The benefits of an island getaway far outstrip its possible dangers, such as burning your toes on sun-scorched sand, or betting your passport against a pokerfaced rockfish. Sidestep the pitfalls and embrace the fantasy of an island furlough with today’s Groupon: for $249, you get a one-night stay in a garden suite with a plunge pool at Esencia in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (up to a $665 value).
Sprawling across 50 awe-inspiring acres along the glittering Riviera Maya, the gorgeous, private seaside refuge of Esencia indulges guests with the luxuriant pleasures of a relaxing beachfront-villa vacation. Once owned by an Italian duchess and used as a winter refuge from the cold international slickness of modern hotels, the inviting, house-like garden suites at Esencia look and feel like the dream chateaus of Robinson Crusoe, real-estate agent to the stars. The air-conditioned garden suites sport stunning terrace views, where peace and quiet await winter castaways and the teenager-allergic. Each high-ceilinged suite envelops vacationers in understated elegance, with sumptuous Egyptian cotton sheets and native hardwood furnishings. A continental breakfast is delivered each morning, along with in-room beer and refreshments, so sojourners don’t have to spear wine bottles from the shore.
Guests can hand over their corporeal vessels to Esencia’s organic Aroma Spa, where jacuzzis, steam rooms, facials, and massages reduce stressed wayfarers into contented clams. This Forbes-featured destination also sports two movie-mogul sized swimming pools fit for music videos or learning to swim without using your mermaid tail as a crutch.
- Former beachside retreat of an Italian duchess; 50-acre estate sitting on two sweet miles of empty beach. All-white rooms. Organic spa—the first in the area—with Maya-style domed steam rooms and traditional treatments using herbs grown right there. Complimentary yoga classes. – National Geographic Traveler
- The result is refreshingly authentic and works in harmony with luxury. Each of the 29 thatched palapas is air-conditioned, wired for technology, and designed for privacy, hidden within an enclosure of native trees. – Barbara Lazear Ascher, Travel + Leisure