Carmelo Resort And Spa In Uruguay Is Now A Hyatt

Hyatt announced that the Carmelo Resort and Spa in Uruguay has joined the brand. The property was formerly a Four Seasons and is regarded as one of the of Latin America’s top luxury hotels and one of Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Top 100 Resorts and Hotels.”

The property looks amazing. There is a private beach, a wine cellar, and a golf club. And the rooms are huge, bigger than my first apartment.

Hyatt Carmello Resort and Spa Uruguay Lobb
The lobby of the Hyatt Carmelo Resort and Spa

The Hyatt Carmelo is located on the Rio de la Plata about an hour from Colonia del Sacramento, which is itself a 1-3 hour ferry ride from Buenos Aires (depending on whether you take the fast or slow boat). Or it’s a 3 hour drive from Montevideo should you happen to fly into Uruguay directly to avoid the $160 Argentinian reciprocity fee (if that applies to you).

From the official press release:

The 44-guestroom resort incorporates Asian and South American design touches, including the use of imported woods, that, when combined, create a rich holistic zen retreat environment for guests, all the while maintaining authentic Uruguayan hospitality and terroir. Each of the resort’s exquisitely appointed 24 bi-level suites and 20 detached villas are designed for travelers to live and luxuriate in. All accommodations offer a private terrace for outdoor living and private dining, and stunning views of the surrounding area that includes a eucalyptus forest, pine groves, vineyards, and the famed Rio de la Plata.

Rooms

The base room type is the Bungalow. They are 970 sq ft.

Carmelo-Resort-and-Spa-a-Hyatt-hotel-P001-Bungalow.gallery-2-3-item-panel.jpg
A Bungalow

The Bi-Level Suites are even bigger at 1,291 sq ft and include a living and dining area. (No pictures available yet.)

Then there is a “Premium” Bi-Level Suite that is 1,453 sq ft and has two floors (I kind of assume the standard Bi-Level Suite does as well) and two bathrooms. The description for this unit mentions a kitchenette, which as a family traveler, always gets me excited.

Now Open

It looks like the property is bookable immediately, as in you could stay there tonight. Rates are around $250 per night in July (winter) and look to go to $500 in December. Interestingly, it seems that the rates are the same for both the Bungalow and standard Bi-Level Suite. The rate for the Premium Bi-Level suite is not listed on the website.

I called Hyatt Gold Passport to inquire about booking the Premium Bi-Level. The representative could not find a single date between now and October when it is available for booking on revenue. Perhaps it is not entered into the system yet?

Diamond Suite Upgrade

I also inquired about using a Diamond Suite Upgrade at the property, and he informed me that a DSU would upgrade me into the Bi-Level Suite. I then politely pointed out that the Bi-Level Suite is the same price as the Bungalow and therefore a DSU wouldn’t really accomplish much. He sort of shrugged (as much as you can shrug on the phone) and said “that’s what the property has designated for DSU’s to upgrade into.” Let’s hope that the Premium Bi-Level Suite makes it into the system at some point and are DSU-eligible, otherwise DSU’s seem kind of useless at this property.

Award Nights

On the points side, this is a Category 5 property costing 20,000 points per night. Unfortunately, that means we can’t use Hyatt Visa anniversary nights.

Uruguay

This property actually excites me quite a bit.

We visited Uruguay for the first time in 2010 by taking the ferry over to Colonia from Buenos Aires for a night. I remember Colonia being a picturesque little town that was great for looking at vintage cars that are still daily drivers. We enjoyed it quite a bit. Oh, and did I mention the meat?

Colonia del Sacramento
Cobblestone streets of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, about an hour from the Hyatt Carmelo.

We returned to Montevideo in 2013 and stayed at the Radisson, which is a very interesting property in its own right. I had actually read that Hyatt was planning to open a hotel in Montevideo, which was expected to be the first of the brand in Uruguay. The official press release was from 2012 with a target opening of 2015. Not sure what happened there.

At any rate, I’m always excited to see Hyatt expand their footprint especially in off-the-beaten path parts of the world. Even more so when it includes reasonably priced (at least in the off-season) luxury properties.


Have you been to Uruguay? Does this get you excited to go?

Comments

  1. Not a great use of points in low season but a good value for the South American summer.

    Other than golf, what is there to do in the area? Or is it primarily a beach/golf type of resort?

  2. Uruguay is a wonderful country. Used some points to stay at the Conrad Punta Del Este during our honeymoon. But why are they obsessed with Miller Genuine Draft MGD down there?

  3. Mehhhh!!!! Nothing exciting to do there unless you want to rest. Also, this seems to be a very small hotel judging by the number of rooms so don’t expect much activity around you.

  4. It’s interesting to me this is being branded as a Hyatt and not a Park Hyatt, given the Four Seasons heritage in play here. When it was a FS, I know it was packaged together with the Four Seasons Buenos Aires for stays and transfers, so it’s a bit curious to me that (so far) Hyatt is not similarly pairing the Park Hyatt BA and the Hyatt Carmelo.

    Then again, my impression of the Four Seasons Carmelo (which I hadn’t visited, but researched a ton) was that it was a bit of a vanity project by a local multimillionaire, and that while it was very pretty, it was: (i) a bit of a boring location even with Uruguay (since it’s 45 minutes from Colonia, and not anywhere near the attractions along the coast); (ii) strangely conceived of, architecturally and design-wise, as a Balinese style resort; and (iii) nice, but nowhere near Four Seasons standards, especially when it came to food/beverage.

    To me, it almost feels like Aviara all over again, where Hyatt gets Four Seasons’ sloppy seconds on distinctly third-tier properties. At least Hyatt seems to have learned a lesson and held off on branding it a Park in this case (though Carmelo seems more Park-appropriate than Aviara)…

  5. I stayed at the property 3 times when it was a Four Seasons. I always enjoyed staying there. Yes it is very remote and yes it takes a VERY long time to get to (although FS did have direct charter flights from BA to near the resort). I always thought the hotel grounds were immaculate and I loved the mix of Asian and South American influences everywhere. The outdoor pool is very large, but unheated, and always extremely cold. If I wanted to swim, I always swam in the indoor pool. As for activities, it was a bit limited but there was horseback riding, cultural activities, wine tours, and just enjoying being “unplugged” and out in nature. I am sad to see it is no longer a Four Seasons, but I’m excited to go back and again now that it is a Hyatt.

  6. According to Google Maps, you can take a ferry from Delta Del Tigre Port in Buenos Aires directly to Carmelo Port. Looks like this ferry doesn’t allow cars though. Anyhow, if you’re planning on going, perhaps this is worth looking in to.

  7. Interesting comments everyone. I actually love the remote middle-of-nowhere places, so this sounds really cool. Also $1000 / night is too rich for my blood, so the fact that it’s not going in at a PH is probably a positive to me at least.

  8. Great post…..exactly what I expect from this blog………..and that pool is beastly and as a swimmer I embrace the big cold pool……..20k is a bargain………I’m going………I’m frickin going………….

  9. I’ve visited Uruguay at least once a year for the last 12 years to see a good friend I went to school with in the US. It’s a beautiful country for beaches and relaxing but it’s pretty sleepy unless you are in MVD or Punta del Este, Punta is an awesome city during the North American winter (Ralph Lauren has rented a house there for New Years a couple times recently). There are many beaches up the coast that you can rent an awesome house and not be on the river for much less than the Hyatt. Super easy country to drive in and have the freedom of visiting towns along the coast as well as Chuy, the border town where the Main Street separates UY with Brazil. Bottom line, you can get the Urguyan experience pretty easily without the Hyatt and if your want a South American resort, Argentina has many by a lake to enjoy and not stuck by a muddy river.

  10. I stayed there about 3.5y ago now – it was an FHR property (as many FS hotels are), so I received an upgrade to a bi-level suite (which was fantastic), half bottle of wine, chocolate-coated strawberries, breakfast and free lunch and dinner! It was meant to be dinner for 2, but Amex Platinum Travel Service called the hotel and they agreed to swap it to two meals for one. I agree with the comments re a slightly unusual mix of South American and Asian influences, but I still found it a nice relaxing place with friendly staff. I did a horseback tour which was also excellent. The drive through the countryside from Colonia up to Carmelo was also very pleasant – overall a very enjoyable break.

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