Carmelo Resort & Spa, the Unbound Collection by Hyatt
What We Love
- Daily activities — from cooking lessons to walking tours — are included in the rate
- All of the spacious, open room plans have private terraces
- Free shuttle into town
What To Know
- Its remote location means a two-hour drive and a ferry ride from Buenos Aires (or 20-minute flight on a small plane)
- In March and April, grapes are collected at local wineries and new wines are ready for tasting
- Although the resort provides several “couples experiences,” expect a lot of families, too
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Tucked up against the grassy bank of Uruguay’s Rio de la Plata, the Four Seasons Carmelo is a rustic retreat housing 20 bungalows and 24 bi-level suites. But the resort’s features speak to a seemingly larger scale: The three restaurants, library, 18-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis court and spa leave little room for the idle. Bring the tots too; they’ll love a day of horseback riding lessons or hosted activities at the kid’s club. Six of the bungalows have river views, but all accommodations feature spacious open plans and private terraces — perfect for spreading out with the whole family.
In the Area
Though the hotel’s free shuttle into town makes for a nice day of local shopping and exploring, the ample onsite activities leave little reason to leave the grounds. Consult the hotel for their full schedule of activities, from pastry or polo lessons; horseback riding to canoeing; and even a sunset cruise, complete with snacks and refreshments. While the kids are at the Children’s Club, opt for a day of golf at the 18-hole golf course, or unwind with a 60-minute Uruguayan Tannat treatment at the spa.
How to Get There
This resort is beautiful in all aspects. The surroundings are wonderful and the quality of the rooms and main buildings great. The spa is superb. There are good entertainment options, such as biking and horseback riding, and nice places to visit nearby. Service was also very good. The only point we felt was not up to the standard of the resort was the food, in terms of variety and price.
I came here with my parents and they absolutely loved this beautiful hotel. Picture don't do justice so you have to come visit for yourself. The ground are beautiful with vineyards running around the pool. The employee's were top notch from the front desk, the bar, the restaurant to at the pool. The rooms were nice and spacious which was nice and had great views as well. Another part we loved was the spa and gym which was nice to visit in the morning before or after breakfast (which is a great breakfast btw). Highly recommend coming for at least 2 nights and relaxing at this beautiful hotel.
We visited in January, summer vacation time, and believe that we were among only a handful of guests at the crowded hotel at that time without two or three accompanying young children (pre-teens).
We stayed in two separate bungalows (we were moved during our stay, somewhat inexplicably due to front desk issues/chaos), both of which were very nicely furnished, but both of which had window coverings (shades and curtains) that were torn/broken/missing.
The three on-site restaurants provided excellent food, but the dining environments were very much impacted by what appeared to be competitions of which 3-year-old could behave the worst. While we're all use to uncontrolled crying from young ones, we're sure that we've never seen (or heard) so much unattended screaming and bawling in high-priced resort restaurants.
One night there was an outdoor barbecue, and the various chefs were proud to show off their outdoor cooking mettle. Short chats with the various chefs-de-cuisine resulted in brilliant results. Highly recommended.
Uruguay has recently legalized recreational marijuana. It's only in retrospect, but I can't help but wonder whether our three truly bizarre interactions with the front desk were not affected by that. On first arrival, neither front-desk attendant could look up from their on-going phone calls for at least five minutes (there was literally no-one else in the lobby at the time); when finally one of the calls was finished, we were suddenly the attendants' best friends --- but were assigned a room that we had to move from the next day. On check-out, subsequent to paying, and saying good-bye, we inexplicably needed to provide our passports to the clearly befuddled attendant. Two hours after leaving the hotel, we realized that we had left behind two envelopes (with sundry receipts, notes, used boarding passes etc.) in the desk drawer of the desk in the bungalow, but the front desk attendant we spoke with by phone took pains to make clear that, if found, these envelopes could not be mailed to us. It's extremely unlikely that such materials would be tossed out by the housekeepers, but in any case, they were never returned to us. [When the concierge from the Hyatt Centric in Montevideo followed-up by phone on our behalf, he could only comment "that was strange"].
For World of Hyatt members, it should also be noted that no Hyatt points for the stay were processed automatically. A subsequent call to Hyatt corporate resulted in an immediate manual adjustment.
If you're a child psychologist wanting to research behaviors of the children of the nouveau riche of South America, you won't want to pass up the opportunity to visit here during the January holidays. Otherwise I'd advise giving this wonderful facility, with all of its obvious potential, a wide berth. Forewarned is forearmed.
This is a very good hotel. My husband and I stayed for three days at this hotel in one of the bungalows located far from the main hall and pool, and it was perfect. We had a very nice view to the forest and vineyard in front of us, and mostly heard birds singing. The bungalow was wonderful, fully equipped and decorated with elegance. The breakfast and meals were excellent. The staff was courteous and extremely helpful. Highly recommended for a most peaceful and enjoyable stay.
After a stressful year planning our wedding, my now husband and I were most looking forward to a few days of complete relaxation. Carmelo Resort and Spa was definitely relaxing.
We were welcomed by friendly staff, particularly Eva and Virginia at the front desk, acknowledging our honeymoon. We stayed in a bungalow overlooking the water. The outdoor private shower was heavenly. I There are 48 (I believe) bungalows so the resort is overall very quiet. From Friday-Sunday it livened up with what we think are S.A. “locals,” meaning, weekend getaways.
Our first night we were surprised with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, lit candles and a bubble bath upon our return to the room after dinner. It was wonderful.
For the rest of the trip, we played tennis, got massages, relaxed by the pool (both indoor and outdoor). We took bikes out to get lunch at a local pier the front desk recommended. The wine, dulce de leche among other delicious items were made by the local vineyard, Narbona in Carmelo. We did a wine tasting there, located about 10-15 min from the hotel and it was well worth it.
Almost all of our meals were at the resort. This was both good but also got old quickly. Although the food was delicious. Waitstaff was friendly but barely spoke English so often it was hard to communicate. They seemed somewhat more cold to us than they did with other tables that we saw. A highlight was the lovely restaurant manager who checked in with us a bunch, very attentive.
Front desk staff helped us get our bus tickets to Montevideo and arranged for the bus to pick us up outside of the resort.
Our overall stay was great. It’s beautiful and incredibly relaxing.
A few cons:
- some of the waitstaff as I mentioned above
- we couldn’t communicate well during breakfast and had no clue they had eggs made to order until the 2nd to last day, no one told us. We were given a bill for $68 for breakfast on 3 mornings out of 5 but we thought it was included, had to confirm with the front desk
- only two dinner options during the week and not many other places to go (especially if they cancel one of your other dinner plans twice - see below)
- our wine tasting with dinner was canceled both nights we requested it, sort of disappointing but no big deal in the end as we switched it to lunch. However, for some reason no hotel shuttles were available? Despite being told they normally would be. So they charged us for a taxi there and back. We felt that was a little odd
- tennis was great but the rackets they have are so old that it made it hard to play. I recommend bringing your own if you can
- bed was pretty uncomfortable, fine for the first 2 nights but not much longer than that
- I practice yoga regularly at home and was super excited to see that there was a class on the beach. When I asked the spa, they were unable to accommodate us until a few days into our trip. Then when we got to the class, we realized we needed to be fluent in Spanish, not the biggest deal but definitely wasn’t the meditative experience I was hoping for
As a side note- I can speak a moderate amount of Spanish and even that was not enough to overcome a huge language barrier here. Id like to mention that the rest of our stay in Buenos Aires and Montevideo was also with little English but the circumstances were different. We were exploring the city. This is a resort and wasn’t supposed to be a source of stress. I feel we missed some things and seeing as it’s a Hyatt resort, I think we expected a little bit more.