Bahia Vik, set to open any day now in Jose Ignacio, is already poised to be one of the hottest destinations of the winter season. Contributing editor Christina Ohly was one of the first to get a look around.
JOSE IGNACIO, Uruguay – If you're looking for the ultimate sunset, overlooking ten acres of sprawling dunes, then Bahia Vik has your name written all over it.
Set to open in winter 2014 in time for high season, the hotel is a perfect compliment to Vik Retreats sister properties Playa Vik, just down the beach, and Estancia Vik, their equestrian "farm" situated inland. Bahia Vik features contemporary Uruguayan art, sleek furnishings, and minimalist pools at every turn. Environmentally friendly casitas are understated yet luxurious at the same time and everything tastefully melds into the the oceanfront landscape.
In the Room
Eleven unique bungalows and 37 guest rooms and suites range in style and finish, but each incorporates indigenous Uruguayan woods and grey slate for an overall sleek aesthetic. Art remains a huge focus for at any Vik (don't miss the James Turrell light installation at Playa Vik next door), and here the exuberant artwork is not only decorative, but real conversation starters as well.
Room with a View
Rooms are wildly expensive in the high season, but you get what you pay for, and every service is top-notch yet low-key at the same time. I stayed in a two-bedroom suite with my preteen kids who loved the big, comfortable beds and excellent snacks.
What's on Site
I love a hotel with separate swimming pools for kids and adults, as it takes the pressure off everyone involved. Not that you need a pool, as Magna beach at your doorstep has gentle surf and some of the best South American people watching you'll find anywhere. (Microscopic bikinis are de rigueur.) Bahia guests can horseback ride at the nearby Estancia property or stroll down the dunes for a perfectly grilled hamburger or fresh sushi at the Vik's La Susana restaurant. In addition, a state-of-art spa and a well-appointed gym offer healthy diversions (no lines at the latter!).
Breakfast includes a complimentary buffet of yogurts, cheeses, and freshly baked local delicacies, but fluffy omelettes and pancakes appear in record time as well. Soy latte? Gluten intolerance? Nothing seems to throw this crew off, and they are genuinely happy to please every palate.
This Place Is Perfect for
Anyone with a pulse. Families are in full effect at the holidays, but honeymooners can find peace and quiet in sun-filled courtyards and poolside.
But Not So Perfect For
A recluse. Although why would one come here in the first place? Jose Ignacio is about wonderful, communal asados, parties, and long days spent at the beach or on horseback. If you're Type A or in a hurry, best to give this a pass.
Beaches, horses, lighthouses, gauchos, seafood feasts, private beach clubs accessible only by boat. Read all about it in Everything You Need to Know to Have a Perfect Beach Vacation in Jose Ignacio.
Rates start at $800. Click here for reservations.