The international stylish set that descends on Punta del Este for its December and January high season know that the place to stay is José Ignacio, a quiet village about 30 minutes from downtown Punta—less crowded and less developed, it’s sort of like the Montauk of the spread out resort region. Larger groups tend to rent summerhouses there, but for a more carefree, romantic getaway, check into one of the 6 suites at Casa Suaya, a new beachfront getaway on the private estancia of Brazilian-born restaurateur Adolfo Suaya, owner of the Lodge and Geisha House in Los Angeles. “It’s intimate, quiet and relaxed, and the setting is beautiful, right behind the dunes,” says Aleksandar, a Zurich and London based banker, who stayed at the hotel in early 2008. (11 more suites plus a two-bedroom villa are opening soon, and they will start to offer yoga and Pilates classes.) Suaya’s suites are Uruguayan style stone and timber villas, each with big picture windows and a terrace or patio facing the beach. The open plan interiors have kitchens and living rooms with fireplaces, and some have dining room tables. All have Wi-Fi and are individually decorated with contemporary furnishings, plus crafts and textiles found by Suaya on his travels. Unlike many hotels in Punta which are far from the beach, this one is just steps away. If you want to do something more active than sunbathing, head to the nearby Haras Godiva stables and take a horseback ride along the shore—a real treat at sunset! You can also hang out by the hotel’s gorgeous pool and enjoy alfresco drinks and dinner at Butia, Casa Suaya’s restaurant serving typical regional fare. “Butia is amazing,” says Aleksandar. “Chef Clo Ditmar, who is Uruguayan, is fantastic. She also has a restaurant in São Paolo called La Table and it’s in the Oliviers & Co. shop.” But Aleksandar warns, “Service in the hotel is nice and pleasant but extremely slow—they are amateur seasonal workers—and there’s not much room service to speak of.” NB: Don’t even think about staying in José Ignacio without renting a car, as you’ll need one to visit other restaurants, shopping and nightlife in the region.
Room rates start at $350 during low season and start at $750 during high season.
www.casasuaya.com | Phone: +589 486 2750
Ruta 10, km 186.5 | José Ignacio, Punta del Este Uruguay