In a previous post, I wrote about our stay at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort. We stayed there for a week, during our visit I also did a site inspection of 4 Karisma resort locations. A site inspection is arranged by resorts for travel agents to tour a property, experiencing the guest rooms, restaurants, food, public areas, and other resort amenities. One of the resorts that I visited was Azul Beach Riviera Maya by Karisma. I was so impressed by my visit that we extended our stay in the area so that we were able to experience the property as guests!
I will do my best to not compare this resort stay to Sandos, as they are marketed to two different segments. In this case, Azul Beach is solidly in the Premium category, while Sandos is the Mid-range classification.
Arrival at Azul Beach Riviera Maya
Our transfer via taxi was about 30 minutes from Sandos to Azul Beach. Our driver was very timely, courteous and loved that Caitlin and I attempted to converse in Spanish with him. We were greeted by name by the bell staff with a fresh towel in tote. They quickly showed us to the registration desk, and we were immediately helped by two wonderful agents. While one took care of the standard hotel check-in procedures, the other sat us on a comfy sofa so that we could make our room selections. While the boys sipped fruit smoothies in a bright green color (slime from Nickelodeon!), Caitlin and I selected from a pillow menu, soap menu and from a selection of aromatherapy options. Once fully checked-in we were able to start enjoying the site with our room to be available around 3:00PM. The arrival process was extremely personalized, timely and a pleasure!
Beach, Pools, and Activities
We headed straight to the beach since the sun had finally made an appearance after 4 days of thunderstorms. The resort beach has about 25 cabanas mere feet from the water. Usually, these are reserved the previous day at 3:00pm in the main bar, but luckily a kind beach attendant was able to set on up for us. The cabanas have a thatched roof over a king-sized mattress. The beach staff provides pillows, towels and mattress cover in addition to VERY attentive bar service. Here are our thoughts on the beach!
Cleanliness: Immaculate sand and well cared for beach area. Despite the regions challenging seaweed trouble, the staff did a great job at keeping the beach clean.
Sand Quality: Very soft and white, think fine sugar sand.
Shade and seating: I previously mentioned the Cabanas above, Caitlin and the boys love the sun and could enjoy the day in a lounger. However, I need my shade! For me, reserving a cabana the previous day is vital since there really isn’t any other shade on the beach.
Waves: Ryland (8) wished for larger waves for body surfing, but they were perfectly sized for Bryce (4)
Our room was 925, a family suite. This suite arrangement is available in two variations, one with a balcony, our selection and the other with a swim up with direct access to one of the pools. As you can see from the photos, our room was very spacious. There was a large living area with dining table, an L-shaped sofa that turned into a quite comfortable pair of beds for the boys, partitioned master bed, and well-appointed bathroom. In total 856 sq ft, with modern design, furniture, great pool views and all kept very clean by the staff.
During our short stay at Azul Beach, we tried as many restaurants that we could. As previously mentioned, this is a smaller resort offering 5 restaurants. Our first lunch was at the beach-front restaurant called Chill and proved to be an excellent first experience with dining at a Karisma resort. For breakfast we ate at Blue, here Karisma
implements an idea called food displays. Rather than have a plethora of food piled up, sitting for who knows how long, Blue offers much smaller, freshly prepared offerings. This concept proved to be a success for both breakfast and lunch, we always had a lot of choices, but at the same time, the food quality was much higher than a typical buffet service. At this meal times, menu ordering was also available.
We were able to enjoy two dinners while on the property. We selected Tainan, with Asian cuisine and Latino, offering latin food. Both provided excellent service, a wide selection of tasty choices, the perfect combination of perfect dining!
On our last day, we ordered the boy’s room service to maximize pool/beach time before our flight. Service was timely and just as good as our meal at Chill.
To sum up…
I knew from the moment that stepped foot on the Azul Beach property that I was going to love Karisma resorts! Luckily, we had booked our air with Southwest, so we were quickly able to make changes to our arrangements at no cost. Adding a few days to our trip and staying at the Azul Beach Resort really did round out our trip. The sunshine helped, but the excellent service, beautiful room, and fantastic food make the Karisma resorts an easy recommendation for my clients and my family alike!