Members Recommend
Excellent 369 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 369 Reviews
The excellence of Hotel Esencia
Reviewed 2 days ago

From beginning to end the service is welcoming, professional and warm. The jungle is packed with non-threatening animals, lush manicured (but not in an uptight way) gardens and the lyrical sounds of nature. The beach is perfectly set up for sunning, napping or looking out onto the pale green ocean. Refreshing treats are served right when you least thought you needed them - always with a smile. The rooms are perfectly designed with dimmable lights, walk in closets, beautiful minimal and yet natural accents, the bathroom offers a large soaking tub and the most fragrant oils and soap. The charmer is the sliding glass door facing the bed onto a terrace right into the jungle - it's magic to witness. The coffee and pastries delivered before you wake up is a touch of sophisticated civility in the wild. The whole experience is enhanced by the excellent food. The menus are vast enough to warrant never leaving the property (for me it was 3 nights and 4 days). There is a Mexican menu and a more continental menu, neither of which will disappoint. All of the food I tasted was fresh, clean and delicious. Above all I would say the service was the highlight. It was gentle and professional from the check-in to the massage to wait staff.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Esencia is an understated, chic and beautifully designed hotel. Stunning beach/jungle surroundings filled with wildlife (turtles, iguanas, peacocks to name a few!), beautifully designed rooms and common spaces and a feeling that you are at the vacation home of your most fabulous friend.
The food is to die for. The spa is totally unique and the treatments sublime. Didn’t want to leave and hope we get to return!

Phenomenal experience
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The hotel is beautiful, it has the perfect combination of forest and beach.
The rooms are spacious and super well design.
The most impressive aspect was the service, they would do anything to make our stay memorable.

A Memorable & Magical Week at Hotel Esencia!
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

After just 5 days at Hotel Esencia, we left recharged and revitalized! The beach is unparalleled, the grounds are gorgeous, the spa is exceptional, and the food is fantastic. No detail is overlooked! We've told all our friends they must go.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Esencia is truly a sensational resort. Just recently back from a week of pure relaxation and enjoyment. Super confortable and the sheets / bedding are just perfect

No task is too small or too big for the incredibly accommodating and authentic staff. There is nothing more pressing to the staff than your enjoyment. It was really refreshing be with such professional staff throughout the week. Everyone from housekeeping, maintenance, facilities, porters to restaurant is pleasant and obviously really enjoys working at Esencia.

The setting is just beautiful-very low-key very cool very relaxing no attitude no crowds. The beach is probably the nicest I’ve seen in this part of Mexico certainly better than the west coast pacific beaches. The water is warm, inviting and clear

Most importantly, is no detail is left to chance – although it has a very relaxing vibe, the staff works all day creating an enchanting environment – from bon fires on the beach, gifts in the room, lanterns at night lining the walks – all so nice. The décor is another topic worth noting – very sophisticated, simple but beautiful. The art book library is full, relevant and sets the tone for the resort – where else can you feel the breeze, hear and see the ocean and decide whether to flip through Christopher Wool’s catalogue or Ansih Kapoors’.

The owner is a perfect gentleman - also relaxed and interested in meeting the guests. The restaurants are very good and bar tender will create refreshing cocktails perfect for the setting. There are water sports and activities - no extra charges - great for keepng the children busy.

I simply cant wait to get back there!