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UruguayNow in the press
UruguayNow's mix of travel and tourist information on Uruguay, hotel reviews for Montevideo and Punta del Este (coming soon for Colonia), restaurant reviews and tips on excursions, sightseeing and lifestyle in Uruguay has been featured in El Pais, La Republica, MercoPress and on Uruguay's Channel 5 TV and other news media in the country. Internationally, we have had kind mentions in the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph.
Six of the best
Not yet made it to Uruguay? When you're done with UruguayNow, our choice of the top 6 internet resources for the country is just a mouse click away. In no particular order, they are:
Southern Cone Travel: http://southernconeguidebooks.blogspot.com/
Ola Uruguay: www.olauruguay.com
Retired in Uruguay: http://wallyinuruguay.blogspot.com/
Money Transfer Services for Relocation: http://sendmoneyaustralia.com
Uruguay Natural: www.uruguaynatural.com
Global Property Guide: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Latin-America/Uruguay
For reviews of these sites, please click here.
Other recommended links
Rincón del Bosque, Avda Cincunvalación corner Misiones, Piriápolis
The Rincón del Bosque is a newly-built, high-end holiday village that aims to bring the style and quality of Punta del Este to the nearby traditional seaside resort of Piriápolis (founded in 1890, thus predating Punta). Each unit has a fully equipped kitchen, secure parking, plasma TV, a washing machine, wood fire and private barbecue area. Offers crèche facilities, shared pool, 24h security and maid service and free bike hire. Just yards from a beautiful, safe swimming beach, and a short walk from the cafés and seafood restaurants of central Piriápolis. Easy access from Punta del Este airport. Highly recommended. Rates are US$190 in the summer, based on 4 people sharing. Discounts out of season. www.rincondelbosque.com.uy, tel. 4432 0707.
Posada Aldilá, km. 120 of the Ruta Interbalnearia, Punta Ballena
A lesser-known gem. The Alpine structure, with huge timbers gracing the facade and exposed beams inside, is nestled in gardens overlooking the Bay of Portezuelo, with sweeping views of water from every room and most public spaces. There are just twelve cozy rooms of varying, vivid colour schemes and solid, traditional furniture, each with a wood-burning fireplace – plus a patio or balcony from which to enjoy some of the best sunsets on this stretch of the coast. Ample pool and deck area with swim-up bar. Breakfast, including hot dishes to order, is served anywhere on the grounds. There's a small but nicely appointed spa and a new wine cellar offering the perfect accompaniments to the popular late-afternoon cheese boards. Located five minutes from the airport and 200 meters above one of the area's best beaches, on the quieter side of Punta del Este. Rates from US$120 in winter to US$350 over the New Year. www.posadaaldila.com, tel. 4257 9202.
AWA Hotel, Av. Pedragosa Sierra corner of San Ciro, Punta del Este
Lives up to its self-billing as a “design + boutique" hotel. Minimalist spaces and furnishings, with a number of pieces by Philippe Starck. Blazing white surfaces accented by dark wood, stone and water, high ceilings, and ample windows give the public areas, rooms and suites a light and airy feeling. Colourful naïf paintings by Uruguayan artist Mario Giacoya harmonise well with the otherwise austere presentation. The hotel is shoe-horned into a relatively small lot, so outside there's little beyond a plunge pool and small deck, with views limited to the hotel's tiny gardens. Adequate spa; excellent restaurant featuring Peruvian specialties; mini cinema; small library and computer center; and conference facilities. A good location for foodies, as some of the area's best restaurants are within walking distance, but not so good for beach lovers, as it's over a mile from any shore. Four categories of similarly appointed rooms and suites, ranging from US$110 to US$250 in winter to more than four times those prices over the New Year. www.awahotel.com, tel. 4249 9999.
L'Auberge, Carnoustie and Av. del Agua, Punta del Este
Rich in history, distinctive in style, a Punta del Este landmark for decades. L'Auberge has evolved from a tea house connected to a crenellated red-brick water tower, to a luxury boutique that incorporates the water tower and still serves a popular late-afternoon tea with made-to-order waffles. The rambling Tudor-style building and traditional English decor and furnishings, the gardens of intimate flower-filled corners alternating with majestic trees and sweeping vistas, the unobtrusive yet attentive service – all bring to mind a grand country estate a century ago. The accommodations vary in size, design and decor; some of the most popular, though smaller, rooms are located high in the water tower. Although the Atlantic Ocean is only 200 yards away, many guests remain on site all day, swimming, reading, sunbathing, strolling in the gardens or enjoying a grilled barbecue-style lunch next to the pool. The gym, located in the water tower, is quite small. Rates from US$150 to US$350 in winter, US$360 to US$960 over the New Year. www.laubergehotel.com; tel. 4248 8888.
Mantra, Ruta 10, Parada 48, Av. Jauregiberry, La Barra
A member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World group and winner of multiple international awards. Service by uniformed staff begins at the airport, with a personal welcome and transportation to the hotel. Check-in, an introduction to the area, and entertainment or restaurant reservations are handled en-route. The hotel sits on a small rise 500 yards from the Atlantic Ocean, with glimpses of the water from some rooms. Shuttle service to the hotel's own beach club. Modern European decor against backgrounds of ochre outside and pale cream inside. Mantra's larger size (88 rooms and 12 suites), cosmopolitan design, and secluded location result in little sense of the local surroundings once on the property, but there are many on-site compensations: a casino, cinema, possibly the best spa in South America, three restaurants, wine bar, pool bar, ice-cream shop, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, and several luxury retail boutiques. In season, fashion shows are held around the pool. Ballroom and full business and conference facilities. Rates average US$250 in winter, US1100 over the New Year. www.mantraresort.com; tel. 4277 6100.
Hotel-Art & Spa Las Cumbres, turn-off at km. 3.5 of Ruta 12, Punta Ballena
Las Cumbres is hidden behind a security gate atop a small mountain three kilometres inland from Punta Bellena, near the airport, with awe-inspiring 360-degree views of the entire coastline and the sierras inland. The location ensures isolation, limitless skies and vistas, and utter quiet. The rooms and suites vary in size and design and each is uniquely decorated. They are distributed throughout the main building and outlying cabins and offer Bang & Olufsen sound systems and – in case you've forgotten your own – iPods. The restaurant is one of the most expensive in the area. High tea here is a white-glove affair, served on bone china in a room providing stunning sunset views and, weather permitting, can be enjoyed outdoors as well. The patios, pool, decks, and pergola are all very pleasantly integrated. Many visitors find Las Cumbres idyllic – but it's an experience that doesn't come cheap: Expect to pay about US$200 to US$600 in winter, somewhat higher at other times of year and significantly higher over the New Year period. www.cumbres.com.uy; tel. 4257 8689.
Estancia Vik, Camino Eugenio Saiz Martinez km. 8, Jose Ignacio
Open a little over one year, Estancia Vik is already becoming known in chic circles as one of the world’s premier – and more unusual – boutiques. The low white structure, reminiscent of a Spanish cortijo, sits outlined on the horizon amid 1400 hectares of peaceful Uruguayan countryside, two kilometres from the beaches of José Ignacio. Several internal courtyards with sculptures and ornamental trees and plants provide quiet retreats in addition to separating the multiple wings of the building. The walls of every guest room and all public spaces are filled with murals painted by local artists, resulting in a sometimes overwhelming variety of colours and styles. In addition to the formal dining room (with an enormous wine cellar visible through glass insets in the floor) there's a huge informal barbecue space. Seemingly endless views from every room and the infinity pool extend to sea in the distance, a neighbouring lake and the hotel's own polo field. There are only twelve guest rooms, and the building is large, so it can seem like each guest has the place to himself. Staff is nearly invisible except when needed. In-room massages. Soon to be joined by a sister property, Playa Vik, in the middle of José Ignacio. Rates start around US$1000 night and quickly ascend, depending on the season. www.estanciavikjoseignacio.com; tel. 94 605 212/314.
Casa Suaya, Ruta 10, km. 186, Jose Ignacio
The best of several excellent small boutique hotels near the beaches of José Ignacio. Owned by Los Angeles restaurateur Adolfo Suaya, whose summer home sits on the same property (it is available for events). A favourite of the American movie crowd. The main building contains the large, bright guest rooms, with separate sitting areas, wood-burning fireplaces, a wealth of glass and stone, and views towards the beach. You get a completely different experience in the wooden bungalows overlooking a lake, one of which has two bedrooms. The infinity pool sits between Suaya's house and the main hotel building, and the restaurant, Butiá, overlooks the pool from a nest of palms. Massages offered poolside. Rates from US$150 to US$350 in winter, US$700 to US$1000 over New Year. By the way, the hotel's website has a useful description of what to expect in José Ignacio in and out of season. www.casasuaya.com; tel. 486 2750.
Hotel La Foret, Calle La Foret Y Pascual Gattas, Parada 6 Playa Mansa
Hotel La Foret is a budget class hotel that's located a half-block away from Mansa beach and near to Conrad Casino. The rooms are spacious with a large bed and a clean bathroom. The hotel has a nice pool area with an indoor heated pool which are good for kids. It also has a Fitness Center with gym, a ping pong table and a tennis court where you can sweat it out. The restaurant provides a really good food and the staffs are friendly and spoke English well. Room rates start at $113 per night depending on the season. www.ibchotels.com/hotel-la-foret-h33248.html