Last night we had the brilliant idea to schedule a 50 minute Massage for each of us at 9 am. With all of the walking we'd been doing it would be a great treat. I woke around 7 am, well before my late sleepers, so I grabbed my iPad and went to have breakfast and some coffee until it was time to wake Bryan and Payton.
The spa was attached to the hotel via an underground tunnel and was really interesting. Bryan and I had walked around inside a little bit the night before, seeing the indoor and outdoor pools but that was about it. We checked in and were immediately ushered by our massage therapists to our rooms. Mine started immediately when we got into the room, no need for chit chat since she spoke Spanish and I spoke English. She did a great job. It wasn't as firm as I typically like but I was fully relaxed and enjoyed it. I met up with Bryan and Payton as they were having breakfast, fully relaxed from their treatments as well. We all showered, packed, checked out and were on our way to Carmelo by 11 am, about an hour north along the river. The drive took us through beautiful countryside on windy roads, reminiscent of driving through Italy. The town of Carmelo was actually larger than I expected, we drove through briefly on our way to the Carmelo Resort and Spa which was about 7 miles outside of the downtown area. The resort used to be a Four Seasons property, now it's owned by Hyatt. It was tucked into the woods along the Rio de la Plata river. Stunning is the only way to describe it. It's the kind of place where when you arrive they greet you at your car and say, "Hello Mrs. Smith, how was your trip?". Yes, they really knew who we were ( the reservation was under my name) before we said a thing. Granted there arent many people here this time of year Then as we approached the massive wooden door, they opened it for us from inside while offering us beautiful glass cups of fresh squeezed lemonade, as they ushered us inside. The place inside and out was breathtaking: two to three stories tall, wooden beams and huge, wrought iron chandeliers dangling above us. A panoramic wall of windows and glass doors leading to a spacious deck overlooking a multi-level pool below lined with lounge chairs, a poolside cafe and the resort restaurant all surrounded with vineyards overlooking the river. It's the kind of place you never want to leave. If anyone thinks Uruguay is a 3rd world country they should visit this place!
They checked us in and showed us to our suite, D26, with private patio. The room looked like a chalet inside. Tthe living area and 1/2 bath were downstairs with a daybed for Payton; the main bedroom upstairs included an overlook to the living area below and a large open bathroom with a large soaking tub in the center. Heaven.
It was a balmy 86 degrees and sunny so we decided to take advantage and have lunch poolside at the cafe. I finally tried the clerico, which ended up being a $17 USD white sangria. Our sandwiches and empanadas were good. Our lunch entertainment was watching a large iguana saunter by the pool as we ate. Afterwards we decided to relax next to the pool for the afternoon and enjoy the sun. Payton tried a cabana then returned in chill on our patio daybed, not wanting so much sun.
After several hours by the pool Bryan and I drove back to the downtown area, found a supermarket and picked up a few bottles of wine, Patricia beer, lemonade and potato chips for the duration of our stay. Upon our return we explored the grounds, taking a wooden path through the fineyards down to the river, stopping at a meditation/yoga hut overlooking the water and along a small path of sand until the prickers in the sand forced us to turn back. Payton caught up with us and we all returned to the yoga hut to watch the sunset over the river. The sun's rays shimmering through some small clouds looked beautiful in pinks and oranges. On our way back to our room we noticed they lit the outdoor fireplace on the deck, it smelled wonderful. Next we stopped in the Spa and gym to look around. Bryan and I decided to use the indoor pool (almost the same temp as the hot tub) and hot tub which glowed by lamplight. We were the only ones there.
At 7:30 pm we returned to our room, through thick smoke from the outdoor fire, like fog. We cleaned up and took off in search of Basta Pedro for our 8:30 pm dinner reservation. We were finally feeling like we were going at a typical dinner time until we arrived and were again the only ones there! They open at 8:30 pm so we were still the early birds!
Anyway, finding our way was interesting. We were only told to get to the main road, turn left , then turn left at the second gate. That's how directions are given. There was no sign for the restaurant so we weren't sure we went to the correct place. The gate attendant only spoke Spanish but after a few minutes we finally got confirmation that yes, we were in the correct place, and yes we had a reservation so the guard let us through. Again, we meandered through dirt roads until we came to, what we hoped was the restauarant. It was an old stone building, on a small inlet marina. We walked through a small breezeway between two buildings and found the charming restaurant glowing by strings of lights across the rafters and candles lit on the outdoor tables. Again, there was thick smoke everywhere, we decided it must be to keep the bugs away. We had our choice of table so we picked one outdoors next to the water. I ordered spinach ravioli with a glass of Tannat wine, Bryan ordered the Milanese beef with a Compari and orange juice, and Payton ordered a prosciutto, onion and cheese pizza with water sin gas ( no bubbles). It was all delicious and not too heavy. About the time we were finishing dinner a family from our resort arrived for dinner. Unfortunately they allowed their kids to run around, climb all over the ledges and scream while we finished our meal. We had saved room and already ordered dessert to share, a dulce de leche pancake (crepe), and Payton got a hot chocolate, it was a perfect meal.
We found our way back to the resort and readied ourselves for bed.