Quaint colonial architecture, rich history and delicious wines await in these South American gems.

Away from the lively capital, Uruguay continues to impress visitors with its deep rooted cultural traditions that are mixed perfectly with modern elegance. Colonia del Sacramento has a beautiful historic quarter which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, including a lighthouse that was built in the 17th century and the restored city gate complete with wooden draw bridge. Visitors love to stroll along the ancient cobbled streets and admire the fantastic, and highly photogenic, architecture. As the sun sets, the riverside cafes and bars are the perfect place to sit and sample the locally produced food and drink. Following the coastline inland, toward the Argentinian border, you will find Carmelo. Sitting in the primary grape growing region of Uruguay, it is not far behind Argentina and Chile in producing some excellent wines. The vineyards are beautifully kept, and have become a popular option for tourists wanting a unique day trip in Uruguay. The town itself is also a joy to explore with delightful colonial buildings and enticing parillas (steakhouses). Further afield visitors can enjoy horseback riding, canoeing and fishing on the Rio de la Plata, a round of golf and even polo lessons. For luxury holiday with an authentic feel, this region has much to offer.


Our favourite luxury hotels

Rio Ancho Gourmet Lodge Colonia Uruguay

Rio Ancho

Rio Ancho is a gourmet restaurant offering exclusive accommodation. The hotel offers just three suites, ensuring that service remains personal and relaxed. The décor Is soft creams and neutral greens and browns, taking inspiration from the natural surroundings. Throughout the hotel, the natural light is allowed to flow in through tall glass windows and polished wood complements the warm, bright atmosphere.

Narbona Wine Lodge Colonia Carmelo Uruguay

Narbona Wine Lodge

Part of the Relais & Chateaux group and with its roots originating in 1909, this hotel combines luxury and history for a perfect, stylish mix.  The Narbona Wine Lodge in Carmelo is a luxury, boutique hotel with a focus on wine and cheese. There are five unique rooms, each named after different wines and overlooking either the winery or vineyard. The décor is light, bright and airy; whites with soft wood accents. Each contains a safe, minibar, cable TV and complimentary Wi-Fi and benefits from private balconies and terraces.

Hyatt Spa Carmelo Uruguay

Hyatt Carmelo Resort and Spa

This luxury, 5-star hotel is located on the shores of Rio de La Plata in Carmelo. The 44 rooms range from Standard to Suites. All are equipped with espresso machines, outdoor showers, private gardens and patios. The suites offer extra space, spread over two floors. All offer views of the river, woodland or surrounding vineyards. The hotel offers excellent facilities, including an indoor and outdoor pool, holistic spa, private beach and private port. For a luxury hotel with 5-star service, look no further than the Hyatt Carmelo Resort and Spa.

Hotel Charco Colonia Carmelo Uruguay

Hotel Charco

The Hotel Charco is an elegant, boutique hotel overlooking the river in central Colonial del Sacramento. The hotel offers eight rooms decorated in a simple and elegant style with a clean, Scandinavian feel. The décor is crisp whites with wooden floors and exposed stonework. The rooms offer either river or city views and all are equipped with Satellite TV, safe, Wi-Fi, minibar and iPod dock. The Rancho is a separate unit with its own private garden.

Costa Colonia Colonia Uruguay

Costa Colonia

Designed by renowned architect Martin Gomez, the focus is on effortless, minimalist style. The Costa Colonia is a hip and modern boutique hotel overlooking the river in Carmelo. The 61 rooms are divides into suites and lofts and offer views of the river. The décor is whites and creams with soft accents of wood and leather, an emphasis on natural fabrics and light. Each room has floor to ceiling windows and private balcony, maximising the views. The restaurant serves local and international cuisine adjacent to the pool and river.