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Far from being spooky, haunted or depressing, Dia de los Muertos in Mexico celebrates those who have passed, marked by music, food and the traditional altars, or ofrendas. Read on for a peek at where your clients can enjoy this colorful tradition that’s celebrated on Nov. 1-2 every year.

Dia de los Muertos at Velas Resorts

Dia de los Muertos
Catrinas at Velas Vallarta.

Velas Resorts has pulled out all the stops for this year’s celebration, from Catrina Parades to cultural tours to delicious culinary treats. Dia de los Muertos at Velas Vallarta means the Catrinas are on display on Nov. 2, when your guests can wind their way through eight sculptures in the garden accompanied by a guide who will explain the origins and significance of this tradition. From Nov. 2-3, guests of Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit can enjoy a Mexology Fest, which joins Dia de los Muertos with tasty libations and innovative mixology over two days of workshops, tastings and more led by top mixologists from the US and Mexico. Expect a fun Painting & Pairing session where guests will create with plant-based inks and sip raicilla and a takeover of Mexico City’s Licoraria Limantour, named The Best Bar in North America, among other experiences.

In Baja, Grand Velas Los Cabos will tempt clients with a Day of the Dead-inspired floating tray decorated with marigolds in the adults-only Serenity Pool, while turn-down service will include Dia de los Muertos amenities. A poolside Catrina Parade with music and dancing will add to the festivities, and guests can even get made-up Catrina-style for a Mexican dinner. Meanwhile, at Mar del Cabo, there’s a three-course themed dinner and welcoming “Mezcalina” drinks with black salt garnishes in the lobby.

In Puerto Vallarta, Casa Velas has a 3-hour evening tour where guests can explore the boardwalk (Malecon) that’s lined with special shrines, displays and art exhibits, including a 75-ft-tall giant Catrina. In Riviera Maya, guests of Grand Velas Riviera Maya have special offers, including free stays for kids 4-12 and 50 percent off for teens 13-15. All of the resorts also have traditional food items on tap for the season, including the pan de muerto and, at Grand Velas Riviera Maya and sister properties in Los Cabos and Riviera Nayarit, kids can learn to make colorful alebrije figurines, which they will recognize from the Disney movie, Coco. 

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The St. Regis Mexico City’s Luxe Nod at Day of the Dead

Fall in CDMX is pretty exciting this year, with the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix taking over the city at the end of the month, followed by the yearly celebration of the Day of the Dead, characterized by the massive parade through the historic center (Nov. 4 this year).

Altar detail, St. Regis Mexico City.

The St. Regis Mexico City is spotlighting the tradition with a special brunch on Oct. 22 at its famed Diana Restaurant, which, by the way, is an excellent spot to view the parade. Specialty-themed cocktails will be on tap from Oct. 20 – Nov. 5, plus the swanky King Cole Bar will host a themed Day of the Dead jazz night on Nov. 2.

If you’re looking for something a little more private for your clients, book them at Le Table Krug for a high-brow eight-course French menu served with, of course, Krug champagne. If Asian is the menu of choice, the Omakase-style Sushi Tatsugoro awaits. Kids, of course, can be kept busy at the Children’s Club, where seasonal arts and crafts are always available.

Elevated Arts & Crafts at Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel

Dia de los Muertos at Casa de Sierra Nevada is an artsy affair this year, thanks to its collaboration with artist Bestabée Romero, who has curated an exclusive art installation throughout the hotel with recycled plastic flowers, hand-printed latex skulls and more.

Artist Betsabée Romero and her ofrenda art kit.

Book clients on a minimum 3-night stay between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 and will have welcome cocktails, daily breakfast, a Catrina makeup session for two and a personal altar kit designed by Romero so that they can build their own ofrendas dedicated to their deceased loved ones in their guest rooms. The celebration ends with an exclusive cocktail party at Tunki Rooftop by Handshake on Nov. 1 and a dinner at Andanza Restaurant on Nov. 2, where the artist will be present to share her knowledge on the cultural significance of the Day of the Dead while everyone enjoys traditional dishes including pozole, tamales, dulce de calabaza (pumpkin candy) and pan de muerto.

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Traditions and Rituals at W Punta de Mita

Rituals are part of the celebration at W Punta de Mita.

W Punta de Mita is all about chill luxury with a surfer vibe, keeping the connection between Mother Earth and your clients real—and deep. This ethos is on full display during their Day of the Dead celebrations, which run from Nov. 2 – 4 and touch every part of the resort.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, guests can gather at the Living Room Bar at 5:00 p.m. to pay their respects at the Altar de Muertos, a colorful remembrance of deceased friends and family with flowers, food, drink and sugar skulls. This is a celebration of life, so your clients are encouraged to bring a picture or memory of their loved ones to honor them. At 6:00 p.m., the gathering moves to the Chevycheria, where a special Day of the Dead Cacao Ceremony will be held to welcome the deceased loved one’s spirit back to the land.

On Friday, Nov. 3, the tradition continues with the Noche de las Almas Dinner, an evening to celebrate All Souls’ Night with a menu that’s served with a side of special lighting, rituals, performances and dishes with a cultural story behind them. The next morning at 6:00 p.m., guests are invited to join the staff at the Camino Huichol for a Despido al Sol, a sunset ceremony inspired by the Mayan culture where a shaman will cleanse the guest’s aura to help them attract positivity into their lives. It’s a time to be thankful for life, to release energy and to prepare for whatever lies ahead.

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