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sailboat in water with beach resort

Booking a luxurious getaway is a necessity (if you ask us), but the part that most people fail to ensure is that their destination is truly a getaway. The idea is to vacate the responsibilities of your day-to-day life, escape the chaos and noise, and relax and recharge in peace. We're here to tell you, there is no better place to truly get away than Hotel Esencia in Xpu-Ha, Mexico.

While originally owned by an Italian Duchess as a 50-acre private estate, current owner Kevin Wendle purchased the property in 2014 to transform into the beloved Hotel Esencia. From the incomparable hospitality to the finest culinary dishes we've experienced at a resort, it's no surprise that this majestic hideaway is frequented by celebrities and Fortune 500 executives looking for the utmost in luxury and privacy. Situated behind a rather unassuming entrance, a driver meets guests and escorts them through the lush jungle, delivering them to a suite, which appears to emerge from the tropical surround and open to the serene backdrop of a private beach.

man and woman smiling outside in beach attire

Wendle spared no expense making sure guests of Hotel Esencia forget they're at a hotel altogether and instead feel transported to a secluded family compound where the sole priority is your peace. The thoughtful design of each suite and villa is a direct reflection of the vibrant color and natural textures found in the jungle, which awaits guests just steps from their private entrances. With maid service twice daily, a 24-hour concierge, express dry cleaning and laundry service, as well as packing and unpacking services, the staff at Hotel Esencia make sure the only time you ever lift a finger is to bring your mezcal to your lips.

Hotel Esencia delivers on their dedication to provide elite service to their guests-- including straight from their kitchen. In order to provide the absolute best culinary experience, Wendle doubled the kitchen staff in order to serve everything fresh from their garden. Chris and I loved starting our mornings at Coffee Bar & Juice Bar, where I selected the Jugo Verde juice and Chris the El Vampiro juice, followed by the Health Blast Superfood bowl and Longevity Boost Super Food Bowl, while overlooking the crystal clear ocean. For lunch, we dined under the "palapa" of Mistura, which features a Mexican gastronomic menu. Chris and I shared the Guacamole Mistura, followed by the Ensalada Jason Wu for me (absolutely delightful!) and the fresh catch of the day--the Pescado a la Veracruzana--for Chris, which he reported was "grilled to perfection"! At nightfall, we ventured out into the lush Palm Garden of BeefBar, where our table was illuminated by market lights strung between the palm trees, romantic lanterns adorning the grass, and moonlight. We began with the Gyozas, Super Kale Salad, and Beet Salad, followed by the Ginger Seabream for myself and Wagyu Beef for Chris. I can imagine no better setting for a romantic date night!

In true Well Inspired Travels fashion, we arrived to Hotel Esencia just as they were opening their Rooftop Wellness Suites (an addition to their already existing Fitness Gym). These suites offer a spacious environment to continue your fitness regimen in the confines of your villa, equipped with a Peloton bike, virtual trainer MIRROR, Technogym weights, Swiss ball, TRX and yoga mats. Guests can also partake in Sunrise Yoga daily at 8am in an open air palapa.

After connecting with our bodies through movement, I made my way to the Esencia Spa, where I began my relaxation journey in their traditional Mayan kitchen laboratory-- the place where therapists tailor-make skin purifying elixirs from ingredients found in the Caribbean waters and Mayan jungle. I began with the Stress Relief Massage, which utilizes mint, pepper, cloves, and rosemary via hot therapy on the points of the body that hold stress, followed by the Tata Harper Express Facial. Lastly, I enjoyed the Copal Ritual--a skin renewing exfoliation treatment followed by a relaxing body wrap of white clay and copal to reveal a revitalized complexion while stimulating blood circulation. Once my spa treatments were complete, I retired to a private plunge pool to extend my respite. I fancy myself quite a luxury spa critic and must say that Esencia Spa is officially in my top three!

During your stay at Hotel Esencia, an experience Chris and I highly recommend is requesting a personal lifeguard (ours was Pasqual) to escort you to the private Cenote experience. We stand-up paddle boarded through a picturesque Cenote and were lucky enough to view a family of manatees who inhabited the water system. They were friendly and quite curious as to what was on the top side of the paddle boards! It was an incredibly special experience we'll never forget. Snorkeling with sea turtles, diving through the second largest coral reef, and deep sea fishing are just a few other water activities to enjoy during your stay, but if you prefer land, consider hitting the green on their 27-hole golf course surrounded by the Mayan jungle or explore the Mayan ruins of Tulum--both offering spectacular views.

It's clear the beauty of Xpu-Ha, Mexico's rich jungle, white sand beaches, and piercing blue waters is nearly impossible to compete with, but it's the seclusion and superior hospitality that differentiates Hotel Esencia, and therefore, will entice you back for years to come.


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