Family: Places: Family Escape at Esencia
Family Escape at Esencia
“Our time at the picturesque and intimate Esencia was wonderful and we really enjoyed it. The pristine white cottage was beautiful and spacious, including two living room areas, a gorgeous master bedroom with a white canopy bed, a desk (with wi-fi) and a small seating area, a second en-suite upstairs bedroom upstairs and a private pool. The maid service was invisible and she did an excellent turndown service.
“The Esencia beach was an easy walk from our cottage and a highlight of our visit. There was always a staff member there who would find us covered beds at the beach where we could stay all day—we could even order food and drinks to the beds throughout the day. The sand was soft and fairly white; the water was warm and shallow. The kids played in the surf all day. A bit further out was a black coral reef and the hotel supplied complimentary snorkeling equipment– the kids loved going out snorkeling whenever they wanted. While the beach has a few other hotels on it, it felt private and secluded. It was never overcrowded and there were no vendors.
“The food in the two restaurants was incredible and gourmet—possibly the best resort food I’ve had. The staff was very accommodating and warm and made any kind of menu change or substitution we requested. Breakfast was included in our room charge and could be delivered quickly to our room. While the food prices were expensive, (we spent about $100 per person per day on food and drinks) and the portions weren’t large, it was always enough. We were also relieved that while we ate everything (salads, drinks, ice), none of us got sick. It was however surprising that the menu, while extensive, never changed. The restaurants are really close and easy to walk to.
“There were a few other families with children that our kids got to know and played with. Us parents appreciated that the property was small and secluded enough that the kids could run around unsupervised and be safe. Our daughter, Olivia, now has a new pen pal from Denmark and new friends from San Francisco (who, incidentally, also used Indagare to choose Esencia). It’s a great place for families but there were no screaming babies. It was all very civilized and mellow.
“We took two amazing excursions from the hotel, both easy (though expensive) cab rides. One day we went to Tulum for the morning and were back at the Esencia beach by 1pm. Another trip was to the incredible caves, Cenote Dos Ojos. We spent a morning snorkeling with flashlights among stalagmites, stalactites and bats and made it back to the hotel for lunch. Cenote Dos Ojos was incredible and I would recommend it to anyone going there—the kids gave it top marks.
Esencia’s biggest weakness is that they don’t have a gym and jogging is difficult as there isn’t a path long enough. I guess you could swim in the pool and just turn a lot, or run on an angle on the beach. If we could change one thing about the property it would be to add more exercise options. It could even be as simple as a small gym or offering yoga lessons more than twice a week.
“On future stays I would ask for a room either above the concierge house or beside it. Our room was close to the highway, and though you couldn’t see it, I could hear it at night. It wasn’t so awful that it kept me awake, but I could definitely hear it lying in bed.
“The bugs (that I had been warned about) were not as bad as I expected. The rooms are pretty much in the jungle so every morning it wasn’t surprising when there were a couple of newts, a spider or two and a few ants in your room. Esencia does a really good job cleaning and overall it didn’t bother us. Those prone to bug bites should definitely bring insect repellant since all the restaurants are outside.
“We would definitely go back to Esencia. None of us wanted to leave—in fact we were just settling in when it was time to go.”— The Editors 12/19/2011