[CARMELO, URUGUAY] — I’m not a huge Four Seasons fan for international trips — I prefer more unique hotels that reflect the character of each locale — but in a pinch for a room at the last minute in Carmelo, I booked a couple of nights at the Four Seasons Carmelo in the heart of the prettiest part of Uruguay’s best wine region. Nestled in and under the towering, towering pine trees lining the Rio de la Plata, the trees themselves, and the lazy muddy la Plata are the stars, with a lot of five star cush to soften your head. And the sky. Rolling slumberous clouds developing over the la Plata, giant cotton puffs rolling along, one after another. Just for you.
After a long slog through Buenos Aires, Jose Ignacio and the Narbona Wine Lodge just up the road, I was actually quite sated with “coming home” to this very dependable, Americanized chain, in such an exotic location. A ginormous pool, carved out of the pines — well, actually I don’t even know if they’re pines…but they’re tall, very tall…I should google them… — and their own nubile young grape plantings (mostly for show, I assume), it was a great relaxation not to have to figure anything out — it was all perfect and perfectly done (at a price). Amazing service, great food and restaurant and total comfort at every turn. All for the taking (and paying). The clientele matched the demographic of the chain, wealthy and very family oriented. You really felt like you were in a luxury resort.
I got a very nice bungalow, set apart from the rest of the other rooms, just a few strides from the river. The room was absolutely perfect, albeit maybe a little too vanilla. But it was pure vanilla bean and I can see why people love Four Seasons so much. It all worked so flawlessly, which was a great way to end a nice long trip. Carmelo is right across the la Plata from Buenos Aires, so it was so easy to scoot back to Colonia, drop the rental car and transit via the state of the art ferry terminal and take the Buquebus — the ferry, which is a delight to hear the locals pronounce it so cutely as Boo-Kay-boos..without realizing how cute it sounds –to Buenos Aires and jet to the airport and home. Extra nice to splurge on tapping into the Four Seasons infrastructure and arrange for one of their BA sister hotel drivers to meet me at the ferry terminal and seamlessly whisk me away to EZE airport without skipping a beat. Everything put on the bill.
Here’s the TripAdvisor reviews. And Conde Nast Traveler.
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