Quick – which upscale hotel brand has the most properties in Uruguay? Surprisingly, it’s one that only has four properties overall: Vik Hotels.
Bahia Vik is the third one in a small country dominated by independent properties and one-off locations from the international chains. Like the other two from Norwegian–Uruguayan entrepreneur Alexander Vik, it is located near the social hub for the jetset crowd, A-list celebrities, and South American elite: Jose Ignacio. (The other resorts two are Playa Vik, a ten-minute walk away, and Estancia Vik, a short drive inland to farm country. See links to reviews of both on our Best Luxury Hotels in Uruguay page.)
Money is no object to many of the high season visitors to the Punta del Este region of this country. That means this place was fully booked well before it opened and you’d better plan years ahead if you’re arriving in the Southern Cone high season of December and January. This despite rates that start are more than $1,000 per night in high season and only drop down to $550 in the slower months. Like many resorts in the area, they shut down completely from April through October.
Part of the reason the Bahia Vik units get filled up so easily is that there are only 21 of them. There are 10 suites in the main building, then 11 free-standing bungalows ready for a big family or group, with two to four bedrooms. As with the other Vik properties here and in Chile, there’s a big emphasis on original art and cutting-edge design.
The Viks have patronized a pool of about 70 artists, mainly Uruguayan, who design the rooms across these four hotels. Some are quite classic, with large beach scenes on the walls, others are cubist or pop arty, whilst some are 3D with bits of driftwood protruding from the wall.
The largest murals, however, are preserved for the main building, where the ceiling murals are especially spectacular. Carlos Musso spent three months painting the dining room ceiling with its stars, goats, Klimt–like figures and oversized birds.
As far as diversions go, the stunning beach here is the main one. But there are four inviting swimming pools, paddle boarding, surfing, and excursions to Estancia Vik for a horse riding with the gauchos. Since the owners have a highly regarded winery in Chile, you can expect a celebration of all things culinary as well.
See more photos and our detailed review of Bahia Vik resort in Uruguay.