Hotel Esencia is a 50-acre estate at the midpoint between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Originally built as the private hideaway home of an Italian duchess, it later became a hotel, long sought after by honeymooners.
The hotel has just 40 suites across seven categories — 11 of which are brand new. At the end of 2017, Hotel Esencia acquired 10 acres of beachfront property and, with that, launched six Beach Suites and five Jungle Suites. If you want the best views on property, opt for the Beach Suites, located right on the white sands of Xpu-Ha beach. Each Beach Suite has a private beachfront terrace, an in-room double bathtub, and all of Hotel Esencia’s standard amenities, such as walk-in closets, HDTVs and an in-room sound system with a hookup for iPods and other digital accessories.
If you’re seeking one of the top options at the hotel, we say go for the Master Suite or the Private Villa. The two Master Suites of the main house offer panoramic views of the grounds and the Caribbean. Inside, guests will find a king bed, master bathroom and grand terraces. The Private Villa, named Yum-Ha, is a colonial-style accommodation, discreetly located on a lush, 15-acre property adjacent to Hotel Esencia. The three-bedroom villa is a short walk from the beach and can accommodate up to nine people on three levels. Its Beachfront Cabaña, which sits right on Xpu-Ha beach, can accommodate up to four more. The property has en-suite bathrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, living room, dining room and a terrace with outdoor dining area.
Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
Located 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen and set on 36 acres of tropical jungle is the exclusive, adults-only Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Built perpendicular to the ocean, the resort has accommodations set along waterways, a cenote and the Caribbean Sea. The 128 suites blend limestone and wood, and the amenities range from private docks, rooftop terraces with sun chairs, rooftop infinity pools and more.
The most requested accommodation on property are the Beach Front Casitas; each has — as its name implies — a beachfront location with private access, private terraces, bathrooms with dual rain shower heads, indoor marble rubs and rooftop terraces with infinity pools. Additional comforts include 42-inch HDTVs with home theater systems, walk-in closets, floor-to-ceiling windows and 500-thread-count linen sheets. These rooms can sleep two guests.
For larger groups, book the Beach Front Presidential Suite, which includes three bedrooms (two with ocean views) with en-suite bathrooms, a dining area for six, a kitchenette and a spacious living room. Guests also have access to a private beach and a beautiful terrace with two private infinity pools. Tip: This suite offers private butler service and a private chef; the Palafitos Deluxe Junior Suite and Beach Front Casita also have butler service.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Banyan Tree Mayakoba blends Asian hospitality with the “idyllic passion” of Mexico. Set within the private gated resort development of Mayakoba, the hotel has an impressive list of programming from its excursions to experience local culture and visit local sites to “Destination Dining” and couples retreats.
Romantic travelers have an option of numerous accommodations, including the Bliss Pool Villa, the Serenity Pool Villa with Living Room and the Spa Pool Villa with Massage Porch. These villas range from 3,153 square feet to 3,466 square feet, and have king-sized beds, outdoor bathtubs and private, heated swimming pools. Tip: The first two room options also have two complimentary bicycles — perfect for active couples.
Good to know: The Beachfront Three-Bedroom Pool Villa, totaling just over 5,500 square feet, is the only accommodation (of 123) on property that has ocean views. While the resort doesn’t have “butlers,” each villa does receive its own Resort Host to help take care of anything that guests might need.