Members Recommend
Excellent 335 Reviews
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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 335 Reviews
A one of kind hotel
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There are few hotels in the world as beautiful and luxurious as Esencia. Everything in this hotel, from its stunning beach to its beautifully manicured gardens and incredible suites, exude a sense of grandeur and world class style. The hotel is simply put, the epitome of chic; and staying there was an absolute treat! the ocean suite with the plunge pool was our pick and it was absolutely wonderful in every way!!!

Best spot in paradise
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Came here for a couple days, and it was marvellous, everyone is so nice and the sea is incredible, you can get a tan close to the pool the whole day, get amazing food, go paddling, enjoy sunrise, 🌅 and then go and do some yoga, don’t forget to try pancakes and ceviche yucateco, So Yummy! I will totally come back really soon ❤️

Perfect getaway!
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We could not have imagined a more special experience. Everything -- beach, food, spa, vibe, hotel staff -- was absolutely fantastic.

The hotel staff was especially thoughtful and accommodating. From all the friendly faces and helpful advice to never ever being told "no", we had never experienced such top-notch service. The food was insane -- light, delicious, and healthy -- and we are still dreaming about the fish tacos. The beach was perfect. Hotel Esencia has somehow created an effortless, happy, stress-free vibe, and we could not have been happier.

We are already planning our next trip and have already begun recommending Hotel Esencia to family and friends.

Reviewed 1 month ago

My husband and I just got back from the most amazing and relaxing vacation! Hotel Esencia was the most gorgeous hotel that we have ever stayed in. The hotel and its location were beautiful and truly breathtaking! Every single aspect of the hotel including the rooms, the restaurants, the pools and the beach were immaculate! The rooms were luxurious and comfortable with some special touches each night. The pools were so refreshing and the beach was just gorgeous. The sand was the softest and the water was crystal clear. The food was absolutely the most fresh and delicious food that we have ever had! From the moment we were there to the very end of our trip, we felt so welcomed by every staff member. They went above and beyond to make us feel special, relaxed, and comfortable in every way. Everything about this hotel was perfect! We hope to come back!

Back for the third time to the most incredible hotel
Reviewed 1 month ago

Where does one start with a review of Esencia? In summary, it's the most heavenly, beautiful and relaxing place. Why, and how? I think it can be simplified to the physical and tangible, and the experiential and ethereal.

This was our third trip to Esencia in about as many years - the previous visit was almost 2 years ago - and the recent improvements and extensions have made it even more wonderful. We traveled as a party of three - me, my husband, and our almost-four-year-old.

In terms of the tangible, the property is beautiful, and immaculately maintained, without feeling over-manicured. The lush jungle and meandering paths add to the feeling of (luxurious) seclusion, and the beach on which the hotel sits is stunning - soft white sand, a gentle shelf (great for kids!), and crystal clear water. There's a plethora of sports/water equipment - paddleboards, boogie boards, kayaks and so on - for you to make the most of the beautiful sea. And if you have kids (as we have; one), the beach team will be swift to bring a huge basket of beach toys to keep them amused.

The rooms (suites!) are stunning - clean, clean, clean white, spacious, walk-in closets, beautiful mid-century furniture, great bathrooms - just wonderful. We love the stylish, atmospheric playlist that's pre-loaded in the rooms - instant relaxation. As many have mentioned, the pastries and hot coffee delivered incognito first thing in the AM are a lovely, slow start to the day on your private terrace or balcony.

You will eat and drink well at Esencia! The food and drinks are delicious; fresh, (mostly!) healthy, and prepared and served with care. We loved Mistura, the newer restaurant by the beach. We'd visited it in its previous incarnation, before Esencia's owner took it over, and had always enjoyed its rustic charm and tasty ceviche. Now - it's even better! It's been stunningly designed, and its chic, striped sofas overlooking the beach and waves are now one of my favorite places on the planet.

But on to the non-tangible - and that's where Esencia's magic really comes together. By that, I mean the service, the vibe and the commitment to making sure that guests have a wonderful time. ALL the staff at Esencia are wonderful - welcoming, friendly, focused on removing any barriers to you having a great vacation. And there is an ARMY of staff - though it never feels it. The concierge team, servers, bar-tenders, housekeeping staff - everyone is wonderful.
I love that you never see or sign a bill the entire time you're there. Having a cocktail on the beach, but want to go for a paddleboard, without telling the server? No problem. Finished a delicious lunch, and want to go for a nap? Go ahead. It's incredible how much more relaxing the overall experience is when you are not repeatedly reminded of the transactional side. Of course, Esencia is a business, but it never feels like that when you're there. It feels like you're staying in your rich, generous and incredibly tasteful friend's villa.

We have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with the owner, Kevin, during each of our three stays. He's very much present on-site - making sure everything is running as it should, and that guests are having a great time. The improvements that he has made, and his vision for the future, are part and parcel of what makes this place great.

All in all - if you are considering Esencia, just go. Yes, it can be a splurge, but in my mind, Esencia can be great value. The relaxation and design inspiration linger for quite some time.

Our almost-four year old burst into inconsolable tears when we packed up to leave, which kind of sums up how all of us felt! We're just going to have to return again ;).