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Esencia Mayan Riviera, Mexico

Esencia

The Mayan Riviera, Mexico

The main part of Esencia is a converted Italian mansion, originally owned by Duchess Rosa D'Ferrari, and the 29 rooms and suites are either in the main house, or more secluded, and scattered throughout the surrounding gorgeous tropical gardens.

Service here is really valued and uniformly excellent, and the feel is much more like a private estate, and more low-key than the large resorts further up the coast.

OUR RATING: Deluxe

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OUR OPINION:

The costs of food and drink here are a little on the pricey side, but this is a wonderful little hideaway, and a very peaceful place to stay. The concierge and attentive staff at Esencia work really hard to meet all your needs, and ensure that your stay is as blissful as possible.

This is a beautiful boutique resort in an area that has become synonymous with the mega resort. It is close to the funky Playa del Carmen, and is an ideal base to explore the Riviera Maya.

Rooms

The beautifully decorated rooms all feature one king- or two queen-sized beds, fine furnishings, iPods, satellite TVs, free wireless internet, terraces and complimentary minibars that are restocked each day.

Location

The fabulous Esencia is one of the most secluded and luxurious properties on the Riviera Maya, an hour's drive south of Cancun. It is located on the lovely Xpu-Ha Beach, a ten-minute drive from Puerto Aventuras, and 25 minutes from Playa del Carmen.

There is a fresh-fish restaurant next door called Al Cielo. A taxi to Playa del Carmen for a night out costs approximately $20-25.

Food and drink

There are two excellent restaurants — one open for breakfast and lunch, and the signature restaurant, Sal y Fuego, a fine-dining option for dinner. Meals comprise seafood, meats and fresh salads, plus exotic ingredients found nowhere else in the world.

The chef is happy to cater dishes to the unique tastes of each guest, and can prepare meals to meet any special need or desire. Sal Y Fuego is the perfect prelude for an evening on the beach, or a 20-minute drive to Playa del Carmen's nightlife.

For an additional fee, Esencia can arrange romantic meals on the beach for two, under the stars, to celebrate a special occasion.

Please note, a 15% service charge is automatically added to restaurant bills, and 25% to the room-service bills here.

Families

Esencia is more suited to adults and there aren't particular facilities for children although classes for 9-12-year-olds are available which take them to the hotel's organic vegetable garden, where they can gather ingredients and replant.

Facilities and activities

There is access to the second largest coral reef in the world for diving, snorkelling from the hotel beachfront, deep sea fishing, kite and paddle boarding, tennis or golf on the Robert Trent Jones 27-hole golf course nearby.

The fitness suite offers free weights and machines for guest to use, and there are also complimentary sunrise yoga classes, an organic spa offering holistic treatments and two fantastic heated pools.

Local excursions

There is a huge range of excursions on offer, both from the hotel or in Playa del Carmen.

If you prefer to explore independently, you can hire a car. You can also get the ferry to Cozumel for amazing diving and snorkelling.

Diving

Diving around here is really special, because not only can you dive on the reef, you can also dive in the cenotes, giant freshwater-filled caves that were made famous by David Attenborough's Planet Earth.

The concierge can arrange all diving trips, but there is no dive centre on the property.

Spa Facilities

The Aroma Spa has four treatment rooms, and uses products made at the hotel from their gardens. The signature treatments are the ritual four elements and temazcal.

Tour ideas in The Mayan Riviera

Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Esencia as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.

Location & places nearby

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Excursion to the Sian Ka'an biosphere
      Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

      Excursion to the Sian Ka'an biosphere

      Excursion to the Sian Ka'an biosphere

      The Sian Ka'an Biosphere stretches for 4,500 sq km along the coast of Quintana Roo and is made up of savannah, mangroves, tropical forest and beautiful barrier reef skirting one edge.

      View details
    • Tulum Excursion
      Mayan watch tower, Tulum

      Tulum Excursion

      Tulum Excursion

      The archaeological site of Tulum is spectacularly situated on a cliff top, majestically overlooking a palm-fringed beach and the turquoise Caribbean Sea.

      View details

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