Hotel Esencia is a majestic 50-acre estate at the midpoint between Tulum and Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Originally built as a private hideaway for the Italian duchess, on the most beautiful beach of the Mayan Riviera, the mansion later became a hotel. A new chapter began in 2014 with the arrival of a new owner, Hollywood producer and entrepreneur Kevin Wendle.
The estate’s provenance as a place of leisure for nobility is the guiding inspiration for its modern reimagining – this is a place where baby sea turtles emerge on the sandy beach below, while paintings by Picasso and Eduardo Santiere hang inside. The Main House is the hotel’s centrepiece, around which footpaths lead to just 47 white-painted suites and 4 villas overlooking the Caribbean, where guests enjoy both stunning design and complete privacy.
One of the hotel’s most lavish accommodations for guests is the Esencia Mansion. Unveiled in 2022, the 12,000-square-foot retreat is the ultimate sanctuary on the Riviera Maya. The four-suite manse, designed by architect Peter Svenson and Hotel Esencia’s artistic director Juan Carlos Gutiérrez in collaboration with Studio Giancarlo Valle, features three pools, a 20-seat cinema, blue-chip artwork, and an underground cocktail lounge. It is a true representation of the region’s majestic beauty as well as Mexico’s artisanal traditions.
Hotel Esencia’s restaurants include Mistura, a sea-to-table restaurant serving specialities from the Yucatan peninsula and beyond; Beefbar, which has outposts in Paris, Mykonos and Dubai and Taiyo, a Japanese sushi restaurant complete with an omakase bar and a Mexican twist. The hotel’s spa is watched over by a statue of the goddess Ixchel, the Maya deity of love, the moon, and fertility; many of its luxurious treatments are Mayan-inspired. Ideally situated far from huge resorts and the roar of pleasure boats, the immaculate bay of Xpu-Ha is a natural haven for wildlife, swimmers and divers, with everything from the Mayan ruins of Tulum to immaculate reefs to explore, all within easy reach of the hotel.
The Set Collection is building a portfolio of non-competing hotels whilst providing a platform that will encourage them to work together to achieve their business objectives. One of the tenets of The Set Collection is to work only with exceptional and like-minded venues that truly embody the spirit of their locations, something Hotel Esencia does with both ease and grace. The Set Collection’s four founding member hotels – Hotel Café Royal in London, Conservatorium in Amsterdam, Lutetiain Paris and Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem were joined by four hotels in Asia, The Opposite House in Beijing, The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Temple House in Chengdu and The Middle House in Shanghai, and now Hotel Esencia in Mexico.