There are not many places like Esencia. This 28 room boutique hotel is the ultimate beach paradise. Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, on Xpu-ha beach (known by some as the finest beach of Riviera Maya), it’s one of those places where you arrive and straight away decide never to leave again.
Once the private home of an Italian Dutchess, it was bought by a charming American in 2014, who has turned it into a beauty of a design hotel. Most of the jungle suites are hidden in the Yucatan jungle, though the best rooms are in the main house, with incredible views of the turquoise Caribbean sea. The rooms are whiter than white (with a hint of Mondrian colour and design), super stylish and unbelievably comfortable.
While it’s hard enough to tear yourself away from your private jungle plunge pool (which can be heated to essentially turn it into your bath), the place you’ll want to spend most of your time is either on the whiter than white sandy beach, or by one of the sleek swimming pools sipping frozen Esencia Margaritas. Watch out though, we were so elated when we arrived that we promptly drank four Esencia Margaritas without realising they were $30 (plus tax) a pop! While white seems to be their signature colour, I loved the bright yellow colour highlights in their furniture and towels.
Days start with a morning class of yoga, aided by the soothing sounds of the ocean, after which a hearty breakfast of eggs and avocados (of course) is enjoyed at the Pool Restaurant.
If you’re feeling active then paddle boarding and snorkelling are an option, or you can walk through a dilapidated neighbouring hotel to a private cenote, for a swim in clear fresh water.
The Beach Bar is a place to spend a large chunk of your afternoon and evening, watching the sunset with a cocktail in hand. And on to dinner, another treat of tacos and guacamole, while listening to a local band playing Mexican tunes.
Esencia is a rare, special place, and sadly no longer a secret. Celebs and fashion bloggers are loving it (as Esencia’s Instagram page will show) and their NYE party is set to be the place to be on Riviera Maya. But despite the buzz, this is ultimately a place to retreat to and completely relax, to enjoy the peace and quiet, and to spoil yourself rotten. Good luck trying to leave!
Carr. Cancun-Tulum Km. 265
Predio Rústico Xpu-Ha
Playa del Carmen,
Photo credit: All mine (and more on my Instagram)