Vik Retreats take South America
What do you get when you land a billionaire jet-setting business whiz with an affinity for art at some of South America’s most awe-inspiring locales? If that whiz is the somewhat reclusive Alex Vik, a man Forbes has called “the most interesting man in the world,” you get an exclusive handful of critically-acclaimed retreats and a spattering of vineyards and wineries home to a delectable, award-winning brand of wine. And that’s just the beginning!
Known as much for his keen attention to detail, intrinsic eye for art and friendly charm as for his cunning financial acumen, willingness to spare no expense in the pursuit of the very best and taste for informal luxury, Vik is a long-time art collector, entrepreneur, hotelier and winemaker who loves beautiful things and believes true super luxe travelers long for a taste of something distinctive and unusual.
Enter the Vina Vik, Bahia Vik, Playa Vik and Estancia Vik retreats. Although he lived all over the world as the son of a wealthy family of furriers (including an Ivy education at Harvard), Vik’s mother was Uruguayan, which is what first brought him to this rugged and wild part of the world. Like his personality, his hotels are larger than life and entrance visitors from around the globe with their unique ambiance, special touches and stellar service:
Vina Vik | Millahue, Chile
Not even a full year old, the Vina Vik is the newest of the Vik Retreats in South America. Nestled in a lush valley and surrounded by 11,000 acres of award-winning vineyards at the foot of the majestic Andes Mountain range, the Vina Vik retreat and wine spa may be new, but this locale was the birthplace of the renowned VIK wines almost a decade ago. It also is the largest of the South American Vik Retreats with 22 all-suite, art-filled rooms, but the Vina Vik still is small enough to afford the kind of premium VIP luxury that has become synonymous with the Vik family name— all waiting at the end of a single lane dirt road. Wide open public gathering spaces, sweeping panoramic vistas from remote control operated floor-to-ceiling windows, a gold titanium roof, and a wine spa featuring VIK grapes in all-natural, wine-inspired treatments almost bely the Vik philosophy on informality, but you can rest assured you’ll make yourself right at home as soon as you step through the front door. Just two hours drive from Santiago, the Vina Vik also features two restaurants, swimming pool, dry sauna, fitness center, game room, yoga room, hair salon, garden courtyard, vegetable gardens, complimentary bicycles, horseback riding and, of course, winery tours and tastings.
Bahia Vik | Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Opened in early 2014, the Bahia Vik is the newest in the Vik’s trio of modern, art-centric retreats in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay. Considered by many to be the very best spot to catch the fiery coastal sunset in “the Hamptons of Uruguay,” the Bahia Vik is the largest of the Vik beachfront hideaways in Uruguay and features a resort-style ambiance that’s just a bit different than its smaller sister properties. Situated amongst 10 acres of rugged dunes and surrounded by panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the 10 suites in the main building feature private terraces, while the nine beach bungalows afford the ultimate in space and luxuriant privacy. Of course, all accommodations at the Bahia Vik feature distinctive designs highlighted by vibrant, contemporary art created by both international and local artists and allow guests to roll out of bed and almost right onto the sun-drenched dunes just outside their suite’s huge sliding glass doors. You might even spot some horses cantering by. Just a 5-minute bike ride or 20-minute walk from Jose Ignacio proper, the Bahia Vik also features four swimming pools, a restaurant, spa, fitness center, game room, tennis courts, a personal concierge and so much more.
Playa Vik | Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
The smallest of the Vik properties in Uruguay, Playa Vik is a self-sustaining, eco-friendly oceanfront hideaway on the shores of Jose Ignacio. Life at the Playa Vik revolves around the Central Sculpture and its 55-foot sliding glass wall—a true feat of art and architecture in Uruguay designed by local architect Carlos Ott. Here, guests find abundant outdoor spaces with magnificent views of the Southern Atlantic just perfect for gathering with friends and loved ones before heading out to dance until dawn during the high season or turning into your room for quiet time. Surrounded by exterior art installations and rugged sand dunes, each of the hotel’s uniquely designed four suites and six private villas feature fireplaces, private gardens, radiant floor heat, large retractable windows and, of course, plentiful contemporary works of art by both Uruguayan and international artists alike. Just four blocks from the city center of Jose Ignacio, Playa Vik offers guests all the excitement of the vibrant town during high season but enough space to get away from the hustle and bustle when desired. Playa Vik also features the quintessentially Vik cantilevered swimming pool, a restaurant with an internationally-acclaimed chef at its helm, and spa, wine cellar, fitness center, game room and library.
Estancia Vik | Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Estancia Vik is the Spanish Colonial beauty that started them all in Jose Ignacio. Although it officially opened to paying guests in 2009, Estancia Vik was built as a personal family home for Alex and Carrie Vik in 2004. It is for this reason, Estancia Vik offers up an immersive experience simply unrivaled in South America—or elsewhere for that matter. Often described as bohemian and informal, the Estancia Vik is a traditional ranch experience— complete with gauchos— set in the rolling Uruguayan hillside just a few miles from the city center. There are 12 eco-friendly suites here boasting distant views of the Atlantic Ocean, separate living and dining rooms, white adobe walls, as with all Vik Retreats, one-of-a-kind works of art created especially for the space by local and international artists. In fact, it’s not unusual for some of them to stop by for a chat and a meal. Vik himself describes the property as “rustic and romantic,” which with its abundant amenities and unique flair seems a bit of an understatement. You’ll want for nothing during your stay at Estancia Vik, and you’ll definitely learn the fine art of doing nothing at all. Estancia Vik also features swimming pool, spa, game room, fitness center, paintball, organic gardens, polo fields (matches in season and lessons year round) and a wine cellar stocked with the award-winning VIK wines.
If you’d like to experience Vik hospitality for yourself, call us today to schedule your dream getaway to Uruguay and Chile.