Hotel EsenciaCasual-chic intimate and relaxing weekend at Hotel Esencia in Xpu Ha | Riviera Maya, Mexico | One of my favorite getaways from New York, is Riviera Maya. I try to come at least twice a year. This time, I’ve added some extra excitement, planning a stay and visit to a new beach area and recently renovated intimate resort. Hotel Esencia in Xpu HaHotel Esencia is located fifty minutes south of Cancún and thirty minutes north of Tulum by car. For more tips and recommendations, check and follow me on Instagram, to see all my minute-to-minute past/current/future post and experiences on RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO

So I took my usual American Airlines Business Class non-stop flight from New York to Cancun. Only a quick 3 hours and minutes flight into paradise. Once we landed in Cancun, a private car from Hotel Esencia was awaiting to whisk us seamlessly from Cancun International Airport to Xpu Ha and Hotel Esencia. Approximately 40 minutes drive on highway 307, away and secluded – THANK GOD – from the crowds and hustle and bustle from Cancun. I am a regular guest of Belmond Maroma Resort at Maroma Beach, but this time I was open to explore new options, invited by Mr. Wendel, owner of the property. By the time we arrived to Hotel Esencia – mind our flight was delayed over one hour from the original schedule – the sun was already setting, and was time for a quick Check IN, a brief introductory walk along the property with the owner, and a shower to get ready for cocktails at the Beach Bar and dinner at the Pool Restaurant.

Hotel Esencia is a majestic 50-acre estate at the midpoint between Tulum and Playa del Carmen in Mexico. It has long enjoyed a storied past in this ancestral cradle of culture, cuisine, and comfort. Originally built as the private hideaway home of an Italian duchess on the most beautiful beach of the Riviera Maya, it later became a hotel, and, for some time, has been a sought after destination for honeymooners seduced by the serene comforts of this timeless mansion.
A new chapter began in 2014 with the arrival of a new owner and a bold, worldly outlook on how to savor paradise. The estate’s provenance as a place of leisure for nobility is the guiding inspiration for a modern reimagining. The Main House remains the hotel’s centerpiece, around which footpaths lead to only 29 suites and villas where guests enjoy genuine privacy and top flight hospitality. Ideally situated far from huge resorts and the roar of pleasure boats, the immaculate bay of Xpu-Ha is a natural haven where each year sea turtles make their nests. Hotel Esencia invites the happy few who know how rare it is to find a place that is truly unique, to make it their home in the tropics.

First glance at the beach and off to shower and get ready for the Welcome Cocktails and dinner. First impressions were very positive. The trick with Riviera Maya and choosing the hotel/resort for your time away, is the beach. Contrary to what many might think, most renown resorts, do not offer great beaches, and to my humble understanding, after many years of visiting this region, I would risk to say that Hotel Esencia, and Belmond Maroma Resort are the best options in the region. My third choice would be NIZUC Resort, but on a total different resort concept and style, away from the local Mexican Style and intimate ambiance.

My weekend in Riviera Maya was officially on, and it  begin over a lovely evening with cocktails by the beach and dinner hosted by Mr Wendel to welcome our group, Mariachis live performance included.

Hotel Esencia
The rest of my stay, went pretty much like this daily routine… 7AM O’Clock courtesy coffee and fresh pastries, delivered to my room, every morning before my 8AM Yoga Class.

Morning Yoga at the Palapa right next to the ocean. With the soothing sound of the waves and birds, and the breeze from the ocean. Followed by a selection of fresh pressed juices at the Juice Bar, before moving to the pool for breakfast.

A La Carte Breakfast, served by the pool facing the beach. Of course, every single morning, I sampled a different type of my absolute favorite Mexican breakfast… Chilaquiles with chicken, one day with green sauce and the following with red sauce. Such a lovely and relaxing setting, allowing up to two hours to enjoy and unwind zipping   through my coffee overlooking the ocean. Mind that Hotel Esencia features great WiFi connection, so if you choose to, you can remain connected while away.

After brealfast, was time to enjoy a leisure walk by the lush gardens of the resort, and mingle with my local friends, the peacocks, on my way to my next destination for the morning and part of my relaxing routine… the Spa.

Next on my daily routine, was Spa Treatments. Taking advantage of the hotel’s Edenic location, the purest ingredients harvested from the waters of the Caribbean and the soil of surrounding Mayan jungles are the basis of every treatment. Hotel Esencia also features a lovely Fitness Center. Located at the east end of the gardens, housed under traditional palapa roofs, the fitness room, juice bar and spa integrate hallmarks of modern wellbeing with ancient customs of cultivating beauty, balance, and peace.

Hotel Esencia

After and exhausting morning – right – it was time to further unwind and enjoy the beach. From here on, there rest of my day would go like this…

Lunch on the beach. Meals are simple yet sophisticated, drawing as much from Mexico’s eclectic range of regional cuisines as from the well-loved comforts of Mediterranean cooking. What is not taken from Hotel Esencia’s own garden is sourced locally from farmers and artisans in Quintana Roo, or further afield from the places in Mexico known for exemplary delicacies—moles from Oaxaca, fruits from Yucatán, and wines from Baja.

Afternoons, yet also relaxing at the beach. Followed by an adventure, swimming and exploring the pristine Cenotes, located right next to the property, with privilege access for guests of Hotel Esencia.

Exploring this pristine Cenotes, located right next to Hotel Esencia, not open to regular tourists. A short and pleasant walk by the beach to access. How does my day sound to you ? would you be able to endure such itinerary and routine ? ….

This was my room a lovely, yet very sleek and simple Garden Suite with a Plunge Pool. Every room at Hotel Esencia by any other standard would be called a suite. The private terrace and sitting area built into the contours of the room offer a peaceful view on the garden canopy or an impressive panorama of the Caribbean. All accommodations at Hotel Esencia feature walk-in closets, large screen high definition televisions, and an in-room sound system with hookup for iPods and other digital accessories.

The Pool Villas. Hidden in the garden foliage, the two-bedroom, two storey Pool Villas offer unparalleled serenity and privacy. Rather than beach bungalows these are well-appointed residences unto themselves, with multiple terraces, a media room, and a courtyard furnished with hammocks, entertaining furniture, and full-size swimming pool. All accommodations at Hotel Esencia feature walk-in closets, large screen high definition televisions, and an in-room sound system with hookup for iPods and other digital accessories.

The main House. The Main House remains the hotel’s centerpiece, around which footpaths lead to only 29 suites and villas where guests enjoy genuine privacy and top flight hospitality.

My favorite spot at Hotel Esencia, which I will visit over and over during the day, to fell yet ever more secluded. My ideal place to have my coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the early evening overlooking the Ocean along with the sunrise and sunsets.

For those of you looking for either more privacy or to upgrade your Hotel Esencia experience, I strongly recommend Villa Bel-Ha. Situated adjacent to Hotel Esencia on Xpu-Ha beach lies Villa Bel-Ha; Bel Ha is a private ocean-front villa that comfortably accommodates 8-10 guests in 3 Ocean Suites and 1 Master Suite with 4 and a half bathrooms in two levels. The Villa comes with its own dedicated 24hours butler. The villa has both private pool and beach palapa each with sitting and lounging area for dining and entertaining. Pool palapa also features an adjacent barbecue for al fresco cooking by the house chef.

Unfortunately was time to say goodbye and end my Casual-chic intimate and relaxing weekend at Hotel Esencia in Xpu Ha. Our farewell dinner at the palm garden of the property was magical. It began over cocktails and followed by dinner at the Garden Restaurant. The Garden Restaurant offers a refined take on Mexican cuisine from the Yucatán and beyond. While the décor and service might remind guests of an old world resort, the creative menus offer fresh approaches to tradition. Of course, Mr Wendel had to say goodbye with yet another amazing live local performance. What a marvelous  weekend. !!!

Windows at Hotel Esencia show the true soul of this casual-chic and intimate resort and the region of Xpu Ha.

It was time to move on to my next experience in Riviera Maya, and move to Mayakoba – approx 2o minutes away from Xpu Ha – to attend ILTM Americas – International Luxury Travel Market, where I was invited to participate as part of their select Global VIP Media team. But that is for another post.

Thank you Mr Wendel, and all the staff at Hotel Esencia for a lovely Casual-chic intimate and relaxing weekend at Hotel Esencia in Xpu Ha. Looking forward to a soon return. Book Hotel Esencia through me, and enjoy the following exclusive VIP Amenities: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability + Daily continental breakfast, for up to two in room guests served in restaurant + $100 USD Equivalent Spa services credit, to be utilized during stay + Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability.  Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator –

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Travel Groups. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

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