Generations Riviera Maya: An All-Inclusive Paradise Fit for a Foodie

Generations Riviera Maya: An All-Inclusive Paradise Fit for a Foodie

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* 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.

Karisma’s Gourmet Inclusive

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.


Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Wine Kitchen
Dinner at the Wine Kitchen bar where we did a tasting menu proved to be among the top five meals of my life. WOW! It topped out some of the best food I’ve eaten from New York to Paris to Rome. Each course proved superb, with complex and perfectly balanced seasonings, fresh ingredients and a bit of molecular cooking wizardry thrown into the mix to create the foams to dried seasoning spreads on the plates. Here’s the tasting menu we ate from, drawn from items on their regular menu, along with pictures of the amazing food served by the chef. Of note, each of the four courses came with a paired wine tasting, drawing from the Wine and Kitchen’s bar extensive collection.

Amuse Bouche

Roasted beets with beet foam and dried vegetables

First Course

Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Wine Kitchen - Wild Mushroom Soup
Wild Mushroom Soup, white truffle oil

Second Course

Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Wine Kitchen - Glazed duck salad, cherry tomatoes, arugula and berries compote
Glazed duck salad, cherry tomatoes, arugula and berries compote

Third Course

Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Wine Kitchen - Beef Tenderloin with Roquefort foam & Bordeaux grapes

Beef tenderloin in our wood-burning oven
Roquefort foam & Bordeaux grapes


Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Wine Kitchen - Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon, cauliflower puree vegetables & chardonnay reduction


Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Wine Kitchen - Dessert: Red wine chocolate cake, berries relish

Red wine chocolate cake, berries relish


Generations Riviera Maya - Jade Restaurant
There’s also Jade, an amazing Pan-Asian restaurant with beautiful decorated tables look out to ocean views. When you arrive at Jade, you first get taken to a long tea bar, at which you have a wide selection of tea choices.Over tea, the host discusses with you what you’re in the mood for that night, and then directs you either to a table at the sushi bar, a regular table, or a table at which you can enjoy Shabu Shabu (cooking raw meats, seafood, vegetables and noodles in steaming broth).

Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Jade
We got to sample both terrific chef-made sushi rolls, many feature unusual ingredients such as mango or Mexican fish, in addition to the usual tuna, avocado and other usual ingredients you expect to find at a sushi bar.

Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Jade: sushi
We also had a terrific cook-it-yourself Shabu Shabu meal tableside, with selections of shrimp, beef, tuna, mixed vegetables and two kinds of noodles to cooking in the steaming broth. The food also came with a variety of dipping sauces.

Generations Riviera Maya - Dinner at Jade: Shabu Shabu

El Dorado Casitas Royale Restaurants 

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: Group Italian Meal
Our group tried out the Italian restaurant, D’Italia, just five minutes up the walking path along the ocean, and had a delicious meal featuring numerous handmade pasta dishes from the chef and team.

Generations Riviera Maya - Italian Dinner: Pasta

Generations Riviera Maya - Italian Dinner: Pasta

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!

Generations Riviera Maya - Chef Market Buffet

Generations Riviera Maya - Chef Market Buffet

Generations Riviera Maya - Chef Market Buffet

Generations Riviera Maya - Chef Market Buffet

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!

Private Greenhouse for the Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Riviera Maya

Private Greenhouse for the Karima Mexican Riviera Hotels
Another secret behind the great quality and flavor range of the restaurants in addition to amazing chefs and cooking teams at each restaurant? Karisma’s Mexican Riviera hotels draw upon the huge greenhouse complex located between Generations and El Dorado Royale El Dorado. The facility provides all the fresh tomatoes and herbs for all the restaurants, offering chefs the freshest of ingredients, and the complex irrigation system ensures everything thrives despite the hot sunny climate.

Private Greenhouse for the Karima Mexican Riviera Hotels
The kids, as part of Little Eko Chefs, visit the nearby large Greenhouse complex (think about four football fields worth of Greenhouse at over 150,000 square feet) to pick and taste fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit. The Greenhouse has a complex hydroponic watering system that delivers just the right of water and nutrients to each of the varieties grown both indoors as well as in the surrounding fields.

Private Greenhouse for the Karima Mexican Riviera Hotels
When on a horseback ride from the El Dorado, our trail took us around the back of the greenhouse complex, where we saw groves of papaya trees, with large green papayas clustered close to their trunks, as well as banana trees tucked away in against what looked like an encroaching jungle.

The Healthy Corner at El Dorado Casitas Royale

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.

Generations Riviera Maya - El Dorado Casitas Royale: Green Coconut
Also, small touches that go a long way, such as these delicate flower decorations on all the tables.

Generations Riviera Maya - El Dorado Casitas Royale: table flower decorations
The Gourmet Inclusive at Generations means that your room rate includes all your meals, drinks and 24-hour room service. The only upcharge would be your selecting an individual bottle of wine off the wine list outside of the selections included as part of any meal.

Relaxing in High-End Rooms & Suites

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

Generations Riviera Maya - Luxurious Rooms & Suites
- Beautiful beds facings a flat screen TV

Generations Riviera Maya: Living Room Area with Eat-In Table
- A living room area with eat-in table

Generations Riviera Maya: Bathroom
- Modern bathrooms with double sinks

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!

Generations Riviera Maya: Swim Out Suite Infinity Pools
In terms of experiencing butler service, the resort has butlers on call all day and night for in-room service or on-the-beach. The good news: all my needs were met, so I did not feel the need to call upon our assigned butler for anything special. However, the resort offers butlers to assist with guest needs 24/7, as well as butlers who can lend a hand with on-the-beach needs. Down by the pool as well as ocean-side beds, the butlers have an assortment of books to read, fresh towels, sun tan lotion, as well as cold drinks. They can make you dinner reservations, spa appointments, and even deliver a picnic lunch to you by the ocean or poolside. They’ll even press your first five laundry items for free.

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: turndown service
The turn down service at night often features playful towel creations waiting for kids amidst rose petals, as well as gourmet treats offered up by one of the talented dessert chefs.

Generations Riviera Maya: turndown service nighttime snack

The Pool

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: Generations Pool

The Beach

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: Generations Beach
Until that process completes itself as part of the ecological preservation to which the hotel is dedicated, you’re looking at a scene that seems jarring at first. The settling down of these pilings and the coral growth should be well underway by the 2014 holiday season, and honestly, the pool is so amazing we didn’t much miss the ocean swimming piece.

Generations Riviera Maya: Generations Beach
Adults can wander down further into the El Dorado property to swim at their more open beaches (but no kids allowed on that property), and infants and toddlers will love the shallow splash zone. There’s also quite a few fish to be spotted with snorkeling mask by older kids.

Naay Spa

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: Naay Spa
From gorgeous curved lounge waiting chairs to the pristine treatment rooms, every detail of the spa service has been carefully thought through. Having passed though outdoor treatment rooms facing the ocean, they’re top of my list for my next return to Generations. Have your butler help schedule the spa services, and make sure to specify whether you want the service at Generations or at the main spa next door at El Dorado Cassitas.

Day Outings & Horseback Riding at the El Dorado Ranch & Trails

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: Horseback Riding at the El Dorado Ranch & Trails
After walking five minutes down a leafy trail after getting dropped off by the shuttle, we got welcomed by a friendly donkey bearing water bottles, for a photo op before we signed in, got our riding helmets, and got assigned a horse based on our experience level.

Generations Riviera Maya: Horseback Riding at the El Dorado Ranch & Trails
After saddling up, we went a few times around the ring and got instructed on how to signal to our horses. Here I am!

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.

Generations Riviera Maya: Exploring a cenote
We also got to see up close rubber trees, recognizable by large X’s carved all the way up their trunks, from which Mayans drained their sap to then boil for chewing gum. Best of all, our guide offered up a native brand for us to try!

Generations Riviera Maya: Rainforest chewing gum
Last up, we got to see the wildlife: most exciting of which proved monkeys swinging in the trees, and tossing down nuts (Yes, I think they were aiming at us in fun!)

Generations Riviera Maya: Monkey in the rainforest
Plus, you get to see all sorts of crazy stuff the iguanas are up to!

Generations Riviera Maya: Ignuana in the rainforest
After returning our horses to the stables, we wandered down short pathway to swim in a cenote ourselves. The water was cool and crisp, and the cenote was tucked among large rock walls so it felt like a secret swimming hole.

Generations Riviera Maya: Swimming in a cenote

The Amazing Staff

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! )

Definitely Add Generations to Your Vacation Bucket List

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:

Any to connect with Generations on social media, you can reach out to their social Media Handles on twitter: @GenerationsRsrt, @KarismaHotels

Featured Image Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Stacy DeBroff
Stacy DeBroff
Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Mom and social and digital consultancy, Influence Central, is a social media strategist, attorney, and best-selling parenting author. A sought-after expert for national media, she trend-spots regularly with national brands and speaks frequently to national and international audiences on a wide range of subjects, including influencer marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, and consumer trends. A passionate cook, gardener, reader, and tennis player, she adores this new chapter of post-college-age parenting.
Stacy DeBroff

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