The Big Six: Uruguayan retreats

From a gracious, ivy-clad posada to a beach house with a Cornwall-meets-Cape Cod vibe...
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The Independent Travel

La Casa de los Limoneros, Colonia del Sacramento

An Argentine architect-turned-farmer built this gracious, ivy-clad posada just a few kilometres outside the Unesco-listed town of Colonia del Sacramento. The cluster of rooms opens on to a shaded veranda where you can eat breakfast overlooking the gardens and pond. Down by the pool the view is of rows of lemon trees. Inside, the furnishings are eclectic – a mix of contemporary design and funky junk-yard finds.

La Casa de los Limoneros, Colonia del Sacramento (00 598 52 31028; lacasadeloslimoneros.com ). Doubles start at US$110 (£73), including breakfast.

Estancia Vik, José Ignacio

Everything is on a grand scale at Estancia Vik, 20km outside the hippy-chic beach resort of José Ignacio. This bright, white Spanish colonial-style ranch is surrounded by 4,000 acres of sweeping grassland. Inside, it's all cutting-edge design and contemporary artwork: sculptures, engravings, photography and paintings by both Uruguayan and international artists.

Estancia Vik, Camino Eugenio Saiz Martinez Km 8, José Ignacio (00 598 94 605 212; estanciavikjoseignacio.com ). Doubles start at US$500 (£333), including breakfast, fruit and an evening cocktail.

Garzon Hotel, Garzon

In the dusty ghost town of Garzon, celebrity chef Francis Mallmann has turned an old red-brick general store into a five-bedroom hotel and restaurant. The rooms face on to a courtyard garden and are charmingly retro: faded chintz bedspreads, sage green furniture, bathrooms with claw-foot tubs. And around the pool there are floral mattresses instead of sun-loungers.

Garzon Hotel and Restaurant, Garzon (00 598 410 2811; restaurantegarzon.com ). Doubles start at US$799 (£532) full board, including horse-riding.

Belmont House, Montevideo

This traditional but classic hotel boasts Luciano Pavarotti and Hillary Clinton as past guests. Situated in the residential district of Carrasco and surrounded by lush gardens, it's just a few minutes from the beach and is a welcome retreat from the faded charms of the capital.

Belmont House, Avenida Rivera, Montevideo (00 598 2 600 0430; belmonthouse.com.uy ). Doubles start at US$270 (£180), including breakfast.

La Vigna, Playa Fomento

An entrepreneurial young couple from Argentina have turned this low-slung estancia and vineyard into a quirky boutique hotel. Dating from 1880, La Vigna has five shabby-chic rooms with wooden floors and bookshelves made from wine crates. Art exhibitions and tango evenings are held in the old wine cellar and art classes in a studio in the gardens. There is also an adjoining sheep farm that produces five kinds of cheese.

La Vigna, Playa Fomento, Colonia Valdense (00 598 558 9234; lavignalifestyle.com ). Doubles start at US$100 (£67), including breakfast.

La Posada del Faro, José Ignacio

There's a Cornwall-meets-Cape Cod vibe at La Posada del Faro. You can sink into huge white sofas as you flick through copies of Vogue and the New Yorker enjoying the relaxed beach house feel. Room keys are attached to little cowbells. And there's an honesty bar beside the pool.

La Posada del Faro, Calle de la Bahia, José Ignacio (00 598 486 2110; posadadelfaro.com ). Doubles start at US$220 (£147), including breakfast.

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