In today’s world, we all need a break from our busy lives to reflect, relax, and recharge. In many minds, that break would include a sandy beach, crystal blue waters, fabulous food and drink, and luxurious accommodations. It just so happens that this place exists, and it’s only a short hop from Mexico City. Located midpoint between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Hotel Esencia is a secluded gem that sits on the edge of the the pristine white sands of Xpu-ha and the lush jungle, one of the only undeveloped areas of the Mayan Riviera.
This 50-acre estate was built as a private home for the Italian Duchess Rosa de Ferrari and has evolved into a blissful boutique resort. The three-story main house, Casa Grande, is the focal point of the property and is surrounded by 38 suites and 3 villas, all of which provide an intimate ambiance and naturally serene environment.
Evoking a casual and friendly vibe, the architecture is blended colonial and Mediterranean that honors mid-century design with a Mexican/European 1950s art collection.
Expect only the best when checking in — a friendly staffer will assist you with arrival and offer a tour of the palm dotted grounds and lush gardens as you are escorted to your suite or villa (which may require a short drive through the jungle).
Whitewashed guest rooms are designed with natural woods and sleek, clean lines. Crisp, white linens adorn the beds. The furniture, handwoven rugs, and bed throws were all specifically designed for Hotel Esencia.
Each room provides a private terrace and sitting area with views of, depending on your preference, the peaceful canopied jungle or the dazzling Caribbean Sea. All are equipped with a Flatscreen TV, DVD/CD players, an iPod dock, minibar with complimentary refreshments, and internet access.
Tip: The Deluxe Ocean View suites have 360º views; watch the sun set from the terrace and enjoy sunrise from your giant bed.
You won’t need to go far for a casual, yet elegant meal. Mistura sits beneath a towering palapa with 180 degree views of the Caribbean. Athens-trained chef Dimitris Katrivesis serves Japanese-Peruvian fusion dishes with a Mediterranean and contemporary flair. All ingredients are acquired locally from farmers in Quintana Roo, and other places in Mexico known for their classic delicacies.
The New Year also brings a new restaurant to Hotel Esencia – Beefbar Esencia. This Michelin star concept is the brainchild of Riccardo Giraudi and is based on the highest of quality of beef and ingredients. The simplistic menu is easy to follow and is divided into three sections. First, you can enjoy “street food to share” – small portions of the best recipes from around the world. Next in line are the “great meats” – exquisite cut meats from around the world. Last but not least are the “incredible dishes,” ranging from fresh fish to risotto.
The casual all-day dining Café Esencia with the newly added Coffee Bar offers fresh seafood dishes and specialties from the grill. For now, the Garden Café is currently closed for renovation but will open in late January. Open only on Saturdays or for special events. Last but not least, check out The Beach Bar for a sunset cocktails, warm breezes, and good times.
Tip: Try a fresh made-to-order smoothie or wholesome superfood bowl at the new Coffee Bar.
Spa and Health Club
Overlooking the hotel’s cenote, the traditional organic aroma spa touts Temazcal and physiotherapy restorative five-star treatments, Jacuzzis, and steam rooms under a traditional palapa roof. Using the purest ingredients of plants, herbs, fruits, and other natural elements used by ancestors provide a sense of well-being in this healing warm tropical environment.
The fitness room features Technogym cardio machines, a Pilates reformer (available on request), weights and personal instruction all under the natural thatched ceiling.
Tip: Try the purification treatment of “Limones” – the spa’s signature treatment that purifies your body and drains your lymphatic system.
Hotel Esencia and nature provide activities for all to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for active pursuits or peaceful relaxation, the hotel delivers. Enjoy the small, tranquil library, the yoga palapa (free morning class), two sparkling pools, and a hammock garden. Head out to the beach for diving, surfing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling – the hotel will assist you with all of your recreational needs.
Tip: August is Turtle Time – witness a baby sea turtle release, along with the hundreds of eggs hatching daily as the babies head to the open sea.
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Hotels in Mexico You Cannot Miss in 2019