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Islas Secas, Panama
Located off the Pacific Coast of Panama, recently opened Islas Secas truly is one of Central America's best kept treasures and affords adventurous travellers endless opportunities for escapism. The highly exclusive, privately-owned archipelago of 14 beautiful islands in the Gulf of Chiriquí, is home to four individually designed Casita sites sleeping up to just 18 guests.
The resort's dedicated Adventure Concierge offers thrill-seekers a myriad of activities both on land and at sea. Guests can dive into the aquatic wonders of the Gulf on one of the hotel's thrilling marine safaris, 'fly' along the coastline on an e-foil surfboard, swim with the Pacific's fish-storied waters, or witness the natural beauty of a migrating humpback whale.
Islas Secas's strong eco-reserve credentials also attract the most eco-conscious of travellers, with 100% of the property's energy being solar-generated and 75% of the archipelago left untouched by the human hand. Islas Secas is an inspired eco-destination befitting the most intrepid traveller, combining the wonders of Panama's incredible natural land and seascape with genuinely sustainable hospitality and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for adventure.
HOW: Islas Secas opened as a full-service island resort on 20th December 2019. Rates start from $2,000 per night (currently approx. £1,731) on an all-inclusive basis, including all F&B, select activities on and off-island, and road and boat transfers between the city of David Airport and Islas Secas.
Hotel Esencia, Mexico
Located on Mexico's pristine Caribbean coast surrounded by lush Mayan jungle, sits the idyllic Hotel Esencia, on an exclusive 50-acre private estate. Hotel Esencia is positioned right on the stunning, tranquil beach, Xpu-Ha (pronounced 'shpooo-ha' by those in the know), hailed as being the finest stretch of sand in the region and one of the most protected and untouched beaches in Mexico where sea turtles make their nests each year.
The boutique hotel is perfectly situated equally between Tulum, Playa del Carmen, under cenotes and Mayan Pyramids, treating guests to some of Mexico's finest cultural spots, all within easy reach. For those seeking aquatic adventure, just steps off the hotel's beach lies a reef sanctuary teeming with sea turtles and colourful exotic fish – one of the region's best kept secrets.
In the five years since being purchased by American entrepreneur and entertainment powerhouse, Kevin Wendle, the hotel has cemented its reputation as one of the world's hottest beach resorts – a spot that prides itself on excellent service as much as it does gorgeous interiors and offering its well-heeled guests the utmost privacy.
HOW: Located just 50 minutes from Cancun and 30 from Tulum, Hotel Esencia is full of character, charm and heritage. Rates start from $700++ per night (currently approx. £606) in an entry-level Jungle Room Suite. The rates are based on two people sharing on a room-only basis and is subject to 19% tax and 10% service per night.