Calle de la Bahia, Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Casual chic and oh-so-cozy, Posada del Faro has the ability to attract everyone from Gisele Bundchen, to high-powered bankers to the jet-setting surfer crowd. All come together to enjoy a laid-back stay in a killer oceanfront location.
Leaving the crowds and high-rises of Punta del Este far behind, 25 miles to the north is Jose Ignacio. It’s a small fishing village which has in the last ten years been converted into some of the most expensive and sought-after real estate on the planet. Even though most fishing shacks have been replaced by mansions, the quaint small-town vibe has thankfully remained. While there is a lack of that notorious neon and glitz fast-paced nightlife found in the main resort city, Jose Ignacio is where the insider set knows that the real action goes down, such as Lacoste’s ultra-exclusive annual party. A staple in the Jose Ignacio scene is Posada del Faro, an intimate boutique bed and breakfast with just 15 rooms and the Mansa (calm) beach literally right outside the front door.
Yes, there are much more decadent accommodations in the area (Estancia Vik), or hotels that offer much more lively entertainment options (Conrad in the heart of Punta), but Posada del Faro definitely has its own unique charm. If what you come to Uruguay for is lots of sun and sand and a place where you can feel comfortable walking through the front door with wet hair and sandy flip-flops on, this is the place to be.
A stay at Posada feels like you got invited to your friend’s beach house for a relaxing getaway. There are high-quality Trek bikes available to use for free, a stocked bar for you to go mix your own drinks, a large library filled with hundreds of books in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and even a massive pile of magazines from all over the world (perfect for spending a lazy day poolside). Golf carts to explore the town are available to rent—though it’s easy enough to explore the area on foot from here.
All of the rooms are uniquely decorated, but all are simple and homey with teak floors, whitewashed walls, splashes of vibrant color, and lots of natural light. Recommended are the “special” rooms, which are much larger, come with couches, and have the best ocean views with their own private terrace. Rooms have fireplaces; housekeeping has wood and starter pinecones all set up so that even the biggest city slicker can have a roaring fire in no time with just the flick of a match. There is nothing like falling asleep comforted by the warmth of the fire as you are soothed by the sound of the waves below. Take your breakfast in bed, at any time of the day. If you stay out late one night and don’t wake up until 2pm, perfect. The staff couldn’t care less about holding you to a schedule…after all, you are on vacation! Outside of high season, management is also incredibly accommodating about check-out time.
For breakfast, you can choose between light or continental. Both include coffee and juice. The light has more fruit, a light yogurt, granola and some whole grain bread. Continental has the same, but with a selection of croissants and pastries. The kitchen is equipped to make simple food for dinner, (think pasta or something equally easy), but the hotel does not operate a restaurant. In the summer Posada does open a beach bar down at the water, which is popular for its Caipiroska drinks and chivitos (traditional Uruguayan sandwiches). A stay in Jose Ignacio wouldn’t be complete without eating at the casually chic, world famous La Huella which happens to be right down the road from Posada del Faro.
There is no excuse to ever be bored at Posada del Faro. Massages, yoga, and Pilates can be scheduled, as can surfing lessons, kite surfing, or horseback riding on the beach. Wi-Fi is reliable, fast, and free.
It needs to be noted that Posada del Faro in the summer will be an entirely different place than Posada in the off-season. In the summer it is one of the hip places to see and be seen, a sort of epicenter of Jose Ignacio, and will be filled to capacity, so book well in advance. Outside of the peak season of January and February, it will be much more calm. Definitely don’t count out a visit during wintertime. While you may not spend your time laying out in the sun, it is a great time of year to stay at Posado for a quiet, romantic getaway filled with long walks on the beach without seeing anyone else for miles around.
What Posada del Faro might lack in opulence or services, it more than makes up for with charm and a location that cannot be beat. It seems like the kind of place that would easily become tradition to keep going back to year after year.
Web Address: www.posadadelfaro.com/
Total Number of Rooms: 15
Published rates: Standard $250 – 840 BB.
Review and photos by Cathy Brown.
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