Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Thu December 17 2015

Opinion Home | Making Lasting Impressions

  • Su-Jit Lin-DeSimone | December 17, 2015 8:00 PM ET

    #Karismacation Recap, Part One

    #Karismacation Recap, Part One

    PHOTO: These smiles tell the true story of not only our private dining experience at Wine Kitchen at Generations Riviera Maya, but of our unforgettable #Karismacation. (Courtesy: Travel Impressions)

    Delete, delete, delete. When there are so many things to rave about, it’s hard to choose just one direction to start writing in; consequently, the backspace button on my keyboard has seen a good deal of use lately. Every time I sat down to start chronicling my #Karismacation with Travel Impressions’ Associate Director of Corporate Promotions—and, fortunately, dear friend—Krystal Hendricks, I would become sidetracked with yet another experience that stole the headline I was working on. I’d begin with run-on after run-on sentence of praise for one aspect of the brand’s Gourmet Inclusive® signature only to be waylaid by the latest experience of that day, yet another revolutionary concept, or rare detail.

    Having been to Azul Fives by Karisma several years ago, I had thought I knew what was in store for us. Above-par service. Internationally inspired food. Contemporary furniture. Chic design. Perfectly maintained grounds. I knew it was going to be nice, and from the action-packed itinerary Stephanie Pineiro, Karisma’s Social Media Coordinator, put together, that it was going to be a lot of work. But boy, was I off by a long shot … and in the best possible way.

    Nothing could have prepared me for what we’d experience in those coming days and how fast and hard I’d fall for every aspect of every resort by this brand. How fast and hard? Within hours of check-in, I was looking up the travel agent rates for Generations Riviera Maya, by Karisma, the property we would call home for five unforgettable, indulgent days. By nightfall, I’d already talked my husband into making this the next resort we’d visit, and was deep into convincing my sister-in-law that I’d found her the destination wedding site of her dreams, and then some. Today, merely weeks after this revelatory whirlwind tour, my heart aches to return, beginning as soon as the plane headed northward and away.

    My fingers itch to write entire tomes on each of the eight properties Krystal and I explored, but brevity is the soul of wit, is it not? Especially online; I know readers want to get right to the meat and potatoes, yet I can’t seem to stop myself from going on and on … after all, the longer I have to think about the experience, the longer I can stay in that bubble. However, just know that my words here and the photos and videos on TI’s Facebook page and #Karismacation album can do them each no justice.

    So here, I’ll provide a quick overview of general tasting notes of the menu of our #Karismacation Gourmet Inclusive® getaway, and in part two, highlights of this multicourse feast in experiential resort vacationing.

    Here are some highlights about what I learned:

    1. Gourmet Inclusive® isn’t a buzzphrase – it’s a commitment. But more on that later. Much, much more.
    2. It’s still fun to play with your food. Upscale dining here means more than napkins tucked and pinkies up. From included show dinners on a Food Network-style stadium, a molecular gastronomy-focused restaurant within the brand (at Azul Sensatori, currently undergoing renovations), and a partnership with Canadian Beef that brings some of our northern neighbor’s best chefs to the Riviera Maya for cooking demonstrations, plus accompaniment by Jackson Family wines with expert sommelier pairings to the Little Eko Chefs™ program that teaches children how food is made and lets them get hands-on with their meal, dining becomes an experience no matter the venue within Karisma.
    3. Every guest is important to this brand, no matter their age. I defy any other resort to pay the kind of attention to their littlest guests as Generations and Azul Hotels and Resorts do, from child-sized counters at the buffet, tiny slippers and robes, bottle warmers in the room, and of course, the over-the-top supervised kids clubs and Nickelodeon Experience offerings.
    4. I AM a beach resort person. An active vacationer who is easily bored and defaults to Europe when making travel plans, I worry about lacking things to do and packing back on hard-lost pounds. But at the Karisma resorts, I worried for nothing. Their fitness centers were nicer than that of most of my local gyms with newer equipment and sleeker designs, and the range of activities and diversions is widespread.
    5. Infused water > any other kind of water. We became obsessed with the chlorophyll water the brand makes readily accessible at the spa and gym, whose dark green appearance belies a light and minty finish. Every day and at every resort, a different infused water was served with meals as well, and they went far beyond the typical lemon/lime to offer raspberry, watermelon, and mint among other varieties. Even sugar fanatic Krystal had no problem eschewing soda for these healthier choices after one magical sip.
    6. All it takes is a swing to get into vacation mode. Not even a golf swing, but an actual sit-and-kick-your-legs swing. Or one of many hammocks—they’re big on those. But either way, we learned that relaxation is instantaneous with your feet childishly off the ground and a cold drink maturely in your hand. There’s something liberating and joyful about seeing the world while floating in midair, and this little detail is one of many little touches that let you close your eyes and let go.
    7. A #Karismacation is so much more than a vacation. It really is an immersive experience into a sumptuous world of outstanding service and enjoying the present. And boy, is there a whole lot of present to enjoy on these properties.


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Su-Jit Lin-DeSimone Making Lasting Impressions

Su-Jit Lin-DeSimone With experience in both advertising/marketing copywriting and editorial journalism, multiple-award-winning writer Su-Jit Lin-DeSimone’s passion for words is exceeded only by her love of travel. As communications manager for Travel Impressions, she uses that diverse background to create a unique bridge between marketing and storytelling, whether it’s used to share her excitement for Travel Impressions’ latest deals and agent-oriented programs and incentives or for new destinations and suppliers that inspire.
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