Cinco de Mayo might be the best excuse to enjoy a bowl of fresh guacamole, sip on a fine margarita and toast the culture of Mexico — preferably while lounging on a sunny patio or expanding your tequila palate at a chic restaurant. If you’re staying in the States this weekend, fret not; you don’t have to board a plane to the Riviera Maya or Mexico City to spice up your Sunday plans. Round up a few friends and head straight to these Forbes Travel Guide Star-Rated properties for a stylish celebration that just might make this May holiday your favorite one of the year.
The St. Regis Atlanta
Plenty of hotels insist that they have specialty house cocktails. How many can claim the rights to a one-of-a-kind batch of tequila, though? The St. Regis Atlanta, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel in the upscale neighborhood of Buckhead, recently acquired its very own specialty barrel of bespoke Herradura Private Selection Tequila. The historic distiller in Amatitan, Jalisco, Mexico has been creating barrel-aged tequila using 100 percent blue agave and time-honored distilling methods for more than 140 years. The luxury hotel’s food and beverage director, Robert Brandenberg, flew down to Casa Herradura to specify exactly how The St. Regis Atlanta’s barrel would be produced. The result? A tequila with notes of citrus, wood, cooked agave and flowers. Try it in a Magmargarita (jalapeño, fresh pineapple and pink peppercorn-infused St. Regis Atlanta Herradura Private Selection Tequila, Cointreau, sour mix and passion fruit purée) or sample it in a special tequila tasting flight at The St. Regis Bar & Wine Room Patio. The kitchen has found a way to infuse the special Herradura spirit into a small offering of specialty items, too, like the spicy tuna wonton bites served with tequila-spiked avocado, cilantro, jalapeño and wasabi aioli, as well as a delicate margarita macaron made with salted key lime cookie and tequila-laced buttercream. You can even take a bottle home with the hotel’s Hacienda Herradura Stay package, which includes the added bonus of alleviating you from having to hail a cab home after sipping (or eating those margarita macarons) this fine spirit all night.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Whether your weekend plans include partying in New Mexico or trekking to the quiet splendor of San Martin, California, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has created a specialty cocktail to toast the holiday. In Santa Fe, we recommend slipping away to Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi to enjoy the Silver Coin margarita (made with El Tereso Platinum tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime, lemon and sugar mix). If you spot an open table on the Four-Star hotel’s patio, move the party outside and treat yourself to buffalo beef empanadas with spring onions and chimichurri sauce and the Ahi tuna tacos with spicy black beans, piquant mango salsa and avocado mousse. For a more relaxing Cinco celebration, retreat to CordeValle, A Rosewood Resort. The Santa Cruz Mountains are a majestic backdrop visible from the One Iron Bar, an open and airy spot to savor an afternoon filled with Bentley margaritas (made with Patron Platinum tequila, agave nectar, lime, lemon and 100 Gran Marnier) and crunchy BBQ chicken tacos.
When Sin City locals and regulars get a craving for upscale Mexican cuisine, they head to Javier’s. This restaurant tucked inside the Four-Star ARIA Resort & Casino is the real deal. The menu overflows with Javier Sosa’s authentic Mexican recipes that have already made his restaurants a hit with diners in Irvine and Newport Beach, California, and Los Cabos, Mexico. Sosa’s son Omar oversees the Las Vegas restaurant, and he’s happy to provide recommendations (after all, he grew up around his dad’s cooking!). If you’d like our advice, we suggest starting off with the extremely addicting guacamole and nachos before moving to the mole poblano, a bone-in chicken breast braised in the restaurant’s famous mole poblano sauce. The sauce is complex and flavorful, and it pairs perfectly with a hand-shaken margarita.
Photos Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc and ARIA Las Vegas