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- José Ignacio
5 BEDROOMS | 10 GUESTS | JOSÉ IGNACIO, URUGUAY
Great beach houses are an intangible mix of style, architecture and location and the owners of the Villa 121 have got it spot on. A beautiful and very private home set in spacious grounds with unsurpassed views over the Jose Ignacio Lagoon… yet the famous beaches and restaurants of José Ignacio are just 5 minutes away.
On walking into the main house you find yourself in a huge, airy open room, with the wall facing the lagoon made entirely of glass to take advantage of the jaw-dropping view. Designed by Mario Connio, the Uruguayan architect responsible for many of the most remarkable homes on this part of the coast, the house is entirely made from wood with it’s high, high ceiling (the apex of which reminiscent of a ship’s prow) topped off with Connio’s signature native thatched roof.
To one end of this great room is a sitting room with over-sized sofas and well stocked book shelves and to the other end is a circular dinning table that faces the well-equipped kitchen. The master-suite with its views of the lagoon is at one end of the house and a further two twin-bedded rooms lie on the opposite end of the house.
Sliding doors lead on to a large wooden deck, the first part of which is shaded by the high thatch roof and makes for a pleasant and cool hang-out on even the hottest of summer days. Over-sized sun beds facing the lagoon are lined up below two dwarf palm trees that are set in the deck and an eclipse-shaped shaped plunge pool blends with the watery horizon. Large chunks of each summer day are spent out of the deck even though the beach is just a short stroll away and the La Susana Beach Bar and Restaurant is a few minutes cycle from the house.
To one side of the house is a covered quincho fitted out with the all-important barbecue grill for long lunches or dinners that will run late into the night (habitués of José Ignacio are no strangers to eating late) and there is plenty of room to invite new friends.
In a separate block, made of the same slatted wood as the main house and painted in the same cool grey, there are two more en-suite bedrooms. These rooms and their bathrooms are simpler than those in the main house.
VILLA 121 ACCOMMODATION
• Kitchen and large open plan sitting and dinning area that opens on to a large fan-shaped wooden deck which has unbeatable views of the lagoon. The sunsets from here are amazing.
• One Master suite.
• Two further (smaller) bedrooms in the main house and two more in a stand-alone guest cottage.
• Small swimming pool.
• The deck is set up with outside living and dinning space and there are sun beds around the pool.
• Large covered BBQ area.
The physical appearance of this small town has changed little over the past decade. For much of the year, the sandy streets of the former fishing village on the country’s Atlantic coast are silent and un-trodden, the avant-garde designer houses half-hidden behind modest fishing shacks, and tumbledown cottages shuttered and empty. Even its grassy plaza is unadorned by anything more showy than a bed of lavender. Yet once a year, artists, aristocrats, and A-list celebrities transform the coastline into South America’s most exclusive — yet determinedly rustic — year-end enclave.
Described as one of the hippest places on the planet at New Year and there is little doubt that, along with Trancoso in North-east Brazil, José Ignacio can make a strong claim on being the hottest place in South America to party in the New Year. First impressions of José Ignacio, the pueblo, is that it looks like a film set and this feeling is only heightened by the glamorous extras that throng the streets, cafes and the two beaches, the mansa and the brava. Nestled in sand dunes overlooking an endless beach, Parador La Huella is everyone’s favourite restaurant and its tables and bar are packed from the time it opens at midday until it closes sometime in the early hours. The menu is perfect for the beach – grilled brotola (a substantial white-fish that gets hauled from the ocean in front of the restaurant), crispy-thin pizzas, oven-charred baby squid, a sushi bar and, of course, the best steaks in the world are perennials on a menu that otherwise changes daily – and the service is snappy and informal. Prices are fair even in high season, the coffee reaches the table piping hot and the rosé is served icy cold. If only all beach bars were made this way. The only price to pay is the wait for a table in the season, not least as the secret is out about this part of the coast.
Yet, even at the busiest times when parked Porsches and SUV’s clog the sandy streets, there are still good and rather more down-to-earth options available. Manolo’s, the world’s most glamorous butcher’s shop, sells huge milanesa sandwiches to bikini-clad beauties and further up the street the little supermarket does a brisk trade in iced champagne, emapanadas, cigarettes and freshly baked bread. Despite the increasing hype and invariable comparisons to Ibiza or the Hamptons, Marbella or St Tropez, ‘as they were back in the day’, it’s a place that hasn’t sold out and clearly hasn’t lost its soul. This, I am sure, is down to Uruguay herself, the most down-to-earth, least pretentious country in the region, whose greatest asset is its people. It is true this coast has the feel of a previous era when the world was a simpler, better place: the endless under-developed coastline; the absence of drunken hordes by night; empty beaches by day; all coupled with the fact that it still not that easy to get to from anywhere else. But what it is most of all, it’s essence, is that it this little corner of South America still has a style that is all of its own that rubs its magic dust on everyone who visits. Prepare to be seduced.
- Swimming Pool
- Outdoor Seating
- Air Conditioning
- 10 Guests
- 5 Bedrooms
- 5 Bathrooms
The house comes with a housekeeper and groundsman who live on the property and a professional chef and the assistance of an English speaking local host / concierge can be arranged for additional cost.
Additional professional cooks, maids, babysitters, and barmen may be provided for an extra cost and paid for locally when requested in advance.
TRANSFERS TO THE VILLA
Private transfers with trusted drivers from the Punta del Este airport (40 min) and the Montevideo airport (less than 2 hours) can be arranged upon request for an additional cost. Car hire is recommended while staying at this house.
PRE-ARRIVAL GROCERY SHOPPING
To make your arrival at the property as relaxing as possible, we suggest we stock the kitchen and fridges with a customized grocery shop prior to your trip. This means that you will arrive to a kitchen full of food, a fridge full of cold drinks and that the first meal can be served shortly after your arrival.
Car hire is recommended, but not essential. Cars be can be rented locally in Montevideo or Punta del Este and we are happy to help with these arrangements.
Bear in Mind
Availability and Prices
Please contact us for the complete price list for the year or for a quote based on specific dates.
Some properties have discounts available for smaller numbers of guests or couples.
RATES UPON REQUEST
Minimum stay: 7 nights throughout the year, and 10 nights for New Year.
INCLUDED IN COST:
• A young local chef available to prepare, lunch, dinner and snacks
• An assistant chef who will also help serve / make drinks
• Assistance of an English speaking BBH Host
• Daily maid service (in the event the house is full then an extra maid must be contracted to handle laundry for an additional US$150 per day)
• A luxurious hamper of premium local produce, including Garzon wines and oil
• Local taxes
• Transfers to and from the villa
• Car hire (recommended)
• Additional staff (professional cooks, maids, babysitters, barmen, etc.)
• Food & beverages (can be pre-paid so that the kitchen is fully stocked upon arrival)
• Availability & prices are subject to change & will be confirmed at the time a booking request is received
• A one off US$ 300 booking fee is charged for all reservations
• A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to secure any booking, with the balance due no later than 60 days before the date of arrival. If the booking is made within 60 days of the date of arrival, then the full value of the rental is required
• Security deposit is usually 10% of the total amount of the booking (or a minimum of US$ 1,000) and should be paid with the balance. Usually it will be returned within 10 working days after departure if there are no damages or outstanding payments to be settled upon departure
• Full Terms & Conditions may be viewed here.