Uruguay is often overlooked as a destination in Latin America, a continent which boasts big countries with bigger personalities such as Brazil, Peru and Argentina. However, they say that less is often more, and this is certainly the case with Uruguay. Its perfect climate, pristine beaches and romantic old towns are an ideal setting for a truly relaxing holiday. Each year the exclusive beaches with their sophisticated bars and luxury shops attract a handful of local and international celebrities looking to escape the normal retreats. This small country is a haven for those wishing to find all the classic South American touches, such as great steak, vineyard tours and rich culture, alongside modern day design. As the ideal time to visit Uruguay is between December and March, we have put together this short but sweet list of the country’s top 3 luxury beach hotels.
1. Bahia Vik
The ‘Vik’ properties are one of Uruguay’s greatest treasures if you are looking for a sublime luxury getaway. Their spacious suites and unique décor provide a surreal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Bahia Vik is situated on the Jose Ignacio peninsula, among 10 acres of sand dunes, and with beautiful views of the ocean. There are 10 suites for guests to choose from, or for those wanting more privacy, there are private bungalows scattered throughout the grounds. The interiors are a mix of simple, modern design and artistic patterns and colours. This eclectic style also features contemporary work of both international and Uruguayan artists. Inside, the rooms benefit from air conditioning, free WiFi and complimentary toiletries to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The property boasts large grounds, within which guests can find a full spa, infinity pool, private beach, games room, wellness centre and the onsite restaurant, La Susana. In addition, there is a beach bar which is ideal for those lazy poolside days, and for enjoying cocktails until the early hours. For those wishing to explore further than the grounds, the hotel offers an extensive list of activities including canoeing, polo lessons, yoga, birdwatching and surfing lessons. Foodies will be happy too, as there are wine tastings taking place daily and a large fire pit which is lit in the late afternoon and used for traditional Uruguayan barbeques. With it’s fabulous secluded location, and yet close proximity to the lively resort of Punta del Este, the Bahia Vik Retreat is an outstanding choice for a luxury holiday in Uruguay.
With a 2016 refurbishment under its belt, and an impressive list of facilities and amenities, the hotel Fasano is a retreat like no other. Set in the rolling countryside of Uruguay, but still close to the beach, this property has outstanding views and high privacy credentials. Nestled within 480 hectares of stunning scenery, guests will love the sense of calm which envelopes them from the moment they arrive. There are suites and bungalows to choose from, and all enjoy a large terrace, panoramic view, air conditioning, flat screen TV, free WiFi, minibar and even a personalised butler service, should you wish. Among the landscaped grounds, guests can find the usual luxury hotel facilities such as a spa, fitness centre, outdoor pool and restaurant, but what makes this property extra special is its ability to go the extra mile: a golf course, equestrian centre, private beach and 4 tennis courts are the icing on the cake. This celebrated hotel, with its unmistakable attention to detail and superb location, should be high on the list of any luxury traveller.
3. Playa Vik
Sister hotel to Bahia Vik, this exceptional property also oozes the sophistication and sheer luxury that defines the ‘Vik’ properties. Thanks to its prime location on the Atlantic coast, it offers guests breath-taking views and an ideal base for exploring Uruguay. The focal point of the hotel is the central ‘sculpture’ building. Made from curved titanium and glass, its 55-foot sliding glass wall opens fully to allow the outside in. There are 4 suites and 6 private bungalows, all of which feature the chic designer interiors and striking artwork that can be found throughout the hotel, creating a contemporary and yet traditional feel. Each accommodation is spacious and very light due to the large windows, and has air conditioning, complimentary WiFi and beautifully appointed bathrooms. Guests here will adore the thought that has gone into the design of both the rooms and the hotel itself. The infinity pool is simply incredible; 75-feet long and made of Absolute Nero Granite, it is a gravity defying structure featuring a fibre optic lit celestial map of the southern hemisphere and fabulous views over the Atlantic Ocean. With an extensive list of activities and an onsite restaurant, there’s little need to stray far away from this glamourous hotel, but should you wish to, the friendly staff will be more than willing to help arrange polo lessons, water sports, mountain biking, horse riding and much more. It is easy to see why this is one of the top rated hotels in Uruguay, luxury has been redefined at Playa Vik.
Simon Williams is Director of The Bespoke Travel Group.