The duchess was not in. She hardly ever is these days as she only returns to her former estate rather seldomly. And since she sold it, Duchess Rosa D’Ferrari’s 50 acre beachfront property has become Esencia, a secluded and exclusive hideaway, a place of its own.
Unlike many of the behemoth properties on the Riviera Maya, the duchess wanted Esencia to remain as authentic as possible and deeply connected to local Mayan culture: the majority of the staff are from nearby villages, recipes are regional and herbs used for treatments are sourced from the local forest,and locals also helped build the fabulous white-chocún spa, using traditional Yucatán construction methods. Out of the many details Esencia offers, including snorkels in your minibar and complimentary early morning coffee and pastries hung at your door in the morning, it was the artwork I was most fascinated by: dream catchers crafted from driftwood as well as all decorations are simple, yet beautiful and most of all: authentic.Esencia really is a place of its own. Its discreet driveway lies half way between Playa del Carmen and Tulum along Mexico’s 307 highway. Once you reached the small palapa reception a golf cart whisks you deep into the underwood, where friendly staff welcome you and escort you to your suite. Each of the 29 suites is nestled discreetly into the lush vegetation and the only thing watching you lounge on your private deck is the occasional iguana.I was almost glad that my morning coffee was forgotten, just to remind me this place is real. A quick call to the lovely concierge ladies and minutes later an apologetic server delivers delicious coffee and still warm, homemade chocolate blueberry muffins onto my terrace.
Apart from the artwork on the walls it’s the art of hospitality that truly makes Esencia a place of its own.
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