Our stay of the week – Hotel Esencia, Riviera Maya

Hotel Esencia in Mexico’s Xpu Há should really be called Hotel Esencial, because if there’s any one Mexican hotel that you should visit in your lifetime, it’s this one. Set directly on a perfect stretch of beach, in large palm tree-filled gardens, this sublime retreat was built as a private home for an Italian duchess and Esencia work hard to make sure their guests feel very much at home here.


main house

Small Luxury Hotels of the World called it the Best Resort Hotel in the Americas, it made Condé Nast Traveler‘s esteemed Gold List 2016 and The Sunday Times deemed it “the most heavenly hotel on Earth” – need we even say any more? If this is heaven, then beam us up, Scotty.

master suite

master bedroom

This idyllic Riviera Maya hideaway – only 25 minutes’ drive from hipster heaven Tulum and its array of cool bars and restaurants – boasts a stunning private beach where turtles come to nest in certain seasons (the staff will let you know when their precious hatchlings are out and about).  Our Managing Editor made a pit stop at Hotel Esencia during a road trip along the Riviera Maya and proclaimed its powdery white beach to be the best she saw during her time in Mexico. While the rest of the coast was suffering with seaweed issues and crashing waves, the sheltered beach here was flawless and the sea like a millpond.

main house2


This peaceful retreats also boasts two restaurants (one poolside) that draw from garden-grown ingredients whenever possible, a laid-back beachside bar and club, with a juice bar and a small organic spa that’s tucked away in the gardens. Yoga happens at sunrise, and after dark, you can raid your also-complimentary minibar or watch a flick from the movie library. If you forgot to perfect your Mexico beach vibe before you packed, don’t worry, Esencia has an on-site boutique with an array of clothing, jewellery and accessories from exclusive fashion brands.


sunrise pool

The decor here is straight out of the pages of a World of Interiors magazine – with a colonial meets Mexican meets Mid-Century Modern vibe. Pared-back, minimalist rooms are whitewashed and decked out with carefully chosen pieces from 1950s design masters and the odd wall hanging, pot or rug from local artisans. You’ll leave with big plans for an interiors overhaul at home.

garden suite

hotel-esencia-tanveer-badal-hires-73-944x625Each suite at Hotel Esencia comes with a sweeping view, too, whether of the property’s expansive tropical gardens or the bold blue ocean. If you manage to tear yourself away from your private haven – we won’t blame you if not – the landmarks and natural wonders of the Riviera Maya are all within driving distance – from Tulum’s Mayan ruins to the mangrove forests of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Forget a royal home – this will strike you a a stylish tropical dreamland.

master suite


All images courtesy of www.hotelesencia.com/

We’re offering a stay in a Garden, Ocean or Master suite from £316, with breakfast.

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