I was lucky enough to get a chance to tour the uber exclusive new Fasano Hotel and Las Piedras Villas in Uruguay when I was there last week. This is the newest addition to the Fasano empire, includes Rio (which we visited last Year), Sao Paolo, and Fazenda Boa Vista. This magnificent property consists of 1,185 acres of beautiful, tranquil, unspoiled Uruguayan country starting inland on a hilltop with stunning 360% vistas and sloping down to Atlantic beaches of La Barra. This property is a combination of private homes, hotel bungalows, spa, pool, equestrian center , golf course, polo field and a beach, which is set on 3km of the old Arroyo Maldonado River.
Designed by Isay Weinfeld the 205 residential villas , 20 hotel bungalows, and 12 suite bungalows are a luxurious blend of the rustic and the modern, and all live in harmony with the land. 205 seems like a lot of buildings, but because of Weinfelds mantra, that nature is the most important element in design, one does not really “see” or feel that many buildings.
With a huge nod to Frank Lloyd Wright, there seems to be no separation between the material structures and the ponds, fruit trees and giant boulders which litter the land ; it all works in a beautiful unity, together. There is nothing intrusive or showy about this place and although the buildings are impressive, they maintain a subtle elegance and peace. Like the traditional chacra, (Uruguayan ranch) it all lives together, modernity, sophistication and simplicity in a perfect marriage with the majestic and calm grounds.
The structures are box shaped concrete, the interiors are exposed granite walls, reclaimed beam ceilings with stone and wood details. Furnishings are old leather club chairs, flagstone floors covered with sheepskin area rugs and ultra luxe cashmere and 1000 thread count sheets on simple modern beds. There were 2 original structures on the land when the family bought it, an old house, and a studio, both built by hand by previous owner.
Because of the Fasano family’s reputation for being one of the best restaurateurs in Brazil, they took both these structures and made them into separate restaurants, The Fasano, high end Italian open only for dinner, and the Las Piedras, a more informal restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. Both have amazing jagged stone walls and are furnished with a mix of modern and old school Uruguayan country rustic, and the food is a food lovers paradise.
The minute the gates lift as one enters the driveway, all stress, all worries fall away and the stunning beauty and humbleness of this magical place takes over. If it hasn’t gotten to you by the time you check in, the complimentary foot massage at the spa will. This low profile, less is more aesthetic ushers in an ultra luxe experience, one which will never need to show off or postulate, these grounds speak for themselves, gently and warmly, and the schedule certainly makes its point, booked solid into next season.