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Four Seasons Resort, Carmelo

Ruta 2, Km 262 , Department of Colonia
Carmelo , Colonia , Uruguay http://www.fourseasons.com/carmelo/
598 4542-9000

This rural retreat seems designed to coddle the post-Buenos Aires traveler into a numbed state of relaxation. Designed in Balian style, with Asian-inflected design elements and imported woods, the hotel has 44 guestrooms housed in 20 private bungalows (many of them duplexes) constructed of Brazilian walnut. Some rooms offer views of the vast Rio de la Plata and the distant glow of Buenos Aires, while others are tucked away in the eucalyptus forest. Activities here are decidedly low-key: channel your inner gaucho on a guided horseback outing, then feast at a barbeque at La Estancia, the hotel's ranch and organic farm. Or, you can always just read a book under a palapa on the surprisingly wide golden-sand beach before taking a dip in the (clean) river. The property is best-known for its Bali-inspired spa—with its wood-burning chimney, pool, dry sauna, and Asian treatments—and magnificent, “truest bend” golf course.

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