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All reviewsoutdoor showerbi level suitebuenos airesthe riverhorseback ridingeucalyptus forestbeautiful propertyoff seasonlate checkoutsouth americabeautiful poolwine tastingrio de la platafire pitbungalowwinerypine
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Reviewed March 27, 2007

I stayed at this hotel a couple of years ago and it was fantastic, just as all of the other reviewers have stated. Unfortunately, our most recent visit was so horrifict that we didn´t even stay one night. At least the hotel helped get us out of the property, and back to the Four Seasons in BA, as quickly as possible.

For starters, the direct route to the hotel had been flooded, but our driver didn´t know about this (despite the rain having ended 24 hours earlier) until we were more than 3/4 of the way there. A one hour trip turned into three hours. What was so upsetting about this is that no one at the hotel bothered to offer anything close to a "sorry for the delay in your trip". Apparently, these delays are common so be prepared for a 1-3 hour trip from the ferry. In total, it took us 5 1/2 hours to get here from BA.

After the very chilly welcome at the front desk (better staff at a holiday inn), we were taken to a room completely filled with bugs and mosquitos. We had multiple bites (on our hands and faces) in the first 5 minutes of arriving in the room. The heated floor was broken, our sofa was oddly converted to a single bed (not requested) and dead bug stains were on the pillows. Definitely not up to Four Seasons standards.

Next stop was to the one open dining facility in the hotel (others were closed for private functions). The water was warm and cloudy, the bread on our club sandwich was terribly stale and the bacon was raw. Plus, the entire staff was preparing for the private party that would shut down the restaurant that night (ironing table clothes, clearing plates and silverware and worst of all, stoking the flames of an enormous fire for that night´s asado). Our lungs and eyes couldn´t take the smoke any longer and we left in disgust. Again, far from the standards of the Four Seasons.... not even up to the standards of a Hilton or Marriott.

I am writing this review from a "community room" in the hotel. It´s filled with screaming kids playing games on each of the room´s four computers. I had to wait 30 minutes to use the one I´m currently using.

If you like screaming, bored kids, loads of mosquitos, a very rude front desk staff and partially closed public areas, then this place is for you. If not, DO NOT COME HERE. Once you do, you are trapped! Save the fare for the boat ride and stay at the very wonderful Four Seasons in Buenos Aires!!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with friends
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15  Thank JeanieKAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2007

Don't hesitate to go to this delightful resort, a captivating place that offers, for the most part, high quality service. An earlier comment about the staff at the spa, however, does strike a chord. My wife's foot was cut during a pedicure - not something that happens very often anywhere, least of all at a Four Seasons. If were not for that rather significant error, I would have given this place an
"excellent" rating.

We were also not entirely happy about the food at dinner: the dishes seemed over-worked and over-powered, the result perhaps of ambitious but not wonderfully gifted chefs. Breakfast and lunch were good though.

I have to disagree about Finca Narbona: it's a perfectly pleasant place, but massively over-priced by local standards and offers little choice. I'm afraid the wine tours offered through the hotel don't offer good value for money either.

Stayed: March 2007
6  Thank Seaxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2007

We stayed at the Four Seasons Carmelo 3/13/07 - 3/16/07. This is a wonderful 5 star property set in a rural area of Uruguay. Everything written about this hotel holds true: great service, beautiful rooms, and a wonderful location.

We took the Buquebus from BA after staying at the Buenos Aires Four Seasons and found the short trip very relaxing and an excellent way to see a little of Uruguay. The trip is about one hour each way on the high speed Buquebus Ferry and then an hour in a shared van.

Arrival: Upon arrival we were greated by a Four Seasons representative bearing cool, scented towels and bottled waters. The representative accompanied us on the trip to the hotel, pointing out interesting facts along the way. When we arrived at the hotel, we were personally greeted by the hotel manager, bypassed the check in and were whisked to our bi-level suite.

Room: Everything in the suite was top notch, albeit the decor was a bit dark. Loved the huge tub and comfy bed with luxurious bedding, soothing L'Occitane bath products and gorgeous views of the river and pool. I thought the bug net was a charming decorative touch, although it did actually come in handy.

Food: We purchased the Golf package which included breakfast and unlimited golf. It was a very good value. The breakfast was a nice presentation of cold cuts, cheeses, breads and cereal. There were also some hot choices that included eggs, breakfast meats and potatoes. For dinner we opted for light fare having a shrimp appetizer in the lounge and pizza. Both were great. Try the Caiprihina for a wonderful, refreshing cocktail.

Service: We did have only one complaint while we stayed at the hotel and it was certainly had nothing to do with the hotel or the service we received. We arrived a week after a flood and unlike the previous reviewer, we found the mosquitos absolutely unbearable. In fact, the mosquitoes interferred with everything that we planned to do: golf, relax by the pool and hike along the river. It should be noted that this occurance is said to be rare, however the hotel tried so hard to reduce the problem by spraying the area several times a day. Given the mosquito issue, we decided to check out a day early. This request was honored by the FS Staff, namely Andrea, who went so far as to try to assist us in securing reservations in Buenos Aires. Also, all of the staff seem empowered to assist the guests. It was our friend's birthday and one of the front desk staff arranged for a birthday cake at Finca Narbona to celebrate. Very nice! Finally, we were celebrating our 10th Anniversary and were welcomed with a nice card and a bottle of champagne. Additionally, we received a rose petal turn down which was great.

Spa: We utilized the spa several times during our trip and found it to be wonderful. We loved the rainshowers in the locker room afterwards. I had the best massage in my life given by Edda. She was absolutely incredible!

Golf: The course was challenging with lots of water, wind, and sand. It was kept in immaculate condtion. The clubhouse staff were friendly and very helpful. The clubhouse is very beautiful and a lovely place to have a drink. Insect repellant was a must - my hubby received over 103 bites (not including those on his legs) over the course of three days.

The highlight of our trip was Finca Narbona. We absolutely loved this charming winery and restaurant. The food, wine, atmosphere and service were great. Upon arrival at the vineyard, we were greeted by Augustin. He gave us a tour around the property and showed us the many vintage cars owned by the winery. Once in the restaurant, we were greeted with a platter of terrific cold cuts, cheeses and olives. The next course is a choice of 3 pastas, 2 of which are ravioli and the third is fettucini. You are given a selection of 3 sauces: tomato, bolognese and tomato cream. All excellent. There are numerous desserts - all incredible. We received excellent service from the servers. Patricia was awesome and so friendly. Now back to Augustin, this man was terrific! He visited us after dinner and invited us to accompany him on a tour the next day of the entire resort development. We toured a posada and had a great lunch at Basto Pedro. We have truly made a friend. We liked him so much that we went to Finca Narbona for a second dinner and more time with Augustin. We miss our Argentinean amigo.

We highly recommend the Four Seasons Carmelo - we'll definitely return, although we'll make sure it isn't after a flood.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank AZJetSet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2007

Wow! Where to begin? This hotel is up there with the very best the world has to offer: stunning accommodations, sublime setting, unfailingly good food, incredible staff and service. We stayed a mere four nights and had to be chained up and dragged away screaming.

The hotel was opened 10 years ago as the Madison Resort which was owned by a consortium of businessmen from Buenos Aires. Their designed echoed Asian hotels such as the Amans in Bali and the Datai in Malaysia, a design that blends seemlessly with the Uruguayan landscape of River Plate frontage, sand dunes, eucalyptus and pine. Four Seasons stepped in about five years ago, successfully running the place as the resort annexe to their hotel in Buenos Aires (qv). Transport between the two is simple, either by small plane or by ferry from nearby Colonia: We actually drove down from Montevideo in about 3 hours and then left for BA by the ferry, far more interesting than the plane.

The standard bungalows are exceptionally spacious and preferable to the duplex suites. The bungalows have the trademark comfy Four Seasons bed, writing area, dining area, sitting area, spacious outdoor terrace, wrap around bathroom with step-in shower, separate lavatory, dressing area; and if that isn’t enough, a private Balinese garden with outdoor shower which projects water at Iguazu pressure. As you shower, hummingbirds browse the jasmin. Utter bliss!

With only 44 rooms the hotel is never crowded and the grounds sprawl everywhere, providing for some beautiful walks and fabulous birdwatching. Although there is a sandy beach, the river never looked that inviting for a swim, and in any case, the formal, square terraced pool here is one of the best we have ever encountered.

There are two irritating hangovers from the original Madison design, one minor, one major. The minor one is that the TVs in the standard bungalows are impossible to view comfortably from anywhere in the room. (We also hated the in-room coffee machine: let’s just have a kettle please.) The major flaw is the design of the Italian restaurant, Mandara. This used to be the Madison’s bar and Four Seasons must remodel it and get rid of the sweeping, curving couches that no one ever sits in and which take up so much space. The rear area, done up like a neighbourhood trattoria, is seriously cramped. A pity because the food here was excellent. These were our only criticisms of an otherwise flawless, supremely relaxing hotel, which went straight into our top ten of all time!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Pausanias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2007

Spent three nights in Carmelo 3/6-3/9/07 and I have to agree with the other posts that it was wonderful. The rooms were some of the nicest we have seen anywhere and pool area, spa and staff were superb. We did have one little issue, though and that was about 30 bees getting into a room that had been completely shut up for the day while I was at the pool and in the spa and my husband was playing golf. Andrea Medivil (front desk supervisor) came to the rescue and had us moved immediately to an upgraded room and all was well again. She's the girl to speak to if you have any kind of problem as she is not only pleasant, etc. but very sharp and knows how to get the job done quickly. Thanks to all the reviews I had read on these boards, I did bring insect spray and was glad I did---great advice as the property is located on the river and even though they spray heavily down by the river (well away from the rooms) each evening, some of the flying wonders do survive. Please don't misunderstand, it wasn't enough to have an effect on our enjoyment of the property (in fact, we had room service on our terrace one night), I was just glad that I had brought the bug spray with me. The "royal manicure" is highly recommended at the spa as are all the massages. My husband loved the golf course and said he was the only one on it the day he played so no problems with tee times, etc. The small restaurant, Finca Narbonna, which is 10 minutes away was fantastic---small country provencal style house which is family owned with all their own homemade cheeses, jams, pastas, etc. Three or four choices for dinner but it was superb. Food at the Four Seasons fantastic as well, as were the "Carmelo Mojitos". In short, a wonderful getaway for three or four days to escape the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires. We took the Buquebus ferry over to Colonia from BA which was very easy and the Four Seasons picked us up in a shared van. What I might do next time (and there will be one) is ask for a private transfer and have the driver include a tour of Colonia and lunch there before heading to the hotel as it is an hour away and once you are at the hotel, you may not want to leave. Any questions, please feel free to email me at skygoddess46@aol.com. Thanks again for all the wonderful advice and information provided here prior to our trip. It was invaluable.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank skygoddess46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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