Melissa's Travels

Wellness Retreat in José Ignacio

One of the best parts of my job is getting to share truly special places and experiences with others. When I discovered Uruguay's José Ignacio seven years ago, just after Estancia Vik opened, the community captivated me with its beach-meets-ranch lifestyle and “chill” (there is no better word for it) attitude. In the following years, the Estancia and two other luxury beach properties the Vik family have since opened have attracted wave upon wave of experience collectors from LondonL.A. and New York, to the point that the resort guest list during the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s is a who’s who of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Wall Street bigwigs. I became worried that the simple beach town might be spoiled. But when I returned in February with an Indagare Insider group for a wellness week, I found that none of the charm or beauty that made me fall for José Ignacio had been lost. In fact, the influence of global travelers has enhanced the offerings and, so, the enjoyment.

Our six-day retreat was the ultimate escape from winter, with amazing yoga, massages and Reiki and lots of time of exploring and unwinding. Our group took over the estancia as our base, from which we made trips to the other Vik properties. Mornings began with yoga classes led by a first-rate instructor who divides her year between Long Island and José Ignacio. We rode horses to a picnic spot on the edge of the estancia where the chef prepared an alfresco feast. We went for jogs and took polo lessons. We visited a vineyard where we sampled the olive oil and wine. We biked into town where we shopped, walked on the beach, swam in Bahia Vik's pool and took an outdoor cooking class. We dined at superstar Argentinian chef Francis Mallman’s restaurant Garzón for lunch. Sitting beneath a massive palm tree, we lingered over exquisite small courses until late into the afternoon, when it was time to return to the estancia for massages. It was not a traditional spa week, for certain, but we all returned home renewed.

Published onFebruary 24, 2015

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