Members Recommend
Excellent 381 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 381 Reviews
My favorite hotel in the world
Reviewed 5 days ago

Truly one of the most incredible hotels I have ever visited. The location is beautiful, the beach, the rooms, the food, the gold cart ride through the jungle. I have sent all of my friends there for special occasions and I will be back as often as I can!

The staff is exquisite and if you are lucky enough to meet Kevin Wendle, the owner, you will get to sample off menu dishes and learn about the history and the future of the place.

Ask about the hidden cove!

Hotel Esencia - The place where time stands still.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Hotel Esencia is magical place that once you enter time litterally stands still. My wife and I were married in Cabo the week previous to our stay at Esencia and made quick stop in Playa De Carmen before we arrived at this wonderful sanctuary. When we entered through reception their was sense of calm and relaxation that I can not explain. This was exactly what we needed after a crazy ten days with family and friends.

We checked in briefly and then were off on our golf cart into the jungle to find our room. The amount of vegetation and wildlife was truly amazng. Before we stopped in our room our personal concerige Fernando met us and gave us a tour of the property. As he was finishing up we were greeted by the Hotel Owner and Art Director. This personal touch really made us feel welcomed into the Esencia family and made us feel like we were more than just guests.

Our Jungle Suite Room was large and came with its own plunge pool and amazing music play list that got you into the Hotel Vibe. The Eco friendly showers were a plus along with the amazing mini bar snacks! If you truly want to feel like your in the jungle and in your own private oasis this is the room for you!

We spend most of our time at the Pool; enjoying the amazing bar and poolside service. We really connected with Pool Manager Moises, I suggest making friends with him during your stay. He made sure we were always taken care of and even sent over a few honeymoon suprises.

The food at all of the resturants was spectacular. Much better than any of the food we ever had in Cabo or duirng our stay in Playa De Carmen. The highlight was def. the Beef Bar which has only been open a few months. Ellias was our server both nights was an amazing host and gave us a ton of insight into the surronding area and a ton of information about the Mayan culture. This was most amazing ambiance I ever had a meal in! (pictures attached)

My Wife and I could not have asked for a better expeirence. We felt like family by the time we left and will def. be making a trip back within the calendar year. We only spent 4 days at Hotel Esencia but it felt like we were there for ten. This place is magical and relaxing, if you need an escape to reset this is the place for you.

World-Class Experience
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our stay at Esencia was a truly wonderful experience unlike any we have had before. The owner and his team have managed to craft world-class luxury and design in a comfortable and intimate setting. Service is impeccable, the staff is graceful and courteous, and the grounds are immaculate. The property is a great reflection of the local region and its culture, complementing the beautiful forest, wildlife and beach with subtle design details and amazing amenities. A trip to Esencia is so much more than a perfect hotel – it is a destination in and of itself. We will definitely be back!

Amazing Hotel... Unfortunate Algae
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately the algae problem that is affecting Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum is at Hotel Esencia too. Sadly when I was there, the beach was overrun with algae. There are workers cleaning it all day everyday but there is just so much algae it is impossible to clear it all out. Along with being unsightly, it is very uncomfortable to go into the water. It is a very unfortunate situation as I know this is something Hotel Esencia cannot control. But I can't help to feel a bit cheated and disappointed after seeing beautiful white sand imagery all over the website and on their social media, and then to arrive and have the beach be the total opposite. I wish the hotel was more explicit about this algae problem. Yes there is something on the bottom of a pamphlet when you check-in to your room, but there should be a notice on the website.

Regardless, I still had a very relaxing time which is why I'm leaving 4 stars. Mr. Wendle and his staff are very attentive and the service is incomparable. The grounds, rooms, and staff at Hotel Esencia are nothing short of AMAZING... but the main reason why you come here is because of the beach.

When you are paying 5 star prices, you expect the whole experience to be up to par. Unfortunately with the algae problem, it never really got there.

If you want to steer clear of the algae problem, I would avoid any resort in the Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen region.

Relax in beautiful style
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Just wanted to thank you again for creating such a magical and relaxing spot on the beach for us to enjoy. Really a terrific place. Love the details, the intimacy, the quiet, the food, the setting. Loved your antique pieces in the lounge. And the staff are fantastic! All very warm and accommodating and doting. You should be very proud of them, and credit to you for developing them in that way. We will definitely be back, maybe around the same time next year. And we will talk up Esencia to our family and friends.