Karisma Hotels & Resorts increasing its presence in the Canadian market
Serenity at Palafitos - Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma (all photos courtesy Karisma Hotels & Resorts)

Karisma Hotels & Resorts increasing its presence in the Canadian market

RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO — Karisma Hotels & Resorts, with properties in Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Montenegro, is ramping up its 2023 Canadian sales and marketing efforts.

Brands under the Karisma umbrella include Azul Beach Resorts, El Dorado Spa Resorts, Hidden Beach, Karisma Villas, Margaritaville Beach Resort, Margaritaville Island Reserve, Margaritaville St. Somewhere, Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts, and Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma.

“Agents are vitally important to our footprint in Canada and 2022 was our biggest year to date with Canadian travel agents,” says Marilyn Cairo, Vice-President of Global Sales at Premier Worldwide Marketing, the sales and marketing representative for Karisma Hotels & Resorts.

“We will continue to invest in and support our Canadian agents which means increased representation, trade incentives, and first-hand looks at property developments,” adds Cairo.

In February 2022 Marisol Calderón was hired as the Regional Sales Manager for Canada (based in Playa del Carmen). Karisma is currently interviewing people for a BDM position dedicated to Canada. An inside sales support agent was also hired in 2022.

Karisma launched their Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant (GIVC) program back in 2008 which rewards agents and partners with room upgrades, in-room amenities, bonus commissions and complimentary stays for agents.


Karisma plans to host almost 75 fam trips in 2023 including “experiential” fam trips focused on social media, destination weddings, Mommy/Daddy and Me, and wellness.

I had the opportunity in late January to stay at their El Dorado Seaside Suites property while experiencing their three other El Dorado properties in the Riviera Maya area – El Dorado Seaside Palms, Hidden Beach and El Maroma/Palafitos.

El Dorado Seaside Suites is approximately a 75-minute drive from Cancun International Airport and located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The new Tulum airport is expected to open sometime in 2024 which will help reduce the long transfer time.

Seaside Suites (188 suites) sits on the same land as its sister property Seaside Palms (380 suites) with Hidden Beach (43 suites) tucked in between the two properties. These all-inclusive, adults-only properties feature Karisma’s Gourmet Inclusive culinary experiences. Seaside Suites and Seaside Palms share 10 restaurants, five pools, 11 bars and Naay Spa. Cuisine varies from Mexican, Asian, Italian, International, American and seafood.

A unique feature with Seaside is the swim-out balcony suites. These suites are especially popular with groups who stay on the same floor and can swim to each other’s room.

Terra Mallais, a Frankenmuth, MI-based owner of a dental firm, used travel advisor Skyla Tanner of Go Time Travel out of Alabama to book her group of 13 staff. Mallais had never been to Mexico before.

Mallais said she chose Seaside Suites since her group was older and didn’t want the “party scene” and loved the idea of the swim out balcony pools. Food was a consideration as well. “Everyone that I had talked to about an all-inclusive resort had me prepared to not like the food or drinks but I felt it exceeded my expectations. I would definitely return and highly recommend it.”

Most guests are American but Canadians and Europeans round out the guest list. One couple I spoke with – on their honeymoon from Stockholm – said they looked at The Maldives but this property was far less expensive with more activities and dining choices.

The Naay spa would rival any luxury spa with its spacious facilities, well-appointed treatment rooms and hydrotherapy circuit. I checked out their most popular Mayan-influenced Balam Experience. Beginning with the spa’s hydrotherapy circuit (combination of steam, ice room, Swiss shower, and variable temperature jacuzzies), I was then led outside to a Mayan jungle nature setting and greeted by the shaman. For the next hour I was inside a dark hot dome-like structure, and I sweated and chanted for an hour with him and two other guests. Following the Temazcal the experience the night was capped off with storytelling and dining al fresco in the jungle with Mayan traditional dishes and beverages.



El Dorado’s Maroma property (157 suites) adjoining the Palafitos property takes luxury accommodation to a new level – over the water. It claims to be the only resort in the Mexican Caribbean featuring overwater bungalows. The 30 bungalows feature glass bottom floors, outdoor showers, indoor hot tubs, private infinity pool and oversized deck with numerous amenities and services.

They recently launched a Master of Wellness experience, where guests can take a yoga and meditation class, fitness class or kayak and snorkel in the sea to locate a cenote. If desired, a nutritionist is available to evaluate your diet and make recommendations.



Hidden Beach is a clothing-optional resort that’s ideal for clients who want to shed the clothes but not their companions. It will be shifting in the near future to a couples-only resort. LGBTQ guests are welcome. Travel advisors need to inform clients that Hidden Beach is not for the partying, swingers crowd – guests here embrace the naturist lifestyle in a quieter but still fun atmosphere. Most guests are 50-plus.

Hidden Beach features 43 suites, two restaurants and two bars but have privileges to restaurants/bars at Seaside Suites and Seaside Palms – where clothing is not optional.

“The market (Canadian) responds well to our Mexico-based product and rest assured the support will continue growing,” says Cairo.

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