Esencia, A Seaside Estate 20 minutes south of Mayakoba & Playa del Carmen, and 25 minutes north of Tulum, (984) 873-48 30. 41 rooms. 2 pools; full-service spa with temazcal. 1 restaurant.
Located along a mile-long stretch of prime beach, this 50-acre private estate was once the exclusive beach-side retreat of an Italian duchess. It is an indulgent and beautiful places, with a low jungle cover throughout. Guests are greeted in a lobby fragrant with incense that is inside a rustic mud hut with a palapa roof, then delivered by a rickshaw bicycle cart to their room. The fragrant spa is inside a palapa with high ceilings and rounded, natural-colored stucco walls.