An exclusive retreat just three minutes drive from chic José Ignacio. Two designer villas nestle around a small lagoon. Opposite a small vineyard, an airy yoga studio—“a Finnish music box lost amongst the plants”—is yours for meditation or a class.
Sleek, Japanese-inspired, José Ignacio hotel
Las Musas—The Muses—is the brainchild of Sandra Perelmuter, a Buenos Aires business woman—inspired by her own experiences of hotels and yoga retreats in Big Sur, the Atacama Desert, India, Sardinia and Thailand.
The clean lines of the box-shaped villas clad in lapacho wood designed by award-winning Chilean architect Matias Klotz blend beautifully into the landscape. At night, the light radiating from within turns each villa into a lantern casting its light onto the water.
The studio was selected by Angelika Taschen as one of the best in the world.
During the daytime, sitting in a meditation chair gazing out over the lake at a host of birds and otters playing on the central island, the peace will move you. Yet we are just three minutes from some of the most fêted restaurants in South America. José Ignacio is Uruguay’s most sophisticated beach destination. Where the super rich pass under the radar, padding the sandy unpaved streets to the legendary beach diner La Huella in Havaianas.
What you should know
Two villas to choose from. The Lake Villa is vast—much larger than it looks in the photos—with a huge bedroom, open-plan kitchen and living room with a dining table big enough to host. Skylights and fireplaces inside and out. You can see the ocean from the rooftop table and chairs. A splash pool is ideal for hot summer days. The two-bedroom, two-bath Vineyard Villa is more compact with comparative comfort and style.
The yoga studio is stunning. Suspended over the lake, all the equipment is imported from India. Regular classes between November and March. Retreats year-round include organic meals and meditative ocean walks.
Wine lovers. Las Musas produces two thousand bottles of an oak-aged Tannat Merlot blend. Stay in March and join the harvest.
Bespoke itineraries. Sandra is delighted to put together your itinerary using her contacts in the community. See ‘things to do close by’ below. Visits to art galleries, meetings with artists, and culinary experiences with the best of Uruguayan cuisine.
Hotel or rental. Short stays include hotel-level services including breakfast. The capable Diana leaves the table laden with nutty brown sourdough, fruits, local yoghurt—fluffy as Devon clotted cream—and great coffee. Or choose a vacation rental arrangement (including daily maid service, access to the kitchen garden and where to source from fishermen).
Drive or walk. Las Musas is out of town but not too far. A top-notch bakery, wine bar, wine merchant and supermarket are two minutes by car or 20 minutes walk on a shady tree-lined road—rarely busy, even in high season. There is currently no taxi or Uber service in the area.
Excellent Internet. Not the norm at the beach.
Things to do close by
- Yoga classes, massage, private chef (on site)
- James Turrell’s Skypace Takhut Experience (5′) at sunset and sunrise
- The beaches and the lighthouse of José Ignacio (5’)
- Fishing trip with local fishermen (5′)
- Horseback riding at sunset between the countryside and the sea (5′)
- Kitesurfing, sailing lessons and birding on the Laguna Garzón (10′)
- The beachtown of Manantiales (art galleries, shops, restaurants) (15′)
- MACA (sculpture park and major exhibit – don’t miss) (20′)
- The art and gastronomy village of Garzón in summer (30′)
- Wineries – Oceánica with sculpture park (10’) and Garzón (30′)
- Golf (30-40′)
- José Ignacio Film Festival (JIIFF) January 14-22 2023
Convenient location. Two hours from Montevideo’s Carrasco airport and one hour to Punta del Este Airport. Easy day trips to Punta del Este and CasaPueblo, and Uruguay’s wild Rocha coastline including Cabo Polonio and Punta del Diablo.
Las Musas – José Ignacio hotel & retreat
Camino Ingeniero Sainz Martínez, km 2, José Ignacio, Maldonado Department, Uruguay
Contact Sandra at email@example.com or call her direct +598 92 007 334 (she speaks excellent English)
350-1500 USD per night depending on the villa and season.
Three and seven night minimum stay depending on villa chosen.
Photos: Susette Kok / Roland Halbe / Santiago Gorostiaga