This past month we took our first real vacation without our Caramel. We always spend hours on hour researching where to go and what to do before we make any decision, and this time it was especially important that we would plan our dream vacation. My biggest fear was that I’d leave him for a week and the trip would be so average that I would regret every single second of it. Thankfully, it turned out to be the exact opposite. It was by far the best trip we’d ever taken and not going to lie – getting on that plane to come back was a bit of a struggle. Besides the fact that Mathieu and I were able to connect, relax, and sleep in past 7am for the first time in waaaaay too long, the hotel we chose was literally out of your Pinterest dreams. I mean EVERY SINGLE CORNER of Hotel Esencia was breathtaking.
This (majestic) small luxury hotel is a 50-acre estate of beauty all around, and the best part? It was originally built as the private hideaway home of an Italian duchess on the most beautiful beach of the Mayan Riviera. I mean, how incredible is that; just walking around the grounds imagining what use to be, looking at all the impeccably kept architectural details, thinking of how much culture and history the very trees your looking at have seen, it has a sort of magic.
As the years went by and the estate became a 29 room boutique hotel, Keven Wendle (yes, THE Kevin Wendle), took ownership and turned the hotel into the beauty it is today; preserving all that has made it beautiful and adding a modern touch that is so unique. The strong architectural features of the hotel are reinforced by an entire collection of furniture designed especially for Hotel Esencia, everything from hand woven rugs and bed throws to the one of a kind art work and playlists by famous DJs streaming in every room. It is the most one of a kind place we have ever visited, and it’s authenticity made us fall completely in love with it.
The “Main House” is the hotel’s centerpiece, around which all the 29 suite and villa footpaths lead to. We spent much of our time in here- it is essentially your living room. It is filled with hundreds of books, board games, seating areas, the most beautiful views of the ocean/pools, and my favorite- tea time everyday (delicious home made pastries included for all those bikini body goals lol). Next to this area is also a boutique with the most exclusive designers and chic apparel/ accessories; I mean really- you might want to bring an extra empty luggage so that everything can fit on the way home.
In terms of all the things you can plan to do- there are A LOT. The first and most unique is watching little sea turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean. Situated on the immaculate bay of Xpu-Ha, it is a natural haven where each year sea turtles make their nests. It is such a rare and special experience for you to have. The perfect location of Esencia also means that you have an incredible reef. The hotel provides you with all the snorkeling gear you need and you can spend the days looking at fish and sea life you only see in magazines and national geographic. It is another experience that will take your breath away.
For days you want to do a little bit more, you can start your morning with complimentary breakfast in bed followed by sunrise yoga overlooking the water and feeling the ocean breeze. After a quick stop at the Cold-Press juice bar, you can spend time in one of the most beautiful organic spa’s you’ll ever see. There’s everything from facials, manis and pedis, to body scrubs, massage therapy, and even a chocolate body scrub for kids (I’ll have one of those too please!) When you’re perfectly relaxed and feeling completely recharged, you can order food to your suite or visit the restaurant overlooking the water.
The food at Hotel Esencia might actually be the only reason you need to stay and never leave. Because Mathieu and I are reducitarians and eat 95% plant based we are always worried about how our diet will be when we travel. (Let’s be honest- it is extremely difficult to stick to dietary restriction when you travel) So you can imagine how insane it was that we spent 7 days in Mexico, ate only plant based, and didn’t even notice until we left. The food here is INCREDIBLE (to say the least), and it surpassed any exceptions we’ve ever had. Dining here is at one a culinary voyage and a coming home. All their ingredients are simple yet sophisticated, drawing as much from Mexico’s unique range of regional cuisines as from the well-loved comforts of Mediterranean cooking. Most of the ingredients are taken from the hotel’s own garden and what isn’t is sourced locally from farmers and artisans in Quintana Roo. They have dishes for everyone and every single thing you taste will be an experience.
And finally, the beyond helpful and (very) sweet staff at Hotel Esencia. From the moment you get there, until after you leave, you feel like you’ve arrived home. Every single person that helped us and served us while on our trip went above and beyond to make us feel like we were the most special people on earth. Traveling there and making connections with the staff is something we cherish so much, and such a big reason why we cant wait to travel back one day soon.