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“Beyond amazing.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Esencia

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Hotel Esencia
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Carretera Tulum-Cancun KM 265, Xpu-Ha 77710, Mexico   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Wednesday's FREE in May*
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Winchester, England
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Beyond amazing.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

All of the reviews are right - this place truly is amazing. It is definitely one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. The beach is beautiful, the rooms perfectly appointed (I want to buy their linen it's so amazing!) and the staff are fantastic. Particularly the staff on the beach who will fold your towels while you're swimming - another level of service! I always think you can tell how good a hotel is by whether or not they do Turn Down - again, Esencia does this to another level with a different essential oil burning in your room every night along with a mosquito ring outside to deter insects.

One of the reviewers below has mentioned how they didn't enjoy children being there - I thought quite the opposite. I really enjoyed having children playing about and Esencia carefully manage them by making sure there's a special children's pool. I think there were only children there because it was half term so if you really mind, book outside of those dates.

A few tips:

- My only complaint would be that the food at dinner wasn't exceptional. Yes, it was good but the food is pretty expensive for what it is. $30 for a main is average at dinner. We often went to the beach bar (about halfway down the beach to the right of the hotel) which is considerably cheaper. We often went for lunch and so didn't need much dinner. The food and service is great there too and they often have live music.
- Chichen Itza is not too far away! Our travel agent gave us the impression it was hours away - but it is only 2 hours 15 minutes and absolutely worth the trip. I'd really recommend going.
- I'd recommend going on tours with CESiak (http://www.cesiak.org/) to Sian Kaan, the nature reserve near Tulum. The guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and the canal floating trip was a once in a lifetime experience.
- The spa treatments are very expensive compared to UK prices (maybe not US spas) but it is one of the best spas I have been to. The treatment rooms are open air and they grow their own plants for the treatments. It's a very special place. I'd recommend booking a treatment for when it's dark so you can enjoy the jacuzzi afterwards (you get your own private one!) at night with the candles lit.
- If you've booked a trip out of the hotel, I would suggest making sure everything is finalised by the Concierge before you head up to get your taxi. As Esencia is a bit of a way down from the road, they have a seperate reception by the road. Often they don't put any staff who speak English there - this proved a real problem when we thought the Concierge had booked a taxi and told them where we were going, when actually they expected us to do this. No-one at the reception was able to help us as they couldn't understand us! This happened a few times and I think is a definite point for improvement.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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415 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We recently stayed at this propert for 4 nights . We were not looking for the all inclusive Mexico vacation. This property blew us away! The rooms were perfect in every way, service was amazing, beach was beautiful and the spa outstanding. The staff could not have been more accommodating. The property is between playa del Carmen and Tulim.. Don't miss the snorkeling and scuba diving in the caves right near the hotel. And the food and cute shopping in Tulim is well worth the effort to travel a bit beyond the all inclusive area of Playa.... We can't wait to return.

Room Tip: We had the garden view room with a private plunge pool. We usually stay in rooms with an ocean view...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk res
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 128 cities Reviews in 128 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013 via mobile

We had a garden room...very large and extremely comfortable. The staff were excellent. The grounds were beautiful. The restaurants and bars were expensive but good.Highly recommended.the beach was clean and all but private...the pool beautiful.

Stayed March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Wonderful property with perfect mix of privacy, luxury and service. Food was fantastic, beach and pool were great with lots of service whenever you needed anything, and the beach is great for walking and relaxing. Will definitely go back someday.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

We have just returned from a week here & really had a wonderfully relaxing time. The staff are so charming and helpful especially the guys on the beach who seem to be endlessly giving you clean towels and making up your sun beds, giving you cold bottled water or sweeping the beach. The beach is a long soft sandy one with warm sea and luckily there are only two hotels & a dive club (no high rise buildings) also on the beach so which are up the other end so there are very few people in the sea. As it is a small hotel and most of the rooms are with pools in the grounds with only about 5 rooms with a beach view you never feel that it is overcrowded. We had a lovely spacious room with a wonderful view & quiet air conditioning - as we had a warm breeze the whole time we were there l hardly saw any Mosquitos & only received a couple of bites during dinner (normally I am a magnet for them). Other than breakfast which was included all the meals are charged in US dollars & are not cheap especially the barbecue on a Saturday night which was $80 per person plus service - so be aware. The waiters are also delightful and very helpful with any food dislikes or allergies especially Simon,Victor & Alfredo - many thanks to all for a great holiday and l would definitely recommend this hotel for a relaxing holiday.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

This is the second time that my husband and I have visited Esencia and it was just as perfect as we remembered! It really is idyllic; first class service, stylish decor, beautiful well appointed rooms (we had a garden suite), excellent selection and quality of food and drinks (and I am fussy!), and a peaceful and clean beach in a picturesque location. I also used the Mayan spa, which is extremely relaxing and luxurious. There is no gym but you can run along the beach and they offer free yoga classes every morning. Basically, I cannot find fault with the place and in fact it delights at every opportunity! I am particularly fussy about food and I really felt well catered for here. You get coffee and pastries delivered to your room at a time of your choosing as part of your stay, you can then go and have full a la carte breakfast when you get up and go to the main pool area. Lunch includes a wide range of Mexican and international options as well as Esencia's specialty ceviches, which I loved. Evening dinner is in the restaurant in the gardens, very beautiful and romantic by candlelight and again, a great menu with chef's specials every night. They also stock your minibar for free (beer, soft drinks and water) and keep fresh fruit in your room at all times. Having stayed in many of the world's top hotels I genuinely think this is my favourite and I cannot wait to go back again!

Room Tip: We stayed in a Garden Suite with Plunge Pool - we didn't use the plunge pool that much because t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Sometimes I wonder what makes the difference between a 4* and 5*? I found it at Esencia: the service. It is the most interesting part of the travel experience. Never have I encountered people so happy to help you, to welcome you, to serve you. Every single employee tells you Hola. Even the gardener will stop what he does to salute you. I have never seen that before. That's what makes a hotel exceptional.
As you can read on this website the surroundings are beautiful. The rooms are big, clean and well furnished in a zen atmosphere. The food is great but expensive. The meal plan is a must since there is no restaurant around. The beach is quiet, clean and beautiful. There are some coral reef in the ocean but it is easy to find a spot free of rocks.

The only reason why I don't give it a 5* is related to a delicate matter. This hotel is targeted to a mature and quiet clientele who is pleased by a calm environment. For that reason I don't think that it is the right place for families with young children. I love children but I don't think it's an appropriate place for them. On the first 3 days the place was only occupied by adults. We were enjoying the 2 beautiful pools, the beach, the hamacs. By the week-end many families arrived with children as young as 2 years old, running around the pools and crying, jumping and screaming.
Esencia became then a very different place. I think that this resort should only be for children older than 12 years as many other small luxury boutique hotels are.
Esencia offers yoga classes, a zen environment, a top notch spa and lounge music in the rooms while accepting young children. Trying to be everything for everyone is not always a good marketing move.
This won't stop us for going back but it could damper the interest of the newlyweds.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Esencia

Address: Carretera Tulum-Cancun KM 265, Xpu-Ha 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Esencia 4.5*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Esencia is a 50-acre private estate, with an awe-inspiring beachfront, two swimming pools, day spa, two restaurants, and an indulgent atmosphere fitting of royalty. In fact, the property and many of the buildings once served as the exclusive beach-side retreat of an Italian duchess. Though friendly, warm and generous, the duchess demands the very best and Esencia still benefits from her superior taste, her impeccable style and her zest for life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esencia Playa Del Carmen
Esencia Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Hotel Esencia Riviera Maya, Mexico - Xpu-Ha

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