In the short five years it has been open, Kevin Wendle’s Hotel Esencia, on the Mayan Riviera, has secured its reputation as one of the world’s premier beach resorts—a spot that prizes quintessential service as much as it does the embrace of privacy. The property, located on a majestic 50 acres—the former hideaway of an Italian duchess—is a tapestry of 40 or so villas and guest rooms, each designed to feel like its the only place to stay on the estate. But for those who prefer to take seclusion to the next level, the hotel has recently debuted its first-ever presidential suite, though presidential beach paradise is more like it.
Located on its own 30,000-square-foot property, the beachfront home boasts a bedroom overlooking the sea, an uninterrupted wraparound terrace, and over 125 feet of dedicated shoreline. Adds Juan Carlos Gutierrez, the hotel's creative director, "My favorite element would have to be the [accommodation's] separate beach palapa, to hang out in or for dining, with its huge sofa, hammock, and sun beds. And while the suite is cozy, it's also very spacious. In fact, it has the highest ceiling in the entire hotel."
Another fifth anniversary treat for guests: the opening of a new restaurant on the hotel premises, the Caribbean outpost of the wildly successful Beefbar concept. Beefbar, with locations in Paris, Mykonos, Dubai, and beyond, has custom menus that celebrate the world's best cuts and origins of meat. Its owner, Riccardo Giraudi, had the idea to partner with Wendle when, on a vacation at the hotel a couple of years back, he noticed that the restaurant in the heart of the hotel’s Palm Garden was about to undergo renovations. The two worked with Gutierrez to create a lush indoor-outdoor atmosphere complete with spectacular hanging gardens. Local touches include custom terra-cotta floors tiles from Puebla and garden furniture handcrafted in Campeche. Some of the menu's many standouts: Kobe beef tostaditas and a Yucatan lime potato cream mash.
Other projects on hand for 2020 at Hotel Esencia involve the introduction of a sushi restaurant and several new three- and four-bedroom villas. As if we needed another reason to visit.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest