Oasis near the coast by Merle Wilkening | 21st March, 2023 | Prime Properties
Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, as well as one of the safest. Over recent decades it has evolved into a desirable retreat for people from all over the world. The coastal resort of Punta del Este, among the most sought-after destinations in the whole of Latin America, has turned into a playground for wealthy homeowners who have flocked here in even greater numbers since the pandemic.
The whole of Uruguay has a population of just 3.5 million people, even though it is half the size of Germany in terms of land surface area. With its stable political conditions, a dependable democracy, advanced digitalisation and affordable healthcare, Uruguay is a shining light in the shadow of its large neighbours Brazil and Argentina – with a level of freedom and security that attracts many expats to the country.
Property owners, who up until now have usually descended here to enjoy the South American summer, are drawn to Punta del Este not only for the level of security but also for its unique location: This peninsula in the southeast of the country is situated directly on the Atlantic Ocean, some 140 kilometres east of Montevideo, Uruguay’s fascinating capital. The house is enclosed by two stretches of coast- line offering miles of beaches: Playa Brava with its high waves and Playa Mansa with its calmer waters. Yachts and sailing boats lie at anchor in the shallow waters of the harbour. Idyllic coast- al roads lead the way further inland to private villas set in expansive parkland grounds. In the oldest part of the fishing village, the “Iglesia de la Candelaria” church stands resplendently in the most beautiful sky blue. A host of celebrities descend here every year in February to attend and celebrate the annual International Film Festival.
Almost 20,000 residents live in the town all year round – and more and more people are being drawn here. “Punta del Este has long had a reputation among the international jet- set as one of the most exclusive resorts in Latin America. More and more business professionals from all over the world are opting to relocate to Uruguay, both to set up their private homes here and operate their businesses. The legislative stability, favourable tax conditions, high quality of life and beautiful natural surroundings have seen Punta del Este evolve from what was once a purely holiday and second home market into a market for primary residences,” says Sandra Sofio, Licence Part- ner of Engel & Völkers Punta del Este. In the wake of the pandemic, increasing numbers of homeowners are now opting to use their second home not only as a summer retreat but as a year-round residence.
In one of the most prestigious areas of Punta del Este, a good 20 minutes from the harbourfront, just five minutes from the former artists’ colony of La Barra, lies Vientos del Este. The owner Paola Marzotto – whose family owns the traditional Marzotto textile group, which at times has included the fashion labels Hugo Boss and Valentino – has created an elegant country house here in the peaceful hinterland of this coastal resort so sought after with the jet-set crowd. The property extends over five hectares of parkland grounds, all blend- ing in harmoniously with the rural surroundings. The subtle pastel colours, ranging from white to soft sandy tones and the light grey of the rooftops, contrast with the lush green of the immediate scenery. The property, whose name translates as “East Winds”, consists of a main house with interiors spanning more than 1,000 square metres, in addition to a pool house, a house for service and security staff, and two guest suites.
The main house is divided by a north-south axis, connecting two wings that are open to the east and west. The hallway flows onto the ex- pansive, octagonal living room. In the north wing, another intimate living space with the same shape adjoins the large dining room.
The kitchen is elegantly complemented by a home office space that features access to the wine cellar. The south wing has a second entrance, as well as four suites each with outdoor terraces. The first floor plays host to a large master suite complete with a dressing room and bathroom. Harmonious natural tones and lofty ceilings, visually accentuated with light wooden beams, bring a charm to each of the interiors. Designed to make the most of the climate, the covered terraces set a stylish scene for al fresco living and smooth transitions between indoor and outdoor home life.