Fathom Favorites : José Ignacio

1. Namm

Quite possible the freshest sushi and grilled meats you’ll have anywhere on earth. The wooden bungalow setting adds to the overall experience.

Ruta 10, km 185
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

2. Almacen el Palmar

Almacen is an all-day affair, with fresh croissants and breads in the morning, wonderful cheeses in the adjacent deli throughout the day, and dinner (delicious poppy seed rolls with tapenade to perfectly grilled fish and Provençal pastas) served indoors on the lovely, canopied outdoor patio. Gregarious chef Jean Paul Bondoux wanders freely around the patio and dining room. This place is a must.

Plaza de Jose Ignacio
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

3. La Huella

Widely regarded as a gastronomic mecca, the beachside spot deserves its reputation and should be everyone's first stop. The setting is magical — soft music, neutral wood decks, candlelight after sunset. You can't help but fall in love with it: all these ridiculously beautiful South Americans, eating incredible yet simple food, mostly cooked over fire, drinking caipiroskas, right on the beach. Creative sushi dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and housemade dulce de leche ice cream were consistent winners. (Contributing editor Christina Ohly literally ate seven meals in a row here).

Calle de Los Cisnes
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

4. La Susana

A casual beach club and restaurant from the Vik Resorts group (Bahia Vik, Playa Vik, Estancia Vik) where they serves everything from grilled snapper and pizzas to Norwegian vodka produced by the Vik family. A festive bamboo bar in the sand draws all kinds: Children frolick freely, larger groups spread out, and the party lasts well into the night.

Ruta 10, km 182.5
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

5. Marismo

A special, candlelit spot that can be difficult to find in the dark but is worth the journey for braised lamb and the grilled catch of the day. The atmosphere is magical, but you're not the only one to realize that. Book well in advance.

Ruta 10, km 185
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

6. Garzon

An incredibly special inn (one of Fathom's World's Most Romantic Hotels) run by chef extraordinaire Francis Mallman that draws an international foodie crowd for meals and overnight stays in the five guest rooms centered on an open courtyard and pool. Diners feast outside or in the intimate dining room on beautiful meat, fish, and vegetables prepared on a massive iron grill using a traditional infernillo technique. (Mallman is world-renown for his grilling style.)

Costa Jose Ignacio and La Capilla
Garzón, Maldonado 20401

7. Casa Suaya

A lovely and simple boutique bolthole with a charming boho feel. Accommodations include two bedroom suites (bonus for families), Butia restaurant, a large pool, and horseback riding.

Ruta 10, km 185.5
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

8. Posada del Faro

You’ll feel like you’re staying at a friend's beach house: A friend who has really good taste. A relatively affordable option with rooms facing a small pool and Jose Ignacio bay in the distance.

Luis E. Schickendantz and Del Timonel
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

9. Bahia Vik

Set to open in winter 2014 in time for high season, the hotel features contemporary Uruguayan art, separate swimming pools for kids and adults, and environmentally friendly casitas that are understated yet luxurious at the same time. Located directly on the beach, Bahia guests can horseback ride at the nearby Vik Estancia property or stroll down the dunes for a perfectly grilled hamburger or fresh sushi at the Vik's La Susana restaurant.
Read More on Fathom: First Look at Bahia Vik

Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

10. Playa Vik

The Vik group’s original beach property has an extremely modernist feel, all glass facades, fire pits, and art, most notably a James Turrell light installation and a Zaha Hadid-designed table in the main house. Most impressive is the 75-meter cantilevered swimming pool that seems to jut out over the sea. Starchitect Carlos Ott designed the grass-topped villas. In other words, the entire place is nothing if not striking and unique.

Calle Los Cisnes and Calle Los Horneros
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

11. Estancia Vik

Set on 4,000 stunning acres of pasture and gently rolling hills, this is a house stay unlike any other. Each of the 12 suites was designed by a contemporary Uruguayan artist, giving the estancia the feel a modern museum housed in a stunning, authentic villa. No detail is overlooked, and the kind staff — including resident gauchos — look after restaurant bookings, trail rides, and spa treatments. An eco-friendly emphasis and a killer Saturday night asado are but a few of the many lovely bonuses.

Camino Eugenio Sainz Martínez, km 8
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

12. Talabarteria Benitez

The old-school gaucho supply shop in the village of San Carlos is the place to source a wide assortment of leather chaps and silver adornments.

Calle Maldonado and Calle 25 de Agosto
San Carlos, Maldonado 20402

13. Alium

A great design-led shop further inland from Jose Ignacio.

Costa Jose Ignacio
Garzón, Maldonado 20401

14. El Canuto

The place for caftans, lingerie, and other beach basics.

Calle de Los Cisnes
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

15. Mutate

Stocks great vintage and designer clothing for men and women.

Café de la Place (in front of Plaza Jose Ignacio)
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402

16. Santas Negras

The mid-century modern, two-story boutique just outside town has been lovingly curated by Paula Martini (wife of La Huella owner Martin Pittaluga) and Patricia Torres, who filled it with vintage furniture, decorative objects, featherweight cashmere sweaters, and playful jewelry that works well at the casual, evening barbecue parties they host out back. Don’t miss the atmospheric café patio for delicious cappuccinos, capirinhinas, and panini.

Camino Eugenio Saiz Martinez and Los Lobos
Jose Ignacio, Maldonado 20402