The Best Vegan and Vegan-Friendly Resorts and Hotels
Traveling while vegan or plant-based can be a total drag if you’re staying at resorts that can’t accommodate your dietary restrictions. Fresh fruit for breakfast is nice, but plant-based muesli, pancakes, waffles, and omelets are even better. Fortunately, there are many strictly vegan and vegan-friendly resorts — especially in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Here are a few of our favorite properties that are perfect for plant-based travelers in the region.
1. The Retreat Costa Rica
Nestled on top of a natural white quartz mountain between the capital city of San Jose and the coastal region of the Nicoya Peninsula is The Retreat Costa Rica. The healing eco-resort is a luxury wellness destination that offers plant-based and raw meals. The resort’s cuisine is made from fruits, veggies, and herbs cultivated in the organic permaculture farm.
The organic farm-to-table restaurant has a rotating daily menu of organic gastronomic seasonal dishes. No milk, gluten, or sugar is used. Some dishes contain goat cheese or ghee. Usually, lunch is a buffet of raw and creative dishes such as a ravioli made of slices of squash stuffed with creamy cashew cheese and a bowl of curried cauliflower soup.
Celebrity chef Diana Stobo is the mastermind behind The Retreat. Her approach to holistic living encourages experimentation. The chefs in her kitchen follow some of her recipes, but 80 percent of the dishes are things they’ve come up with on their own. Guests are encouraged to visit the open creative kitchen and ask the chefs about the unique dishes they’re whipping up and guests can even join in on the cooking by helping make kale chips with vegan cheese made from the fruit of an indigenous palm tree that truly tastes like cheddar cheese.
2. Four Seasons Punta Mita
Luxury and wellness are likely the first things that come to mind when thinking of The Four Season's collection of properties around the globe. But thanks to Vegan Chef Leslie Duros, the Punta Mita, Mexico outpost is also a haven for vegan travelers. Duros has lent her talents to the upscale dining menus at the property’s signature Dos Catrinas Restaurant specializing in Mexican dishes such as mushroom birria burritos, edamame tacos, and tsi kil pak roasted pumpkin seed dip.
At the Asian fusion Aramara Restaurant vegans will rejoice over mouth-watering fried sweet and sour cauliflower bites, mushroom and tofu gyoza, watermelon ‘tuna’ sushi rolls, and a veg broth miso soup. Bahía Restaurant, with its beachfront location, offers melt-in-your-mouth cashew cream stuffed zucchini flowers, the most divine plump vegan gnocchi, and a decadent mascarpone dessert.
3. Om Shanti Belize Yoga Retreat
All flights to Belize go through Belize City but before you skip over the metropolitan area stay a night at Harbour View Boutique Hotel which is home to the Om Shanti Yoga Studio and Martha’s Veggie Cafe. The vegan-friendly garden-to-table menu is full of Caribbean favorites such as curry and ceviche, and classics like the no tuna melt and avocado toast. To drink and cool off in the Belizean sun, enjoy cold press juices and creamy dairy-free smoothies. Enjoy a vegan meal after a yoga class before you make your way off to the country’s barrier reef, famous caye’s, or into the jungle to climb Mayan pyramids.
4. Anse Chastanet
If your travels are taking you to St. Lucia, book your stay at Anse Chastanet. The resort transformed its Emerald restaurant to be all-vegan. The resort’s James Beard Award-Winning Consulting Chef, Allen Susser, focuses on Caribbean vegan dishes such as breadfruit gnocchi, okra, and callaloo pepper-pot soup, and the mushroom potstickers made with cocoa vinegar and blackstrap molasses rum. Guests can join tours of the property’s organic farm tour and vegan cooking class during their stay. There are over 1,000 cacao trees at the resort and there’s also a vegan-friendly chocolate-making lesson.
To find vegan and plant-based food anywhere in the world, check out The Beet's Find Vegan Near Me page.