Whether you’re heading to the Atlantic coast, the countryside or its quaint colonial towns, Uruguay has a varied selection of places to stay. From boutique beach bungalows to remote red-roofed estancias, here’s our pick of the best.
Scattered bungalows form an idyllic village at Bahia Vik, with a 10-suite main building, sexy swimming pools, a wellness center and a beachfront restaurant rounding out the necessities on this beautiful stretch of coastline in José Ignacio. Each airy accommodation is uniquely decorated and accented by fine contemporary art. Parador la Huella, one of South America’s best seafood restaurants, is a 20-minute walk away.
A short drive from the Atlantic coast, the generously sized accommodation at Fasano’s sprawling property share clean lines and wood-rich interiors. Wherever you rest your head, enjoy star-stitched and countryside vistas across the gently rolling property. Along with indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a fabulous spa, and fitness and equestrian centers, there are the links at the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course to putt your way around. Wind down on a lounger at the private beach club, located alongside the Arroyo Maldonado.
This estancia is visually arresting – a pristine-white, Spanish colonial manor with a terracotta-red roof set amid the gently undulating savannahs. The 12 airy suites – six in each wing – are individually and sumptuously designed by artists. A variety of artworks, including sculptures and installations, abound on Estancia Vik’s walls and ceilings. The swimming pool is placidly set on a lawn overlooking the expansive estate. Carnivores will adore El Asador Restaurant, but for the freshest fish and a change of pace, drive to Bahia Vik’s Zodiaco in José Ignacio.
This one is for foodies who want to savor the culinary delights of legendary Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann. The former Garzón village store now hosts five suites – a lesson in elegant French rural chicness, cast in whites and natural hues, forming an easy-on-the-eye color wheel. Following a hearty Mallmann breakfast that uses regional ingredients and garden herbs, laze around at the picturesque pool or browse José Ignacio’s local art galleries.
Design lovers will adore the clean lines, contemporary decor and stone-styled suites at Casa Suaya, which has direct access to Playa Brava, a short drive from the José Ignacio peninsula. Daybeds lining the decked swimming pool are a focal point. The Argentinian owner, Adolfo Suaya, is a celebrity chef in Los Angeles, so try some of his culinary creations.
With its Tudor-style architecture, lush lawns and gardens, and soaring tower, L’Auberge takes guests back in time. Each room and suite, all well-lit and airy, has a unique character and decor, sumptuously appointed in a country-chic style as welcoming as an embrace. Recognized for its top-notch service and good food, including its famous Tea House and grill restaurant by the large pool, L’Auberge makes for a dreamy stay – only a short saunter to the wide, sandy beaches of Punta del Este.
A hop, skip and a jump to José Ignacio’s Playa Mansa (Calm Beach), Posada del Faro’s crisp white rooms are simply but tastefully furnished to reflect the expansiveness of the ocean, beaches and dunes of its setting. In the Special rooms, enjoy ocean views and sunsets from your private terrace; if you prefer a private deck, upgrade to a Superior room. Simple meals are available nightly in the dining room, and the beach restaurant-bar is perfect for a sandwich or drink. Tiny José Ignacio is the place to find chic beachwear, visit art galleries or dine on the freshest seafood, especially in the southern hemisphere summer.
This gleaming white, adobe-style boutique sits above Montoya Beach, just east of Punta del Este. The uncluttered, comfortably furnished rooms feel larger, thanks to the wide sliding glass doors opening onto private decks and ushering in plenty of light, beach views and breezes. Start the day with a pleasant breakfast before hitting the beach or pool.
With sand and waves on its doorstep, along with boards and wetsuits for hire, surfers will appreciate a stay at Compay Hostel Punta del Diablo. A vast kitchen and welcoming central patio are the focal points, and dorms are either mixed or female-only. Breakfast is served until a leisurely 11am, ideal for the hungry dawn patrol looking to ride the best barrels; sundowners see friendly musicians gather around a bonfire for a song and drink.
With views over Maldonado Bay, Serena Hotel at Parada 24 on Playa Mansa is a leap away from the sandy beach and a short walk from many top Punta del Este restaurants, such as Lo de Tere. Elegant rooms sport contemporary design and splashes of vibrant color, while four-poster daybeds flank the lengthy outdoor swimming pool. There’s also a bijou indoor pool if the weather takes a turn.
A gem in Punta del Este’s La Barra district, Casa Zinc’s exterior resembles a 19th-century general store – with a lesson in shabby chic around every corner. Large glass doors and handsome half-moon windows ensure rooms and shared spaces are light and airy. Exposed brick, wide floorboards and ceramic tiles, antiques and perfect-condition period furnishings make this lodging a special place to stay. Enjoy the generous breakfast on the patio beneath the olive tree.
Those yearning for tranquility will love Las Cumbres, a hotel, spa and teahouse well off the bustling Punta del Este peninsula in whale-watching Punta Ballena. Enjoy expansive vistas of Laguna del Sauce straight from your room as well as from the cooling waters of the outdoor pool. Rooms are a lesson in countryside chic, showing off plenty of wood and paired with many artefacts collected by the owner on his world travels.
Design fans will adore the natural hues and Scandinavian style at Charco Hotel in the Unesco-listed city Colonia del Sacramento. Delightful and airy suites feature exposed stone walls and plenty of wood, while floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate the dining room. Book a table at Charco’s Bistró for lunch or dinner; must-order dishes include tasty lamb and pumpkin salad.
Not found what you’re looking for? Find even more great stays in our expertly curated guide to the top cultural hotels in Uruguay.
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