Your Guide on What to Wear at Karisma Resorts

The luxury experience begins at Karisma Resorts from the moment you step foot on the property. You will receive impeccable service and hospitality throughout your stay. The luxury appeal at these resorts is exquisite and they even hold high standards for your attire when dining at the resort.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when you grab a romantic meal near the beach …

Suggested attire for breakfast and lunch:

  • Ladies: Sun dresses, elegant sandals, T-shirts and skirts
  • Gentleman: Long pants, formal bermuda, polo shirt, sleeved T-shirt, sandals or tennis shoes
  • Permitted: Shorts, sleeved T-shirts, flip-flops
  • Not Permitted: Swimming trunks, bikinis, swimsuits, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, baseball caps or any type of hat

Suggested attire for dinner:

  • Ladies: Dresses, skirts, long pants, shoes, Capri pants, elegant sandals
  • Gentleman: Long pants, collared shirts, casual shoes
  • Permitted: Formal bermuda, dress sandals
  • Not Permitted: Baseball caps, tank tops & flip-flops, sport shorts

You will certainly enjoy the Karisma experience for a romantic getaway and I would be happy to share my Karisma experience with you. Let me help you and your sweetie escape!

Xplor and Xcaret: Riviera Maya Adventures Xposed

In my last two trips to the Riviera Maya region, I had the amazing opportunity to experience both Xplor and Xcaret. These two parks are both owned by the same company, but are worlds apart. Let me explain to you why!

Xplor Fuego:

My first experience at Xplor Fuego was in November of 2016, with several other coworkers. Our time there was thrilling, and for some of us, scream-worthy.  Once you are strapped into a helmet after you check in, you are free to “Xplor” the park at your own speed. We ran up to the zip lining towers right away, and we were able to complete the zip line course during sunset, so the view was absolutely glorious. The zip lines are lengthy, the workers have fun pushing you off the ledge until you are air born, and there are even a couple of them that carry you through fire and waterfalls. Absolutely thrilling!

Every attraction here screams “Extreme Adventure”, and that is exactly what you get. From ATV rides through the jungle, to river rafting through beautiful caves, this park provides attractions that are definitely fit for the thrill seeking, active adventurer. Even walking to each attraction, you feel like you are on an expedition through the jungle!

Fun Travel Tip for Xplor: Invest in a water proof camera case that will hold your phone around your neck. This will allow you to capture many of your activities on video and in pictures, as many of the activities involve water. It was a great investment for me!

Experience Xcaret:

I had already visited Xplor twice before I made it to Xcaret, and I was completely blown away by how different they were. Xcaret prides itself by being located on a Maya Civilization Archeological site. This park goes above and beyond when they share about the Mayan Heritage and traditions. Throughout the day they have cultural dancing, shows, and opportunities to meet and greet the characters in their traditional dress. I felt like I was in a completely different world!

Xcaret also holds animal sanctuaries with many forms of wildlife – they have Panthers to Macaws, Manatees to sea turtles, you will not be disappointed by what you see. If you participate in the cave swimming, you will get to swim next to a tank full of Manatees – exciting, but slightly terrifying for me, as they are so much larger. But oh so gentle!

From 7:00pm-9:00pm, they hold their evening show in the arena close to the entrance of the park. This show has 19 parts, each one covering a important part of their heritage. It covers Mayan Traditions, such as Fire Hockey, Mayan Ball Games, and beautiful representations of the dress and talents of each region of Mexico. The performances were extraordinary, and I left with a new understanding of Mayan Culture, and had an even bigger appreciation for Mariachi.

If you find yourself in the Riviera Maya, make sure to make your way over to one or both of these parks. Each one offers a unique experience, but both will give you memories of a lifetime.

Honeymoon at Barcelo Maya Grand Resort

My clients recently returned from the beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico.  They stayed at the Barcelo Maya Grand Resort, and upgraded their room to the Junior Suite Ocean Front Club Premium.  They also upgraded their airport transfers to ‘private’ which for this resort is well worth the upgrade!!  Here is what they had to say:

Hey Melissa!!

Thank you so much for planning out all the details for our honeymoon! We had such a great time and will be planning on returning again in a few years! The flight was good we had enough time to make it to  our transfers on the way there and home. Having the private transfer to the hotel from the airport and then back on the last day was so great! The driver when we first got to Cancun was so nice and talked to us all the way to the hotel! It really made us feel comfortable and welcomed to have that great initial experience! We already decided we would have a private transfer when we travel next time. The hotel was very nice and our room was perfect! We would do Premium room again they were updated and really modern. You could see the ocean and the pool from our balcony! They did a great job with cleaning and restocking our fridge each night. We liked how everything was at the hotel. You could go snorkeling, they had dolphins, the spa, and of course all of the swimming pools and swim up bars! We really like the restaurants which was a nice break to eat at instead of the buffets for every meal.  They had entertainment every night as well and stuff going on during that day you could do or just watch while your in the pool:)

We had a lot of fun and thank you for all your help again!

Client Review: Iberostar Paraiso Maya in the Riviera Maya, Mexico

It was great and we wouldn’t think twice about returning.

As a reminder, we were a group of 6 that ranged in age from 5 to 77.  Everyone was thrilled with the vacation.  Here is a quick summary:

  • We emailed in advance and were able to make room requests (ground floor) and secure dinner reservations for the first two nights prior to arriving (our room request was also honored)
  • The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable.  This is the only AI I have been to where the beds aren’t hard and generally miserable.
  • When we arrived we had fresh flowers in our rooms, a fruit tray, and (as returning guests) a bottle of tequila.  A few days in t-shirts we delivered to our room with the Iberostar brand and “We’re Back” imprinted on them.
  • We ate at the a la carte restaurants all seven nights.  When we arrived, the front desk concierge made our reservations for the five nights we weren’t able to make in advance.  Some or all of us dined at the Japanese, Steak House, Mexican, Seafood, Italian, French, and Gourmet restaurants. The French restaurant was the least favorite because of slow serve and too much air conditioning.  We ate at the seafood restaurant twice.  The first time the food tasted good but was served cold.  Only when prompted by the restaurant manager the next day did we mention this.  We didn’t complain.  The next time we were there he met us and bent over backwards to ensure we had great service and hot food.  In the morning we ate all of our breakfasts at La Marina.  The staff were great and brought me a piping hot cappuccino as soon as they saw me coming.
  • All the bartenders were great.  We enjoyed before and after dinner drinks and the bartenders quickly learned what we liked and mixed great drinks using premium brands (Bombay sapphire, Absolut, Remy Martin, Courvoisier, etc.).  Service around the pool and on the beach was great.  We brought insulated cups and never got attitude about filling them.
  • Housekeeping was fantastic.  They cleaned the rooms and refreshed towels twice a day.  This is the only AI I have ever been to where I don’t mind walking barefoot on the floor in my room.  There is never sand, grit or dirt.
  • We enjoyed the nightly shows and recommend them
  • Paige participated in Lucy’s Club (the kid’s program) on multiple occasions.  They seemed to be having so much fun that she asked to go.  She loved it!  One day she made tie-dyed t-shirts and one day dressed as a pirate and when on a treasure hunt.  At night Paige participated (and performed) in the 8:00 p.m. kids programs.
  • We never had trouble finding chairs by the pool or on the beach.  Also, while we had read that there was a lot of seaweed on the beach, that was not the case while we were there.
  • Dan and I got massages and enjoyed the spa services.  They are spendy … but a great way to relax on vacation.
  • I had read in advance that the hotel was pretty aggressive in marketing their new preferred guest program.  On our first day the main desk concierge tried to rope me in to the “presentation”.  She offered us a meal at The Grand and free massages.  I politely declined and made it clear that none of us wanted to spend 90 minutes of our vacation on the pitch.  That was the one and only time it was brought up.  No one else in our party was even approached.

We love this resort and hope to return soon.  This was the experience of all six in our party.  I will say that we tried to tip all staff generously.  However, I do not think this determined the level or quality of service we received.  There were others who tipped nothing and they appeared to be treated equally well.

The favorite thing about the trip was definitely the resort.  It is a 9 or 10 out of 10 in our book.

Thanks so much for your patience in helping us book this trip.  You are definitely my go to person.


Michelle’s Cancun/Riviera Maya Adventure

I visited Cancun/Riviera Maya October 2014 and was pleasantly surprised at the 2 resorts I stayed at. First we stayed at the Marina El Cid then we moved to the Fiesta Americana.

The Marina El Cid is in the Riviera Maya, approximately 30 minutes from the Cancun International Airport, was delightful. I stayed in an oceanfront room with Lovely views of the resort and the ocean. The room I stayed at was spacious with fun things like a pillow menu and aroma therapy. There were even chocolate covered strawberries waiting for me when I arrived. I was thoroughly impressed with the property’s authentic Italian restaurant. The food was superb!

The white-sand beach was beautiful, but the sand was very compact. I spent most my down time at the pools.

Michelle 146 Michelle 144 Michelle 142 Michelle 141

At the Fiesta Americana, Cancun my best memories were of the delicious, authentic Mexican meal we were treated to of Osobuco, watermelon salad and hibiscus margaritas which were amazing! At the end of the day having cocktails brought to me as I sat in my beach chair, watching the sun go down on the powdery, white sand beach that was studded with new baby palm trees made me very happy.

Michelle 482 Michelle 481

Michelle 284 Michelle 282

Clients Review of the Iberostar Quetzal

Hi Nora,

We had a great time!  The resort was great.  And the “critters” were so fun – monkeys, peacocks, flamingos, etc.  They really add a tropical feel to the resort.  It was interesting to find out that Quetzal and Toucan are really one resort.  I didn’t realize that until we got there.  The beach is incredible – we spent all our time there; never even went into the pool.  And we really enjoyed Xel-Ha – fun going down the river on tubes, snorkeling, zip lines, food!

We especially appreciated your advice on the money and tips.  I did get 100 $1 dollar bills and some other small bills.  It really helped to know who to tip and how much.  You should let all your customers travelling to Mexico know this.

And flying Sun Country out of the HHH Charter terminal was perfect, especially because we did it on an off day.  Our flights arrived early on both ends, and got upgraded to first class on the way home!

Thanks for all your help in making this such a fun trip!

Toni S. of Maple Grove

Clients Review of the Barcelo Maya Beach

Hi Nora-

We really really liked Barcelo.  Beautiful property, lovely beach, great rooms. It’s huge so lots to see and do.   I emailed the resort a week in advance and requested our room being in a certain building and closest to the pool and beach. When we got there, they had honored our request which was great!   Food was so-so, but same as most all-inclusive.   Private transportation was great, no problems.

One of thing to note, our resort the Beach (on the end) was a little quieter than the others, which was nice if you like that, still had activities, etc.  The one closest to the Palace was more the “party one”, but didn’t see anything inappropriate, but just more that crowd and younger.    Just depends what people are looking for and ages of the kids.

Would definitely recommend it!  Thanks so much for your help and I’ll let you know when we are ready to starting looking for next year!

Sara E. of Maple Grove.

Playacar Palace Destination Wedding

Hi Nora,

We had the best time! It was all so amazing!

Playacar was so fun yet relaxing for our group, and the Excellence was perfect for the honeymoon. We didn’t want to come back to cold Minnesota 🙂

We’re still waiting on our professional photos, but here are some pics of our time at Playacar Palace, of the wedding ceremony at the chapel, and 2 of the pool at Excellence.

Thanks for all your help! We can’t wait to go back to Mexico!

Jennifer and Chase

Client Review of Honeymoon at Excellence Riviera Cancun

My husband and I decided to use a travel agent to book our honeymoon. I had never worked with a travel agent before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured with all the wedding planning that it would be nice to have one less thing to do. The experience (and honeymoon!) was great, and I will definitely be working with Pam again on future trips.

We started by telling Pam the type of vacation we were looking for and our budget. She discussed several different locations with us, and we decided Riviera Maya in Mexico would be an affordable, yet luxurious option for our honeymoon. After settling on the location, Pam provided us with 5 hotel options, although she let us know that she’d find others if we were not interested in any of them. That was not the care – they ALL looked wonderful! Pam helped me narrow it down by going through the atmosphere, distance from the actual town, spas, restaurants, etc, for each resort. She had actually been to several of the resorts and had great info. We decided on Excellence Riviera Cancun and I felt confident we would love it. Pam arranged everything for us – the flights, rooms, transportation to and from the airport, and travel insurance. Basically,everything was taken care of and I barely had to lift a finger!

The actual vacation was, of course, amazing. The honeymoon was exactly what we wanted and the resort was even more beautiful in person than the pictures could capture. I definitely felt that having Pam’s travel knowledge and experience ensured we were booking a wonderful vacation. As I said, I will definitely be working with Pam for future vacations and truly feel having a travel agent’s expertise is well worth the cost.

Missy Skoog’s Visit to Barcelo Maya Palace, Riviera Maya


Missy’s Skoog 5th visit to the Iberostar Grand Paraiso beach, Riviera Maya Mexico

The Iberostar Grand Paraiso is among the most upscale resort hotels in all of Mexico and the most prestigious within the IBEROSTAR Paraiso complex with its breathtaking neo-classic design. Every room is a spacious junior suite and is equipped with a Jacuzzi for two. This adults-only luxury 24-hour all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya is designed to fulfill your every need and exceed your every expectation. Indulge in gourmet dining and absolute comfort with unparalleled service. This resort features four a la carte restaurants, a pool restaurant, three pools, shops, a beauty salon, a world class, state-of-the-art spa, and butler and concierge in each building.

IBEROSTAR Resorts have always been recognized for their amazing cuisine, and the IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso is no exception! Four specialty restaurants include Italian, Gourmet, Tepanyaki/Teriyaki, and Steak/Seafood dishes which will delight your palate. Feel like a romantic night in? Take advantage of 24-hour gourmet room service. All drinks are premium brands in six bars and lounges. Butler waiter service at the beach and pool means you don’t even have to leave your chair!

There are many activities to keep the active traveler busy. During the day take advantage of the non-motorized watersports, aerobic classes, and tennis, all of which are included. Play great golf in an incredible setting at the 18-hole, par 72 IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso Golf Course. Every evening, enjoy shows, live music, and the disco.


Generations Riviera Maya

Karisma Hotels and Resorts have always been a favorite of our agency; beautiful properties offering amazing rooms, great food, and luxurious experiences. The brand new Generations Riviera Maya, opened December 2013, did not disappoint and was a welcome stop while visiting the Riviera May, Mexico (March 2014).

Our small group arrived at Generations Riviera May on Saturday March 8th late (maybe 8:30pm/9:00pm) coming straight from the Cancun airport for a site inspection of this new property and dinner.

This family friendly, 144 all-suite resort is a 6 story building located located right next to the adults-only El Dorado Casitas Royale. This beachfront resort is the perfect option for friends and families of wedding guests at El Dorado Royale or El Dorado Casitas or those seeking a Gourmet Inclusive experience. After arrival at the property guests are driving to the beach front resort by golf cart. The resort layout is easy and convenient with all the restaurants located in one central area next to a huge pool, where musicians were entertaining guests when we arrived.

This hotel offers a variety of rooms including the Luxury Jacuzzi Suite and also one, two, and three bedroom suites. Many of the rooms have swim up rooms, including some with infinity suites with a pool right on the balcony with safety glass and gate for the kiddos. Touring the rooms had us all wanting to come back and stay in one of the fabulous swim-out infinity rooms.

The resort currently offers several Gourmet Inclusive Restaurants:

  • Chef Market / Grand Cafe & Deck – a family restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6am – 10pm.
  • Habb / Mediterranean Restaurant & Lounge – where grilling is the predominant technique of cooking enjoy dinner and an after dinner drink between 5:30pm and 10pm.
  • Palms Gourmet Terrace / Caribbean Mexican Cuisine – this vibrant seaside restaurant offers Caribbean and Mexican specialists with emphasis on authentic “street” cuisine, spices and flavors from 11am-5pm.
  • Wine Kitchen / Restaurant and Tasting Room – the perfect combination of food and wine from various regions of the world are served up from 6pm-10pm.
  • Jade / Pan Asian Cuisine – this cozy venue centers on sharing the flavors of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese with your dining companions from 5:30pm-10:00pm.

After our tour of the property and rooms our small group of 6 had dinner at Jade. From those of us that have stayed at other Karisma resorts we have come to know the level of service and meals we can expect from Karisma and Jade did not disappoint, our meal was absolutely fantastic. The wait staff was attentive and courtesy and made the dining experience wonderful.  If you have never had the opportunity to stay at a Karisma property and are considering a stay fear not about meals or beverage, they really do excel at food, wine and drinks.

The Gourmet Inclusive Experience at this amazing resort includes accommodations of your choice, all meals and gourmet bites, all domestic and international alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, 24-hour a day room service, kids menu, Eko Kids Club for kids 4-12 years of age, Beach and Pool butler, Snorkeling Equipment, Concierge and vacation planner services, all taxes and gratuities, room service family continental breakfast in 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites, library and reading area at the family lounge and family themed night in room dining in 1, 2 or 3 bedroom suites. They also have many baby amenities to choose from. (inclusions subject to change without notice).

All guests 18 years and older have the option to enjoy the facilities at the adults only El Dorado Casitas Royal and El Dorado Royale, by Karisma, located next door.

We all agreed that this property lives up to Karisma standards and had us all adding it to our future travel resort wish list.

Information current as of 20 March 2014. Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma photo’s used in connection with agency partnership with Karisma. Agents that toured the property: Nora, Missy, Karen, Dave, Wendy