The Riviera Maya is one of the most beautiful places on earth. There’s no better experience than gazing at the impossibly blue water with sand that’s as soft as cornstarch underfoot. Well, we can think of one thing that might enhance said experience – a stay at the beautiful Hotel Esencia. The 50-acre property is located at the mid-point between Playa del Carmen and Tulum – allowing guests to access the amenities and attractions of both towns while still feeling secluded.

The 29-room estate was originally built as a private hideaway home of an Italian Duchess, and has since been transformed into a boutique hotel that, quite frankly, will make anyone feel like royalty. The design of the property perfectly blends heritage with a fresh, modern aesthetic. There are strong architectural elements throughout — an element that, when paired with the view, equals paradise for design lovers.

While owner Kevin Wendle has an impressive art collection on-site, what’s most notable is the amount of commissioned pieces from local artisans. The tableware was made in a small town outside Mexico City by a boutique ceramics factory. Quite a bit of the furniture was handmade in Mexico City and in Playa del Carmen using local woods and traditional techniques. There is a collection of glazed terracotta pineapples, commissioned from a family of artisans in the state of Michoacan.

Guests can start their day with yoga or pilates and a fresh juice. Or, and this is more our style, by lounging on a sun bed with a margarita in hand. Food gets special attention here, with a focus on regional flavors like moles from Oaxaca, fruits from Yucatan, and wines from Baja.

We could go on, but we think the images will speak to the beauty of Hotel Esencia more than we ever could. Take a tour in the slideshow!