If you're looking for the ultimate all inclusive resort, you've got plenty of options on Mexico's stunning Riviera Maya. Arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the country, the Riviera Maya also boasts some of the finest five-star resorts whose amenities & sophistication are matched only by the stunning scenery that surrounds them. However, soon you'll have even more options, as Karisma Hotels & Resorts recently announced its latest luxury property, the Generations Riviera Maya.
The new hotel, which is scheduled to open Feb. 1, 2014, will exceed your every expectation. In addition to its bold, striking architecture & stunning views, the Generations Riviera Maya will also feature a range of amenities that will impress even the most demanding & discerning guest. The 144 suites at the resort will all feature full butler service, enabling you to experience a whole new level of comfort & relaxation. Many of the rooms offer commanding views of the Riviera Maya itself, & some of the suites feature private pools.
The majority of the rooms at the Generations Riviera Maya also include oversized balconies or terraces, many of which look out over the Mexican Caribbean. Picture yourself enjoying a glass of fine wine or a delicious cocktail served to you by your very own butler as the sun sets over the Caribbean Sea. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, at the Generations Riviera Maya, this is precisely the kind of pampered luxury & indulgence you can expect to enjoy.
As if the Generations Riviera Maya weren't impressive enough, the resort's location makes it even more alluring. The hotel can be easily reached from Cancun International Airport, & is conveniently situated near some of the area's most popular attractions.
Generations Riviera Maya is just 15 minutes north of the spectacular Playa del Carmen, one of the most pristine beaches in Mexico. If you want to work on your handicap during your all inclusive trip, the world-class Mayakoba championship golf course is just minutes away from the hotel, & less than half an hour away from the prestigious Playacar Golf Club. Finally, the bustling heart of downtown Cancun is just 35 minutes north of Generations Riviera Maya, making this unbelievable property the ideal place to stay for travelers who expect the very best.
There's no doubt that Cancun is one of the most popular destinations for luxury travel in Latin America, but it has increasingly been cementing its reputation as a top culinary destination as well. One way in which this city has been attracting foodies is with exciting events, like the upcoming Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival March 13-16. Each year, the festival brings renowned chefs & top sommeliers from around the world for an experience unlike any other. From tastings & private dinners to cooking demonstrations, attendees have the chance to eat, drink & learn in an entirely new way at 26 different events. This year promises to be one of the most inspiring yet, with the appearance of several highly respected chefs & new interactive experiences.
Getting hungry? Here's what to expect at the three day festival:
Wine & spirits tastings
The event kicks off with a bang at the tastings, which happen every hour between 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. Some of the world's best sommeliers, including Veronique Rivest, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, & Juan Carlos Flores, a revered & well-known Mexican native, will lead a tasting of exceptional wines from the Americas & Europe. Not only will you be sipping these selections, you'll also have the chance to talk one on one with the winemakers.
Sunset catamaran cruise & private island dinner
Looking for a more exclusive experience? A limited number of attendees will be whisked away on a luxury catamaran cruise the first evening to the breathtaking Isla Mujeres. There, they'll be served a gourmet dinner under the stars at a private beach club, which has been prepared by the country's top chefs & paired with wines by expert sommeliers.
If you're hoping to sharpen your skills in the kitchen, don't miss the interactive cooking challenge March 15. Celebrity chefs will engage in some friendly competitions, while also teaching guests about their methods. Attendees have the chance to meet & chat with the chefs as well as have their books autographed.
Daniel Boulud is one of the most highly respected chefs in New York City & The Culinary Institute of America's Chef of the Year 2011. At his tribute dinner, "French Cuisine Around the World," five legendary chefs will prepare a five-course meal & wine pairing to celebrate the influence that French cuisine has had on other regions & to honor Boulud's innovative style.
The closing celebration, "French Delights & Sinful Desserts," will allow guests to indulge in hors d'oeuvres reflecting every region of France while savoring fine wine & cocktails. Accordionists provide the charming soundtrack while mimes perform an entertaining show. The best part is the abundant array of French desserts, including petits-fours, puits d'Amour & macarons.
Beach Bum Vacation is consistently looking to improve upon travelers' experiences to exceed their expectations for a luxury vacation. So when our agents are recognized for it, that's just a plus.
For the past six years, Karisma Hotels & Resorts has held the Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Awards & Sales & Marketing event, which is meant to reward top agents for their work & keep them informed about exciting developments. This year, at the 6th annual GIVC Awards at El Dorado Royale in Mexico's Riviera Maya, Beach Bum swept with 43 awards. Despite being up against other strong & successful travel companies, our agency was able to beat the odds & win the most recognition of all.
What were some of the honors? Our agents went home with awards for Most Improved GIVC for the Midwest (Nanda), Top 10 Wedding Producers for both El Dorado Spa Resorts (Amy) & Azul Hotels (Melissa) as well as Top 10 Honeymoon & Anniversary Producers (Hayley, Carey & Melissa).
That's not all the recognition this agency has been given, though. At the 18th annual Travel Impressions Best of the Best, Beach Bum won a Globe Award for the 8th year in a row for top service across the country.
Since Beach Bum is continually aiming to go above & beyond, the agency recently held its own awards event, "The Bummies." At the 4th annual Bummies, agents gathered for think tanks & brainstorming sessions on how to enhance all luxury travel offerings, while awarding staff for continued excellence.
It almost seems impossible to improve on the all-inclusive Beaches Turks & Caicos. With a 12-mile-long pristine beach, countless activities for the whole family to enjoy & a 45,000 square foot waterpark, a luxury vacation at this resort is on a whole different level of fun & excitement. Still, Beaches has managed to up the ante with an entirely new village of suites: The Key West Village. Like the other villages at the resort, this one boasts impressive architecture & luxurious decor. Yet the studios & expansive four-bedroom villas at Key West offer up a distinctively different feel: the perfect balance between an easy breezy island vibe & ultimate elegance. Curious as to what a stay there would be like?
Space to breathe & a breathtaking view
You can't go wrong with any of the rooms & villas at the Key West Village. The Oceanview Concierge Room comes with lavish furnishings, & four enormous bay windows that look out onto the ocean. You don't have to look at the view from behind glass, though – these rooms also feature a balcony where you can glimpse at the stunning turquoise waters & white sands.
If you're looking for even more space, the Two Story Two Bedroom Concierge Suite includes a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, dining room with a table for four & a breakfast nook area. Some of these suites feature a spiral staircase, but all of them have a balcony. Whether your view is of the sparkling pool of the lush garden, you're bound to feel at home.
The One Bedroom Concierge Villa Suite also fits four, & includes a charming terrace & cozy cottage-style furnishings that perfectly capture the Key West flair.
Go grand or go home
If you're seeking a little more privacy on your family vacation, consider an Oceanview Three- or Four-Bedroom Villa Residence. These ultra spacious villas have three floors & can comfortably accommodate eight to 10 people. The sunroom & deck give guests ample space to look out at the Caribbean.
For unparalleled luxury, book a stay at the Beachfront Four Bedroom Butler Villa Residence with Private Pool. Set right on the beach, these three-floor villas come complete with a full kitchen, dining area, living room & four bedrooms. Between a sunroom, covered porch & a private pool, you won't want to leave the comfort of your villa – & with butler service included, you won't have to.
Packing for a luxury vacation in the Caribbean should be exciting, not stressful. Still, it's not always easy to figure out what will be essential in a tropical climate. While you want to feel prepared, over-packing can be a nuisance. With the perfect suitcase, though, you're more likely to relax & enjoy your getaway.
Before you head off to paradise, here's what you should put in your luggage:
Apparel & accessories
The average temperature in the Caribbean is 82 degrees. For everyday activities, guys will want to bring a range of polos & shorts, & women should opt for tanks, loose blouses, a few pairs of shorts & sundresses. The air on an island tends to be humid, so in terms of fabric, keep in mind that lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton & linen are better because they wick moisture instead of trapping it in.
You'll likely want to go out for a nice dinner, so be sure to bring at least one dressier outfit as well that you can sport at a swanky restaurant or bar. Since it tends to cool down at night, ladies might want to bring along a cardigan & guys might consider a light blazer.
Of course, don't forget a swimsuit or two & a cover-up for your beach lounging. It can be helpful to bring a rain jacket for those unexpected passing tropical storms.
Sure, your flip-flops are fine for hanging around the resort & strolling on the sand, but you'll need more comfortable shoes for your sightseeing & exploring.
A pair of sunglasses is a must, & you may want to consider bringing a hat to shade your face as well.
Toiletries & extras
Your resort will likely have shampoo, soap, conditioner & other basic essentials. However, you should definitely bring along some sunscreen with UVA & UVB protection to safeguard your skin from the strong rays in the Caribbean. Don't forget to look for a moisturizing lip balm that has SPF as well.
Remember to pack a camera & charger, as you'll definitely have countless photo ops against the stunning Caribbean backdrop. You might even want to bring along an underwater camera to catch some fun shots of your family or even the tropical fish.
It sounds silly to bring a bag within your bag, but it can be helpful to have a backpack for any tours you take, & a separate beach tote as well. If you plan to do some serious shopping, stuff a soft duffel in your suitcase to pack all your souvenirs in on the way back.