Puesto Viejo – A little bit of polo paradise
As you walk down the path, you are met with a wide blue sky, birds singing in the trees, horses gently grazing and whinnying in the nearby palenques and then the gentle tap tap tap of the ball meeting the mallet on the stick and ball field – the perfect soundtrack to a little piece of polo paradise.
It’s the middle of Argentine winter when we visit, but the grey skies and rainclouds are left behind in Buenos Aires when we head out to Puesto Viejo Estancia & Polo Club situated outside the sleepy town of Canuelas, 70 km from Buenos Aires city centre. When our taxi pulls up at the beautiful entrance to Puesto Viejo, we are met with a deep blue sky with little thin whispy clouds (much like the tails of the polo ponies) and a warm wintry sunshine that beams down highlighting a the beautiful natural surroundings, with native birds flying overhead and various citrus trees, gum trees and flowers dotted around the immaculate grounds.
We are met by the Puesto Viejo staff at the polo clubhouse, which has magnificent antique wooden doors and a modern chandelier in the entranceway. The friendly staff take us on a tour of the grounds and facilities, with the first pitstop being the stables and corals to be introduced to the polo ponies who are basking in the warm winter sunshine and enjoying a day off. The stables at Puesto Viejo have room to accommodate the polo club horses as well as visiting patrons and polo players’ horses.
Polo playing guests will attend a polo clinic at the start of their stay where their abilities and riding experience will be assessed so that a personalised programme of lessons, tactics, matches and chukkas are created to meet the needs of the guest and these will be followed throughout the holiday. Guests will have the opportunity to ride alongside the club’s professional players which provides a fantastic opportunity to develop their polo skills and play polo like an Argentine.
The team of polo professionals based at Puesto Viejo has a range of handicaps from 2 to 6 goals and they play together with the amateur players in club matches and tournaments. Puesto Viejo is a polo club with constant activity throughout the year – meaning that no matter when you visit there will always be chukkas, club matches or tournaments for you to get involved with and play with the club members and professional players.
We are told by staff that Puesto Viejo means the “old place” and was the name given to the old building far away from the main house, where the most trusted gaucho lived. There he was responsible for looking after the extremities of the original Estancia.
Puesto Viejo is a 250 acre estancia located less than an hour from Buenos Aires city and 20 minutes from Ezeiza International Airport. The land used to belong to a big traditional cattle farm called La Primavera, famed for its innovative farming technology and was one of the first pieces of land sold by the Argentine government. Anglo-Argentine couple Jeremy and Liliana Forrester-Baker had developed a love of polo together and bought the land in 2003 developing it into the beautiful polo paradise that it is today.
The styling of Puesto Viejo is very much a happy mixture of the best of the old Argentine antique polo world meets the modern comforts of European luxury from the egyptian cotton bed linen in the individually designed rooms to the complimentary WiFi – features that would not be amiss in any top hotel in Paris or London. Although Puesto Viejo meets all the needs of modern day comfort, the location and experience are truly authentic so that you can experience a truly authentic Argentine polo experience on your trip.
The boutique hotel accommodation is of a traditional style with modern comforts and is designed to meet the needs of the fanatical polo player and their family – being just a stone’s throw form the polo pitch, stables and swimming pool. The recently renovated hotel has 10 en-suite bedrooms with each named after the owner’s favourite horses. Each bedroom is individual in design and has antiques sourced from local markets to give it an eclectic feel and authentic charm.
Bedroom facilities include a range of beds including Kingsize and twin-bedded options, egyptian cotton bed linen, airconditioning/heating system, toiletries and en-suite bathroom with full shower and bath. There is a daily housekeeping and turndown service as well as a laundry service for all guests.
Adjacent to the hotel rooms is a communal living room furnished in antique but comfortable furniture, complete with open fire, WiFi and library – the perfect place for guests to relax after exploring the countryside or to share polo stories over some yerba mate or a glass of wine. An honesty bar is available for guests to help themselves to drinks throughout their stay. Meals are included within the price and are served in the adjoining room or (if weather permits) outside under the trees, giving guests a chance to mingle and chat in a relaxed setting.
Polo holidays at Puesto Viejo are priced at a reasonable $375 per person per day which includes:
– transport to and from Ezeiza International airport for check-in and check-out
– full-board (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner)
– laundry service
– stick and ball session in the morning each day
– 4 chukkas/or a polo lesson in the afternoon each day
– horseback riding
– swimming pool
– 250 acres of land and 35 hectares of park to explore
N.B. Alcoholic drinks are not included in the price but they can be bought on site from the Puesto Viejo small but exclusive wine list. The price for non-polo player is US$180 per person and includes the accommodation with full board and the non-polo facilities.
The Puesto Viejo polo facilities are of excellent quality and include:
– 3 x full sized boarded polo pitches with tiften
– Stick and ball ground
– Stables with 70 boxes and several tack rooms
– Individual and group corrals
– 60 hectares of turnout land
– 400 metres exercice track
– Boarded arena
– Individual storage rooms for horse bedding/food
– 2 irrigation systems for the 4 polo pitches
– Grooms accommodation and “matera”
– Polo manager’s office
– General manager’s office
– Covered parking
– WC, shower and changing rooms exclusive for members
– Polo clubhouse with bar
So whether you are a professional polo player looking to practice and play chukkas during the off-season, are a keen amateur looking to improve your skills, or are curious to learn more about the sport of Kings and ‘have a go’ yourself, Puesto Viejo truly has something for everyone. Even those non-polo players will feel welcome in the relaxing, tranquil surroundings with a beautiful pool and 35 hectares of park to explore, either on horseback, bike or on foot.
Puesto Viejo is a unforgettable place that will offer you a truly authentic and enjoyable polo experience and should definitely be at the top of your to-do list when planning a trip to Argentina.
To enquire about booking, please get in touch with our team to make a reservation. Reservations are confirmed by payment of 50% of the intended bill to Puesto Viejo and payment can be made by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex or Argencard).
Puesto Viejo also offers a range of other holiday packages and tours, to enquire about these, please get in touch with our team here.
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