Party South America 2012 travel blog

Pool view from outside our room, Jose Ignacio

Where you will always find a lush, outside a very sleek wine...

Stunning beaches and virtually empty

And looking the other direction

Deep blues and greens but a pretty vicious tide

Outside of the hotel and the car they use as a taxi,...

Pool side at the hotel, only thing missing is a harpoon

The beach again looking towards the town and light house

11th February

We are picked up by taxi this morning and taking to Jose Ignacio on the coast. JI is not far from Punta del Este – the Saint Tropez of S America. However, we had been advised that Punta del Este was like Miami and that JI was its smaller, prettier and classier little brother. This time we had made a good decision. Cabo Polonio could be like this if it wanted to be. Very nice (if expensive) restaurants and art galleries and boutiques mostly built with white clapper board frontages – very classy!

However, it wasn't all plain sailing. We arrived at our hotel, Casa Suaya, to find there was a queue at reception of people complaining. As we waited for attention we wandered to the pool – it was green and filthy and the toilets didn't seem great. When the poor guy at reception finally cleared the disgruntled hordes and took us to our room we were very disappointed – a bit basic and our large picture windows looked on to trees about two feet away. Not the superior sea view we had booked and the hotel was full.

We bumped into Ron and Doris, who had left the estancia to come here the day before us. They seemed very happy with their room and gave us few tips on where might be good to eat. They were just leaving as we arrived and by then we had decided that we were not staying either.

However, after some phone calls it seemed that the local agents had messed up the booking and moved us to another hotel nearby La Viuda. This hotel was fantastic. They sent a car to pick us up – a turquoise Chevrolet Belair – what a way to arrive!The public areas were all decorated with furniture from the 60's and 70's – original frames recovered in psychedelic fabrics – very groovy. The bedroom had a large sea view terrace with double lounger while the room had a double jacuzzi bath. The pool was lovely and the food was great.

After our couple of hours of trauma, we decided to spend the afternoon by the pool. In the evening, they booked us a restaurant in town and drove us there, giving us a guided tour en route and even picked us up again later – all free of charge. Cool little addition - there was no fixed land line phone in the room but there was a mobile with the hotel programmed into it. You take the phone with you when you leave and if you need help just call the hotel, including picking you up in town. As there are only two taxis in the entire town this was a great move.

Dropped off at a little wine bar and sampled some Uruguayan Sauvingon Blanc - not fantastic but still palatable. Off to the restaurant , French, run by the same guy who has a restaurant in the Museo de Belle Artes in Buenos Aires. It had only opened a few weeks ago and served very nice, if a little pricey, food.

12th February

Today, the hotel beach buggy gave us a lift into town and we walked the few kilometres back along the beach. The beach near to town has cafés, loungers and umbrellas but the further out you go it's deserted – we had the beach almost to ourselves. It's hard to imagine how different this is to Cabo Polonio which is only 100 kms or so along the coast. In the evening we had a sundowner drink on the beach then a very nice dinner in an outdoor restaurant with tables all set around a fire – very romantic.

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