Cobra Starship’s frontman & singer, Gabriel Saporta, answered Vanity Fair’s questions, about where he goes, how he travels, what he loves the most, and more, which can be read below.
To get away from it all, I go to . . .I was born in Uruguay, and every year when the New York winter becomes unbearable, I escape to Punta del Este to see my family.
My favorite way to travel there is . . . Getting there is tough, simply because of the distance and the lack of direct flights. It’s about 15 hours total travel time, but it’s well worth it.
My favorite place to stay is . . . Not to discount some of the great hotels in the area, but vacationing in Punta is all about renting an incredible house.
My ideal travel companions are . . . Last year I convinced four of my closest friends from New York City to fly down and meet me in Uruguay. I was already staying with family in Punta, and was able to score us a five-bedroom house with a 270-degree view of the ocean in a cool neighborhood called Manantiales (which is on the way to Jose Ignacio from Punta).
When I’m in the mood for room service, my favorite order is . . . There is NO room service! Punta is all about eating together—whether at an asado at a friend’s house (Uruguayan version of barbeque, but with wood, not coal), or at a corner bar (bistro), or at one of the many amazing restaurants. You are never going to feel the urge to order food and veg out in front of the TV.
My favorite Uruguayan delicacy to indulge in is . . . Dulce de leche!! If you haven’t had dulce de leche, I suggest you never try it, because you will be hooked. It is something like caramel, but much creamier as it is made with milk, not water. There are scores of postres (dessert pastries) that utilize it. My favorite by far is called analfajor. There is a café called Medialunas Calentitas where you’ll find people congregating after the beach and after a long night out, as it’s open ’round the clock during the summer.
To stay in shape, my on-the-go fitness regime is . . . As long as I do three sets of push-ups and sit-ups a day, I’m all good.
My suitcase must absolutely contain . . . Wireless Bluetooth speakers. Game-changers. The Bose SoundLink is by far the best sounding and most powerful, but if I need something more compact, I grab the Jambox by Jawbone.
When it comes to luggage, I’m . . . Definitely an overpacker. I’m a Libra, and there’s no way I can decide today what I’m going to wear in a week. So I just take everything, but somehow I end up wearing the same thing every day.
My favorite best-kept secret about Punta del Este is . . . The beach scene can get crazy in Punta, especially in the weeks around the New Year. But there are some amazing secret beaches you can go to if you know your way around. One of the easiest things to do is to go to Isla Gorriti, which is a small island right in front of La Playa Mansa. If you don’t know anyone with a boat, you can take an inexpensive ferry from the port downtown. It drops you off in front of the island (the side visible from the shore), but if you walk through the island, you will find some of the most unbelievable yachts docked in the back for the day.
When I’m in the mood for some retail therapy, I visit . . . Shopping is the last thing I want to do on vacation. But if it’s your thing, go to Calle 20 in the downtown of Punta (known as La Punta, literally “The Tip”). There’s a Fendi store and some other high-end retailers.
When I’m in the mood to paint the town red, I go to . . . One of the most incredible spots is called Las Cumbres, in Punta Ballena, which borders Punta del Este to the west. It has breathtaking views and is an amazing place to catch a sunset. Another truly unique place is Las Piedras, which is an entire estate developed by the owners of the Fasano from Rio. It’s tucked away a bit inland, but it’s a great date spot if you can get a reservation.
My favorite travel pastime is . . . Hooked on Scramble with Friends for the iPad.
Upon arrival, I most look forward to . . . Going away is a great time to write, so I always make sure I have music I’ve been working on with me when I’m going on vacation.
Upon departing, I am most happy to leave behind . . . My winter coat.