When you’ve had your fill of feasting, shopping and tango in Buenos Aires, head to The Four Seasons Carmelo, a luxury retreat for the Buenos Aires elite.
The best way to describe the Four Seasons Carmelo is as a secluded sanctuary nestled in the Uruguayan countryside. The property exudes a rustic and authentic charm yet remains luxurious and sophisticated, something only a Four Seasons can manage. The hotel’s decor is eclectic, mixing Asian-inspired art with local Latin elements. I particularly love the hand-finished floors, open-beamed ceilings and the Bob Marley playing in the lobby.
The property offers views of Rio de la Plata and a far-off glow of Buenos Aires at night. Just behind the lobby, is a gorgeous pool, which is surrounded by a wine vineyard nursery that will, one day soon, produce wine for the property’s guests. The hotel has three restaurants, one of which delivers drinks and food poolside. We had lunch at the pool everyday–you must order the Club sandwich. To be fair I am a club sandwich junkie, but it was absolutely delicious as most food at Four Seasons hotels are. We also loved the traditional goodies that Four Seasons are famous for spoiling their poolside guests with, and this was no exception.
Guestrooms are luxurious and feature local stone, Brazilian walnut, beamed ceilings and local artist. We stayed in a two-story bungalow, which I thought was super cool. When do you get a two story house on your vacation? Rooms featured a rustically charming decor and include every sophisticated amenity you can imagine: CD Players, DVD Players, LCD Flatscreen Televisions equipped with satellite channels and free movie channels, pillow-top mattresses, Egyptian cotton sheets, down blankets and an espresso machine. As you know, my favorite place to check out is a hotel’s bathroom, and this one did not disappoint.
I was greeted with luxury L’Occitane toiletries, double sinks, thick terry robes and slippers, a slate shower, a deep-soaking tub, heated floors, a regular-sized hair dryer as well as makeup mirrors, my personal vacation favorite. The bedroom featured a four-post bed as well as a bench by the window, which had lovely views of the forest. All guest suites and bungalows have furnished terraces that are perfect for enjoying breakfast or a happy hour cocktail on. (Some even have outdoor showers, ooh la la!). Maid service comes twice daily, but be careful with turndown service because the doors open right to the outdoors so having a maid come at night, leaving the door open can lead to mosquito mayhem later, as we experienced.
The Hotel houses a zen, full-service spa and fitness center, which guests have full access to. The indoor swimming pool doubles as a steam room and also features a hot-tub. The water is as warm as a bath and the air is as moist as a hot day in the Amazon. My husband and I loved swimming in here after a full day in the sun. The best part was that we were completely alone, which only added to the relaxation. The spa also has complimentary tea and healthy snacks.
The grounds also feature a golf course, tennis court, and bikes for guest use. Business amenities include a meeting room and a/v equipment. Internet access is complimentary throughout the property, which is quite a luxury if you ask me. Hotels rarely offer complimentary wi-fi anymore.
Whine, whine, whine. The only thing negative I have to say about the property is that it is a bit mosquito covered. They spray the property but it’s just difficult to repel these pesky guys. Be sure to bring plenty of bug repellent, though they do have it around the hotel for guests. The only kinda yucky thing was that the outdoor pool had tons of dead bugs in it. Now, I’m not sure that it’s the property’s fault, people were cleaning the pool constantly, it just may be that they can’t keep up. Also, I would have to say that although the service was lovely at the breakfast restaurant, that the buffet fell a bit below Four Seasons standards. We had come from the Four Seasons Buenos Aires where the brunch blew our minds. Here, the spread was somewhat mediocre and the fruit display actually featured some canned fruit. The horror. They did make us eggs and wonderful bacon though so I can’t really complain. Just seemed worth mentioning. Overall I would say I loved my experience but must say that this particular property is a little less on things than some of the other more experience properties. Somehow it adds to the charm though of the laid back atmosphere. But if you’re wanting everything to be absolutely perfect, you might find yourself a bit disappointed. I suspect that as the town continues to grow as a tourist destination the Four Seasons Carmelo will as well.
Bonuses: Twice-daily shuttle service to Carmelo city. Coffee served in the lower lobby next to the restaurant from 5:00 am to 7:00 am.
Tips: The sun is strong as hell here, be very careful. I haven’t gotten sunburned in years and I came very close to having a toasted bottom.
Final Thoughts: We absolutely adored this property: The Four Seasons marries each unique element together perfectly.
Rooms start at about $385, depending on the time of year.
Visit The Four Seasons, Carmelo for more information about booking a stay!
Interested in visiting Buenos Aires? Check out our review of The Four Seasons, Buenos Aires.