Food is an important part of any vacation. And in Mexico, a number of resort hotels have upped the ante with culinary offerings that go well beyond the basics to create what is best described as an all-encompassing taste experience.
Following are some of the newest and most interesting ways to refuel in Mexico’s top vacation destinations.
One of the newest options debuted recently at the Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta,
which is part of La Coleccion Resorts. Life of Lumen is described as a “sensorial experience,” centered around a high-tech interactive table with mapping, music and storytelling, all of which accompany a multicourse gourmet meal.
Storytelling is also the focus of a new series of dinners unveiled in July by Velas Resorts at its properties in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta.
During these specially formatted dinners, servers and other staff members recount the historical and cultural traditions of the destination during the meal. At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, for example, chef Laura Avalos serves up a special menu at Chaka
restaurant that’s inspired by the Maya legend of two warrior brothers and the woman who won both of their hearts.
Open since June is Salum, a new dining experience at Vidanta Riviera Maya that’s open to hotel guests and the general public. The venue offers multiple
options in one place, with six restaurants that serve everything from sushi to tacos to artisanal charcuterie, as well as two bars, live entertainment and a traditional Mexican market with 13 pop-up stands.
An especially dramatic setting is offered at Nido, a restaurant at Viceroy Los Cabos, which opened this year. With its latticed architecture that
evokes the restaurant name (which is the Spanish word for “nest”), Nido is a photo-worthy eatery with an expansive ceviche menu as well as plenty of handcrafted cocktails.
For an especially vibrant dinner, one of the best choices on Mexico’s Caribbean coast is Chic Cabaret & Restaurant at TRS Yucatan Hotel.
A step above the usual “dinner and a show” events at other hotels, Chic offers lots of Vegas-style flair and excitement, with its glamorous dinner-theater setting and talented cast of singers, dancers and acrobats. TRS Coral Hotel, which opens in
November in Costa Mujeres, near Cancun, will also have a venue with the same name and concept.
Another decidedly multisensory experience is offered at Black Hole at The Pyramid at Grand Oasis Cancun. Guests here partake in a blind tasting set
in “absolute darkness” that’s designed to heighten other senses by removing sight from the equation. Dining hosts take guests by the hand and lead them to the table to savor an extensive, 27-course meal.
Also on the Caribbean coast is Moon Palace Cancun, which offers the Organic Experience, during which guests take a tour of the resort’s organic garden, to learn about the concept of farm-to-table cuisine before sampling it with a customized lunch that
features handpicked ingredients. The company’s Playacar Palace, meanwhile, offers a molecular gastronomic dining experience called Alkimia.
Farther south, at Mayakoba, the upscale resort development, El Pueblito Cooking School, offers culinary experiences that also teach visitors about culture and centuries-old Mayan techniques. A Mayan cook teaches guests how to make traditional dishes such
as cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), and guests can also join a shopping trip with the chef to a Mexican market.
For a personalized experience in an adults-only environment, Puerto Vallarta’s Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway has a chef’s table option that serves up a five-course menu for up to six people. Each diner is welcomed by the hotel’s general manager and receives a chef’s apron while meeting Chef Tony Martinez and his team. Guests at Villa Premiere can also join
themed dinners three nights a week, including Roots of Mexico, which explores Mexican culture through music and food; Pena Flamenca, which showcases Spanish cuisine, music and dancers; and Barefoot Party, a beach dinner served to the sound of reggae.
Indeed, travelers can enjoy open-air culinary events in a variety of ways. Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa, for example, offers
a Land & Sea Culinary Excursion that includes a fishing expedition aboard a private, 28-foot boat, followed by a market visit and private cooking class. And in Cabo San Lucas, The Resort at Pedregal offers a culinary-infused excursion called Secrets of Baja’s Sierra, which includes a four-wheel drive excursion along mountain back roads, followed by a lunch of handmade quesadillas at Rancho El Refugio,
an ecological reserve.