Planning a Valentine's Day Vacation in Mexico City and Beyond


It’s not every day that a major city gets rebranded. But, that’s what happened January 30, thanks to legislation signed by Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. The new law officially changed the name of the country’s capital to Ciudad de Mexico, or Mexico City (CDMX).

Most foreigners already refer to the capital as Mexico City. But Mexicans use its official name of “DF,” or Federal District. The law now grants Mexico City near-state status. Its 16 boroughs will have their own mayors and councils in a move many consider long overdue. The regulations will take effect in 2017, after the city’s new constitution is adopted.

Name changes aren’t the only reason Mexico City is in the spotlight of late. It’s appearing on some prestigious “must-visit” lists for 2016. Cuisine has been a draw for quite sometime, and the allure is growing.

“Mexico City has really exploded as far as culinary offerings. It’s a huge selling point for sophisticated travelers who are sometimes planning entire trips around regional food. You have some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world there right now,” Sean Emmerton, villa program director for Journey Mexico, tells Travel Agent.

Foodies from around the globe flock to chef Enrique Olvera’s flagship Mexico City restaurant, Pujol. Colonial San Miguel de Allende will also flaunt some of Olvera’s star power this month.

The Olvera-helmed Moxi restaurant at Hotel Matilda will feature a special Valentine’s Day menu February 13 and 14.

Dishes will pay tribute to classic fare from different Mexican states. Selections range from black bean and suckling pig tamal from Chiapas to seabass with Swiss chard, Veracruzana style.

The boutique Hotel Matilda recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Known for its contemporary (and at times, controversial) art exhibits, the property was named the #3 hotel in Mexico and top hotel in San Miguel de Allende in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Elsewhere in Mexico, special romance-themed offerings will spice up Valentine’s Day travel.

Ocean View

At Viceroy Zihuatanejo, couples can enjoy a “Romantic Immersion with Mezcal and Designer Chocolates” in their private plunge pools. The experience includes flickering candles, romantic music and artisanal chocolates from the noted Mexico City chocolatier QueBo.

“Romance and honeymoon travel has always been such a significant share of our business. We attract a clientele interested in an authentic experience. And we’re the only boutique property right on the beach,” Viceroy Zihuatanejo general manager Martin Kipping tells Travel Agent.

On the Caribbean coast, the Viceroy Riviera Maya offers some signature programs that are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Formerly known as The Tides Riviera Maya, the property is located in the small village of Playa Xcalacoco near Playa del Carmen. Known for its seaside setting, dense jungle foliage and indoor-outdoor spaces, the hotel’s Mayan influences include a shaman-in-residence.

All 41 palapa-roofed villas feature a private outdoor shower surrounded by lush landscaping. A soap concierge delivers a changing array of organic soaps daily.

Guests interested in a little romance might be interested in the “Aphrodisiac Shower Experience.”

It comes with a choice of aphrodisiac soaps in sweet chocolate, deep red wine, or honey and lavender, which incorporates honey from the resort’s own hive. Butlers will line villa pathways with rose pedals and candles. Guests also have their choice of glove loofahs, aromatherapy diffusers and aphrodisiac massage oils.

Aphrodisiac truffles in red wine, chile, pomegranate or vanilla flavors and watermelon martinis round out the romance.