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Hotel Esencia

Calle Carretera Federal KM 265, Xpu-Ha 77710 Mexico
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Traveler (403)
Room & Suite (242)
Pool & Beach (170)
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitized in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
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Updated 01/20/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Esencia
Updated 01/20/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#1 of 6 hotels in Xpu-Ha
2020 Travelers' Choice Best of the Best
Hotel Esencia is a 50-acre private estate, with an awe-inspiring beachfront, two swimming pools, day spa, three 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.
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Full view
Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Hot tub
Outdoor pool
Heated pool
Breakfast available
Breakfast in the room
Poolside bar
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Airport transportation
Car hire
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Head massage
Currency exchange
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun umbrellas
Butler service
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private beach
Private balcony
Room service
Flatscreen TV
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Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Hidden Gem
Family Resort
Languages Spoken
English, French, Spanish
184Reviews13Q+A38Room tips
Traveler rating
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Popular mentions
Claudia L wrote a review Jan 14
Los Angeles, California7 contributions5 helpful votes
My partner and I spent 8 amazing days at Hotel Esencia. We actually were booked for 5 nights and ended extending a night because we loved it so much. We took a red eye flight to avoid crowds and arrived at the hotel around 830am. Not expecting our room to be ready at all but to our surprise it was! The fact that we were able to check in and to shower immediately after a long flight during covid was the best start to the trip. I loved loved loved that attention to detail. The highlight is really how breathtaking their private beach is. They say that it's the only undeveloped beach on that coastline and it really is something else. I've never seen a beach with such calm waters and I have been to Tulum a few times and the color of the water is more turquoise blue here with no seaweed. The water was so calm we were able to paddle board (something I had never done in my life!) and I was able to stand up on my first try. We were contemplating chartering a private boat to spend a day on the ocean but I invested in a waterproof camera case and spent a lot of time sitting on the paddle board deep in the ocean listening to music and meditating. It was something else. Since the beach is private there are no boats nearby and jet ski's and if they you do see one, they are millions of miles away so you feel like you have this entire ocean to yourself. Also all the water toys are complimentary. Another thing that really stood out to me was the decor. The rooms and the restaurants, even their main house was just very chic. I loved the white clean aesthetic with archways. Also the rooms are massive. I would have loved to see the pathways and trees have more lights similar to how you hang lights at Beef Bar at night. I think it would make it so much more fantastical walking through the hotel. Our room was closer to the front entrance so it wouldve made the walk back and forth that much more magical. The spa is exquisite, probably one of the best spa experiences i've ever had (but also the most expensive ha). We did the couples Baho de Reyes and it was a 2 hour experience that I did not want to end!! The spa amenities (steam, plunge, sauna) are also complimentary so we did use it again while we were there. Highly recommend! The staff is so very sweet. Antonio helped us almost every day during the day and his energy was so great. We loved him! Also Pasquale with the water sports. The food is amazing. We left property one night to go to Tulum and had a horrible experience so left early. But we had the rest of the meals on property and honestly did not get sick of the food. We also got fresh complimentary croissants and coffee in the morning so we would eat our lunches on the beach. Mistura is amazing for sunset cocktails and appetizers. I did not love the food at Beef Bar as much as i'd hoped but the ambiance and vibe is something else. I loved it.Felt like you were stepping into a restaurant in St Tropez. Since our room was so far away from the kitchens the room service would arrive cold so we opted to always have our meals at the 3 restaurants. Ok my only two complaints would be that this luxury property does not fog for mosquitoes and insects. We had a bit of a problem with our room since we were deeper in the jungle. I get allergic reactions to mosquito bites and woke up with about 7 on my face which was really upsetting. I had welts all over my body and I did my best not to let it ruin the trip and complain. We also encountered two giant spiders in our room, almost like tarantulas. The staff said they were not poisonous but still for a luxury resort that is $1K/night, you would think they could fog the property ? That was highly disappointing. And I get it, we are in Mexico in the jungle there are bugs but I've been to Tulum a few times (Casa Malca & Be Tulum) and they fog their properties and I left with zero bites. Also i was taking Garlic pills to help fend off the mosquitoes but didnt seem to work here. Lastly - the gym is amazing and we loved working out but they have a weird policy with 6 people max in gym and no masks required. That part was a bit strange and the only time we felt unsafe with covid. We would be in there with another family of 4 maskless and my partner and I would wear a mask because we felt uncomfortable in a closed indoor environment. With Mexico and all these international travelers, they should require masks indoor or allow guests to pre-book out the gym. I want to end on a high note! I loved loved whoever did the design and branding. All the branded pieces from the beach towels to the matches and coasters. The attention to detail to all the branded elements was something else. Also you are so socially distanced that you felt safe at all times (outside of the gym). We cannot wait to come back and bring our friends because they should experience Esencia :)
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Date of stay: January 2021
Room Tip: There was some loud construction during the day where our room 807 was.
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Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded 1 week ago
Dear ClaudiaL3597, I'm delighted to hear that you had a wonderful time with us! We will certainly look forward to the day you return with your friends -- you know that we will take good care of them. When I bought Hotel Esencia back in 2014 I fell in love with this beautiful secluded beach. I could not believe there was still a place so private and so easy to access non-stop from the US (or from almost anywhere) where you feel like you're on a secluded island "away from it all" with no neighbors. My mission was to create the world's best beach resort. Thanks so much for noting how hard we've worked to get every detail almost right. Of course there's always more to do, I appreciate your tip regarding the path lighting, and thanks to your note here we now require masks in our gym when unrelated parties are working out at the same time. Mosquitoes at sunset are unfortunately part of the jungle here however we are usually able to keep them out of our guest rooms by fogging our entire property twice per day and our housekeepers are required to leave all rooms mosquito free. I'm sorry you were unlucky one night and will ask our housekeepers to be more diligent during evening turn down service. We also provide mosquito spray on every terrace and insect killer in every room. Thanks for all your lovely comments about your dining experiences here. Many of our guests enjoy going to Tulum for lunch or dinner but I've heard from so many of them that after one night out they feel like they've "checked that box" and they're happy to stay put to enjoy our three restaurants with so many menu options. Being a small hotel our chefs are also more than happy to make any special favorite you might crave that you don't see on our menus. We look forward to your next visit! Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO Hotel Esencia
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Christopher B wrote a review Jan 3
Bangkok, Thailand12 contributions
As I currently sit at a cozy table at Hotel Esencia’s Mistura Restauarant overlooking the ocean, I’m reflecting on the impact of the experiences I’ve just had here over my long awaited winter break. At the moment, all I hear are softly crashing waves, the sound the gentle breeze is making as it crosses over my ears, and the palms leaves rustling while I sip a glass of red wine and await my dinner. Over the past seven days, I have met people from all parts of the world and shared amazing dinners while chatting about life in each of the hotel’s amazing restaurants-most notably Beef Bar. Alternatively, I also spent perfectly attended-to, quiet, relaxing days soaking in the sun by the beautiful Caribbean or by the hotels massive pools. Most importantly over this time, I’ve shared laughs and genuine, sincere connections with former strangers and now friends while sipping mescal while ringing in the New Year. I came to Mexico and Hotel Esencia a stranger and I feel that I am leaving just the opposite. During the pandemic, many of us have felt isolated and burnt out, but just two days into the trip I was finally able to shed the stress of 2020 and remind myself about how life’s downs always are followed with ups- and vice versa. Hotel Esencia has broken down the grouchy exterior I’ve slowly built over the past few months with it’s crystal clear waters, lavender bath salts, detoxifying steam rooms, and state of the art gym- but because of the people; I feel like a better person than I’ve arrived and I want you to come and experience the same. I could go on and on, but no one wants to read an essay on TripAdvisor- so, I’ll leave you with this: no matter what life throws at us we all have choices and we can choose to escape life’s stresses safely. We all need a holiday and to feel like we belong; even during a pandemic. Kevin Wendell, his staff, and the amazing guests I’ve met while visiting here have reminded me that being away from it all doesn’t have to mean alone, it definitely doesn’t mean pretentious, and it can be done safely. PS: If you don’t want to speak to people- at least make sure you visit the family of manatees in the nearby cenote. They’ll melt your heart and the wonderful lifeguard Pasquale will share this beautiful hidden treasure and all it costs is a text to the concierge to reserve a time.
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Date of stay: January 2021Trip type: Traveled with friends
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded 1 week ago
Dear ChristopherB2638, My sincere thanks for taking the time to write this beautiful review. We are a small family business and I will be sure to share your comments with each and every one of my staff here. We don't think of Hotel Esencia as a hotel per se...it's really our family home that we love to share. In fact it began as the hideaway beach estate of an Italian duchess with extraordinary taste and we simply aim to follow her tradition of excellence in comfort, dining, and service. Hotel Esencia as you know is immersed in nature "away from it all" with no neighbors in sight to the left or right along this spectacular beach. More than even during these cautious times, we have taken extraordinary measures to put our guests safety first, and we have been grateful to continue to welcome so many repeat visitors who already know us best and trust us to do what we love to do most, taking care of them and keeping them safe and secure within our natural paradise. I know this was your first time with us but I hope that it will be the first of many. We are extremely fortunate that Hotel Esencia was designed for isolation and seclusion, with all restaurants and most public spaces outdoors. So many of our more recent guests have come for a long weekend and stayed as long as two or three weeks or even more, given that this is the year when so many of us can work remotely. We have increased the speed of our wifi to the fastest available anywhere and have taken the recent down time earlier this year to renovate 14 of our 47 suites. For the ultimate in privacy we now have 5 new duplex wellness suites with rooftop private pools, isolated personal fitness studios, with a Peloton bike or The Mirror virtual trainer. In additional we have almost entirely rebuilt two of our three restaurants, and completely updated our Mayan themed spa with more treatments from herbs and flowers from our garden so I'm proud to say that we are now feeling "on top of our game". We are so pleased to hear that you agree! I thank you for noticing these many details and on behalf of all of us, we thank you for your visit and look forward to the next. Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO Hotel Esencia
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Albert D wrote a review Dec 2020
Atlanta, Georgia5 contributions3 helpful votes
First- if you are reading this because you are still deciding about this place- just stop and hit "Book Now" We travel extensively (usually in Europe) and have missed it so much with COVID-19.  I found this hotel through an acquaintance on instagram, and I have to admit I was a little unresearched compared to our normal trips but we saw the good reviews and the well thought out COVID protocols and booked it.  That was a very very good decision as I would give this place 10 stars if I could. COVID Protocols- This place is perfect for COVID travel- all the common spaces (restaurants, spa, etc) are outdoors.  As surgeons, it was amazing to finally be able to walk out the door without a mask to head to the beach (which was just steps from our door).  The staff wear masks and face shields if indoors and at least one if outdoors.  On arrival, you receive a Hotel Esencia labeled COVID kit with masks and several types of sanitizer.  We felt completely safe the entire time we were there.  With everything going on there weren't too many other guests there but I have a feeling that even if full the way the resort is designed and laid out, you would feel secluded regardless.  The staff ratio is probably 3 staff members to every 1 guest and they are constantly making sure that everything is perfectly cleaned, arranged, and maintained. Food- We ate at Cafe Esencia, Mistura (x2), and BeefBar as we didn't really want to leave the resort.  All of the food was excellent.  We had read a Telegraph review that said the food was the only thing that needed work- I don't know what they were eating but we had no complaints.  The variety on the menus was excellent.  All of the food demonstrated nuanced mature flavors with excellent quality meat and produce.  Our server the first night recommended sweet potato wedges to go with the rest of our meal (I think both of us kind of gave him a funny look but said sure).  What came out were four perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked wedges of the sweetest sweet potato I'd ever tasted.  This is just an example of the attention to detail found throughout the property.  Must orders at Mistura are the empanadillas, the guacamole with king crab, the fettucine king, and the short rib tacos. At Beef Bar, I could live off the potato cream and all of our steaks were excellent.  Our servers were uniformly phenomenal (Oscar in particular deserves a shout out).  The drinks are also excellent- the signature margarita is grapefruit based (I don't love grapefruit but it was still delicious!).  Our favorite ended up being the ancho and pineapple margarita. Spa- The spa is a luxurious palapa open to the surrounding gardens where they grow their own herbs for the products.  We had massages and facials (Tata Harper products) on our first full day- the massage was so good that I booked another for Sunday.  Again- the attention to detail is just next level.  You have a Mayan ritual on entry and then the local herbs come into play.  The therapists are obviously well trained and actually understand anatomy- the best massage I've had outside of Switzerland.  You can also use the spa facilities themselves which include hot and cool whirlpools, a steam room, and swiss showers.  We took advantage of that daily and the staff provided delicious herbal teas and complimentary scrubs if we wanted. Beach- The beach is beautiful and just steps from most of the rooms.  There are ample sun loungers with shaded huts.  If the staff notices you shielding yourself from the sun, they magically appear with white fabric curtains to get you back in your desired shade.  The water in December was perfect swimming temperature and they keep the pool at a nice warm temp as a counterpoint.  They've apparently had some issues with seaweed (related to global warming apparently) but every morning the areas in front of the hotel were always spotless. Room/Decor- The room is also brilliantly thought out.  All white walls emphasize the art and coffee table books unique to each room.  The pops of blue, red, and yellow are so chic.  Unlimited local purified rain water and a well stocked minibar (as well as coffee and pastries delivered to your balcony every morning) are thoughtful additions.  The bedding is comfortable and the bathrooms luxurious.  There are locally made ceramic pineapples throughout the property- they are even for sale in the boutique in the main house (my husband is glad I only had room for one in my luggage) Overall- The biggest thing about this place that sets it apart from almost every other 5 star place we've stayed is the attention to detail.  Every single thing has been thought off- and in most cases monogrammed.  The staff know your names and anticipate your needs. The director of operations, the food manager, everyone stops to introduce themselves and makes sure that you are taken care of. There are flip flops and beach bags in the rooms so you don't have to remember to pack much of anything.  The owner himself is on property and stopped to introduce himself one morning- my partner said I was totally socially awkward but I think I was just shocked to be meeting the owner of the property (and maybe still feeling some of the margaritas from the night before).  He has taken the idea of a traditional luxury hotel and modernized it for today's world (and even made it sustainable).  We will certainly be back!
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Date of stay: December 2020
Sleep Quality
1 Helpful vote
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded 4 days ago
Dear adiehliii, Such a lovely detailed review! Thank you so much. I wish that anyone shopping for a beach resort getaway could read this -- it really made my day. We truly consider Hotel Esencia as our own family home in Mexico. In fact it began as the private home of an Italian duchess. We live here ourselves so we are absolutely committed to providing our guests with the same high level of comfort, cuisine and service as we like to enjoy ourselves. We are entirely family owned and not part of any large corporation - it's a passion for us - so we are more focused on our guests' enjoyment and the happiness of our employees than anything else. Thanks so much for your lovely comments about your dining experience. Yes, there is an old review that was written four years ago still floating around out there but we have since completely revamped (and rebuilt) our kitchens and restaurants since that time with entirely new menus and even some new chefs, and I sincerely appreciate your noting how much you enjoyed your dining experiences. Just this year we added more than two dozen new vegetarian options and we've also just this year begun offering our own brick oven pizza developed for us from one of the best known pizza chefs in Naples. Last year we also added Beefbar which is a concept created in Monte Carlo offering the world's best cuts of beef including Kobe from Japan, Angus from Australia and the very best American Wagyu - in addition to many great seafood options. I thank you again for all of your extremely kind comments and hope to welcome you back one day soon! Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO
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Rudy O wrote a review Dec 2020
Davie, Florida68 contributions17 helpful votes
This place is simply amazing! There are many things I can say to describe our experience there during our recent stay and calling it a 5-star hotel will simply categorize it as just another expensive exquisite and expensive hotel. What separates this hotel from others, is the family touch. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel not just welcome, but special. We arrived in the hotel around 3:00pm, checked in and dropped our luggages before we decided to explore the beauty of the hotel's magical gardens, when this nice gentleman greeted us and welcomed us to the resort. His name is Kevin Wendle, the owner of the hotel, and in case the name sounds familiar, co-founder of Fox Broadcasting and Hollywood producer of shows like the Fresh Price of Belair. My wife and I have traveled many countries and stayed in exclusive and 5-star+ places through our travels, but what separates Hotel Esencia from others is the attention to the little things - and of course the great food in the various restaurants the hotels has to offer - and the amazing service given to us from our concierge Ricardo and restaurant server Elias, just to name a few. We typically don't revisit places, but our experience in this magical place, for sure has us coming back. Great job Kevin!
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Date of stay: December 2020
Room Tip: Stay in one of the two penthouse rooms, close to the spa and the Beef restaurant.
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1 Helpful vote
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded 1 week ago
DearRudyO804, Thanks so much for this beautiful review and also the personal shout-out! As Hotel Esencia is really my family's home in Mexico I try to meet as many of our guests as possible. As you know I take a lot of personal pride in what we do -- it's my passion -- I'm delighted that you felt so welcome and enjoyed your visit with us so much. I see from your past reviews that you are extremely well travelled and that makes your review here even more special to me. I sincerely appreciate your kind words and look forward to your next visit! All the best, Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO Hotel Esencia
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AlyssaK wrote a review Dec 2020
5 contributions1 helpful vote
Somewhere between Cancun and Tulum is a tropical paradise called Hotel Esencia. From the moment of arrival through the unassuming gates, you sense this place is something special. Whether it's the resplendent beauty of the grounds, unparalleled hospitality, or fastidious attention to detail, nothing here is without careful thought. Whether you are lounging by the water, enjoying the gym and spa amenities, taking advantage of the beach activities, dining at one of the delectable restaurants, or merely taking it all in from the comfort of your carefully appointed suite, there's a plethora of pleasures for you to discover and indulge. This is r&r at its most refined. Did I mention there is a cenote a mere walk away where you can swim with manatees? Or that the spa uses only products grown on site? Rather than divulge all of the treasures Hotel Esencia holds within its verdant walls, I will let (and encourage) you uncover them yourself. I am so glad I did. And while all of this comes at a price, of course, after spending time here rest assured, you will feel it worth every peso.
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Date of stay: December 2020
1 Helpful vote
Response from Kevin Wendle, Owner at Hotel Esencia
Responded 1 week ago
Dear alyssakovach, Such a lovely warm-hearted review -- thanks so much for taking the time to provide your feedback here. Like you, I fell completely in love with our natural surroundings at Hotel Esencia when I first discovered it in 2014 -- I could not believe there was such a paradise so easy to access from almost anywhere and so private. Thanks so much for all of your lovely comments. I'm happy to hear that you found the manatees and were able to swim with them in the natural lagoon next door. These manatees really live there in this natural environment and were never placed there by man, yet these giant docile creatures have come to enjoy spending time swimming with our guests. We hope to see you again! All the best, Kevin Wendle Owner and CEO Hotel Esencia
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$666 - $1,983 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
esencia playa del carmen, esencia hotel playa del carmen
MexicoYucatan PeninsulaQuintana RooRiviera MayaXpu-Ha
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Esencia
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Esencia?
Nearby attractions include Chikin Ha (1.4 miles), Cenote Azul (0.7 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, parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Esencia?
Conveniently located restaurants include Jessie Gelato, Chic Cabaret & Restaurant, and Serenity Beach Club.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Esencia?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness center during their stay.
Does Hotel Esencia have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Hotel Esencia offers an airport shuttle 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.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Hotel Esencia?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and French.
Does Hotel Esencia have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.