All at once, our car enters a tiny road impossible to find without a local driver, leading us to the 50-acre property of Hotel Esencia which lays untainted by the surrounding luxurious Hotels. As a hidden gem located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, this unique beach holiday hideaway is set on a private and secluded white powdery beach that stretches for 2 miles off Xpu-Ha Bay.
A golf cart is waiting to take us to our Villa. As we leave, we reach a path immersed in the jungle lit by twinkling lights hanging from palm trees leading the way. The suggestive atmosphere is emphasized by the sounds of the ocean and the wildlife.
Soon we reach the main house, once the former vacation residence of Italian Duchess Rosa de Ferrari; built with reminiscences of mediterranean architecture. Through little paths among the luxuriant gardens we’re walked to our Suite located within one of the intimate 29 private secluded Villas dotted around. It’s a Garden Suite room with a private plunge pool connected to the bathroom (heated up on request!)I decide to kill the jet lag sipping a Margarita by one of the two pools facing the ocean before finally going to sleep.
The good thing about jet lag was waking early, and savoring the tea, the fresh coffee and the freshly baked pastries placed outside the room in a tiny wooden box. It’s nearly 6am and the jungle is coming alive – colorful tropical birds and curious coatis join us occasionally on our private terrace making my breakfast a singular experience.
As I am late for the Pilates class, I decide instead to enjoy our sculptural white slice of heaven. The hotel suites are simply designed with whitewashed walls and built-in furniture decorated with extreme attention to detail. Each suite incorporates the most luxurious finishing touches; everything is elegantly designed from the flip-flops that guests receive, instead of regular sleepers, to the box of matches. There is also an in-room ipod with Esencia’s unique playlist by the notable music designer Michel Gaubert!
Entrepreneur Kevin Wendle bought this 50-acre estate back in 2014 and transformed it into the chic retreat-boutique hotel that it is nowadays. His impressive french mid-century art collection on site counts artwork and furnishing from the 50’s by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Guariche and Serge Mouille, conscientiously mixed with commissioned pieces from local artisans handmade in Mexico with local woods and traditional techniques. The minimal all-white interiors are adorned by colorful finishes dotted throughout the spaces, handwoven rugs and bed throws designed exclusively for Hotel Esencia.
After lounging on a sunbed by the sugary white-sand beach and digging into the lively menu of regional dishes, I decide to explore the palapa-roofed Mayan spa that uses homemade ancient Yucatan remedies, an oasis of calm looking out onto the lush and green tropical surroundings, conceived for the utmost comfort.
Hotel Esencia, now part of the SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the world) collection, is yet to launch eleven new suites by the beach this season to offer an even more authentic experience – no surprise that this ultra high end beach resort is listed between the 100 best Hotels in the world!