From the Maldives to Marrakech, there’s no shortage of amazing places to stay. But dwarfed by its brassy neighbours of Brazil and Argentina, the wee land of Uruguay doesn’t get, we don’t think, its proper look-in.
So let us present the Vik properties to change all that. First the setting: not far from the jet-set town of Punta del Este (the St Tropez of South America), but world away in terms of vibe and style, you’ll find the lovely beach village of Jose Ignacio. It is one of those places that you hope will never change, a peninsula town with an iconic lighthouse at its furthest corner, but other than that, no tall buildings dwarfing the trees and puncturing the blue sky (unlike its famous neighbour).
The Vik properties have three world-class hotels to choose from in this tiny enclave of exclusivity. Their first property was the Estancia Vik, situated inland on 4,000 acres of private land, somehow combining the uncombineable worlds of traditional ranch and contemporary art gallery – all rather succesfully. The hotel is a showcase for Latin American artists, and the pieces are everywhere from the strikingly grand living room to the new-york style aluminium barbecue. Yet even with all the amazing art around you, you never forget you are at an estancia, as you look out of your large windows at the cattle munching happily away or see someone galloping by to reach the polo field.
The other two properties are both beach lodges, the Playa Vik and the Bahia Vik. As at the Estancia, both properties are liberally strewn with contemporary art (often with pieces celebrating the Vik family themselves, and if you want to know more about them take a look here). Playa Vik is perhaps the most wowing of them all, with its spectacular pool, jutting out above the beach and over the sea. It is a mesmerising view. Bahia Vik is the largest and the most family friendly, with three pools and an easy walk down to the beach, plus great dining in La Susana. Both of these properties are a short walk into the town itself, where there is a plethora of boutique shops, artisan bakeries and tempting restaurants, my personal favourite being La Huella (pronounced “la way-cha), with it’s exquisite seafood and stunning sea view.
Anton Lynch. What haven’t we already said about Anton Lynch. There is a wee amount of stuff we have not already said about our man-for-all-continents, Anton Lynch.