Innocently dipped all in white on a hilltop in the trees, Mantra is anything but: 'Mantra es lo más top' (which translates as something like 'this gaff is da coolest, hippest choice'). Of course, Argentines seem to decide what goes and what doesn't in this part of Uruguay. \r\n \r\nMantra is the opposite of the Posada del Faro hotel in that you are minutes from the relentless action of 'La Barra', the pivotal area of Punta del Este's scene - a scene that has exploded over the past four years. Parties used to be hosted by influential personalities, but now glossy magazines and model agencies dominate the guest lists. \r\n \r\nYour reference to Mantra should help matters. Dramatically cascading down the hillside, Mantra's dens and lobby all overlook the pool area and casino and all peer over the Atlantic Ocean. Like the exterior, the 88 rooms and 12 suites have all been given the puritan treatment, so don't forget the sunglasses - not that you would in a place like this. \r\n \r\nThe 'boutique casino' - sunglasses optional - sets the tone here, as does the pool, where Argentina's finest show off the latest in plastic surgery and their brilliant ability to make you feel as if you are the devil for looking at them. The hotel is not as pristine as it was in 2004 when it opened - the odd blade of grass may stick out here and there - but Mantra, for now, remains the top dog in Punta.
Style: 8, Location: 9, Atmosphere: 10
Spa and Casino, Route 10, Stop 48, La Barra, Uruguay