Hotel Esencia

A Mexican beach retreat for Hollywood elite

A narrow jungle road leads down toward the hidden-away Hotel Esencia. Upon reaching a palapa, you are ushered by the concierge into a small lobby designed in contemporary tropical style highlighted by Mexican art.

After check-in, take a golf cart ride along palm-lined paths until you reach the hotel itself. First you’ll come across the jungle area with its white villas peeking out from between the trees, beyond which you'll spot the gardens and main house. Two pale blue pools beckon you out to the unspoiled white sand beach at the property’s edge.

Sprawled across 50 acres between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Hotel Esencia is a personal project of Emmy-winning Hollywood producer Kevin Wendle, who has gone to great lengths to create an elegant home-away-from-home experience that you won't soon forget.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The Tulum hotel sits on Xpu-Ha beach, a secluded and quiet stretch of white sand and one of the few undeveloped beaches remaining on the Riviera Maya.
  • Hotel Esencia was originally the private hideaway of an Italian duchess and still maintains its residential feel. Accommodations and common areas come simply adorned in crisp white paint, natural wood details and cozy hammocks.
  • Abundant natural surroundings make this luxurious property a true retreat, where serene jungle and garden pathways take you from one area to the next.
  • For the ultimate in luxury, try the two-story, two-bedroom Pool Villa, where actress Lupita Nyong’o stayed during her visit to this enchanting resort. Aside from a full-size swimming pool, the villa has several terraces, a media room and a courtyard.
  • The spa’s circular layout is lined in relaxation areas and massage rooms connecting to private outdoor spa tubs overlooking the jungle.

Things to Know

  • Hotel Esencia was designed as a beachside haven for entertainment industry professionals, resulting in a quiet and private atmosphere.
  • Xpu-Habeach is a top sea turtle nesting spot. Walk the shoreline on summer nights to spot these majestic reptiles laying their eggs.
  • Most spa ingredients are grown onsite. Treatments include traditional Mayan-inspired options like copal and cacao rituals, along with a specialized kids menu.
  • Mornings are a dream at Hotel Esencia; order fresh juice and watch the sunriseover the ocean from the Beach Bar deck, then relax with a session at the yoga palapa.
  • Arrive in style by getting an airport transfer via the hotel's Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter. Called the Mayan Air Express, the chopper also is available for excursions around the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Rooms

  • Hotel Esencia thrives on quiet luxury, offering only 45 suites and three villas and the Esencia Mansion (the latter is the most impressive of the accommodations with four en-suite bedrooms, a gym, three pools, a screening room for up to 20 and a speakeasy with a secret entrance from the jungle). Standard guest room amenities include walk-in closets, surround sound systems and artisan-made sandals and beach bags.
  • For a natural vibe, stay in a Jungle Room or Suite complete with a private plunge pool and a rain-like shower room.
  • To experience that home-away-from-home feel, book a stay in the spacious main house suites with ocean views and oversized terraces.
  • Reserve a Beach Suite to enjoy that enviable turquoise oceanfront view from your bedroom.
  • For a unique stay, opt for the Rooftop Wellness Suite, a personalized experience that includes your choice of the virtual trainer The Mirror, a Peloton bike, TRX suspension training equipment or a Technogym treadmill. They also come with yoga mats, weights and a double bathtub or steam room/shower with aromatherapy. On top of the duplex, you'll find a rooftop terrace with a heated pool and solarium.

The Restaurants

  • The resort’s chefs primarily use ingredients sourced from nearby farms and vegetarian options are marked on every menu.
  • The Beach Bar serves fresh juices, smoothies and coconut water every morning, then signature cocktails in the afternoons and evenings. For a spicy kick, order a Paloma Xcatic. For something stronger, head to THE SPEAKEASY, a hidden bar with late-night libations and music from a DJ.
  • Overseen by chef Dimitris Katrivesis of El Bulli fame, Mistura has 180-degree beach views with international cuisine for lunch (think tacos, burgers and seafood), then Peruvian-Japanese fusion fare for dinner.
  • The poolside restaurant TAIYO serves international cuisine and Yucatecan favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside spectacular ocean views.
  • On Saturdays, BEEFBAR ESENCIA opens for a night of Yucatecan-Mexican cuisine with live music and games.

24-hour room service
Babysitting services
Fitness classes
Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Pet friendly
Getting There
Carretera Cancún, Tulum km 265 Xpu-Ha Quintana Roo, 77750 Mexico
TEL 52-984-873-4830
CUN (1 hr 5 min-1 hr 15 min)  
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