uno de los parques acuáticos más grandes del mundo con un río lento, toboganes, área de juegos interactiva con agua para niños y piscinas de relajación: el Aqua Nick y que forma parte del primer Nickelodeon Hotel & Resort Riviera Maya de México.

En estos dos años de la conducción del gobierno de Carlos Joaquín, las inversiones siguen llegando, lo que representa más crecimiento económico, más empleos formales y mejor pagados, así como mayores atractivos, pues los parques acuáticos fomentan otros mercados turísticos.

La reorientación de las políticas públicas permite avanzar para conseguir que la economía de Quintana Roo se consolide como una de las 5 más importantes, para que sigan llegando las inversiones que permitan generar más crecimiento económico para dar servicios a la población que crece a ritmos de hasta el 30 por ciento anual.

Tal vez te interese:  El crucero de lujo 'Celebrity Edge' llega a Cozumel.

Nickelodeon Hotel & Resort Riviera Maya de México forma parte de la firma Karisma Hotels & Resorts. Este resort contempla el Nickelodeon Place, donde los huéspedes de todas las edades pueden mezclarse con personajes como Dora la exploradora y Bob Esponja.

El resort tendrá 276 suites en la piscina frente al mar, además de cuatro Penthouses exclusivos con temas de Nickelodeon en la parte superior de los dos edificios de seis pisos. Los penthouses se están diseñando de acuerdo con los personajes de Nickelodeon como Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles y SpongeBob Square Pants.

Los cuatro penthouses tendrán acceso a la piscina de borde infinito y vistas panorámicas del océano hacia la playa de arena blanca de la propiedad.


More Nick: Karisma Hotels & Resorts to Open Nickelodeon Hotel in Brazil!

Originally published: Monday, December 10, 2018.
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