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All reviews outdoor shower bi level suite buenos aires the river horseback riding eucalyptus forest beautiful property off season south america late checkout beautiful pool rio de la plata fire pit wine tasting bungalow winery pine
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Reviewed February 10, 2013

This is a Average resort hotel, but an below average Four Seasons hotel. As a person that enjoys staying at up-scale hotels, this Four Seasons does NOT match the quality or standard of other Four Seasons. If you have stayed at other Four Seasons (such as Paris, NY, or even Buenos Aires), you will be disappointed. The rooms are okay, but not amazing. When we checked in, the cleanliness and the age of the room was an issue. We complained to the GM (Mark) and he did have the team re-clean the room and invited us a free dinner on the property. He really tried to make up for the original issue. I appreciated his efforts. This said, anyone staying here needs to understand, this is not a normal Four Seasons - you will not experience the ultimate luxury hotel at this location. For example, the grounds are very sparse and the walkways are quite dangerous. The wooden walkways throughout the property are, as an American would say, "a lawsuit waiting to happen" - very dangerous. Rooms are nice, but not luxurious and need to be modernized. Food, service, and people are good.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MartinH_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FSCarmeloManager, General Manager at Carmelo Resort & Spa, the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Dear MartinH NY,
Thank you for your review! It's your comments that make us better! We have some work scheduled for May, and I hope we can make it back to your expectation. It was a pleasure to invite you to dinner, and my apologies again for falling short. I hope you'll give us another try after the renovation. I'm glad you liked the food, service and people! I will let them know!
Best Regards,
Mark

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My recent stay at the Four Seasons - Carmelo was okay, but nowhere near what I would expect of a Four Seasons, which contributed to my low rating. There are several good parts and several bad parts, and I struggled with whether to rate it an average or poor, but in the end my overall disappointment led me to the latter.

The resort is very secluded, which is a great feature. The staff me us at the entrance with a cool beverage and whisked us off to our bungalow. The staff was helpful in showing us the room explaining a bit of the resort at this time, and the manager reviewed amenities.

The room was fine. Cleanliness was impeccable and the bed was made to perfection. Everything was in order and straightened properly. The room, however, was not what I'd consider Four Seasons’ caliber. Some of the blackout shades were broken, the bathroom tub was cracked around the drain, and the shower was missing several tiles. The fixtures were adequate, but not what you'd expect from a Four Seasons property. The backyard included an outdoor shower - which I didn't try, but the rest of the back yard space was somewhat of an eyesore. The plants were wilted or dying, and the non-functional irrigation lines were sticking out of the ground in several locations.

The front outdoor space was in a better state, but a bit "natural" for my taste. Perhaps that is what the resort was going for.

The grounds were a mishmash of perfectly groomed with haphazardly neglected. Realizing that this property is in the middle of what seems to be a pine forrest, there's a lot of loose ground cover which the grounds staff has done a good job of keeping reasonably in order. However, there is definitely a problem with the irrigation (probably why ours didn't seem to be working) and often parts of the grass would be a lush green surrounded by a desert of scorched earth. The pool was great, always neat and clean. The wooden walkways around the property are what I can only describe as dilapidated. Though a few seconds seem to be in good order, the vast majority is bowed and quite dangerous to walk on. I had to make sure to always look down while use them for fear of tripping and landing head first into the sand.

The resort has three restaurants. Which would be great, if they were actually open. As it turns out, even during high season when we were there, at most two are open at any one time. In fact, if you go during the week (Sunday-Thursday), the only one restaurant (Pura) is open. We found ourselves disappointed in having to dine at the same place each night. Pura's food is very good, but it's limited in what it can offer, and certainly could not keep my interested for four consecutive nights. We had been looking forward to the "fresh fish" restaurant option, but that one was only open Friday and Saturday nights.

Similarly limited are the bar options. Though the website seems to suggest at least three or four different places, there really is only one. You are free to sit in any of the locations, but you’ll need to make sure to tell the front desk so that someone comes and takes an order from you. In the bar the wines by the glass selection were extremely limited – two reds and two whites. That’s it. No still rosé and no rotation. Again, it got a bit tiring after a few days for someone like me who enjoys sitting at the bar and chatting while sipping on a glass of wine.

My reviews of the staff are very positive. Without exception they were all willing to do whatever to make our stay enjoyable. The pool staff always came over first thing to set up our chairs (however they didn’t every check back to see if we wanted a drink or something later). The bartender was very helpful, passing our comments to the dining staff and giving us suggestions about what to do.

The resort is quite relaxing, and though there are children around, the pool and surrounding spaces are ample enough that they don’t really intrude. At least one day we where there the resort was at capacity and it didn’t feel full at all. Though late morning can often be busy, the best time at the pool is often lunchtime when all the little ones disappear and you can often have the place to yourself.

All in all, the resort is decent if you go in with the right expectations. It might also be a good idea to secure transportation so that you can venture off the property at least for dinner (the resort does offer free transportation to a local winery/restaurant which is quite good).

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jpmnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FSCarmeloManager, General Manager at Carmelo Resort & Spa, the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Dear jpmnyc,

Thank you for taking the time to write a thorough response to your stay. I am glad to hear you had a good time despite the shortcomings of your experience. We are replacing the walkways in May (it is indeed time) and making some other improvements. I hope you will be back to give us another chance someday. We will work on improving those items that you mentioned. Thank you again for your time and letting us know. Please call me personally if you can make it back in 2014.
Best Regards,
Mark

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We had an excellent holiday vacation in Uruguay and spent Christmas at the FS Carmelo. The resort is secluded and is found in the midst of a pine and eucalyptus forest. The location is beautiful although the resort seems to be within a struggling (or perhaps failed?) development which is a bit strange on arrival. But once one arrives at the hotel reception building views of the grounds with large tile pool, small vineyards, and wood walks stretching down to river and bungalows dominate. The Balinese decor is a bit out of place but well done with the hotel architecture and layout being generally very well executed. P

The bungalows vs two story suites are very different so do some research about which better suits your needs. Not sure about the bungalows except they are more remote from the main hotel building, restaurants and spa, and are accessed down somewhat rough wood boardwalks. The bi-level suites are pretty spectacular: living area downstairs with fireplace, powder room, and outdoor porch; upstairs is open plan with great bed, nice views to the distant river, and an amazing bathroom with huge marble panels on walls and at vanity. The only drawback were the windows which did not give alot of privacy with shades open so the rooms tend to be dark as housekeeping leaves shades drawn.

The breakfast buffet was excellent and dinners were very good although tended to be fixed menus over the holidays so not much choice. There also seemed to be an obvious effort to depart from the traditional roasted meats so ubiquitous elsewhere. Lunch was more hit or miss and poolside food did not leave an overwhelmingly positive impression. Generally the food was very good and each night we enjoyed complimentary cocktail parties, live music and a (kindof cheesy) tango show. But tbe warned that this place closes down VERY early for South America. By 10 or 11pm there is no one up and nothing to do!

Service was always spectacular and everyone is both kind and eager to help. We had lots of fun joining the employee X-mas party one night and were made to feel right at home with all the dancing, music and drinking going on! In all, we had a very memorable time in Carmelo and I would recommend the FS to anyone looking to get away to the countryside. The location is beautiful, the birds are plentiful and the resort is very enjoyable.

My only suggestion to managenent is that the concierge was not very responsive to pre-arrival emails--and its very difficult for first time guests to understand arrival planning info and/or potential resort activities (there are lots) in the absence of a local contact. Also, once arrived the concierge seemed very hesitant to recommend anything not associated with the resort--not sure if that's because there is nothing worth recommending or if they didn't want to see us leave for lunch? The Narbona winery and restaurant down the street is the sole exception (FS even provides shuttle serve for dinner) but I'm pretty sure they are under the same ownership.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank KandMNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We stayed at the 4 Seasons Carmelo midway through a trip to Buenos Aires and Punta del Este. Located in a very rural area of western Uruguay, the hotel has the feel of a lodge, located in the woods on the banks of the Rio Plata. The two story suite was absolutely fantastic. Could have easily moved in here for awhile. Pool was large and tranquil and very restful. The hotel manager greets each arriving guest personally, by name, which is a nice touch. Only quibble: while the staff were universally polite and charming, service was definitely off. We waited nearly 45 minutes for a cocktail at the bar, while the bartender was busy staffing a private function. Same happened at dinner the next evening, when a second glass of wine was completely forgotten. And there were only 6 of us in the restaurant. If they can work out some of the shoulder season staffing issues, this will be a definite place to return to.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Peter O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic welcome, exeptional room, quality and taste. Restaurant sadly let the place down, average and expensive. When you do leave the hotel for dinner the restaurants they take you to seem to be linked to hotel and most of the hotel guest are transport to the restaurant that evening aswell so you feel a little institutionalised. In saying that Carmelo doesnt have alot to offer although we visited Don Gatto one night which was nice. Would recommend for 2/3 night relaxing break.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank Janice13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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