Members Recommend
Excellent 403 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Free minibar snacks, beach bags and Havaiana sandals
  • Location on one Playa del Carmen’s most spectacular white sand beaches
  • White-on-white minimalist decor that doesn’t detract from the region’s natural beauty

What To Know

  • The health club (with a fitness room, juice bar and spa) is housed in a palapa and overlooks the estate’s cenote
  • Garden Suites don’t have water views


  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pet-friendly
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Budget tree chair Picnic leisure wooden Dining Resort backyard restaurant set Deck dining table


Romantic boutique escape with minimalist style and an organic spa on one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya

The Lowdown

From the moment you step onto this secluded 50-acre private estate, originally purchased by the Duchess of Ferrari as a vacation home in the early 1990s, you’ll understand just how appropriate a name Esencia really is. Attention to detail is the essence of the place; the minimalist white-on-white design complements, rather than competes, with the pristine tropical paradise just outside. Rooms juxtapose the earthy with the designed, framing native hardwood furnishings, artfully arranged pieces of driftwood and Mayan bowls against colorless walls, ceilings and floors. Even the beds are done in the same crisp whites, with delightfully soft down pillows and sheets and duvets made of high-thread-count Egyptian cotton. Modern conveniences like entertainment systems and electronically controlled shades to dim the bright sun add further contrast. Less than 20 minutes from developed Playa del Carmen, the beach at Esencia is quiet and undisturbed, one of the best on the Yucatan Peninsula. The staff takes pride in learning each guest’s name; there’s no need to reintroduce yourself while dining at one of the two on-site restaurants (head to The Garden for traditional Mexican fare) or while treating yourself to an organic treatment at the spa — unless you want to. You’ll be recognized and the bill will be added to your room.

In the Area

In Playa del Carmen, grab the ferry to Cozumel for a day on the beaches or just take a stroll around the small downtown. Here you’ll have your pick of dozens of restaurants and shops that offer a more authentic Mexican flavor than those in Cancún. For golfers, the nearby Playa Mujeres golf course combines Greg Norman details with a picture-perfect natural setting, while the coral reefs in the crystal-clear shallow waters just off of El Garrafón National Park offer an excellent opportunity for snorkeling amid a rainbow of tropical fish. More experienced divers can opt for a dip along one of the largest reefs in the Caribbean, Manchones, while those who wish to stay completely above water can explore the region in a glass-bottom boat. Back at the hotel, the delightful all-organic spa offers myriad treatments using heated rocks, precious stones, seaweed and cacao. Try the temazcal ceremony, a traditional Mayan cleansing ritual that takes place in a pyramid.

How to Get There

Carretera Cancún-Tulum Km. 265
Xpu-Ha, 77750 Mexico


5.0 Excellent 403 Reviews
The Best Hotel In The World!

Dearest Hotel Esencia,

We have to congratulate you on creating the perfect hotel, we travel a lot for work and stay in many hotels
throughout the world but we have never stayed in a hotel that has got everything right, until now...

There is not a weak link in the whole operation!

The design, location, food and atmosphere make you feel like royalty, but it’s the staff that take it to another level!

The team you have here are the absolute A team, so genuinely attentive kind and really happy! : )

I am staying with my girlfriend and we both agreed that we just had to tell you thank you so much!

In a world where everything seems to be about cutting corners it’s a true pleasure to stay somewhere...

Where it is obvious that everything has been created with such passion and style!

My only complaint is now everywhere else I stay is going to seem like a poor cousin by comparison! ; )

All the very very best,

Garfield and Sasha

Spectacular vacation to remember forever

As soon as I arrived, I was convinced that I was in paradise. Every single part of Hotel Esencia exceeded expectations. From the outstanding rooms to the caring, genuine and compassionate staff. Ever single entrée made our mouths water from just the sight of the dish. The white sandy beach along with the light turquoise water topped off the whole experiences. Throughout my stay I was at peace, without a care in the world except to try and take in this magnificent oasis. Reflecting back on this trip of a lifetime, there is no other way to describe it then absolutely marvelous. Speechless.

2nd trip to Hotel Esencia

September is not usually a month that we would head to the tropics, but it’s really such a special time to visit. The beach in this area is clear of seaweed, the tourism is chill and of course, Hotel Esencia is one of the best beach hotels in the world. Exclusive, chic, and tailored to each guest. The staff is there to please. Usually, the owner is hovering around, unusual at a high end resort, and he really cares about you having the best possible experience. This is our second trip. The first being a magnificent wedding....what a perfect spot for a destination event! And this time we came back just as a couple to enjoy the resort. There’s plenty to do in the area but we prefer to stay at the hotel and enjoy all of their amenities, spa, water toys, pools, and tequila!