Travel: Postcard from Mexico

Tania Hurst-Brown samples a slice of paradise on her babymoon in Tulum

There is something magical about this tropical beachside hideaway. We arrived rather flustered after a long-haul flight and a painful queue at customs but, as soon as we drove through the gates of Hotel Esencia, we both immediately relaxed. Tucked away in a secluded cove, it was as if we’d discovered a secret gem. Formerly the private residence of an Italian duchess, the hotel felt like a home from home, albeit a luxurious and indulgent one.

At 17 weeks pregnant, I was beginning to feel more like my normal self, but we were still desperate to find somewhere we could switch off and recharge. Esencia was just the place. The hotel has 29 gorgeous rooms, an amazing spa, gym, yoga centre (with free classes) and two lovely pools, but the highlight was the show-stopping beach. With miles of white sand and turquoise waters, it became a private paradise for 10 days.

While diving was off the agenda for me, there was a lovely coral reef metres from the beach. Alex and I went on daily snorkel trips and saw spectacular fish. I found a gentle snorkel and dip in the pool just the right amount of exercise, while Alex, who likes a more active holiday, was kept entertained with the kayaking, paddle boarding and deep-sea fishing on offer. We also hired a car for a day and drove to nearby Tulum to see the Mayan ruins – there’s masses more to do and see if you’re seeking some adventure.Mexico3

By chance, our mid-July trip coincided with nesting season for giant sea turtles. The staff offered to wake us if there was any action (they come up to nest at around 2am) and one night we had a call to say there were two females on the beach. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

The hotel was outstanding and the staff exceptional –attentive without being imposing. Our bedroom was incredibly comfortable with blackout blinds, a built-in sound system and a private plunge pool. The award-winning Aroma Spa was another highlight. I enjoyed an indulgent pregnancy massage and facial with organic products, and Esencia’s fabulous homemade soaps and lotions were also used.

The restaurant also needs a mention because the food was delicious and there was plenty on the menu that I was able to eat, allying any concerns I had about shellfish and cleanliness. I’d highly recommend Hotel Esencia for a babymoon. We plan to return as soon as we can once our little one arrives. It’s the perfect luxury holiday for a young family or couple seeking a magical, memorable and unique getaway.