Karisma Hotels & Resorts wants to bring its all-inclusive philosophy to key markets in Eastern Europe and Italy.
REPORT FROM MEXICO—Karisma Hotels & Resorts—operator of 13 all-inclusive hotels and resorts in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and Negril, Jamaica—recently announced plans to expand into Croatia and other European markets.
The company, in conjunction with Karisma Hotels Adriatic, Agrokor d.d. and Tui Travel, signed a strategic partnership to invest in Croatian tourism by creating a hotel collection in Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia, according to a news release.
“Our goal is to shake the all-inclusive industry in certain key markets of Eastern Europe and Italy,” said Mandy Chomat, VP of sales and marketing at Karisma Hotels & Resorts, in an email interview with Hotel News Now. “We chose to partner with Tui because our customer satisfaction, sustainability programs and product differentiation are very similar.”
Karisma acquired majority and controlling interest in the former Sandy Bay Beach Resort in Negril, Jamaica, in October 2012, marking the company’s first expansion outside of Mexico. The property, which currently operates under the name Seashore Bay Beach Resort, is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation and rebranding and will open as the Azul Sensatori Jamaica by Karisma in November, according to the company’s website.
Since the announcement of Karisma’s joint venture with leisure travel companies Tui and Agrokor, Karisma Hotels Adriatic has been operating Villas Kolocep in Croatia, which will close during the winter for extensive renovations, Chomat said.
“(The hotel) will open in April 2014 with the name Kalamota Island Resort by Karisma,” he said. “Expansion into the other destinations is still in the works.”
In terms of future expansion, Chomat said no region will be overlooked, including the United States.
“We have been approached many times because of our recognized hotel management skills, but not by the right property (in the U.S.),” he said. “We plan to grow as we find suitable, unsaturated markets for our award-winning all-inclusive philosophy.”
Breaking down the brands
Karisma comprises three brands—Azul Hotels by Karisma, El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels by Karisma and Generations Resorts—each targeting different guests.
Azul Hotels focuses on families with toddlers and young children; El Dorado properties are adult-only resorts that cater to couples of all ages, often celebrating a wedding, honeymoon or anniversary; and Generations Resorts targets groups, such as family reunions or wedding parties, he said.
Chomat added that each brand offers Karisma’s exclusive Gourmet Inclusive concept, which includes services and amenities such as beach butlers, concierge, turn-down, 24-hour room service, premium beverages and gourmet cuisine.
“Our philosophy is to provide a higher level of service, food and amenities than traditional all-inclusives,” Chomat said.
For example, Karisma is currently promoting a yearlong celebration of fine wines from the California-based Jackson Family Wines. Each month, during the course of a week, the program will highlight a different chef and expert wine personality to create “exciting wine and dine experiences”.