Margaritaville and Karisma Hotels & Resorts have announced the debut of Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma, an all-inclusive resort experience that will focus on upscale coastal design, exceptional service, and top-quality food and beverage.
The companies have been working on this joint venture since they announced a partnership in 2017 and plan to open the first property, Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun by Karisma, this winter. They have several more properties planned for beachside locations in Latin America and the Caribbean, including a second resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Jamaica, and Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic. This is Margaritaville’s first collection of all-inclusive resorts.
According to Tamara Baldanza-Dekker, chief marketing officer for Margaritaville, joining forces with Karisma was a natural partnership for the Margaritaville brand. “We want Margaritaville’s guests to be able to vacation however they want to. We’re already offering lots of options—our resorts and hotels, our Compass brand, our condos and cottages, our timeshare product—but we didn’t have an all-inclusive option. This is a space that we knew we needed to be in, and Karisma helped us fill in this missing piece,” she says.
She adds that the partnership with Karisma has been exactly what Margaritaville needed to move this concept along. “Nobody does all-inclusive like they do,” she says. “We created this inclusive experience by blending what they do so well with what we do well, and we really align on our service and food and beverage standards.” Karisma is renowned for its food and beverage expertise, as well as its high-level service culture.
“What really sets it all apart, though,” says Baldanza-Dekker, “Is that we’ve got this fun, Margaritaville vibe. Although it’s a five-star experience, you can wear your flip flops. You can relax. You don’t have to worry about doing the wrong thing.”
Margaritaville’s line of lodging products has been growing exponentially since the brand opened the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., in 2015. Baldanza-Dekker notes that thoughtful and strategic growth has been part of the company’s DNA since the beginning and that the addition of Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma will add ways for guests to experience the Margaritaville lifestyle. “Our occupancy is up in all of our hotels and resorts. People want more and more ways to experience Margaritaville, so not only will this brand attract people looking for all-inclusive experiences, it will also speak to people who have stayed at and enjoyed our properties in the past.”
The success of these products also means that Margaritaville has been able to expand its team to better accommodate its growing portfolio. LODGING had spoken to Baldanza-Dekker about Margaritaville’s fast-paced growth in the past, and she noted that she’s feeling more comfortable with the pace these days. “The last time we talked about this, I was concerned about continuing to serve our licensees and partners the way that we have been able too. I’m not as worried now. We’ve grown our team. We’ve got folks who are fully committed to just resorts and hotels from marketing to operations to revenue management. We are in a very good place.”
Margaritaville and Karisma will be announcing more details surrounding the Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma concept in the weeks to come, including details regarding the design and signature suites that properties will offer. “I’m so excited about this. It’s such an incredible new extension for Margaritaville,” Baldanza-Dekker says.