Hotels Reviews Trips

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

a vineyard with trees in the background

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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.

a sunset over a park

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.

a building with trees in front of it

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.

a house with a driveway and trees

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.

a room with a bed and a couch

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

a bed with a window behind it

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

a bathroom with a tub and two sinks

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.

a shower outside with plants and trees

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

a sunset over a pond

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.

a indoor pool with windows and trees in the background

Dining:

Pura:

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.

a room with leather chairs and a table

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.

a patio with a covered patio and plants

Overall:

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.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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