Esencia Property Coming Soon

New luxury resort to open on Riviera Maya

By: Lisa Jennings

The creators of the resort Ikal del Mar on the Riviera Maya are scheduled to open a second small luxury property in February 2005 that will be called Esencia.

Situated on a two-mile stretch of Playa Xpu-Ha about 46 miles south of Cancun, Esencia will have 29 guestrooms and suites on a secluded white-sand beachfront. At the center of the resort will be a three-story, nine-suite “Casa Grande,” or great house, which was the former home of an Italian Duchess. The building has a Catalan dome-brick roof, a salon and private dining room, and a state-of-the-art kitchen for cooking classes and chef’s table dinners.

Rosa’s suite, the resort’s largest, has a large balcony, private solarium and plunge pool. Another signature suite features a 360-degree view from a penthouse perch.

There are also two-story garden suites, and four-bedroom garden cottages. The cottages have large swimming pools, terraces for entertaining, media rooms with LCD screens and surround sound, a living room and gourmet kitchen. On request, a fourth bedroom can be outfitted as a yoga room, fitness studio or study. Private chefs and butlers are available.

“Whether it’s the placement of oversized windows opposite the bed for a picture-postcard view of the jungle or water, windows for all bathrooms and even some walk-in closets, or the visual highlight of the restaurant overlooking a cenote, nature has guided our design,” said Samir Saab of ProHotel International, the management company.

All guestrooms also have a refrigerator and freezer with a full bar, dual hidden controls for unobtrusive high-tech sound equipment and lighting, and an iPod mini.

The spa, Aroma, specializes in “Fito-therapy,” with treatments based on fruits, herbs, and botanical extracts. Yoga and meditation classes will be offered in the Wind Pavilion. Couples’ spa suites include a private shower and Jacuzzi.

Tented cabanas on the beach provide full service, from beverages and meals to spa treatments. The restaurant, Sal y Fuego, features fresh seafood and organic produce. Dishes include native Meso-American cooking, in which meats or seafood are simmered in banana leaves. The bar is stocked with wines from around the world and signature cocktails are available.

Rates start at $375 per night.