* I received a complimentary press trip to Generations Riviera Maya. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
I just got back from Generations Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean – the newest resort outpost by Karisma Hotels & Resorts nestled in the midst of the breathtaking Riviera Maya. Generations offers up a luxurious all-inclusive beachfront resort surrounded by palm trees, warm breezes, and picture-perfect ocean views. Just a quick drive down the coast from the Cancun airport, you get there in about 20 minutes.
Generations Riviera Maya lives up to the impeccable style of Karisma Hotels & Resorts along the Mexican Riveria: upscale, gorgeous spacious modern rooms, each with a full-on view of the ocean, lovely swimming pool and swim-up bar, fantastic kids club, and impeccable gourmet dining at five on-property restaurants. The Riviera Maya proves itself to be convenient, beautiful, and luxurious for any getaway, while the resort itself takes hospitality and fun one step further with a new culinary program for children, teaching them sustainable and delicious cooking techniques. Moreover, living up to it’s name, the resort has been designed to accommodate multi-generational families traveling together- the perfect destination for grandparents, children and grandchildren to luxuriate in a vacation where everyone’s needs get easily met.
While we spent much of our time focused on the Little Eko Chefs program, we also had the opportunity to tour the resort’s many amenities and eat most of the Generation’s restaurants. On the food front, I find that I’m always wary of all-inclusive properties. While I adore putting my wallet in the room safe for the duration of the stay, I’m an obsessed foodie and generally find all-inclusive hotels to have mediocre food that primarily consists of lackluster buffets and hamburger grills.
But the food at Generations Riviera Maya becomes where this resort leaves other all-inclusives behind. The food, simply put, is outstanding. No wonder it took them over ten years to perfect the “Gourmet Inclusive” program for their Karisma hotels. Generations features five restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisine – from Mediterranean to Pan Asian to Mexican to succulent snacks and chocolate. Before dinner, you can grab fun and festive drinks at the elegant Sling Bar.
Roasted beets with beet foam and dried vegetables
Wild Mushroom Soup, white truffle oil
Glazed duck salad, cherry tomatoes, arugula and berries compote
Beef tenderloin in our wood-burning oven
Roquefort foam & Bordeaux grapes
Grilled Salmon, cauliflower puree vegetables & chardonnay reduction
Red wine chocolate cake, berries relish
Best yet, while you can enjoy all the amazing restaurants on the Generations property, you also can walk next door to try out the El Dorado Royal and the El Dorado Casitas Royale restaurants as well.
This gourmet buffet laden restaurant offers up changing meals all day long from breakfast through lunch to dinner. They have diverse, fresh selections, Mexican specialties ranging from fried plantains to pork and beans, and also a dessert bar that kids went crazy over!
They also have a Mediterranean focused restaurant Habb, but time ran out before I could try out their food served up in a modern setting with white washed walls and blue tile that looks straight out of the Greek Isles!
This outdoor ocean-side café, just a short walk from Generations Hotel, featuring a juice bar with diverse vegetable and fruit juice selections. My favorite: fresh green coconuts hacked open for you to drink the juice.
All of the rooms have incredible oceanfront views, and the first four floors offer swim-up suites for added luxury, only steps away from the resort’s secluded beach. Generations offer up the largest suite accommodations in the Riviera Maya, that include unlimited butler service. Moreover, the hotel caters specifically to families, offering suites upwards between 1,200 and 2,700 square feet – the largest in Riviera Maya – and the spectacular rooms all come with:
– Spacious living areas and fully stocked refrigerators
Today, more and more generations of families travel together – parents, kids, and grandparents – and so to accommodate these generations, the rooms connect to each other, offering opportunities for both privacy and family togetherness. Every room comes as part of a three-suite trio with an outside locking door. Thus, a larger family or families traveling together could have a fully connected suite – keeping doors open to all the rooms and moving seamlessly between them.
All of the rooms on floors one to four have swim out suites: on the first floor, these lead straight into the main pool. On the upper floors, they’ve build a long swimming infinity pool channel, thanks to some brilliant engineering feat that boggles the mind!
For families traveling with babies, the butlers can help with the tons of amenities the hotel has on hand to lend you: from strollers, cribs, pack and plays, changing tables, monitors, bottle warmers to baby bathrobes.
The Generations pool just goes on and on, and provides the centerpiece of the hotel’s outdoor experience. The poolside swim-up bar and grill off to the side mean you never have stray far from the water for refreshments! Plus, the staff provide non-stop activities all day long that kids (and their parents) could not resist: from water polo to water soccer, with huge teams forming and laughter erupting as everyone tried to score goals set up on the water.
There’s also a daily pool exercise class as well as a nearby yoga class overlooking the beach. Nearby to the pool, there’s a fitness center for those who want a more traditional workout.
A big caveat about the beach: it’s definitely a work in progress so don’t come expecting rolling waves with an expansive unbroken vista out to the horizon. The water is warm and lovely, the sand white and fine, and the beaches groomed daily to rake up floating seaweed that’s landed ashore. But right off shore, after a shallow splash area, the beach’s coral reef is being reinforced against powerful riptides. So what you see for now is carefully designed and placed concrete bearings over which the coral will grow.
Mainly centered next door to Generations, this top end spa has a small outpost at Generations at which I got a 50-minute delightful massage that made the rest of the afternoon poolside blur along in a haze of relaxation.
There are tons of nearby outings to explore with your family – from day trips to snorkeling parks to cenote explorations to visiting Mayan ruins. I experienced an outdoor adventure right next door at the ranch and trails of the El Dorado’s Rancho Bonanza.
We then followed our leaders out onto a beautiful winding trail through the jungle looking forest. We rode by the Greenhouse and it’s surrounding fruit and herb plants, and eventually after about 45 minutes arrived at a stop where we dismounted our horses, and went to explore.
We walked down forest trails to a nearby cenote: a fresh or salt water pond amidst rocks in the forest. These holes sprinkle the entire Mayan peninsula, and exploring them up close proves fascinating.
Overall, one of the best features of Generations lies with the friendly, attentive, and warm staff. Everywhere you go, you’re greeted with hellos (in Spanish of course!), and from the pool staff to wait staff to housekeeping to chefs, everyone has a ready smile and a welcoming attitude.
Especially in a tip-free environment of an all-inclusive, the impeccable staffing stands out. Huge kudos to Generations’ terrific general manager Alejandro López on this front! (Be sure to meet him and say hello when you visit! )
Nothing beats the Mexican Caribbean, and Generations Riviera Maya offers customized service and a plethora of activities – especially culinary – for children and parents. Overall, it’s a must-see family destination. So much so that I’m planning to bring my family back over this year’s holidays. I’m convinced that my husband and kids will love it as much as I did!!
For bookings go to: karismahotels.com