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Reviewed 13 May 2018

New beachfront suites, new food, same amazing service and location. Go Here!
The staff and accommodations are beyond 5 star. Yoga every morning, tea in the afternoon and the location is ideal for exploring Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. The concierge was exceptional at getting us what we needed whether it was restaurant reservations, horseback riding, or adventure.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Doctoreddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin W, Owner at Hotel Esencia, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

Dear Doctoreddy,

What a pleasure to read your nice comments! Nothing makes me happier than seeing a client return for a second (third, etc) visit as I know that the world is full of many lovely vacation options. We are so fortunate to be located on perhaps the prettiest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya -- just a one hour direct flight from the southern US -- which gives us a great advantage, and we work hard every day here to provide the ultimate in comfort, cuisine, and service so our clients can relax and enjoy.

I hope we will have the pleasure of a third visit!

Kevin Wendle
Owner and CEO

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2018

Here is a koan: how can a man so obviously driven to perfection in every detail create an idyll of relaxation and serenity like Esencia? If you are looking for quiet seclusion with attentive service, good food, and snorkeling off the beach, this is the place for you. There were other people there while we were there, but we somehow never heard anything but the chattering of the birds (and the occasional shriek of the peacock) and the murmur of the surf. We had a lulling routine: pastries in the morning (free) followed by yoga (also free) followed by a trip on a sailboat to the reef (also free) or a massage (definitely not free but also definitely worth it), followed by a late breakfast or early lunch. Then either more snorkeling off the beach or reading lazily (very nice library adjacent to a lounge that had games) in one of the cabanas on the beach until afternoon tea at four (do NOT miss the delicious petit fours, which varied each day but were all excellent). Then a luxury shower and reading on the balcony, then dinner. We had fabulous fruit drinks on the beach. Everywhere you turn, whatever you want, there is a smiling staff person waiting to help you. Drop your bathing suit accidentally on the roof below? No problem. Need scads of really gorgeous postcards? No problem (they are also free, by the way, although the postage is not). Yes, the food and drinks are expensive, but the place and the people are so generous, and the pampering and relaxation so genuine, that it all seems like a great value to me. I have already recommended Esencia to two of my closest friends. One of them does not have long to live, and all I want to convey about Esencia is summarized by my urging her to come to this hotel.

Room Tip: Room 701 has 2 balconies and luxury shower but no bathtub. Decide whether you want to be in main house or farther away.
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Snoozan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin W, Owner at Hotel Esencia, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Dear Snoozan,

Such a beautiful review! Thank you for taking the time to write in such detail about your experience with us.

It's true that even at 100% capacity most guests feel like they are truly "away from it all" as our intimate beachside hideaway sits on nearly 50 acres with no neighbors in sight. There are however, as you mention, the peacocks, yucatan jays and other exotic birds, in addition to the giant sea turtles, coatis, and occasional monkey to keep you company here.

Thanks so much for your visit!

All the best,

Kevin Wendle
Owner and CEO

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Reviewed 20 April 2018 via mobile

Three words describe Esencia:
Details, Details Details.
From the food to the staff.
Exquisite.
We have returned to an expanded setting with a new restaurant and bar. New accommodations which are spacious and luxurious.
It's hard to leave this piece of Paradise!

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Lydell T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin W, Owner at Hotel Esencia, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Dear Lydell T,

A million thanks for your return visit and for taking the time to post your comments here. It's always helpful to hear directly from our guests and we are always of course extremely grateful for those who recommend the hotel here or to their friends and family.

Please consider Hotel Esencia as your new "home" in Mexico. I hope we will have the pleasure of a third visit one day!

All the best,

Kevin Wendle
Owner and CEO

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Reviewed 16 April 2018

I first visited the Hotel Esencia in 2007, a complete blissed out stay. I was strangely reluctant to revisit, concerned that the Hotel Esencia had perhaps changed in a way that did not jive with my first enchanted visit there. However I took the plunge and returned with my daughter for a week in one of the new beach suites.

I could not have been more off in my original hesitation. The new owner, Kevin Wendell, has tucked the property under his visionary wing and breathed new elegance, love, life, into the property. The Hotel Esencia today has reached a new level of thoughtful elegance; it soars.

In term of it’s vibe, the Hotel Esencia exudes a sophisticated mise en scene yet retains the intimacy, playfulness and care of a small family hotel, with a just right scale and lapidary attention to detail. This is a taut balance to achieve, yet they have; the Hotel Esencia splashes down right there, smack in the idyllic Goldilocks zone.
What’s new? Six new outta sight beach suites, a chic beachfront fusion restaurant, a sea breezy yoga deck, cool playlists in your room that have you dancing as you unpack, and pack (the hard bit) and a sweet red notebook in your room for your day dreams/ musings.

For those of us who live to read! on vacation, there are excellent reading lights at each bedside and next to all the comfortable chairs. This may sound like an odd thing to point out, but if you look around it is increasingly difficult to find good reading lights in many lovely hotels these days.

There is still the gentle spa, afternoon tea service, peacocks strolling about. If you want quiet and solitude, you can find that. Or laughter with others, if that is what you seek. There are couples, families, guests hanging out on their own, all cool, simpatico.
The service is incredible: the staff and management go out of their way to keep you in the Goldilocks zone, by the turquoise sea.
Go see and swoon for yourself.
Special thanks to:
Damien with pool service, Christian, room service, Tomas, concierge, Malcolm, gracious and kind restaurant and service MC, the all pro lifeguard who rapidly assisted my daughter when she got a bee sting, Umberto the sunny waiter. And of course to Kevin, the styling, thoughtful magician.

Thank you very much. Please keep the Hotel Esencia just like that, we love it, will be back!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Adriaticqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin W, Owner at Hotel Esencia, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Dear Adriaticqueen,

We're all so flattered to receive your lovely, thoughtful review. Thank you so much! I'm quite proud of my staff here and I know that each and every one of them have read your comments "con mucho gusto".

You discovered Esencia in 2007, long before I did in 2013, and I'm pleased to hear that we exceeded your expectations under new ownership. Though we have added a small number of new suites and a third restaurant since your first visit, it's been my goal to constantly exceed the extremely high standards of the Italian duchess who built Esencia many years ago as her private holiday villa.

On behalf of all of us I thank you for your beautifully written 5 star review. I realize that there are many wonderful hotels in the world but I sincerely hope we won't have to wait another 9 years for your next visit ;)

All the best,

Kevin Wendle
Owner and CEO

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2018 via mobile

We truly enjoyed our five nights at Hotel Esencia and can’t wait to come back.

The hotel is beautifully done, great attention to detail and design.

The service is exceptional, the staff pays attention to each guest and creates a very welcoming atmosphere. Special thank you to Malcom for the great service when my girlfriend and I celebrated a special occasion and Jonas for the breakfast service and Spanish classes :)

The spa is fantastic, we really enjoyed our treatments. Yoga class happens every morning on the deck and is really good!

If there is one thing to criticize it is the high prices for food and services which sometimes do not match the high standard of the hotel. For example, a private half-day tour to a cenote and the Maya ruins would have been USD750 through the hotel, we booked the tour independently for less than USD250.

Overall, we leave with great memories and would highly recommend this hotel.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank HeretoTravel_2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin W, Owner at Hotel Esencia, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2018

Dear HeretoTravel,

First off I'd like to thank you for such a beautiful 5 star review. I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed your time with us! I will be sure to alert my staff (especially Malcolm and Jonas) to your kind comments. And of course our spa team as well.

I've looked into the pricing of our four-hour tour as it seemed rather high to me as well. All tour prices are set by third party operators we work with, they are not set by the hotel. According to my team you can indeed find tours of the cenotes and ruins here for $250 or even less, however being a 5-star property we are extremely careful to connect our guests with the best tour operators we know. Based on previous feedback from our guests, the discount tour operators don't always have the nicest cars and they may bring tourists to public cenotes which are crammed with other tourists whereas our guides offer a more luxury experience, with private exclusive access to some of their favorite secret swimming spots. Some discount tours are even done with taxis, versus the luxury SUVs we offer, and some guests are required to bring or rent their own snorkeling or diving equipment. On the other hand the tour operators we normally work with provide not only a highly experienced driver and new luxury SUV but also a government licensed english speaking guide. They also provide snacks and soft drinks as well as all of the necessary snorkeling or diving equipment at no extra charge. Of course I completely understand that sometimes some of our guests would rather save some money and be a bit more adventurous! Our concierge team is always happy to provide the full range of options.

Regarding our food prices, for maximum savings I recommend our meal plan option at $150/day per person which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, room service, and soft drinks. This is always a great value, especially for those guests who plan to have most of their meals here at the resort in one of our three restaurants.

In any case I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to provide your feedback here and I hope we have the pleasure of a return visit one day!

All the best,

Kevin Wendle
Owner and CEO

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