HOTEL ESENCIA, RIVIERA MAYA

In short, this place is heaven. Set upon the most pristine stretch of beach on the Caribbean coastline, with super attentive staff and impressive Mexican fare. Hotel Esencia is one of those places that really gets under your skin.

I’m currently writing this from the bed of my jungle casita at Hotel Esencia. Due to jet lag, I’m currently wide awake at 4am, waiting for the sunrise. Now seems like the perfect time to capture the essence of this place.

We’re staying at a few different hotels during our time in Mexico, Hotel Esencia being the first, and even though we have some great hotels to look forward to, I can’t help but feel a pang of regret that we’re not spending more time here. It’s easy to describe what a hotel looks like, the facilities on offer, how decent the food is and so on. But when a hotel makes you feel a particular way, that’s a little trickier. Hotel Esencia is one of those hotels that makes you feel like you’re staying at a friend’s house. In fact, this lush private estate once belonged to the Italian Duchess Rosa D’Ferrari, who used the property as her summer retreat to entertain her guests.

There’s something wonderfully rustic about Esencia, a mixture of the sounds of crashing waves from the ocean and wildlife hiding in the jungle. Yet the living standards are anything but. Rooms are characterised by chic and minimal all-white interiors with pops of colour afforded by armchairs, sofas and cushions. Carefully curated coffee table books decorate the surfaces along with handwoven rugs and throws.

Our room, a garden suite, is situated a little further back from the beach, and as the name suggests, is surrounded by tall palm trees and foliage offering seclusion and privacy. Situated on the upper of two floors we have a large covered terrace with a sofa and small table for two, perfect for late night cocktails and card games. The room is the epitome of sophisticated simplicity with all mod cons, such as remote black-out blinds to guarantee a good night’s sleep, complimentary mini bar and an I-pod with surround sound system.

The bedroom is spacious, the huge bed made up with high quality linens. The bathroom is of equal size and has a large shower, double sinks and luxe toiletries. The main talking point of the room however has to be the large glass sliding door where behind lies our own private heat-able plunge pool. Each day after a sunrise walk along the beach we return to freshly baked pastries and coffee, delivered to the little store box on our terrace at the time of our choosing, ready to be eaten whilst taking a morning dip.

After leisurely early mornings we manage to tear ourselves away from the room, venturing back down to the beach to find a perfectly positioned cabana or depending on how energetic we’re feeling a morning yoga session. A favourite spot of ours is the bar by the pool, the perfect spot to refresh with a fresh pressed juice or coconut after a yoga session or a Mezcal based pre dinner cocktail come the evening. The food here is another great aspect of the hotel. The poolside restaurant has a relaxed vibe and serves breakfast, lunch and small plates throughout the day. The grilled shrimp tacos aren’t to be missed, as are the avocado fries, which I can literally not stop thinking about along with the Xpu-Ha ceviche. We also enjoyed a traditional taco night, which was an amazing all you can eat affair, although not so amazing for our waistlines.

Our days here are wonderfully relaxed, lazing on hammocks and cabanas on the idyllic stretch of beach, frolicking in the sea and sipping Margaritas in between a spot of paddle boarding. When we get bored of this set up we make our way over to the spa, which is absolute heaven. Housed under a traditional palapa roof the circular shaped building has thermal Jacuzzis with Jungle views positioned around the outside, the treatment and steam rooms are situated on the inside for more privacy. Oh and the bit we loved the most – a mini herbal lab filled with jars of organic ingredients ready to be tailor made for your treatment. Its special touches like these that set Esencia apart from the rest, I mean who doesn’t love to be left little bags of sweets on their pillow of an evening and be brought fresh ‘jungle rain’ and cool towels when it gets too hot during the day? Especially when it’s from the most charming staff who really seem to love working at here, and I can see why. This place is a little slice of paradise.

www.hotelesencia.com

Highlights

  • ​The heated plunge pool off of the bathroom
  • Havaianas and straw beach bag are useful welcome gifts
  • In room Ipod with specially curated playlists dependant on your mood
  • The poolside cocktail bar serving THE BEST Margaritas we've tasted to date

Need To Know

  • Complimentary tea is served in the salon every afternoon
  • The Garden restaurant is closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • The spas facilities can be used even without the booking of a treatment, between the hours of 9am and 9pm
  • The location of Hotel Esencia is actually Xpu-Ha - around a 30 minute drive from the main Tulum beach
  • There are two swimming pools (one for families, one adults only)

No. of Rooms & Suites: 29

Rate Per Night: From £439.00

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