|The main pool at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana // Photo by Joe Pike|
At Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, the client gets to decide just how much Nickelodeon they want with their stay.
Travel Agent recently returned from the opening of Nickelodeon’s first-ever international property in the Domincan Republic, a 208-suite hotel built by
Karisma Hotels & Resorts, and thought the best aspect was that the Nickelodeon theme of the hotel can be as big or as little as a guest wants.
Contrary to what we originally envisioned, Nickelodeon is not thrown in your face. Instead, there were just subtle reminders. Travel Agent was expecting to enter a room with Sponge Bob Square Pants wallpaper and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pillows. That was not the case. In fact, there are hardly any Nickelodeon logos here. Instead, the Nickelodeon touches are basically subliminal.
Nickelodeon's colors of green and orange are sprinkled everywhere in the resort, from the orange and green pillows in the rooms to orange and green glasses at some of the hotel's restaurants. Perhaps the biggest Nickelodeon feature of the rooms are the replicas of Nickelodeon's signature orange blimp placed in front of the beds, but even those did not say Nickelodeon on them.
The Character Breakfast and Nickelodeon Place
|Sponge Bob Square Pants at the Character Breakfast // Photo by Joe Pike|
While the room decor had very subtle Nickelodeon touches, the "Character Breakfast" is where all that pent up Nickelodeon love comes pouring out.
The Character Breakfast was by far the most interactive Nickelodeon activity that we saw during our visit. Now, this is not a subtle Nickelodeon theme. This all the Nickelodeon you can handle and will most likely be one of your children's favorite parts of the experience.
The schedule of the Character Breakfast is still being worked on, but we were told that it will probably be offered about two times a week at two different times. One will be offered at 8 a.m. and another will be offered at 10 a.m. This was also one of Travel Agent's favorite parts of the resort. Clients should expect appearances by such famous Nickelodeon characters as Sponge Bob Square Pants, Dora the Explorer, Boots, Marshall, Paw Patrol and more.
And there is no need for clients to rush for a photo, as the hotel's Nickelodeon team members will take each character to every table, one at a time.
There is a fee for this breakfast. It is $25 for adults and $17 for children. We were told to book the breakfast at least 24 hours in advance.
At the heart of the resort is the "Nickelodeon Place." This is also a place where children can expect full-blown Nickelodeon love. Areas here include the "Aqua Nick;" "Plaza Orange" showcase for entertainment and events; "Character Central," where guests can meet their favorite Nickelodeon characters throughout the day; Just Kiddin’ hang out for do-it-yourself fun, including daily supervised activities and programs for children 4 to 12 years old, plus meet-and-greets with Nickelodeon characters; "NICK kNACKS" retail shop; and a Sports & Entertainment Center for teens. The center will include fun activities, such as basketball courts, tennis courts and even archery. Nickelodeon Place is also home to an exciting water park with slides. Nickelodeon Place and the Sports & Entertainment Center will open in August, according to Mandy Chomat, vice president of sales and marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts.
|Room no. 1106, a Flat Suite Swim-Up // Photo by Joe Pike|
Agents should note that the property is still not 100 percent completed. This was more of a pre-opening of sorts. The property's four Super Pool Villas, which include the popular Pineapple Villa, will all be completed by July 1, says Chomat.
The Super Pool Villas are basically private homes that come with a butler. The butler can also book guests at this room a Bailey Bed on the beach. There are roughly 10 Bailey Beds. These are basically up for grabs. The first one to reserve it gets it for the rest of the day. A butler would be able to guarantee a guest of this room a Bailey Bed every day.
There are four of these villas, including the Pineapple Suite, which is shaped like an actual pineapple and is supposed to serve as a replica of Sponge Bob's home. The two-bedroom/three-bath playful presidential suite allows guests to step inside SpongeBob’s world. It has 2,292 square feet of indoor and outdoor living area, including a garden, patio, signature infinity pool, and private butlers.
One of the best rooms we saw was room #1106, a Flat Suite Swim-Up room. It comes with a pool, a 48-inch Samsung flat screen in the living room, and a 40-inch Samsung flat screen TV in the bedroom.
There will also be the Swank Swim-Up Suite category, but those rooms are still being worked on. They will be located on the second and third floors and will come with private plunge pools, king-sized beds and a living room with a pull out sofa.
Agents should also note that this hotel actually shares the same grounds as its sister property, Sensatori, which caters primarily to the European market.
There are 10 restaurants here. The only adults-only restaurant is Kitchen 23. Kitchen 23 is also the only restaurant that has additional fees. Depending on the menu guests choose, prices here range from about $35 to $65 per person. There are also wine pairing options at an additional cost.
Verdello was perhaps Travel Agent's favorite restaurant on property. We were told that this restaurant will also most likely be adults-only, but that plan is still being discussed.
The hotel's Vassa Spa includes an herbal steam room, a dry sauna, chromo therapy showers, bubble beds, a whirlpool and arctic and warm water pools.
There are five treatment suites, a couple’s suite, a luxurious bridal suite, and five “al fresco” outdoor treatment areas for those craving a little sand with their spa. Vassa Spa’s signature “perfectly pink” treatment program will be available for young visitors.
Agents should note that there is a $35 per day fee for clients looking to use the spa facilities without booking a massage.
What's Next For Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts
|Representatives from both Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) join some notable Nickelodeon characters for the official groundbreaking of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya.|
Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc., announced recently that Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya will follow Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.
Slated to open in December 2017, Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya will have 288 swim-up and infinity suites, each with its own pool on a private terrace or balcony. It will be located on a secluded white-sand beach facing the Caribbean Sea.
The first floors of both main buildings will be comprised of swim-up suites with direct access to swimming pools and swim-up bars, while floors two through six will host the infinity pool suites with unobstructed ocean views.
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya’s accommodations will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, each with shared living spaces and private pools.
As a part of Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts, the Riviera Maya property will provide entertainment for all guests at "Nickelodeon Place."
After the Dominican Republic and Mexico properties are up and running, Travel Agent was told last year that the plan is to expand Nickelodeon Hotels to Central and South America with destinations such as Brazil; Cartagena, Colombia; and Panama being heavily discussed. Nickelodeon Hotels will also be expanded to Europe. Specifically, the plan calls for Nickelodeon Hotels in such destinations as Sardinia, Italy; Spain; Croatia; Antalya or Bodrum, Turkey; and Greece.
Visit www.karismahotels.com and www.nickresortpuntacana.com. Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for all the latest travel news and be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.