Hotels Reviews Trips

Review: Carmelo Resort and Spa Uruguay – A Hyatt Unbound Property

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110 acres of Luxury, Wine, and Urban escape awaits

In 2015, the Carmelo Resort and Spa left Four Seasons and joined Hyatt’s program as a category 5 hotel. When the news hit I immediately began wanderlusting my visit, and found the resort incredibly enchanting.  Here we go…add another location to my bucket list. That thing just keeps growing and growing 🙂 This past November I was fortunate enough to check it off!

The Carmelo Resort and Spa consists of just 44 rooms: 20 bungalows and 24 bi-level suites. It’s set along the Rio de la Plata amongst 100 ft pines, and even features grapevines used for a local winery. Resorts like this are rarely accessible with points and after examining its proximity to Buenos Aires I knew we had to experience it for ourselves.

Our Stay:

  • When: November 2018
  • Where: Carmelo, Uruguay
  • Loyalty: World of Hyatt Explorist
  • Rate: 10k + $125
  • Upgrade: None, Bungalow. Breakfast included

Getting to the hotel

We arrived in Uruguay via the Buquebus, and arranged for the hotel to have a car transport us to the resort. You could rent a car, and there is parking at the resort, but not knowing what we’d encounter and over an hour drive through the Uruguayan countryside, we paid the $100 transport. Arrival is simply magical. The resort is set far back from a 2 lane highway, behind gates, and a matrix of roads that weave through the Pine forest.

The lodge was incredibly fragrant and I instantly fell in love with the architectural design.  It’s a storybook location and the lodge aesthetic not only blends with its surroundings, it provides vantage points and vistas that were incredibly thoughtful in their design and enhance the guest experience in the most subtle of ways.

There are wooden beams throughout, large leather couches, a second story with a business center, and even a cupola you can ascend and peer out over the entire resort. It was everything I’d imagined it to be, and smelled like a winter’s fire.

The Bungalow:

We booked a standard King Bungalow for 10k + $125. We were incredible lucky to book this room just a couple weeks before Hyatt devalued their cash and points program. Rates were over $400 when we stayed ( and the resort is now cat 6 ). I’d guess with taxes and fees it saved us over a $100 a night booking before the deval.

The bungalows line paths on either side of the property with private entrances, indoor/outdoor bathrooms, patios, large dual vanity bathrooms, and incredible bedrooms with open beams and stone floors.

They made up the daybed into a regular bed as well.

The bathroom is drop dead gorgeous. As I mentioned it featured dual vanities, a large separate tub and shower.

If you exit the bathroom and go into the outside courtyard you’ll find an outdoor shower. It was too cold to use, but I can imagine it would be quite fun in the summer.

The only complaint would be the plumbing and we had a bit of an overflow issue from the shower and toilet. It was fixed after we called in for service, and they offered to move us, but if you are staying and see the shower isn’t draining properly…don’t use the toilet. We ended up having a partially flooded bathroom with sewage. Not pretty. The hotel did take swift action although no recompense was offered for the situation…

Views from the bungalow

The Spa/Gym/Pool facility.

The hotel is designed for Spa clientele; however, the resort was practically empty, and if we saw 10 other guests I’d be surprised. The facilities are gorgeous and exude a southeast Asia/Balinese vibe which feels very appropriate in the wooden environment.

The pool was kept at bath-like temperatures and was just what we needed the morning after we went wine tasting.



We enjoyed a few different areas of the hotel for dining. When we arrived we were starving and ate out on the outside patio of Pura overlooking the pool when it started to rain. It. Is. Pricey and in dollars.

Breakfast is complimentary and also served in Pura. You can order from a small list of hot dishes as well as enjoy the buffet. The eggs were incredibly fresh and delicious. The yogurt is made at the winery and was amazing as well.

Mandara Bar

We enjoyed a bit of time at the Mandara Bar as well which has an old school cigar bar feel. You can order nibbles as well.

Location on the river

We walked most of the proximal grounds and found the area out by the river to be very peaceful. There’s a yoga studio as well.

Wine Tasting:

The hotel has a relationship with Narbona, and even has Narbona vines growing on its land. We had our first dinner at the Wine Lodge and returned the following day for a proper tasting and another dinner. I’d highly recommend Narbona. The facility is state of the art with a countryside charm that I absolutely adored. The staff is very proud of their wines and the hotel provides a free shuttle.


The Carmelo Resort and Spa is a great addition to your South America adventure especially if you’re spending several days in and around Buenos Aires. You can use points to book, which now run 25k a night, and escape from the world, reset your clocks and introduce yourself to a part of Uruguay that is emerging, filled with pride, and showcases craftsmanship, customer service, and luxury far from the city.

Affiliate link via CardRatings


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


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