Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Esencia
Carretera 307, Km 265, Xpu-Ha, Quintana Roo 77750, Mexico See on Map Fodor's Choice
Odds are you may’ve heard by now that Hotel Esencia was originally built as the tropical home of an Italian duchess. This fact explains the Mediterranean style of this fascinating property that is widely regarded as one of the best hotels in the whole Riviera Maya. An oasis of top flight luxury and upscale design in a private setting.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is a kids and pet-friendly hotel. If that's an issue for you, there are similar and quieter hotels in the nearby area.
Among the 29 guestrooms, there are 17 suites and two villas. The private villa comes with its own private butler, cook and full-sized pool. The Jungle Suite features a gorgeous outdoor plunge pool, while the Beach Suite includes an exquisite European soaking tub next to the bed. Design of the rooms is top-notch, in an all-white kind of environment with mahogany furniture and elegant details like four-poster beds and walk-in closets.
Most bathrooms feature double vanity sink, and separate shower and bathtub. They offer ample space, but are the small details like the wooden floor of the showers and the Havaianas flip flops, what make the difference.
In the main building of this spectacular 50-acre estate, a styling living room filled with upscale furniture and gorgeous garden views, plays the role of Esencia’s lobby. Remember, this was supposed to be a duchess living room, so it still keeps some of that aristocratic feeling.
With one pool for adults and one for all the family, Esencia manages to keep that calm and private atmosphere craved by grown-ups escaping to a Caribbean retreat, without closing the door to kids and families. However, the pools lack the wow factor found at every other section of the hotel.
One of the most recent additions to Hotel Esencia’s long list of amenities, is this health club that features a Spa, a gym and a juice bar. Overlooking the property’s cenote, the Spa offers a wide array of treatments using organic ingredients from the Caribbean Sea and the Aroma Spa garden.
A lime ritual for adults and a chocolate bath for kids, are among the most interesting treatments available.
The gym is small but well-equipped with Technogym cardio machines, free weights and a Pilates reformer. All this in a very tropical setting with hardwood floor and a palapa roof. The open-air Sunrise Yoga studio offers a different approach to fitness.
Enjoying lunch or dinner at ocean front Mistura is a fascinating experience. The setting couldn’t be any better, while the Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine is extraordinary. The Pool Restaurant is the place for breakfast, or a more casual dinner. Finally, the Garden Restaurant is a delightful garden open only on Saturdays evenings or for special events.
A second-level beachside palapa that doubles as a Juice Bar in the mornings, and a Beach Bar in the afternoons is all you need. Enjoy a smoothie or an original cocktail by the beach and let the Caribbean do its magic on you.
Although, the hotel's restaurants are really good, you might feel tempted to try some local delicacies at the nearby towns. Plank (30-minute drive) in Playa del Carmen is a restaurant absolutely above normal. Although it doesn’t offer too many typically Mexican dishes, their gourmet food and excellent service cannot be missed. Taverna Akumal (15-minute drive) is an authentic Italian restaurant with incredible pizzas.
Coco Bongo (30-minute drive) on Playa del Carmen could be worth a travel. Their shows are told to be better than some in Las Vegas, and their nights are legendary. Looking for something more tranquil? Nightlife in Tulum offers many chill out places. Pasito Tun Tun (30-minute drive) has all you may need for a great night: cocktails, drinks, and a Dj that plays the best music in Tulum.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Because it offers luxury and style in strides. We love those amazing Beach Suites and dining at Mistura. They cultivate their own ingredients for the Spa treatments! How cool is that?
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