Into the Mayan Wild

By Feifei Sun / January 15, 2014

Hotel Esencia, located on the bright white sand of Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, is an escape in the true sense of the word: getting there requires a short 45-mile drive from Cancun and shorter golf cart ride through the jungle. But like any great escape, the Esencia—a sprawling, 50-acre estate with two pools, a breathtaking beachfront view, and rooms of white walls and mahogany—is well worth the trek. A highlight is the Aroma Spa, which only uses natural ingredients in its treatments. In fact, several of the herbs, flowers and fruits that are featured are grown in the Aroma Spa’s very own organic garden. Elsewhere, the spa menu nods to the customs, traditions and history of Mexico. The Ritual del Copal treatment incorporates copal, which has a history of being burned as a way of cleaning up and clearing out the mind and body. Guests of the treatment first enjoy a refreshing exfoliation, followed by a thorough massage designed to renew skin and boost blood circulation. Which is exactly what they’ll want after journeying into the jungle. hotelesencia.com

—Feifei Sun

Feifei Sun

Feifei Sun

Feifei Sun is a freelance writer based in Atlanta. She began her career at Vanity Fair and later worked as an editor at TIME, where she wrote about fashion and politics and helped edit the magazine's special issues, including the TIME 100 and Person of the Year. Her writing has also appeared in Real Simple, Marie Claire and the Huffington Post.
Feifei Sun

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