Where to Spend Thanksgiving in Mexico

Where to Spend Thanksgiving in Mexico

Mexico beach resorts offer unique ways for families to celebrate Thanksgiving together By: Mark Chesnut
<p>Traditional Thanksgiving favorites will be served at La Cocina restaurant at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. // © 2016 Grand Hyatt Playa del...

Traditional Thanksgiving favorites will be served at La Cocina restaurant at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. // © 2016 Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen

Feature image (above): A Thanksgiving getaway package, spearheaded by executive chef Nadine Waechtner Moreno, is offered at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen. // © 2016 Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen

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The Details

Casa Lucila

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen

Viceroy Zihuatanejo

Thanksgiving is a time when people around the U.S. gather to spend quality time with family, to give thanks and to enjoy (often indulgent) dining sessions. But with a variety of Mexico hotels and resorts offering their own unique spins on the holiday, there’s no reason not to take the celebration south of the border this year.

On Mexico’s Caribbean coast, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort is offering an appropriately culinary Thanksgiving getaway package under the direction of executive chef Nadine Waechtner Moreno. A traditional turkey dinner, accompanied by side dishes including beet salad, baked tomatoes with feta cheese and roasted asparagus with prosciutto, will grace the tables at La Cocina, one of the property’s on-site restaurants. The Grill at 1-26, another dining venue, will serve sweet specialties such as pumpkin pie. And since many people love the leftovers, guests can savor fresh turkey sandwiches afterward. To continue the homey theme, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and all three NFL football games will air on screens around the resort. 

To make the Thanksgiving event more enticing — and to encourage travelers to think about holiday travel throughout the rest of the season — Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen is offering a 20 percent discount on its “bed and breakfast” rates and 15 percent off treatments at its on-site Cenote Spa; the offers are valid for travel through Dec. 20. 

For a health-conscious take on Thanksgiving, travelers might consider the Way to Wellness Thanksgiving program at Viceroy Zihuatanejo. Dr. Edward A. Taub, a wellness expert, will lead free seminars on Nov. 22, 25 and 26, focusing on stress management and strategies for staying happy and healthy through exercise and emotional well-being. The multidisciplinary approach includes everything from spa treatments and aqua yoga to beach activities. 

Diet is also a component of Viceroy’s program (it is Thanksgiving, after all), with cooking classes and cuisine that includes healthful portions of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish. Turkey lovers may have to make special arrangements. The package starts at $425 per night for two people, including continental breakfast and a choice of two of the following activities per day: yoga and meditation; aqua yoga; stand-up paddleboarding; stand-up paddleboard yoga; surfing classes; water sports including kayaking, canoeing, Hobie Cat sailing and windsurfing; tennis; spa treatments and healthful cooking classes.

If spending quality time alone with the entire family (or perhaps a group of dear friends) is the key to a happy Thanksgiving, then Casa Lucila, a boutique hotel near the historic center of Mazatlan, might be the perfect match. With only eight rooms, Casa Lucila allows a buyout of the entire property for a total of 18 guests — just right for a holiday reunion. Clients who reserve by Oct. 25 can get a special rate of $1,944 per night for stays between Nov. 25, 2016, and Jan. 8, 2017, including transportation by “pulmonia” — a golf-cart-inspired taxi — to the central market to shop for items ranging from food and souvenirs to locally produced arts and craft. 

Guests partaking in the Casa Lucila holiday buyout offer can also join chef Pepe, the hotel restaurant’s culinary expert, for a free cooking class to make tamales, which are a popular holiday dish in Mexico. Clients will also be treated to a private holiday dinner at the hotel’s communal dining table, with specialties including roast turkey and king bread, a traditional, wreath-shaped pastry. And while treatments at the hotel’s Piccolino Spa aren’t included in Casa Lucila’s package, they’re priced attractively enough to make for an enticing add-on. 

Visitors who celebrate Christmas can also get a jumpstart on that holiday, since the package also includes a toast around the hotel’s Christmas tree, around which guests can display their own gifts.