Thursday, January 26, 2012

Punta del Este

Some people ask why Punta del Este vacation rentals cost so much, so I thought I'd write a little about prices, why I think some things cost what they cost and why renting a property in Punta del Este is not so easy on the pocket.

When you pay (what you consider) a high price for something it's usually because you're either familiar with the brand, like it and trust it or because your perception is that it's a good product and that it's worth it. For every authentic, luxurious product out there, there is a (not so authentic) version of it at a cheap price. This, we know and this applies to almost anything you can think of: clothes, watches, wine, travel, handbags, etc.

So why not get the cheaper version? is a question that may rise. Cause deep inside we know that the cheaper version of our object of desire is not (really) our object of desire - even if at times we do end up getting the "other" version. However, if we are lucky enough to have the possibility to choose, in the end, we are most likely to choose (and support) upscale products. We all know the difference between a high end product and one that is not, so I won't talk about the difference here, cause you probably have your own thoughts on that.*

I would, however, like to extend the above concept to the cost of vacation rentals in Punta del Este without even going into details about relevant variables such as land and construction prices, demand, etc.

But there are other aspects that make properties exclusive and expensive. Aside from the fact that Punta del Este is one of the most beautiful and desirable places on earth (and, I've done a great deal of traveling, since I was ... hmmm... born?) And it's not just me. Please ask anyone. It is a magical place. And so are our houses.

Each one of our villas has been hand picked by us. We do not only take the TIME to personally inspect and photograph each villa that we have in our portfolio, but we spend a lot of time with each one of the owners of these summer homes. Some are friends and family so we kind of know the houses by heart; others are strangers who kindly open their doors to us and our clients.

We're not just sending "Curiocitos" (clients of Curiocity) anywhere. We've experienced each villa, stayed there for days, lived it, met the staff, walked the grounds, etc. In the process of doing this, we've discovered the love and effort that each one of the owners has put into their summer home. Each corner has a story, there are furnishings and objects from all over the world, books and music for lazy afternoons, flowers and candles, objects that have been passed from generation to generation, stunning art pieces, meticulously manicured gardens; ocean views, surrounding forests and lakes, helicopter pads. Semi-private beaches. Perfect lighting. Technology. Al- fresco dining; generous decks and swimming pools. There is soul and personality in each house. More importantly, behind each villa rental experience, there is a welcoming team of people (house staff, assistants, drivers, chefs, concierge, etc.) that wants you to feel at home.

Just like other luxury products, Curiocity Villas' properties are ideal for people like us. People who get high on life and appreciate the good things: a nice dinner with friends, a limited product, or simply relaxing in a quiet, inspiring and private location with family, friends or your soul mate in one of the world's most beautiful places. We are always seeking beautiful villas that have something that makes them special. Like you. It's about memories that last. It's about emotion. And yes, the cost is on the high(er) side, but so is the experience.

*For example, it's no secret that some "cheaper" clothing brands in Argentina and the world STILL use slave work; that "massive", cheap tourism is not friendly to our environment; that big companies that rent villas all over the world have not experienced most of the villas they publish on their sites and that a real Prada handbag is a real Prada handbag. No matter how many copies they make.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

space and land

"...most humans have two contradictory impulses: we love and need one another, yet we crave privacy and autonomy." - Susan Cain

Photos: Punta del Este, Uruguay. The beautiful countryside, just minutes away from the beach. And the crowds.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


So I was one of those early birds at the beach the other day (I've noticed there are more of us now) you know... with some friends talking about "last night's party" and one of them who was reading a book said: "let me read you something" and continued: "it's funny..." I said: "ok" and I thought it was funny, so I thought I'd share it with you:


...In fact, just planning to have fun is enough to ensure getting bored. The ideal would therefore be to renounce all celebrations. Unfortunately, the party animal is a figure so well respected that this renunciation could result in a weakening of the social image. The following tips should help to avoid the worst (staying alone until the end, in a state of boredom evolving into despair, with the mistaken impression that the others are having fun).

Be well aware beforehand that the party will necessarily fail. Visualize the examples of past failures. (LOL!!*) This does not mean to adopt a cynical and jaded attitude. On the contrary, humble and cheerful acceptance of the common disaster can lead to success: transforming a failed party into a pleasant occasion of banality.

Always anticipate coming home alone, in a taxi.

Before the party: drink. Alcohol in moderate doses produces a socializing and euphoric effect which has no real competition.

During the party: drink, but lower the doses... It is more thoughtful to take ½ of a Valium at the right time. Alcohol compounding the effect of tranquilizers will make you sleepy; that’s the time to call a taxi. A good party is a short party.

After the party: call to offer your thanks. Wait quietly for the next occasion (an interval of one month, which can shorten to a week during vacations).

Finally, a consoling perspective: with the help of aging, the obligation to party diminishes; the penchant for solitude increases; real life takes over.

Extract from Michel Houellebecq's book, Interventions.
Photo: Chivas party in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the other night, taken with my mobile phone.
* that's a personal comment