Punta del Este, Uruguay
Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio
Splendor in the Grass
What it is
A billionaire’s own 12-room horse ranch on rolling farmland, with a cantilevered black granite swimming pool and manicured polo grounds.
What it isn't
Lacking anything. Despite the intimate size, you’ll find anything you could require here, including a spa and 5,000-bottle-deep wine cellar.
What we think
Any hotel with its own helipad is ready to pamper the most persnickety guests on earth, and that’s the case here. Set on nearly 4,000 private acres, Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio is ready to thrill you—whether you want to canoe the lagoon, take a polo lesson or take a horseback ride on the beach under the otherworldly glow of a full moon. Rooms are art-filled and nontraditional, with pieces by regional painters Alvaro Amengal and Clever Lara; staffers are happy to loan you anything from a Nintendo Wii to board games if you find yourself growing weary of equine life. The goal here is to make you feel at home—as if this luxury ranch was your very own.
You're here because
You’re an unabashed foodie, and the hotel’s restaurant is so focused on Uruguayan authenticity that they built a parillero—or corrugated tin-walled barbecue room—for grilling local meat.
You’ve watched plenty of polo matches—at home, on tv, from the sofa. So you can’t believe your excitement at getting to actually play one. Today, the pro’s have cherry-picked a polo pony just for you, and handed you a stick and ball for practice. It’s actually easier than it looks, thank god. Tonight: you’ll sip cocktails under the celestial stars of the southern hemisphere—and wish for a win at tomorrow’s match.
Restaurants & Bars
- El Asador - Authentic Uruguayan BBQ
- Cielomar at Playa Vik - Signature fish BBQ overlooking the southern Atlantic
- La Susana Beach Restaurant - Fresh, local and organic Uruguayan cuisine and great music
- Zodiaco at Bahia Vik - Set menu by Executive Chef Marcelo Betancourt
On its own verdant, sweeping grounds some 45 minutes by car from Capitan de Corbeta Carlos A Curbelo airport in Punta del Este. The fishing village of Jose Ignacio—now a boho scene chockablock with cocktail boîtes and yoga studios—is just 15 minutes away.