The Classicist: Learning the Art of Polo at Estancia Vik
In our column on photographer Aline Coquelle's brilliant book about the wide world of polo, we discussed some of the exotic locations where the sport of kings is played far from the the hermetic hemisphere of the Hamptons and Palm Beach. At Estancia Vik, a recently opened, ultra-luxurious private retreat in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay, you can now learn the ancient and noble game while enjoying all the amenities one would expect from a world class resort. A stylish haven of art, nature and design, the Estancia is situated on 4,000 acres taking full advantage of the pristine beaches, spectacular rolling landscape and relaxed, bohemian setting the area is famous for. Designed to be a coveted destination for the curious and design-forward international traveler, it's a sprawling Spanish colonial structure featuring white adobe walls and a red tin roof, designed by Uruguayan architect Marcelo Daglio with some dramatic avant-garde design flourishes.
The 50,000-sq.-ft. Estancia boasts 12 spacious suites each designed by a different Uruguayan contemporary artist, wine cellar, gym, spa, game room, a traditional Uruguayan barbeque pit, polo field, stables, several outdoor patios and gardens, rivers, lakes and a 65-ft. Absolute Nero stone swimming pool overlooking the lush countryside and the ocean in the distance (the beach is a mere five miles away). The property has partnered with with Haras Godiva Polo Management to provide a number of polo packages for all skill levels. Beginners and first-time riders may elect to try an introductory course, while a family who plays can have a group session and intensive, one-on-ones can be arranged as well. Ponies and all equipment except for riding boots are provided. They are currently offering a polo package including two nights at the Estancia and three polo lessons, will also be available from March through October for $1,750.
Gallery: Polo at Estancia Vik
The Estancia also hosts major polo events on occasion, for those who prefer the role of spectator. On Jan. 4th the La Dolfina team, consisting of Adolfo Cambiaso, Jr., Ernesto Gutierrez, Juan de Dios Cincunegui and Federico Heinemann, played the Fiat Linea team of Andres Cassarino, Fernando Pigni, Cristiano Rattazzi and Bartolome Castagnola, with the highly exciting match ultimately ending in a draw. Following the event which was attended by a the chic sporting set the players' helmets were auctioned to benefit local school, each having been painted by some of the South American artists whose work is represented at Estancia Vik.