Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, is growing in popularity with foreign visitors, despite being mostly unexplored during recent years. The city has a growing tourism economy, and with it are a number of cultural and boutique hotels. Here’s our list of 10 of the best places to stay when visiting Montevideo, one of Latin America’s hidden gems.
Montevideo Ⓒ Vince Alongi/Flickr
Punta Carretas | Ⓒ Jimmy Baikovicius/Flickr
This luxury, newly built hotel is located in a sophisticated and wealthy area of Montevideo, Punta Carretas. The rooms are generously sized, with large comfortable beds and modern bathrooms. Large windows offer lovely views of the surrounding area, and guests have access to a gym and pool. Despite the luxury ambience of the hotel, it is a good value, and is also near a number of restaurants as well as a shopping centre full of amenities. If guests don’t feel like leaving the hotel for dinner, there is a restaurant inside that also serves breakfast.
Near to the beachfront in the elegant Punta Carretas neighborhood is Cala di Volpe, where all the rooms have outstanding views of the sea. The rooms include modern furnishings but display themes of traditional neocolonial Uruguayan design, such as dark wood and deep red upholstery. There is an onsite restaurant, which along with breakfast and dinner, serves sophisticated afternoon tea. The hotel also offers bike hires, and guests have two hours to ride — it’s the perfect way to explore the area and take in the surrounding views of the River Plate.
In the historic Ciudad Vieja, or Old Town, is Hotel Palacio, just a block from the central Plaza Independencia. The hotel is set within a stunning neocolonial mansion, with ornate balconies and an antique elevator and plenty of traditional features in the rooms. Some rooms have balconies large enough for a table and chairs, where guests can enjoy views of the surrounding neocolonial rooftops. There is no restaurant, but it is situated right by plenty of cafés and restaurants. The rooms are comfortable, although probably not suitable for those looking for luxury, but the historic setting of the hotel is almost unrivalled.
Opposite the bustling attraction of Mercado del Puerto is Don Boutique Hotel. The rooms are modern and luxurious, and there is also an elegant rooftop pool for guests to enjoy. The building itself is art deco in style, and is in an excellent location close to plenty of restaurants and a number of attractions including museums and art galleries. This is a good option for visitors looking for an exclusive boutique ambience.
Sofitel Montevideo is a Montevideo icon, located on the rambla and overlooking the River Plate. The building is almost palatial, with interior decor and comfort to match its grand exterior. The rooms are mostly modern, but the hotel overall is rich with original features, such as stained glass, ornate arched ceilings, and chandeliers. The hotel is mostly popular with high-rollers visiting the city, although those with more of a restricted budget can enjoy an evening in the restaurant, spa, or casino.
In the historic Ciudad Vieja and looking out over Plaza Zabala is this boutique hotel, set within a 1920s neocolonial townhouse. The hotel has a subtle theme, which is that of Uruguayan artists, writers or musicians; for example, visitors may be placed in a room inspired by a poem, or perhaps a piece of art. On the roof terrace there is a hot tub, from which guests can enjoy looking out over the neighborhood, or there are plenty of museums and galleries nearby if guests are inspired by the hotel to take in some local culture.
At the budget end of Montevideo’s best places to stay is Ukelele Hostel, a great value and clean hostel near to the most ‘touristy’ area of the city. The hostel is set within an old neocolonial house, featuring historic staircases and traditional high ceilings. It includes a pool, communal kitchen, bar, and picturesque courtyard garden; the rooms are basic but clean and modern. This is a great option for those on the budget but looking for somewhere at the historic heart of the city.
Puerto Mercado Hotel is located, as the name might suggest, near to the famous Mercado del Puerto, which is essentially a covered market building packed with parrilla (traditional barbecue) restaurants. The hotel is modern and stylish, and the rooms have large windows for guests to look out over the bustling Ciudad Vieja below. The hotel is well located and comfortable, so it is a good choice for families or couples looking to be near to the centre of the action.
Further away from the city centre in a quiet neighborhood is this design hotel, which is also near the beachfront and contains only a small number of rooms for an exclusive ambiance. It includes both regular rooms as well as apartments that come equipped with a small kitchen area, so is convenient for those staying for longer periods as well as short stays. The hotel has a lush green garden and stylish pool area, which is relaxing and quiet. A good breakfast selection is also included.