Xpu Ha on the is located 46 miles from Mexico’s #1 tourist destination, Cancun and not nearly as commercialized. Luxury on the Mexican Riviera does not get much better than Xpu-Ha, home to incredible beaches and boutique style hotels with a very laid back atmosphere. This was the perfect place to escape reality and relax.
On our trip, we rented one of two private homes at the 29 unit Hotel Esencia luxury resort. We had 2 bedrooms, gardens, terraces, hammocks, and a private pool. Though the accommodations were very pricey, the hotel delivered the luxury and chic factors as promised. Our home had a state of the art media room with huge LCD screen TV’s, surround-sound, remove controlled cooling and blinds, and a wet bar. The resort required a 3 day minimum stay and 4 garden rooms rooms, near the main property, are offered along with your private house to accommodate your guests.
After being picked up at the Cancun airport by a Hotel Esencia driver, we pulled across the traffic into a jungle and drove past a gate for a drop off at a little hut. This was the hotel lobby. They offered us a traditional Mexican bean soup and drink, then we walked quite a distance through the jungle to reach our hotel property. This is supposed to give you a sense of the traditional Mexican houses and surroundings. That was quite a bit much, but it was either that or to rent a plane that would drop you on the beachfront.
Luxury on the Mexican Riviera
We splurged in hiring a driver to take us to Playa Del Carman, a trendy town in Mexico 20 minutes from our resort. I first visited Playa Del Carman on a cruise back in 2004 and absolutely fell in love with it. As far as I know, cruise ships do not stop there now. We dined at Los Rancheros,where the food was only mediocre but the sunset view was fantastic. We also had a delightfully entertaining waiter who had special skills. (see the picture)
Xpu Ha had the most amazing white sand beaches I had ever seen in my life. They were untainted and mesmerizing. Hotel Esencia offered free oceanfront cabanas and waitstaff to serve you from the hotel pool bar and restaurant. They also offered jet ski rentals, horseback riding, scuba lessons, and yoga & exercise classes.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Sal y Fuego, offered a diverse menu with huge prawns and fresh, plump lobsters. Yum! They also featured a kick-ass mojito menu; however, this time it appears Hotel Esencia only offers Juice Bar, Pool and Garden Restaurants.
My favorite thing about our trip to Xpu-Ha, was participating in a Temazcal ritual. The ritual required all of us to go into a native sweat tent and cleanse our minds and bodies, ridding ourselves of toxins through the guidance of a Shaman. This provided healing effects. Up to 10 people were in the small hut fire heated hut (so your body temperature can rise to 104 degrees). You cannot stand and there was hardly room to sit. Only 3 in our group of 7 made it until the very end, myself included. Water is thrown on the fire (ours were lava rocks) and herbs were added to create vapors and more heat. This was a most uplifting and interesting activity that I would certainly do again.
Playa del Carmen and the tranquil, gorgeous Xpu-Ha beaches are definitely the place I would choose again for luxury on the Mexican Riviera and my top choice for a Mexican vacation. Though not your typical vacation, as this one will certainly make the bank account cry a little, the splurge is worth it. Have you been to Mexico? What did you think? Would you recommend going to other travelers? I hope to hear from you.
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