Breakfast at Hotel Esencia, Mexico, Mayan Riviera
A leisurely breakfast is the ultimate luxury and we have made quite an art of the breakfast ritual, wherever in the world we are.
While on the Mayan Riviera we frequent a few places that add an element of luxury or authenticity (sometimes both) to our Mexican experience. I thought I’d share some of them with you without (hopefully) writing a tome (large scholarly work…) about it. Here it goes:
Hotel Esencia on Xpu-Ha beach
A former private retreat of the Ferrari family (so the story goes), this exquisite 30 room hotel is situated on the gorgeous stretch of Xpu-Ha beach south of Playa del Carmen and a couple of miles south of Puerto Aventuras. Reservations are required as the property is gated and a guard at the gate must have your name on the list to let you through. Once through the first gate you reach the second gate at the welcoming palapa where you park your car, leaving the keys with the guard and get a ride on a golf cart to the main house of the hotel. The ride through the jungle is interesting during the day and beautiful at night, with low lights lining the narrow driveway. I don’t know how they keep these jungles clear over such a large area.
Once at the main building you are led into the reception office where they ask you to leave a visa imprint with them (to guarantee payment I guess) and then you are escorted to the restaurant by the pool in front of the beach. Some of these formalities are sometimes waved because we have become regulars, but the visa imprint is always taken. I ceased to be offended by it as this is their custom and the experience is worth it.
The breakfast (and lunch) restaurant is situated right off the gorgeous beach beside the pool and it is beautiful. The staff speaks English (we practice our Spanish) and the food and service are high end. The tables are covered with white cloth and are shaded by a roof. It’s airy and bright and the view of the pool, the beautiful grounds, white sandy beach and turquoise waters beyond is simply breathtaking.
The menu offers local specialties and the more familiar International fare. Chilaquilles with fried eggs, juevos rancheros, grilled poblano with scrambles eggs and chorizo and Mexican scrambles eggs are offered along with poached eggs in artichoke heart with foamy hollandaise (exquisite), waffles and French toast. The coffee they serve is premium brand Cafe Koba from the Chiapas region, one of the best coffee sources in Mexico. It has a full flavour and is served freshly brewed in a French press in one or four cup presses. The milk is hot (that’s how we like it) and it’s fun sitting with a cup at the end of breakfast planning the rest of the day. We always follow breakfast with a long beach walk and a swim at either end of Xpu-Ha. The water is usually lovely for swimming and the whole experience memorable.