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Montevideo Hotels

4 Hours in Montevideo
Major Port and Uruguayan Capital, this City Charms

© Richard McColl

Apr 10, 2007
The Edificio Salvo, Montevideo, Uruguay, Richard McColl

Montevideo, UruguayWhile Buenos Aires hollers boisterously across the bay, Montevideo merely whispers confidently. It is this polite welcome that entices travellers to this enchanting city.


Where better to start the day than at the beating heart of Montevideo, the Avenida 18 de Julio? Tree-lined and adorned with banks, shops, cafes, allow yourself to be swept along by the tides of harassed workers. Before reaching the Plaza de Independencia, stop by the Gaucho Museum next to the Plaza Fabini. What the museum lacks in exhibits it makes up for in a brief glimpse into of what must have been. By the grandeur of the internal organs of this dramatic 19th Century Franco Italian masterpiece complete with original plasterings, woodwork and ceilings one gets an idea of colonial Montevideo.


A few blocks beyond in the Plaza de Independencia with its imposing statue and mausoleum of the father of Uruguayan independence, Jose Artigas, gaze at the folly that comes in the shape of the Edificio Salvo, both once a hotel and South America’s tallest building, it now represents a fading decadence and has been split into private residences.


Catch a taxi from the Plaza de Independencia and head East up past the Centenario Stadium, home to Uruguay’s proud history as a founding father of the Latin American style of football, don’t stop and keep going to the Cerro at the far western end of Montevideo.

At 139m high this is no immense peak to scale. It is however the highest point in the city and the place from which the City gets its name. From here you can make out old the old town, the port, the new residential districts and the bustling downtown hub. The fortress here has some good information regarding the struggles for independence and the various factions that were involved in the tug of war for trade dominance in the region.


Before heading back downtown and while on this side of the city it would be well worth a trip to the Blanes Museum to see some of Uruguay’s greatest works of art housed in yet another astounding 19th century mansion.


A long lunch that extends late into the afternoon is of course de riguer. Cab it down the rambla boardwalk that extends along the waterfront of the city, passing the well preened sandy beaches of Ramirez, La Estacada and Los Pocitos until you reach the Puerto del Buceo alongside the Uruguay Yacht club. Feast on the freshly caught and prepared seafood at the friendly and unpretentious El Italiano restaurant.


A well deserved siesta is in order after a short stroll along the rambla. Recharge those batteries in preparation for the long afternoon and evening ahead.


It’s back to the Plaza de Independencia to take in the magnificence and decaying elegance of the Ciudad Vieja. The old centre and port area has been home to wealth and squalor since its conception. Consider that 5 years ago the streets were plagued by rabid dogs and piles of uncollected refuse, the gentrification and refurbishment has been astounding.

It’s a short stroll to the Plaza de la Constitucion, the oldest square in Montevideo and home to the Cathedral.


Continue past the chic boutiques, trendy loft conversions and avant-garde galleries along the Sarandi pedestrian area and downhill along Ituzaingo street for a well earned coffee at the Café Brasileiro for a taste of the old world. With high wooden paneled walls, mirrors and comfortable unstuffy atmosphere, the courteous waiters attend to a clientele who have possibly been frequenting this locale for the better part of their lives.


Two blocks on is the Plaza Zabala, so named after the founder of the city. Feed your inner shopaholic and buy from the painfully hip and original boutiques along the Sarandi. Check out the Neo Classical Teatro Solis and the arts and crafts stalls along the way. Be wary of the horse-drawn carts and bichicomes rag and bow men in this area, they stop for nobody.


Head back to your hotel for another break and rest period before the long night ahead of you. Have no fear, you will be returning to the stunning Ciudad Vieja as Montevideo’s fashionable nightlife happens here.


To dine lightly at the Mercado del Puerto is in itself an impossibility. Choose a restaurant from an array of high quality places, devour Uruguayan beef, soak up the live music of the dueling Gaucho guitarists and feel your stomach wince at the size of the favoured Uruguayan grill, including cuts of beef, blood sausage, chorizo, lamb, tripe and peppers.

2300 onwards

Before entering a club, pause along the side streets to see if a candombe drum group is practicing with the resonant chico, rapique or bajo drums. They should not be hard to find as the echoes and vibrations rock the very foundations of the Old Town. Dinner having settled, hit a local boliche or club to dance the night away Uruguayan style.

Montevideo Hotels


Becoming an Expat in Uruguay   by Lou Ross

Often overshadowed by Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is the jewel of South America. Here is information on moving to Uruguay.

A booming technology economy and temperate climate brings people from all walks of life and around the world to Uruguay. Moving to this diverse part of South America grants easy access to other large, popular destinations such as Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay, the second smallest country in South America boasts diversity and freedom unheard of in other South American cities. With a plan in mind, moving to Uruguay can be a rewarding and adventuresome move.

Casapueblo, Punta Del Este,UruguayAlthough professionals often consider Uruguay to have a middle economy, often unstable in times of trouble, participating in the right economic sector will insure your economic freedom. Because Uruguay depends heavily on exports, when demand is low, unemployment rises dramatically. Recently, unemployment rates have been as high as twenty percent. However, the technology industry is booming and shows hopeful growth for the future. Jobs in Agriculture are widely available, though often unstable. Tourism accounts for a large part of the Uruguay economy and provides many jobs. With everything from beachfront resorts to colonial towns, tourism is rampant in almost every part of Uruguay. Because English-speaking individuals are often hard to come by in Uruguay, they are in high demand as translators and private educators.

Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay boasts some of the most diverse and appealing aspects of Uruguay. With fine restaurants and an old-world European city style, this culturally broad city is alluring to many. Religious affiliations are separate from state and the Catholic faith is highly predominant in Uruguay. A large population of Europeans, mostly Spanish and Italian, make up the nearly three million person population. A background in the Spanish language is helpful when moving, as it is the predominant language spoken in Uruguay.

Most education in Uruguay is catered to local citizens in the native language. If moving, however, there are several private English schools, almost all located in Montevideo. Since English is not taught in most local schools, the youth and adults are often very excited to learn the American language, making tutoring positions and jobs widely available to American foreigners.

Many Americans that have previously relocated to Uruguay recommend taking a trip to visit before settling on moving. If you will be there for a relatively short time, many homeowners rent their houses or small apartments. Since there are several areas that are less affluent than others, be sure to do your research and find the best places to live.


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View the full list of Montevideo Hotels
Armon Suites, Montevideo  ****
Hotel offers a SPA for clients to unwind and opened till 11 pm, parking space is also available at Hotel for its guests.This is definitely one of the best properties in town.  Forty rooms, all very large, have air conditioning, small kitchen corner, internet connection, satellite tv and jacuzzi.Furniture are modern and comfortable.  Restaurant offers a wide variety of International dishes in an elegant atmosphere where quality and high level of service are a priority.
Balmoral Plaza, Montevideo  ****
This is a good quality Hotel with a very central location.  Fitness centre on the top floor.   All the rooms are modern and in very good condtion as are the bathrooms. Most rooms are medium in size with the remainder being large. Decor is modern throughout with light wood furnishings and greens preodominately used. The higher rooms have views overlooking the Montevideo skyline.  A blue colour scheme used throughout, the breakfast rooms is modern and located on the second floor
Belmont House, Montevideo  *****
This is an elegant Hotel which is ideal for both tourist and business travellers. Comfort and high level of service are a must.  All rooms are superbly decorated in a classical design. They are elegant and have all the comforts you would expect from a Hotel of this category. All rooms have nice views of the private internal garden.  The restaurant is very charming and elegant. Clients can try both National and International dishes.
Cala Di Volpe Hotel, Montevideo  ****
Hotel has a fitness centre perfect to relax after a stressful day, latest technology conference rooms and excellent service for all type of guests.  All rooms are modern in style equipped with all modern comfort and facilities expected from a Boutique Hotel of this category with great attention to details.All rooms have sea view and there are special rooms for honeymooners. Azzurro restaurant offers and excellent menu of both National and International cuisine, a great atmosphere with its windows overlooking the coast and outstanding service.
Days Inn Montevideo  **
Days Inn Montevideo assures the best relation between quality and price in the market, satisfying the lodging needs of businessmen and businesswomen, executives, technicians, retailers, professionals, and tourists in general.  Days Inn Montevideo is strategically located in the downtown area, meters away from the Obelisk,  across the street from the Tres Cruces Shopping Mall, very close to the Centennial Stadium, the most important avenue 18 de Julio, and other key city points. 
Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel, Montevideo  *****
Outstanding conference facilities plus an elegant casino and an exclusive spa. Executive floor features Complimentary Newspaper, breakfast and cocktails. All guest rooms in the new tower built in 1995 are equipped with a/c, minibar, hairdryer, silent valet TV and Cable, free nightly turn down service, computer and fax hook-ups, 24 hour complimentary HIGH SPEED internet access, International Direct Dialing and in-room voicemail. Arcadia restaurant located on the 25th floor with the best panoramic view from the Bay to Montevideo's Hill. It is the perfect combination of elegance, beautiful sights of the sea, the city, and the best international cuisine.
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View the full list of hotels in Punta del Este
Days Inn Brava, Punte del Este
Welcome to the Days Inn- Punta del Este. Our hotel is in the center of Punta del Este. It's near the port where people can take yachts to visit the two different islands we have here. Tourtist can choose between two kinds of beaches, the quiet on or the wavy one, both of them are two blocks from the hotel. A traditional visit is Casapueblo, it's owner is an important Uruguayan artist and his art gallery is famous. 
La Capilla Hotel, Punte del Este  ****
A comfortable and agreeable property open all year round. A typical colonial style property. The lobby is medium in size and modern in decor. It incorporates a separate lounge/ tv area and bar area. The reception is decorated with photos of the owner of this family run hotel and the famous stars who have stayed there.  All the rooms are medium in size and in good condition. Decor varies but they are traditional throughout.  Restaurant: Situated on the ground floor adjacent to the lounge area furnished in a conservatory style with local flora abounding and light wood furniture.  
Continue browsing hotels in Punta del Este