Members Recommend
Excellent 351 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 351 Reviews
Magic in the Sun
Reviewed 19 hours ago

We just came back from 4 days at this dream of a hotel. It's like if you had to sketch up what the perfect boutique hotel was like the picture would end up to be Esencia. Rooms are beautiful, staff is plentiful and extremely attentive, and the public spaces are just pieces of art. It ain't cheap but its worth saving up for if you're looking for some peace in this world.

Reviewed 3 days ago

I just don’t no where to begin. The hotel, rooms and grounds are stunning ! Beautiful beach. Quiet and relaxing everywhere on property. The food at each of the restaurants was quite good and reasonably priced. Service was amazing with ultra friendly and responsive staff. This was our second time at Esencia and we can’t wait to go back!

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

So many friends have been talking about Hotel Esencia that we finally decided to check it out for ourselves. I’m rarely moved to write but I have to say that this place is something so unique and special in every way. I can’t think of any other place like it. Beauty as far as the eyes can see, warm-hearted service and outstanding cuisine at each one of their restaurants. No gimmicks or foam, just the greatest perfectly grilled and simple food and veggies you’d want on a beach vacation together with so many delicious specialities of the region. Go for the tikin-xic fish wrapped in banana leaf and don’t miss the avocado fries or the chicken nachos. In fact after the first day of meals we decided we never wanted to leave the property. We even saw the fresh fish being delivered daily from a little fishing boat. All this within the most beautiful setting you could imagine. We went paddle boarding every day over the clear blue water, and spent three afternoons at their spa where they made treatments with fresh flowers. Everyone there was so nice, our room was spacious, stylish and so comfortable. All the photos I had seen on social media just don’t do this place justice. You are completely immersed in nature, with birds and butterflies all around along a wide powdery beach with no other hotels for what seems like miles. And as other reviews have noted, you really think you’re in a dream and you don’t want to wake up. A huge thank you to everyone at Hotel Esencia. I would give you 10 stars if I could. I’m already so ready to go back.

One of the best hotels
Reviewed 1 month ago

Hotel Esencia is one of our most favorite hotels. It’s got a little bit of everything whether you are looking for a family vacation, fun time with friends, or a romantic getaway. It’s intimate so you can easily make friends with other guests. The staff is excellent and super friendly. Whatever you need, they are there to help accommodate you and make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible during your stay. You really feel at home. Located on one of the most quiet, beautiful beaches, as well as in a unique, jungle setting, Hotel Esencia is the perfect place for relaxation. The hotel suites are tastefully and simply designed. The food is outstanding with the 3 fabulous restaurants. We just love this special place and have never experienced another hotel as unique. It’s why we keep going back.

This hotel just gets it!
Reviewed 1 month ago

This is a hotel that just understands what it should offer to be considered world class...

I travelled here with my 3 kids (one a baby) and I was amazed at what a family friendly hotel it was while still maintaining its chic, smart, sophisticated atmosphere.Cooked fresh food for the baby daily and surprised us with a kids club that exceeded all expectations.

The actual hotel is beautiful and rooms excellent. Beds and linen super comfortable.

The staff get a 10 for effort and a 9.5 for execution.

They have themed menus with live music on a regular basis so while there is no where close buy to go for dinner - we didn't get bored once in our 6 nights there. During the day the pools and beach are excellent with great activities all around.

I cant think of anyone who wouldn't be happy to stay here.

Well done to the whole team here.