Colonia del Sacramento UNESCO World Cultural Heritage

Colonia del Sacramento UNESCO World Cultural Heritage  |  429 MAGAZINE  |  Dear followers and friends, my weekly column on Luxury Gay Travel for 429 MAGAZINE at the leading and world’s largest LGBTA Professional Network www.dot429.com, is OUT and ONLINE. This week on Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Check it out and till next adventure in full luxury. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

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Arnold P. Customer Feedback Argentina and Uruguay

Arnold P. Customer Feedback Argentina and Uruguay  |  Germany  |  Hi Carlos, thanks for checking – still shell shocked here after arriving back in winter but it seems to be getting warmer so there is hope 😉 A quick summary of my view points/feedback: Overall we are very happy with the holiday…Buenos Aires was excellent. An amazing city with lots of things to do and experience. The apartments we had were great – perfect location and with the pool we could relax a bit as well. The tour operator you picked was excellent – really knowledgeable and fun & relaxed guys! We definitely recommend them. In terms of restaurants we liked Green Bamboo and also Divinas in San Telmo. But overall we have been very lucky with food anywhere we went really… Design CE hotel was a nice basic hotel (not sure what they mean by design it is certainly peculiar 😉 in a nice location. We felt Recoleta was more like a European city with all the infrastructure etc. compared to Palermo. The hotel staff was very friendly but a pool was dearly missed. We ended up in the public pool by the airport on our last weekend where our feet where checked for fungus 😉 Luckily we all got in 🙂 We all loved Casa los Jasmines and had a nice time in Colonia del Sacramento.The host did an amazing job to make us feel at home. It is definitely one of the best days of the holidays! We would have like to stay another night there but considering it is very pricey we skipped that. Punta del Este is not a destination I/we would pick again. In fact I think most Europeans will be disappointed with it. It reminded us of Miami but without the diverse atmosphere at Norwegian price levels. We still had a very nice time there and our hotel (Kala boutique) located in La Barra was a great choice and we felt comfortable and relaxed there. It is set at the back of LaBarra a bit away from the shabby main road (only highlight there Cafe Flo). The area we really liked (and where we found the nicest restaurants too) was Jose Iganacio. The Juanito beach there is also nice. You did a great job with organizing everything and picking the right places.

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Customer Feedback by Douglas Bartholomew

Customer Feedback by Douglas Bartholomew  |  Burlington, Canada  |  Customers keep sending their comments over my services and their experiences. Happy to hear they had a great time while visiting Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Going for more on this 2012 diversifying destinations and bringing new options. A great way to begging 2012 indeed. CM

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Douglas B. Customer Feedback

Douglas B. Customer Feedback  |  Canada  |  Look what customers are saying about CM by Carlos Melia Travel Services: Carlos: Thank you again … I haven’t told you but for many years I worked as a Tour Director for one of the largest travel agencies in Canada. It specialized in travel for medical doctors and other professional groups. It was an amazing company and I very much enjoyed working with them. (It was part-time only because I had my career as a social worker also.) I must say that as good as that company is … I am thoroughly impressed by you and your service. You are even better than the agency I worked with. Thanks again. Douglas (for them I have designed a full month itinerary including Buenos Aires + Uruguay). CM

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TravelAgent Magazine Latin America for Gay Clientele

TravelAgent Magazine Latin America for Gay Clientele |  New York |  by Joe Pike for TravelAgent Magazine. Here is a copy of the interview I gave for TravelAgent Magazine in New York City about Latin America for Gay Clientele, Growing a Niche Market. Travel agent / consultant Carlos Melia offers tips on selling South America to gay travelers… (read the full interview). You may also watch the LIVE Video interview at TravelAgent. Enjoy…  CM
Travel Agent Magazine is the preferred trade publication of the agent community*  and boasts not only a powerful readership but one that’s active and engaged.Its readers are responsible for driving nearly half of all agent bookings!** Because of its reputation in the industry, Travel Agent Magazine has become the publication of choice for agents nationwide.

La Vigna Country House Hotel

La Vigna Country House Hotel |  Colonia Valdense , Uruguay | New York Times TOP 41 Places to Visit 2011. In 1880, it was set up as a Winery belonging to a family of Italian immigrants from italian Piedmont dedicated to Tannat winemaking. Today, more than 120 years after that, “La Vigna” is born as a warm and exclusive Country House Hotel, rigorously restored by its current owners.
A new concept in the Art of Reception… featuring a congenial combination of indigenous country life and the exquisite comfort required by the demanding contemporary traveler.  A haven in the country offering serenity, homemade delicacies, and heavenly landscapes that invite you to relax and enjoy a balanced mixture of European rural architecture and avant-garde exotic, refined interior design.
Colonia Valdense, located in the department of Colonia, known for agricultural and livestock production, and dairy products. Only 59 kilometers from Colonia del Sacramento and 120 kilometers from Montevideo.
Rustic Rooms with all the comfort for your stay. Queen or Twin size beds, kitchenette, WiFi. Prices from USD 100 per  night including breakfast. Room Type of your choice: Master Suite “La Violeta”, Suite “Akanana”, Family Room, Single Room, Twin Room.

Casa Toscana is a house with two bedrooms, bathroom, living room, kitchenette, laundry, garage, deposit, patio, deck, roof with adobe oven and panoramic views.
Some of the activities included in the country house hotel are Mountain Bikes to get around the area and Bike tours. Art Workshop. Fishing: Catch & Throw of Tarariras Mojarras Dientudos. Ranch activities, Tambo, Organic Gardening, Birdwatching and Hiking. Swimming pool, Table Games and Library.
They offer a very interesting La Vigna + Colonia del Sacramento + Wineries of Uruguay Package (03 Days/02 Nights) from USD 660 per person on double base. The package includes: Transfers Colonia del Sacramento to Colonia Valdense, 02 nights with breakfast at La Vigna, all meals included with local produce and wines served at Bitro La Bodega. On the second day the include the Uruguay Wine Route tour including lunch at Bodega Souza and Wine Degustations at Stagnari, Bouza and Marichal Wineries.
Every  Saturday and Sundays , La Vigna Wine Art opens its doors to welcome the arts…tango, drama, fusion, photography, jazz, sculptures… Rejoice for the five senses and pleasure for the soul. Housed in that old family winery, a new concept is born: “La Vigna- Wine Art”. A versatile and heterogeneous place: At times, your living-room at home; sometimes, a mountain refuge in the Piedmont countryside (of a remote Colonia Valdense); and at other times, just a meeting place to share and enjoy with friends. A place to listen to good music, taste some of the specialty regional cheese “boards”, tapas and homemade delicacies, served with good wine, or simply a place to relax and linger at.
At “La Vigna”, they make their own food products, which are based on the care of and respect for nature and a healthy lifestyle. Their Organic Garden, their ecology-concerned and respectful breeding of farm animals, their sheep milk products made in their Dairy Farm: La Pecora Pazza, and their fruit trees provide them with the raw materials necessary to create each of the flavors offered by La Vigna’s organic gourmet cuisine, at LV Bistró. They produce traditional Jams, Liqueurs, Chutneys and Preserves, in addition to some extravagant products exclusively created by “La Vigna”. For the diner time, stylish, exotic and colorful dishes merge into those taken from Italian immigrant communities of the Piedmont region, which, for the past 130 years, have been coming here to settle down at this spot of South America, imbuing everything with their European smells and essences..

These are only some of the activities and services you can enjoy while visiting Colonia Valdense and La Vigna Country House Hotel. Not for nothing The New York Times ranked it TO 41 Places to Visit 2011, right. !!!
Easy access either from the city of Buenos Aires, by Speed Ferry to Colonia del Sacramento (50 minutes) or from Montevideo by bus services (2 hours and 30 minutes)

(*) NOTE: This is a PRESS RELEASE for La Vigna from CM by Carlos Melia. Please be aware that I have not personally visited or tested this hotel yet. Coming soon my own personal review following my main commitment of Been There Done That.

(**) For bookings or inquiries do not hesitate to Contact Me. carlos@carlosmelia.com | 646.460.6045 | Toll Free US. 800.729.7472 ext 205

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Troy Masters from Gay City News Customer Feedback

Troy Masters Customer Feedback | New York City, United States |  Troy Masters is the Founder and Publisher of Gay City News. My trip to Argentina, Uruguay and the Rio de la Plata region, thanks to Carlos Melia‘s outstanding organizational skills, went off without a hitch. We trusted him with everything and relied on him to make sure we saw Buenos Aires as it is meant to be eperienced; he hit all the right notes and we were never disappointed. It was like a well-executed Tango.

After assessing our personality Carlos matched our desire for stylish accomodations with our wish to see the city from different perspectives; the result was a privilidged stay in a selection of Buenos Aires’ top boutique hotels.

Carlos’ attention to detail was simply amazing. He provided us with an indepth intineray both in print and online, fulll of details and contact information that we were able to follow. Every step was planned. When we arrived at the airport in Buenos Aires our driver was waiting and whisked us to our hotel. The concierge at every hotel was an extension of Carlos and so the reception was always familar and extremely welcoming. His name brought perks, like late check outs and bottles of wine.

Every hotel we stayed in was exceptionally well designed, modern, very clean and exquisitely located.

Carlos remained available to us the entire time by Skype or email and provided us assistance when we wanted ideas on things to do. If you are traveling to the Rio del la Plata region Carlos is the only travel agent that can provide the service a high-end luxury traveler demainds. He will make your vacation seamless and incredibly functional. All in all, 5 Stars plus.

Soon you will be able to read Troy’s full review on his trip to Buenos Aires and Uruguay, online and printed on the March edition of Gay City News.

(*) During his trip Troy and his partner visited Argentina: Buenos Aires and San Antonio de Areco. Uruguay: Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo. They experienced the following hotels: Buenos AiresSerena Hotel Buenos Aires, Design CE, Legado Mitico, Vitrum Hotel, BE Hollywood Hotel. San Antonio de Areco: Patio de Moreno. Colonia del Sacramento: Casa los Jazmines. Montevideo: La Puerta Negra. Special Thanks to the Tourism Office of Montevideo (Uruguay) for taking such good care of both Troy and his partner. Also to Nicolas Iwanuzska (Gay Guide of Buenos Aires), Guillermo Guereño (Guide of San Antonio de Areco) and El Querandi Tango Show.

Colonia del Sacramento by The New York Times

Colonia del Sacramento by The New York Times |  Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay |  As many of you know by reading my regular posts in my blog, Colonia del Sacramento is one of my favorite spots in the world to escape and get away from the hussle and bussle of the city when I am in Argentina. Well, it seems I am not that wrong since on the Sunday Travel section of this week of the The New York Times has been voted and ranked number 31 out of the 41 places recommended and MUST visit during this 2011.

The article was titled The 41 Places to go in 2011 and Colonia del Sacramento was featured in number 31 as The ranches beyond a historic village offer a dose of rural chic. On this short but interesting contribution by Paola Singer, they highlight two brand new boutique ranches that have recently opened La Vigna and Estancia Tierra Santa. I would add to this expert recommendation, two of my favorite hotels/guest houses in the entire world Casa los Jazmines and La Casa de los Limoneros. Both I would dare to say my own personal choice for relaxation, gourmet experience and outdoors adventure (beach, horseback ridding, wine tasting, biking, among many others) only 50 minutes away from the city of Buenos Aires.
History, beach and something else. Colonia de Sacramento, (Uruguay) capital of the county of Colonia, bathed by the waters of de Rio de la Plata, only (1hs) from the city of Buenos Aires.Listed as “World Heritage“ by the UNESCO (6-XII-1995), for its cultural and natural value.
The main points of interest are located in Historical District (or casco viejo).  Followi this propossed route, it will allow you to enjoy all the highlights you can’t miss: Puerta de Campo / Calle de los Suspiros / Museo Portugués / Convento de San Francisco / Museo Municipal / Casa de Nacarello / Casa del Virrey / Archivo Regional / Museo Indígena / Casa Portuguesa / Museo Español / Bastión del Carmen / Iglesia Matriz. Also minutes away is the Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos, the Museo Paleontológico, the Arenisca and El Calabres beaches. On sunny spring or summer days, is a must walking by the promenade “Rambla Costanera” and enjoy the sights and sunsets.

If interested on reading more on Colonia del Sacramento and following my travel post on this charming destination, please check the following links: Colonia del Sacramento / BUQUEBUS Speed Ferry / La Casa de los Limoneros / Casa los Jazmines. Also check my PHOTO Album on Colonia del Sacramento.
(*) Colonia del Sacramento. For bookings or inquiries do not hesitate to contact me. carlos@carlosmelia.com | 347.944.0026 | 212.399.6161 | Toll Free US. 800.729.7472 ext 205. CM

Colleen G. Customer Feedback

Colleen G. Customer Feedback • ( New York, United States ) Oh my goodness, we had a fantastic time! We enjoyed everything! I apologize, I wanted to email you to thank you but I came back to so much work. We were so very, very happy! Thank you so very much! I really loved the Design CE Hotel and the staff was great.  Just so you know the front of the hotel is a bit loud from street noise, I think in the future I would stay in the back but the place is fantastic and I loved their staff! Feliz Navidad!  You should come to my restaurant for New Years Eve, it’s great! xo, Colleen Hope to see you soon!

Colleen and her husband visited Buenos Aires staying at Design CE Hotel and Colonia del Sacramento staying at La Casa de los Limoneros. The took several tours like San Antonio de Areco Full Gaucho Experience Day, ROJO Tango Show and Dinner and Private City Tour of Buenos AriesCM

Craig N. Customer Feedback

Craig N. Customer Feedback • ( Washington, United States ) Hi Carlos – I want to thank you for helping organize an amazing trip to Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, and Uruguay.! Everything was perfect – people were on time, very friendly, accommodating, and helpful…everything was just as it should be. I also want to say the Casa de Limoneros as one of the highlights of the trip, particularly since it was on Thanksgiving. The property was so picturesque – we went for bike rides, runs, and enjoyed the pool. Sergio and Mario was quite a friendly pair too. I can’t say enough about the ladies at the front desk of the Design CE Hotel – they were so nice, friendly and helpful…so glad we met them and you recommended the hotel. Craig

Craig and his friend Tom visited Buenos Aires staying at Design CE Hotel and Iguazu Falls staying at Saint George Hotel and Colonia del Sacramento staying at La Casa de los LimonerosCM