- Style Art-inspired wonder ranch
- Setting Miles and miles of plain
Just a few minutes from the seaside towns of Punte del Este in Uruguay, Estancia Vik hotel sits on a stunning landscape of plains that seem to go on forever. The building – a sprawling, low-level, white walled South American ranch-style compound – is the dream home of a half-Norwegian half-Uruguayan billionaire with a taste for fine art and contemporary design. Each of the big rooms and bigger suites has been designed and decorated by a different local artist, while the corridors and public areas display the owner’s massive art collection. Soaking up the sun, polo matches and expertly-grilled meats and fine wine are all on the agenda.
Need to know
- Rooms 12 suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $409.84, excluding tax at 22 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast.
- Facilities Polo field, putting green, sauna and steam room; small gym; organic gardens; DVD library; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV; DVD player; iPod dock; minibar; free bottled water.
- Poolside There’s a black granite swimming pool in a courtyard at the back, with a grassy lawn on one side and wooden decks lined with loungers on the other. Guests can also swim in the lagoon.
- Check–out Entirely flexible – just let the hotel know what time you plan to turn up or depart.
Children Very welcome. Cots are free for babies; extra beds for kids 12 and over cost US$50–US$100. Babysitting can be arranged, with three days notice. There’s a wealth of activities for adventurous littluns.
- Hotel closed May and June.
- Eco‐friendly Built from locally sourced materials, Estancia Vik makes use of solar and geothermic energy, composts and recycles waste.
- Also Pets and smokers are allowed throughout the hotel. There’s a four-night minimum stay over Easter, seven nights over Christmas.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Master Suite VIK must be the master of the house’s preferred option when he’s in town – it’s a bold, masculine room with dark wood-panelled walls, a high roof, and an enormous corner terrace. Master Suite Seveso is its feminine counterpart, with floor-length coral curtains, dreamily beachy artworks, lime-washed beams, rafters and floorboards, and wonderful views of the plains. Book the Trujillo Suite if you’re into nudes – that’s all we’re saying.
- Packing tips Chills do come at night, so be prepared to layer up for sunset strolls. Bring your iPod so you can make musical use of the in-room docking stations.
- Also Horse riders and polo players will be in their element: there’s a stable of ponies and playing fields on site. If you’ve never played before, lessons are easy to arrange.
Food and drink at Estancia Vik
- Hotel restaurant A set menu with two options is served beneath gigantic candle chandeliers in the brick-vaulted dining room and the kitchen is happy to cater to special requests. The star of the culinary show, however, is the parillero, a barbecue room walled with graffiti-daubed corrugated tin and housing a colossal fire pit: a temple to char-grilled meat.
- Dress code The atmosphere’s relaxed, but the dining-room decor is elegant, so laid-back eveningwear may be in order.
- Top table It’s a communal dining-table arrangement, but get in early for the chairs by the fireplace. In summer, take a table on the terrace.
- Last orders Breakfast is available from 7am to noon, lunch from noon to 4pm, and dinner from 7pm until midnight.
- Room service Sandwiches and salads can be brought to your room 24 hours a day.
- Hotel bar Not as such: it’s a what you want, when you want, where you want kind of place. Glass panels in the dining room offer a glimpse of the 5,000-bottle wine cellar.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details