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
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
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
I've traveled to many destinations and stayed at a lot of really nice hotels. Hotel Esencia has been the best experience and hotel by far. The rooms are very chic, the customer services is above standard, the food at the restaurants was delicious, the beach and pool...amazing! The staff is so friendly and helpful. They go above and beyond to make sure guest are having a great stay. Every night they turn down your room and leave a special little treat. Free coffee and pastries waiting for you every morning. The hotel is definitely pricey but well worth the money. I will definitely be back again! Thank you so much to the staff for making our vacation an unforgettable experience.
My family and I stayed at Hotel Esencia in July and our stay was just FANTASTIC.
The staff was excellent, discret but yet present and helpful. They gave us great recommendations for our stay.
The food at the restaurants or the room service were both excellent. We did some snorkelling and kayaking and the staff at the beach was also great and extremely friendly. My kids, my husband and I enjoyed the beach, the turtles and the pool a lot.
Hotel Esencia was the highlight of our Mexican trip and we were all sad to leave this paradise. We all hope to come back very soon to this magical place.
Thanks Hotel Esencia for this wonderful stay!
After researching destinations all over the world for our honeymoon, my wife and I came across Hotel Esencia and immediately fell in love with it. We wanted a place that was private, on the beach, had great food, made delicious drinks and a had fun/relaxing atmosphere. From what we could see online (and through reading reviews), this was the perfect spot. Once we got there, it was better than we ever could have imagined. From the moment our taxi pulled up, we were welcomed with open arms. The entire staff is absolutely fantastic, extremely kind and will do their best to successfully compete any request you might have. Having a staff that truly got to know us during the duration of our stay made the entire trip more fun and was a wonderful personal touch. Our suite was completely secluded in the jungle, had a private plunge pool and outdoor furniture to relax on, beautiful on the inside and very spacious. The food consisted of some of the best dishes we've ever had in our lives during breakfast, lunch and dinner. This was not your standard hotel food, this was like living at a 5 star restaurant and 5 star hotel 24/7. D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. The drinks were outstanding and perfect for relaxing on the beach, by the pool or at our plunge pool. No margarita we've had since getting home have even come close to the ones we enjoyed down there! We did a private dinner overlooking the beach one evening and they went over and above to make that dinner an incredibly special night for the two of us. We were fortunate to meet and chat with the owner, Kevin, a few times during our stay. It was very easy to see why Hotel Esencia is truly a one of a kind and amazing destination with leadership like that from the top. Thank you Kevin and thank you to all of the staff for making our honeymoon a dream come true! We cannot wait to come back for another vacation in the future!
I rarely write reviews, but my experience at Esencia has inspired me to write my first trip advisor review... it was just that great. I hope I'm not letting the secret out! I'm not typically a "resort" person but Esencia feels like an oasis, not a resort. The service was so personal, it's as if everyone knows who you are, why you are there and exactly what you need at all times. They are so attentive yet never overbearing.
I'm a vegetarian which can be tricky at places like this, but they offer a number of vegetarian options at every meal, not just your typical boring vegetable platter. Carrot tacos? Who knew? Delicious. The staff was aware of my dietary restrictions and very accommodating to my special requests.
The spa is stocked with Tata Harper products (which I now love), and I enjoyed a facial and massage that had me glowing from inside out.
A great sense of calm permeates every detail of this hotel, from the rooms to the decor.
I need Esencia in a pill form on hectic NY days!
We spent four wonderful nights at this beautiful hotel. I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to find this place, and now that we’ve been I know we will return time and again. The hotel itself is so special and miles from the giant, generic resorts of Cancun. What makes staying here truly spectacular is the attention to detail. Plenty of “luxury” hotels have fancy lobbies and great amenities. But in my view what really defines a luxury is the service. Hotel Esencia has all of those amenities but what truly makes it special is the service. There is a tremendous amount of care for guests that went into every decision of creating this place. In that sense Hotel esencia is truly a luxurious place. I could go on and on but the point is GO. You won’t regret it.
Side note: if you’re lucky enough to meet Kevin the owner you will be delighted to see that the man behind the hotel and his family are just as terrific as Esencia. Thank you to Kevin and staff. We will be back for sure!