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Carretera Cancun - Tulum Km 265, Playa del Carmen 77750 Mexico
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Traveler (539)
Pool & Beach (124)
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What is Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
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Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitized in high-temperature wash
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Daily temperature and symptom checks for staff
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Updated 12/18/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Esencia
Updated 12/18/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#6 of 333 hotels in Playa del Carmen
2022 Travelers' Choice Best of the Best
Mexico's only 5-Star rated independent hotel by Forbes Travel Guide, Hotel Esencia is a 50-acre private estate, with an awe-inspiring 500 meter beachfront, two swimming pools, award winning spa, three restaurants, and an indulgent atmosphere fitting of royalty. In fact, the estate was once 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.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Valet parking
Hot tub
Pool / beach towels
Swimming pool toys
Pool with view
Adult pool
Outdoor pool
Heated pool
Private pool
Plunge pool
Yoga classes
Yoga room
Fitness / spa locker rooms
Fitness classes
Personal trainer
Coffee shop
Breakfast available
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Happy hour
Kids' meals
Outdoor dining area
Snack bar
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Poolside bar
Game room
Evening entertainment
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Highchairs available
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Car hire
Taxi service
Meeting rooms
Body wrap
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot bath
Foot massage
Full body massage
Hand massage
Head massage
Makeup services
Neck massage
Steam room
Waxing services
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Currency exchange
Executive lounge access
Mosquito net
Outdoor furniture
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Sun umbrellas
Butler service
24-hour check-in
24-hour front desk
Express check-in / check-out
Private check-in / check-out
Clothes dryer
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Allergy-free room
Blackout curtains
Air conditioning
Private beach
Additional bathroom
Coffee / tea maker
Cable / satellite TV
Walk-in shower
Soundproof rooms
Dining area
Interconnected rooms available
Private balcony
Room service
Seating area
Separate dining area
Separate living room
VIP room facilities
Wardrobe / closet
Bottled water
Clothes rack
Laptop safe
Private bathrooms
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Flatscreen TV
iPod docking station
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Ocean view
Pool view
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, French, Spanish
Hotel links
Special Rate:Stay three nights, get one free!
240Reviews15Q+A48Room tips
Traveler rating
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Most Recent
Jennifer E wrote a review Jun 2022
Houston, Texas19 contributions11 helpful votes
There are not enough words to describe Esencia. We have actually been coming here for many years. We made a return visit in April 2022 after Covid, and a lapse of a few years. Absolutely, no place we would rather stay. The team is hands down the best. The changes to the hotel are amazing. The little touches have made a huge difference in the property. No detail is missed. We are literally counting the days until we can return. Many, many thank you for an outstanding visit. We will be back soon!
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Date of stay: April 2022
Sleep Quality
Response from Sean Murphy, General Manager at Hotel Esencia
Responded yesterday
Dear Jennifer, Thank your taking the time to write this fabulous review, and most importantly for the loyalty to the brand! The majority of our guests are repeat visitors, and travelers like you mean the absolute world to us. Especially when we are able to hear that we continue to exceed expectations! We appreciate you noticing the changes we have been subtly adding over the years and delighted to hear that they are making an impact. Our new sushi restaurant Taiyo , US Open tennis court, private helicopter, and four bedroom villa coming this October 1st are all things to keep an eye out for. In the past two years alone, we’ve added twelve new room products, achieved a 5 star rating from Forbes Travel Guide, and will never stop elevating our levels of service / value experiences every day. We can’t wait for your next visit! Best, Sean Murphy Managing Director Hotel Esencia, Xpu Ha
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coconoir1908 wrote a review Jun 2022
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania90 contributions5 helpful votes
Hotel Esencia is a magical escape. It’s everything that you would want in an exclusive luxury hotel with a chic, beachy, minimalist vibe that’s tucked in a jungle. If you want to steal away to relax & unplug this is the spot. The resort grounds are immaculate, complete with a resident peacock. The 3 onsite restaurants are amazing with each having its own unique ambiance and menu. The spa, wow. I received 3 spa services during my seven day stay (Essence of Love, Coffee Ritual & the Energetic Massage) My husband had 2 services (Essence of Love & Reflexology). Needless to say, the spa is to die for & can’t be missed!! Make sure you arrive a bit early to use the sauna, steam room or jacuzzi before your services. No detail is over looked and the service is perfect in every way that we experienced. From the atmosphere, to evening turn down service, from the accommodating & friendly staff-especially Augustine, to the 24/7 concierge, there is no wonder why Esencia was awarded the 2022 rating from Forbes Travel Guide as one of the few Five Star Hotels in the world. Our Honeymoon experience was flawless.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Sean Murphy, General Manager at Hotel Esencia
Responded 3 weeks ago
Dear coconoir1908, Out of the thousands of Hotels you could have chose from for your Honeymoon, we are incredibly grateful that you chose Hotel Esencia for such a special occasion. Thank you for staying with us, and also for this fabulous 5 star review! Although we may not technically be an island, we often refer to ourselves as one since we are so secluded on our own stretch of private beachfront immersed in the jungle. We appreciate you recognizing the exclusivity we have spent years curating. The resort grounds certainly are beautiful, however they are not quite complete without our peacocks! It sounds like you met Paco, our most humble of the three as he is the colorful male. Paco resides on property with his two female friends, Gabriela & Blanca. Hopefully you see all of them on your next visit! Your feedback on the culinary, spa, and service experiences were delightful to read! We do our best to ensure that all of our guests have endless options for food and beverage while staying with us. From a traditional ceviche at Mistura, a world class steak at Beefbar, an Omakase experience at Taiyo, a brick-oven pizza delivered to your suite, or dozens more...there is sure to be a pleasing choice for every palette. As for the Spa, that Essence of Love treatment on a Honeymoon is just perfect for the occasion! It is not surprising to hear that you and your husband re-visited the wellness facilities after that magical ritual. We hope that your generous comments are an indication that we will be able to host you again soon at Hotel Esencia. Congratulations on the recent wedding, and thank you again for visiting us! Sincerely, Sean Murphy Managing Director Hotel Esencia
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RD H wrote a review May 2022
131 contributions5 helpful votes
Hotel Esencia is without a doubt the absolute best hotel I have ever stayed at. I loved the low-key elegance and relaxing vibe of the property. Any requests were accommodated graciously and efficiently. The staff members are real gems -- the best trained I have had the privilege of meeting. I was not sure the hotel could live up to its reputation (most hotels fall down in some aspect at some point....). In fact, I was blown away by this hotel. The highlights for me were the spa (which incorporates Mayan and local features into the treatments) and experiencing a Mayan gratitude rite that the hotel arranged for its guests. Can't wait to return.
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Date of stay: May 2022
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Our suite in the Main House was amazing.
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Response from Sean Murphy, General Manager at Hotel Esencia
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear 684rdh, It is an absolute honor to read that we were able to exceed your expectations on your recent visit, and become the best Hotel you have ever stayed with! We take this feedback to heart as a family owned business, and make it our focus to create an atmosphere where you are able to feel at home. You said it best, the team "are real gems"! They are carefully selected and trained to anticipate our guest's needs and make sure you never have to lift a finger. As for the Spa, we extend our immense gratitude for the highlight there! The Mayan inspired design, spa treatments, saunas and steam rooms all helped us to be recognized by Forbes as The Best Spa in Mexico last year. We recently added to the experiences offered with our new Temazcal, which is a Mayan sweat lodge and is home to a Shaman led ritual that is truly life-changing! Thank you so much for staying with us. We are excited to see you again soon! Sincerely, Sean Murphy Managing Director Hotel Esencia
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Nadhub wrote a review May 2022
Montreal343 contributions50 helpful votes
Staying at Hotel Esencia was like living in a dream for four days. I can’t really add any special insights except to say that this hotel delivers a wonderful experience at every aspect: room comfort, food, grounds, pool, spa and location. The best part about Hotel Esencia is the staff. I could see that they all work very well together and genuinely care about the guests. Our stay was to celebrate a special milestone but I hope to return soon. I particularly enjoyed the Japanese restaurant Taiyo and we ended up eating here twice during our all-too-short stay.
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Date of stay: May 2022
1 Helpful vote
Response from Sean Murphy, General Manager at Hotel Esencia
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear Nadhub, First and foremost, thank you for choosing Hotel Esencia amongst the hundreds of Hotels in The Riviera Maya for your recent vacation! We also would like to extend our gratitude for the wonderful 5 star review, and for your gracious comments of course. I will certainly agree with you that the best part of our guest experience begins with our team. As we were recently recognized by Forbes Travel Guide as the only 5 star independently owned Hotel in the Country, they truly are first class! We love to hear the feedback about Taiyo, as it is our newest addition to the property bringing the best Sushi experience in Mexico. This journey through Japanese cuisine was conceptualized by a Master Chef from Japan in November of 2021 and has since become a favorite of our guests! Congratulations on your recent milestone and we absolutely hope you will be returning soon. Sincerely, Sean Murphy Managing Director Hotel Esencia
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Manuel Gamazo wrote a review May 2022
Madrid, Spain2 contributions
Hotel of your dream and excelent service from all employees. A special reference to Luis Antonio Dzib mesero playa y alberca who took care of us in the beach. I would like to congratulate Esencia owner and management to have reach the excelence. See you soon again!
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded May 23, 2022
Dear Sr. Gamazo, A million thanks to you for taking the time to recommend Hotel Esencia, and to thank our beach waiter Luis here as well. He truly cares about our guests and I'm sure he will be thrilled to see his name here with your kind words. We pride ourselves on on our service above all - I'm so proud of every member of our team. We are honored that we were recently awarded 5 stars by Forbes Travel Guide, the only independent hotel in Mexico to achieve this honor and the only 5 star hotel within an hour of Tulum, Mexico. We are a small family business with just 48 rooms and we truly consider all of guests, like yourself, as guests in our own home. We hope to welcome you back to our little paradise one day soon. Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO Hotel Esencia
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Beckybsketi wrote a review May 2022
Horndean, United Kingdom92 contributions102 helpful votes
Esencia is probably the most beautiful and immaculate property I have ever stayed at, arriving at the entrance it felt like we were entering a secret garden! Being whisked through to our gorgeous seafront suite, there was nothing to fault. All the staff were great, service was faultless. Food and drinks were extremely good and the beef bar was not disappointing, what a magical setting! The beach is beautiful in front of the property and kept seaweed free, there is a small reef with a good assortment of fish. The highlight being the cenote, paddle boarding, thank you to Pasquale for being so patient to a complete novice, you are brilliant at what you do! Then snorkelling with the wonderful manatees, a very special experience. This beautiful property has been on my wish list for a few years and it lived up to my expectations, thank you Hotel Esencia.
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2 Helpful votes
Response from Sean Murphy, General Manager at Hotel Esencia
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear Beckybsketi, Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to write this kind review. I'm especially delighted to hear that you've been following us for years and that we met your high expectations! Just last month, Hotel Esencia was honored by Forbes Travel Guide with its first ever 5 star rating. We are one of the few independent hotels in the world to achieve this honor, and the only 5 Forbes 5 star hotel within an hour radius of Tulum, Mexico. We are humbled and honored by this achievement but it is the 5 star reviews here from so many refined travelers like yourself that mean the most to us. On behalf of our entire Hotel Esencia family, please accept my sincere thanks for your recent visit and for taking the time to recommend us. Sean Murphy Managing Director Hotel Esencia
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Phoebe N wrote a review May 2022
Los Angeles, California21 contributions10 helpful votes
Hotel Esencia does not feel like a hotel at all. It felt like a luxury, yet casual private jungle oasis. The design team here are amazing from the architecture down to the candles on the table.Every space was beyond beautiful, functional and comfortable. The property is beautifully landscaped and very spread out . The staff and service were top notch. Hilda took great care of us. The food was fresh,and delicious. The beach was great with one section of reef for snorkeling. Pasquale the lifeguard took us to the cenote for paddle boarding and to swim/snorkel with the wild manatee family. This is really a special place to unwind get away and enjoy beach life. Very Magical!
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Date of stay: April 2022
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: I don't think there are any bad rooms
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1 Helpful vote
Response from Sean Murphy, General Manager at Hotel Esencia
Responded 4 weeks ago
Dear Phoebe N, One of our main goals at Hotel Esencia is to make guests feel as if they were staying at their own beachfront estate, which I am elated to read that we were able to achieve for you! Many thanks for your comments about the design team, they are truly creative geniuses and have worked for years curating every detail from our globally renown architecture to the way cushions are replaced at dusk from light colors to dark. In fact, we are working on a brand new 4 bedroom villa right now which we are excited to release in October called The Esencia Villa. The design team added a full screening room, underground speakeasy, three pools, and much more. We can't wait to show you! It was a pleasure to read about your feedback on our landscaping, as maintenance is our largest department! We have over 55 acres of jungle directly on the beach and make sure there is a close eye on every inch. We also appreciate the notes about Hilda and Pascual, two of our most special resources in our family business who we have shared these comments with and recognized them for their continued impact on our guest experience. The Manatee excursion is truly a once in a lifetime adventure, and we are so glad you were able to visit the nearby cenote steps from our property. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon and making some more memories with us! Sincerely, Sean Murphy Managing Director Hotel Esencia
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Brent B wrote a review May 2022
Washington DC, District of Columbia6 contributions5 helpful votes
My wife and I visited Hotel Esencia in 2018 on our honeymoon and could not wait to return. We recently did, and found it just as enthralling as our first visit. Inspiring design, incredible food (Beefbar- what a marvelous addition), and such warmth and attention from every member of the staff. You cannot help but feel embraced here. (Thank you to Hilda for giving us such a warm welcome 😉) I wondered if it would feel quite as magical on our second trip as it did on our first, and it absolutely did. Now the only question is how soon we can return for our third visit — or will we make the trip to the new France location first? Decisions, decisions!
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded May 6, 2022
Dear Brent B, Thanks so much for your compliments and this lovely review! We are a small family business and we live here at the hotel ourselves so we take all of our reviews here personally as you might imagine. We were absolutely delighted to have you back with us for a second visit. More than half of our guests are now repeat clients like yourselves which is the highest compliment. We are also so honored to have been rated as one of the few Five Star hotels in the world by Forbes Travel Guide last month, the only independent hotel in all of Mexico with Five Stars and the only one within an hour radius of Tulum, Mexico. Our next Hotel Esencia in France won't be open for another year or so but we will be sure to alert everyone once we're ready and everything's perfect. In the meantime please consider Hotel Esencia as your home here in Mexico! All the best, Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO
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Nancy D wrote a review May 2022
Torrance, California9 contributions4 helpful votes
True to its name, Hotel Esencia is the heart of beauty in the Riviera Maya. It is absolutely the most exquisite place to be! The accommodations are perfect with elegant luxuriousness yet so, so comfortable; the staff are top notch, friendly and helpful always; the beach is devastatingly gorgeous with sand like the finest sugar. There are tons of things to do: paddleboarding, snorkeling, swimming with the manatees in the cenote (within walking distance!) and jaunts on the Hobie Cat, or just lazing in the palapas on the beach. The spa is simply spectacular with so many interesting treatments housed in the most beautiful and original palapa. The food, the drinks, all of the restaurants are amazing and full of variety, so no need to venture off resort for any reason. The only thing you’ll want is to stay longer! Thanks to Kevin and the whole beautiful bunch a Hotel Esencia, you have every reason to be proud of this most deserved Best of the Best Traveler’s Choice rating!
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Date of stay: April 2022
Room Tip: Every room is perfect and private.
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2 Helpful votes
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded May 2, 2022
Dear Nancy D, Such a joy for me to read your beautiful review this morning. Thanks so much for your recent visit and for this lovely 5 star rating. Thanks especially for detailing the many activities available at Hotel Esencia. We aim to offer much more than "a bed and a beach" and carefully consider and plan each guest's complete experience from the moment they step off the plane until the moment they arrive home. Of course those guests who prefer to just lie on our beach and relax all day are certainly welcome to do that! In addition to our recent Best of the Best rating from Trip Advisor we are extremely pleased to have just received our first ever 5-Star Rating by Forbes Travel Guide, the only independent hotel in Mexico to achieve such an honor and the only 5-Star hotel within an hour of Tulum, Mexico. Thanks again for your visit and your kind words. We hope to see you back here soon! Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO Hotel Esencia
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sharonandfriends wrote a review May 2022
Los Angeles, California1 contribution3 helpful votes
Words cannot express the beauty and elegance of @hotelesencia so please see photos. Private and exclusive. Chic and comfortable. Attentive and caring staff. Delicious food, healthy and indulge worthy. Lush and expertly manicured grounds. Heavenly beach. Luxurious amenities. Thank you Kevin, Hilda, Sean, Kelly, Pasquale, Willy and Miguel for a magical trip.
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Please do not miss the spa, paddle boarding, room service, and morning yoga.
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3 Helpful votes
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded May 3, 2022
Dear Sharon and friends, Such beautiful photos! Thanks so much for sharing them here with your beautiful 5 star review. I'm delighted to hear that you and your friends enjoyed such a lovely vacation with us. Hotel Esencia is of course a labor of love for me and my family as it is our own family home in Mexico. We hope you will now consider it your "home" in Mexico as well! All the best, Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO
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$1,591 - $2,248 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
esencia playa del carmen, esencia hotel playa del carmen
MexicoYucatan PeninsulaQuintana RooRiviera MayaPlaya del Carmen
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Esencia
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Esencia?
Nearby attractions include Escapology Riviera Maya (3.1 miles), Chikin Ha (1.4 miles), and Cenote Cristalino (0.8 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Esencia?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Hotel Esencia?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Esencia?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and a poolside bar during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Esencia?
Yes, free parking, secured parking, and valet parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Esencia?
Conveniently located restaurants include Jessie Gelato, CHIC CABARET & RESTAURANT, and 081.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Esencia?
Yes, guests have access to a pool, a fitness center, and a sauna during their stay.
Does Hotel Esencia have airport transportation?
Yes, Hotel Esencia offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Hotel Esencia?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Are pets allowed at Hotel Esencia?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Hotel Esencia?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and French.