Held on November 1st and 2nd, Día de Los Muertos aka “Day of the Dead” is a celebratory event dedicated to deceased loved ones, as a homage to their wisdom and legacy. The ancient tradition has been included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list by UNESCO. Here are a handful of unforgettable settings where we recommend celebrating this year with the whole family, and a cocktail recipe at home if you can’t make it out.
San Miguel de Allende
In a careful effort to keep this Prehispanic tradition alive, where the souls of beloved ones will come back to eat, drink and feast during the night of Nov. 1st, look no further than Rosewood San Miguel de Allende.
Hitting those famed cobblestone streets, Rosewood will honor the dead with the traditional Catrinas Parade, in collaboration with Rancho Los Labradores, accompanied by music, and mojigangas through the town square.
After the parade, the Rosewood Garden will host a dinner, inspired by the Legends of San Miguel de Allende, full of folklore such as La Llorona, The souls of Cañadita, The house of the Inquisitor, among others. The dinner will have live food stations, presented as a Day of the Dead Offerings, with Mexican dishes from around the country. During the night there is a Catrina Contest, featuring the best costumes of Catrin or Catrinas, and prizes. Be sure to Reserve with Conciergeand don’t forget to book your VIP makeup from 2pm to 7pm if you want to take home the grand prize.
And, be sure to check-out the programming for this celebration at sister property Rosewood Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya.
Cabo San Lucas
Only a 30-minute drive from San Jose Del Cabo International Airport, Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection is a famed luxury resort located within the private Punta Ballena community. Overlooking two private coves with stunning views of Los Cabos’ Lands End, resort features six restaurants, including the signature oceanfront Cocina del Mar with small open-air terraces perched dramatically above the water’s edge; and an Auberge Adventures menu of only-in-Cabo land and sea experiences if you can tear yourself away.
On November 2nd, they will also celebrate Dia de Muertos, by taking you through a culinary journey with family and friends telling stories through regional cuisine at La Palapa with live music, local artists, painting live and a fire show.
The Day of the Dead Celebration continues at Mezcal restaurant on Nov 2nd – starting at 6pm. Located at the glorious Montage Los Cabos, located on Santa Maria Bay where the Sea of Cortez and the Baja desert meet. Expect chef’s live food stations, a traditional altar, sugar skulls, pan de muerto, live entertainment and face painting all for under $100 for adults and $45 for children.
The only all-pool villa eco-resort in Acapulco, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, offers an exclusive oasis for tranquility, rejuvenation, and romance with 45 private pool villas and luxurious three-bedroom residences each set atop the dramatic hillside of Punta Diamante offering sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Guests can celebrate Día de los Muertos with a special cocktail on the terrace at the eclectic restaurant La Nao with canapés stations and traditional dishes from 6 Mexican states: Yucatan, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Mexico City, Puebla and Sinaloa.
During Día de los Muertos, oceanfront property Villa del Palmar in Puerta Vallarta will debut its new all-inclusive Mexican Experience – a boutique hotel concept within the hotel that provides a full immersion into Mexican culture from check-in to check-out. On November 2, visitors will celebrate the Day of the Dead holiday with a poolside fiesta exclusive to Mexican Experience guests complete with folkloric dance, live Mariachi, marimba and fire performances, piñatas, and an authentic Mexican buffet meal. Suites draw design elements from the region’s Huichol ethnic group and beloved artist Manuel Lepe, where hand-painted art adorns the walls, and décor is handpicked from craft markets in Jalisco. Throughout their stay, parents can also sign up for tequila, mezcal and Mexican wine tastings lead by the resort’s tequila expert and sommelier, who uses herbs grown onsite to add the organic flavors of fresh basil, pineapple and grapefruit to custom margarita concoctions.
On the West Coast, Velas Resorts in Puerto Vallarta celebrates Día de Los Muertos buoyant preparations of copal incense, papel picado (paper mache) flag streamers, and bursting marigold flowers, elaborately decorated sugar skulls and more. Ofrendas, or elaborate altars, are decorated throughout resort grounds. Other memorable activities range from Catrina face painting and costume contests to arts and crafts to paint one’s own alebrije (spirit animal), trick or treating, and seasonal spa treatments. Authentic food and beverages traditional during the holiday are also offered.
If travelers are unable to make it to Mexico this year, they can opt to celebrate at home with the below recipe for the Chaneque cocktail from Grand Velas Riviera Maya below. Chaneque are legendary creatures in Mexican folklore believed to be the guardians of nature.
- 1 oz pox (Mexican liquor)
- ½ oz ancho chili liqueur
- ½ oz tangerine juice
- ½ oz panela/piloncillo simple syrup
- 1 pc Abuelita chocolate
To prepare the piloncillo syrup: Boil 1/2 lb piloncillo in 1 cup of water until melted and thickened.
Rim cocktail glass with chocolate powder.
In a shaker, combine pox, ancho chili liqueur, tangerine juice and piloncillo simple syrup. Strain into glass.
Optional: Add Abuelita chocolate to the glass.
Panela/piloncillo and Abuelita hot chocolate are available in your local Latin grocery store, and in some places even mainstream grocery stores, or can be purchased online. To substitute brown sugar for piloncillo, use 1 cup of dark brown sugar and 2 tablespoons molasses.
Mijenta Tequila and Chef Alan Delgado
Mijenta is an award-winning sustainable tequila from the highlands of Jalisco. For this year’s celebration, they have collaborated with acclaimed Mexican chef, Alan Delgado from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, TX, to create a singular menu of contemporary Mexican dishes celebrating Dia de los Muertos.
“Family is truly the overall inspiration for the menu — celebrating the people that made an impact on my life that aren’t with us anymore,” says Chef Delgado. “I wanted to recreate dishes that I grew up eating with my mother and my grandmother, to honor them and pay it back.”
Chef Delgado and tequila company connected over the importance of community. Through the Mijenta Foundation, they work hand in hand with local businesses and communities, directly re-investing a portion of profits, offering healthcare assistance, and providing support for team members and their families.In honor of Dia de los Muertos, Chef Delgado built off of the deep flavors of Mijenta’s Blanco and Reposado expressions to develop a menu of contemporary Mexican dishes inspired by his childhood. From potato flautas topped with pepitas and habanero cream to a zucchini tamal in salsa verde. The collection of recipes are available on the Mijenta website.
San Antonio is home to the largest Día de los Muertos celebration in the United States, and from October 23rd to November 2nd, the city will commemorate the holiday with a line-up of special events, showcasing the city’s rich Latin heritage and culture. The annual Día de los Muertos Festival (Muertos Fest) returns to Hemisfair for a ninth year with a free two-day festival in late October.
Opened in February 2021, Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk is a new 162-room lifestyle hotel located in San Antonio’s dynamic Arts District, just steps from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and a growing neighborhood of galleries. Serving as a modern retreat soaring 20 stories above San Antonio’s celebrated River Walk, the property features four restaurants.
On Friday, October 29, guests of Thompson San Antonio will have a perfect view of the Day of the Dead River Parade on the San Antonio River Walk featuring 20 decorated river barges. In Richard Sandoval addition, travelers can visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden for a Foodie Cinema featuring Disney’s Coco or visit the last days of Frida Kahlo Oasis and Kahlo’s ofrenda.
Chef-Restaurateur is paying homage to his favorite holiday with a month-long Día de los Muertos campaign. Over 30 of his internationally-acclaimed restaurant locations worldwide – including famed hotspots Maya (New York City), Toro Toro (Miami, FL), DLeña (Washington D.C.) and Tamayo (Denver, CO) – will be decorated in an explosion of color, specialty-curated music, marigolds to honor the Mexican holiday until November 2nd. specialty-themed Day of the Dead cocktails inspired by the Altar de Muertos (Altar of the Dead), exclusive menu items like chile ancho confit and pumpkin bread cake, online tutorials led by Chef Richard Sandoval and the ultimate Day of the Dead celebration. Find a participating location here.