My wife and I visited Estancia Guardia del Monte in December 2013 as part of our "babymoon" and felt this was the highlight of our trip to Uruguay. We were the only persons staying there on New Year's Eve and felt truly pampered throughout, including delicious homemade lemonade when we arrived to a dinner made-to-order by the incredible chef on site, Adriana. Imagine our shock when she asked what we wanted for dinner and then went on to suggest she could make a unique gnocchi (noqui) out of a local squash. As foodies, we were surprised to find that we anxiously awaited each meal given the extremely high quality of cooking on display. A breakfast pastry from Uruguay was cooked on a local leaf that gave it a wonderful, herbal quality.
The natural environment around Guardia del Monte is unique in Uruguay, with one of the largest groupings of the ombue tree. The owner took us on a personal hike through the ombue groves and gave us a great overview of the Uruguayan flora and fauna (she was much more knowledgeable than normal guides and showed a real interest in the subject matter). I also had a great horseback ride the evening before. That guide was great, later allowing me to try some of his mate (it's surprisingly difficult to try mate as a tourist since everyone essentially makes it themselves and it's not often sold commercially). The estancia is very remote, which is great because it's wonderfully quiet and at night the sky opens up with no light pollution.
A few tips for booking -- the hotel really doesn't have e-mail access, including via Facebook. If you want to make a reservation, you will need to call and speak to the owner, who speaks English. Save yourself the trouble and book this way. But, overall, the attentive and police service here makes this an effortless and memorable experience. Highly recommend!
- Also Known As:
- Estancia Guardia Del Monte Uruguay/Castillos