Set on a seemingly endless landscape of Africa-evoking plains, but just a few minutes from the surf towns of the Punta del Este coast, Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio is the all-white, art-adorned dream home of a half-Norwegian, half-Uruguayan billionaire with a taste for isolation, contemporary design, and chargrilled meat. Twenty national artists were hired to work on the interiors, and each of the 12 suites is different; an original masterpiece.
Stand-out pieces include a massive marble sculpture and a lush oil fresco, inspired by maps of Brazil and Uruguay, on the ceiling of the central living room, and a swimming pool with fiber-optic stars mirroring the Southern constellations, and an extraordinary array of engravings, photography, painting, and sculpture are on display throughout the hotel. Public spaces and the twelve guest rooms and suites are as sleek and cool as you’d expect — there’s plenty of cement and glass here, and suites come with extravagant extras like private outdoor rainforest-head showers — but you’ll also find exposed brick, wooden beams, and natural materials to remind you that you’re at an estancia.
The South Garden has galleries for shade beside the swimming pool, which is lit by fibre-optic lights at night to show southern hemisphere constellations; the North Garden has a reflecting pool.
Then there’s the host of on-site activities, from polo lessons to kayaking or wine tasting in the 5,000-bottle cellar. Art and nature are real draws, too, and everything about the hotel celebrates Uruguayan heritage.
Set within 4,000 acres of land near chi-chic Jose Ignacio (the St Tropez of Uruguay), this is a real haven for celebrities, art- and nature- lovers with cash to splash, and for well-heeled families wanting to get away from it all.