Photo courtesy of Hotel Esencia
Once the vacation home of the Italian Duchess Rosa de Ferrari, this exceptional property was converted into a hotel in 2005. Today, Hotel Esencia is a private, beachfront estate that pairs all of the facilities and comfort of a larger hotel with the attentive care typical of a boutique property or B&B. Those facilities include two swimming pools, a spa, and a gourmet restaurant. In the rooms, lots of details stand out: fridges stocked with complimentary water, beer, and soda; iPod minis to borrow; the services of a private chef and butler; 600-thread-count sheets; and Molton-Brown toiletries. Oversized spaces are the norm (some rooms have walk-in closets), and guests are kept cool in the tropical climate thanks to high ceilings and fans.
By Julie Schwietert Collazo, AFAR Local Expert
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A Resort Fit For a Duchess
A white-walled estate built in the 1990s for an Italian duchess looks out over the Caribbean Sea. Indulge in your private plunge pool, in your cozy garden suite or settle back with a cool drink under shady palapas on the secluded beach and let the world slip away. Jungle-shaded walkways pave the way for a truly tranquil journey. With only 29 rooms, you never have to worry about dealing with the "madding crowd."
By Robin Cherry, AFAR Contributor
Wish you were here...
My favorite beach in the world.
By Tanveer Badal, AFAR Ambassador
This blissful boutique-style resort set on the Mayan Riviera's most beautiful beach is fabulously spoiling. Esencia's luxurious main hotel building, the whitewashed three-storey Casa Grande, was built to satisfy the whims of a wealthy European duchess and designed for her guests. It combines sophisticated simplicity with all mod cons, including black-out curtains to guarantee a good night's sleep. Seamless service, miles of lush tropical beach, expertly mixed tequila cocktails and a pampering spa… we'll be extremely impressed if you make it out to see the Mayan ruins.
In partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith
Luxury on the Mayan riviera
Luxury resort on Xpuha Beach on the Mayan Riviera
A Resort Fit for a Duchess
This private 50-acre estate, once home to an Italian duchess some 60 miles south of Cancun, features 29 ocean and garden view guest rooms, suites and cottages. Luxury amenities include 600-thread Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers, down pillows and Molton Brown toiletries. The Casa Principal (Main House) - the centrepiece of the resort - features a three-story, nine-suite seafront house with a private dining room, state-of-the-art kitchen and chef's tables. Signature restaurant, Sal y Fuego (Salt and Fire) specializes in "international modern sophisticated cuisine with a Mexican flair." Overlooking a scenic cenote (underground fresh water pool) and illuminated at night, it offers the perfect perch for a romantic dinner. A wide array of international wines complement the tasty cuisine crafted by Chef Noe Bernardo and his team. Aroma Spa highlights an array of organic face and body treatments and therapeutic baths incorporating indigenous fruit, plants and herbs. The beachside Temazcal offers traditional Maya "cleanses" while complimentary group yoga and meditation classes further soothe the spirit. In addition, there are two main pools - one for families and one for adults only - along with two private pools for the cottages and 12 plunge pools. Horseback riding, fishing, boating, snorkeling, wind surfing, cenote diving are just a few of the available activities.
By Michelle da Silva Richmond, AFAR Local Expert
Carretera Cancun-Tulum Predio Rustico Xpu-Ha lotes 18 y 19, Calica, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 873 4830