Travel Tips

Published on January 11th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut


¡Que Rico! Tasty New Food & Drinks at 4 Hotels in Mexico & Puerto Rico

Dining and drinking can be one of the most important elements to any vacation (or business trip, for that matter). So it’s no surprise that hotels along the most popular beaches in Mexico and Puerto Rico are constantly looking for new ways to tempt your taste buds. Here are just a few of the latest Mexican food offerings, as well as a tasty sounding new tropical cocktail menu in Puerto Rico (read to the end for an insider’s recipe for a mouthwatering dessert treat).

Mayan Cooking Classes
Rosewood Mayakoba
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Rosewood Mayakoba, the luxury resort just north of the waterfront town of Playa Del Carmen, is launching Mayan cooking classes to coincide with the opening of La Ceiba Garden & Kitchen, a 20,000-square outdoor dining concept designed as an interactive environment for guests. This new venue allows you to partake in cooking demonstrations, tastings, and foraging from over 45 types of organic vegetation. As for the cooking classes, you’ll be able to focus on several different themes: Yucatan’s Hacienda Classics, Moles from Oaxaca, Ceviches and Fruits of the Sea, and Asado, the Art of Grilling and Smoking. The launch of La Ceiba’s cooking lessons coincides with the debut of Rosewood Mayakoba’s A Sense of Taste, a program that guides guests through a step-by-step lesson to learn traditional Mayan cooking techniques and Mayan Mexican delicacies. Guests will learn how to make popular dishes such as pork shoulder “cochinita pibil” in a “pib” underground oven, roasted local squash salad, Mexican style grouper ceviche, wood-grilled Xcatic peppers stuffed with shrimp and aromatic green mole. Each cooking class lasts for two hours and can accommodate up to eight participants. Each guest receives a welcome cocktail and recipe book, for the cost $200 per person. Classes are held every Monday and Wednesday, and private lessons are also available with 24 hours’ notice (guests can select their preferred menu in private lessons).

DON’T MISS: Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival Draws Top Chefs for 2015

Frida-inspired Menu at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

In October 2014, the all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit resort debuted a new menu at its gourmet Mexican restaurant, Frida. A tribute to the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, the AAA Four Diamond restaurant offers a range of dishes featuring ingredients from various regions of Mexico, complemented by colorful presentations. Specialty ingredients that define Frida’s new menu include chapulines (grasshoppers), elite fresco (Mexican grilled corn) and chilhuacle negro chile (a chile with strong notes of cocoa, tobacco and dry fruit grown only in Oaxaca). As a complement to the new menu, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit offers its guests the latest in margarita mixology, from chili pepper and tamarind to avocado pistachio and hibiscus. The margarita menu has no less than 12 libations, including a Cocoa Signature Margarita that combines the full-bodied flavor of chocolate directly from Chiapas, with a touch of orange essence.

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New Cocktail Menu at Condado Plaza Hilton
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Eternal Lobby Lounge bar, located at the Condado Plaza Hilton in San Juan, has launched an ambitious new cocktail menu, adding ten new cocktails influenced by WorldClass Collection luxury premium liquor brands. Among the dreamy-sounding names: Over the Cosmos, Big Fashion, Peach on a Glass, Passion Cooler, More Strawberry, Tom Bulleit Collins & Speaking Easy. All were created by bartender Angel Morales, making good use of premium luxury brands Ketel One and Ciroc vodka, Bulleit Bourbon whiskey, Gin Tanqueray No. Ten, Ron Zacapa 23 and Tequila Don Julio.
NOTE: The Condado Plaza Hilton ranked as one of the 18 Best Hotels in San Juan in LatinFlyer’s recent awards (see the link below) and it also ranked as one of the 7 Top Kid-Friendly Hotels in Puerto Rico — although the kids won’t appreciate the new cocktail menu, of course.

DON’T MISS: LF Awards: The 18 Best Hotels & Restaurants in Puerto Rico

Ice Cream Carts at Viceroy Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Enjoying delicious and refreshing treats from ice cream carts on the streets is a long and cherished tradition in cities and towns throughout Mexico. Now, Viceroy Riviera Maya has brought this tasty treat to its guests, with a daily ice cream cart visit that serves up high-quality ice cream and sorbets and one-of-a-kind signature flavors. The ice cream cart arrives daily at 1 p.m. and circulates at the resort’s pool and beach area. The current flavors, served on a waffle cone, are mango, chocolate, vanilla, calabasas (pumpkin), and guava and epazote sorbet.

In case you just can’t wait until your next Mexico beach vacation to sample one of these cones, the folks at the Viceroy Riviera Maya have been good enough to share a recipe with us for one flavor: guava and epazote sorbet, which is Viceroy Riviera Maya’s new signature flavor. It’s a combination of two distinct Mexican foods and tastes: the epazote herb, which has a licorice-like flavor, and the sweet tropical guava. Here’s the recipe to create this taste treat at home:

Guava and Epazote Sorbet

2 oz. of epazote
42 oz. guava puree
3.5 oz. sugar
10 epazote leaves, chopped
Juice of one lemon

In boiling water, blanch the epazote quickly, then allow to cool. In a small stainless-steel bowl, blend the blanched epazote with the guava puree and sugar. Mix in the lemon juice and the chopped epazote.

Place mixture in a baking dish and put in the freezer. About every half hour, gently break the ice crystals that have formed. The sorbet will be ready in about eight hours.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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