ART AFICIONADO | South America’s Ultra-Luxury Destination Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio Defines Uruguayan Nature, Art, and Culture by Design
Jose Ignacio, Uruguay’s idyllic, vibrant coastal area, is home to one of the world’s most exclusive retreats, Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio. Located 20 kilometers northeast of Punta del Este, Jose Ignacio is emerging as Uruguay’s premier international destination. The pristine beaches, spectacular rolling landscape and relaxed, bohemian setting have long drawn the South American locals and glitterati alike, and with the arrival of Estancia Vik, it is sure to become a coveted destination for the curious and design-forward international traveler.
Merging exceptional design, flawless personalized service, environmentally minded practices and an unparalleled collection of contemporary Uruguayan and international art, Estancia Vik is a singularly remarkable property set in a magical backdrop where Marlboro country meets a virgin San Tropez. The unique juxtaposition of landscapes, vast rugged countryside and pristine beaches, allow guests to experience the incredible diversity of Uruguay. Estancia Vik is a celebration of this majestic setting, and provides not only a unique sense of place, but gives guests an unparalleled entrée into the culture, art, design and nature of Uruguay.
Estancia Vik is located approximately two kilometers from the coast, in the uniquely rural yet oceanfront countryside of Jose Ignacio. Situated on 4,000 acres, Estancia Vik is a traditional Spanish colonial structure featuring white adobe walls and a red tin roof designed by Uruguayan architect Marcelo Daglio. The structure is 50,000 square feet, with more than half of that space made up of interior patios of outdoor space – courtyards, gardens, covered walkways and an herb garden located within the Estancia walls. Guests enter through an open courtyard with a vast reflecting pool, into the central Living Room where they will find as its centerpiece a magnificent monumental and elegant, twelve foot tall, white statuary marble sculpture by Pablo Atchugarry, an internationally acclaimed Uruguayan artist. The 300 square meter ceiling of the Living Room has been painted by Clever Lara, a leading artist of today’s art movement in Uruguay, as a “Google Earth” inspired representation of Jose Ignacio and Uruguay. The painted panels which make up the vast ceiling depict the countryside of Jose Ignacio, the beachfront of Punta del Este and even the historic center of Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo. The Uruguayan artists and artwork represented in the Estancia were specially selected by the retreat’s owners and visionaries, along with the collaboration of architect Marcelo Daglio and curator Enrique Badaró Nadal. Large natural Uruguayan semi-precious and crystal stone formations have been hung as paintings on the walls dividing the many doorways and two massive slate rock fireplaces act as bookends to this magnificent room. The Estancia features 12 unique suites, with six at each wing ranging in size from 500 square feet to 900 square feet. Each suite has been imagined by an individual Uruguayan artist who has created works of art for and out of these spaces.
A traditional Uruguayan barbeque has been built at the north side of the Estancia, mirroring the ancient tin galpons found wherever the gauchos roamed; this too having the traditional tin walls with a large central fireplace or “fogon.” Marcelo Legrand, another notable Uruguayan artist, who also designed one of the Estancia’s suites, has painted the walls and ceiling in his brilliantly chaotic style, bringing a contemporary flair to this traditional space. Across the Estancia, on the south side, is the wine cellar, directly above which is the grand dining room, seating forty to fifty guests, where one can peer down into the cave below through glass windows imbedded in the corners of the floor. The brick walls that line the wine cellar continue up through the dining room floor, culminating in the barreled brick roof. A work of master craftsmen, this barreled brick room and ceiling were created without the use of any mortar.
On the south side of the Estancia, is a large garden with a 20-meter Absolute Nero stone pool beyond. The bottom of the pool is dotted with fiber optic lights, which mirror the Southern hemisphere’s constellations above. Estancia Vik also boasts a game room, gym and spa all overlooking the views to the river, lake and ocean beyond as well as extensive terraces with panoramic views of the rugged untouched natural landscape. Guests will enjoy the Estancia’s private polo field and stable of Criollo pleasure riding horses. A peaceful river runs through the property down to the Laguna Jose Ignacio before it empties into the ocean where guests can enjoy premier fishing, sailing, kayaking, kite surfing and windsurfing. Golf and tennis are available nearby for those who prefer a respite from the ranch life. The landscape is rich with exotic wildlife including rare birds, wild South American ostrich and armadillos along with a variety of farm animals. Guests will discover a beautifully painted chapel by Uruguayan artist and colorist Carlos Musso nestled in a grove of native trees, an ideal for an intimate
wedding ceremony or private dinner. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the beauty of both the Estancia and the beach, traveling the easy trip between the two by horseback, car or bicycle.
Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio is committed to employing environmentally friendly practices. Solar tubes, wind energy, recycled water and radiant heat are just some of the steps that the property is taking towards being self sustaining.
Jose Ignacio is at once bohemian and luxurious, and showcases a remarkably diverse group of inhabitants; artists, musicians, authors and businessmen who have all fallen in love with the relaxed beauty of the area. It is accessible via Punta del Este and Montevideo. Estancia Vik was imagined, designed and built with the inspiration of creating an exceptional private residence. The owners spend a portion of the year living at Estancia Vik themselves and hope that others will make it their home as well. Estancia Vik opened in February 2009 and can be reserved for private use.
The Estancia’s twelve suites, each showcasing the work of a different artist, feature a unique design and distinct personality. Among the highlights is the Musso Suite, which surrounds guests with an immersive and ornate fresco inspired by the villa dei misteri in Pompeii. The centerpiece of the Duarte Suite, created by artist Lacy Duarte, is a ceibo wood carpenter’s bench with an assemblage of carved puppets, small silver sculptures, stones and textiles that hangs above the suite’s double beds. Duarte’s hand-made, colorful “traperas” line the beds, resembling quilts and recalling the artist’s rural roots. Adorning the walls of the Trujillo Suite are painter Jose Trujillo’s dramatically-scaled works focusing the timeless motif of the nude in the artist’s studio. Artist Alejandro Turell lived outside on the Estancia’s land, camping for several weeks in order to observe the wildlife and natural surroundings which would inspire the artwork in his suite. Large scale oil paintings hanging above the bed depict the armadillos and owls that emerge at night and the suite also boasts a series of twelve lithographs of various birds’ nests that can be found throughout the property. Carlos Seveso’s master suite features a series of richly colored, elegiac friezes inspired by Jose Ignacio and South America that hang throughout the suite.
Other guests suites feature the work of Alvaro Amengual, Carlos Barea, Enrique Badaró, Eduardo Cardozo, Marcelo Daglio and Marcelo Legrand. Art and sculpture are incorporated throughout the Estancia’s spaces and grounds, from its patios to its spa. Representing dawn and dusk, the East and West Patios showcase a range of sculptures. On opposite end of the East Patio are a soaring, red wood and metal sculpture by Jose Pelayo and a black metal, vertical sculpture by German Cabrera evoking gauchos standing guard. Conjuring images of the end of day, the West Patio features a wooden sculpture by Ricardo Pascale and a work by Alejandro Turell. Jose Trujillo has created a series of nudes for the Estancia’s spa and gym.
Works by other Uruguayan artists such as Octavio Podesta, Hugo Longa, Jorge Paez Vilaro, German Cabrera, Rodrigo Zorrilla de San Martin, JJ Nunez, Marcelo Levi, Lincoln Presno and works from photographers Montserrat Soto of Spain and Argentina’s Nicola Costantino have been purchased by the owners to complete the art collection at resort.
In addition to the visual art at the Estancia, a team of dedicated local carpenters and artisans have skillfully created the furniture, stonework and woodwork of the resort, contributing to the uniquely Uruguayan ambiance at Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio.
The artists featured throughout Estancia Vik are celebrated for their vision and individuality. Each has been selected by the retreat’s owners through their involvement with art in Uruguay over many years, and in partnership with Marcelo Daglio and curator Enrique Badaró Nadal. Some highlights include the Estancia’s vast central living room which showcases a statuary white marble sculpture by world renowned Pablo Atchugarry; standing 3.5 meter or 12 feet tall. The acclaimed Uruguayan sculptor’s creation rises to meet the 300 square meter ceiling and frieze painted by Clever Lara, another leading Uruguayan contemporary artist. This work is a “satellitescape” view of Jose Ignacio and Uruguay, inspired by Google Earth. Eight very large semi-precious stones in their natural state hang from the walls between sets of glass doors, which the owners discovered in the far north of Uruguay. Colorist Carlos Musso has painted the Estancia’s unique garden chapel in his beautifully spiritual manner. These are just a few examples of what has become the central theme of the Estancia. The owners are working towards energy independence at Estancia Vik by implementing a program of water collection and recycling, solar tubes and wind energy. The project has been designed to maximize nature to heat, cool, ventilate and irrigate. The design has focused on minimizing the need for energy use. All heating will be through radiant heat generated by the solar tubes. Fireplaces throughout provide additional warmth.
Guests will enjoy the twenty-meter Absolute Nero granite swimming pool, gym and spa, private polo field and stable of Criollo riding horses. The polo field and adjoining golf green will offer a wonderful golf practice area. Handmade canoes, kayaks, kites and wind surfers, sail boats and fishing equipment are all available to enjoy the arroyo and nearby lakes. Nature walks and bird watching, tennis, bicycling and hiking are all part of the activities available. The expansive property is host to riding and polo horses, farm animals, and indigenous wildlife. A game room with a pool table, table tennis and a variety of other games is found in the Estancia house. A romantic chapel nestled in a grove of ancient native trees has been created for weddings and other special events. Guests of Estancia Vik are also encouraged to visit the beach, which is located two kilometers away and is easily accessible by horseback, bicycle, or motorized vehicles.
Estancia Vik is accessible via the Punta del Este airport, which is serviceable by daily flights from airports in Argentina and Brazil. Punta del Este is an international airport that accommodates private jets 24 hours a day and is a thirty-minute drive along the coast.
Alternatively, guests may fly to the capital city of Montevideo one and a half hours away. Suites $500 per night in the low season (April 1st – November 30th) $750 per night in the high season (December 1st – March 31st)
Master Suites $620 per night in the low season (April 1st – November 30th) $900 per night in the high season (December 1st – March 31st) All rates include breakfast and are based on single or double occupancy. The Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio may be booked for an all-inclusive stay, including three meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, for an additional $220 per night, per couple.
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