We were hugely relieved when we found this beautiful, charming hotel located on this idyllic hide-away lagoon away from the frenzied, distasteful sky-scraper building site that is Punta Del Este. In fact, if it wasn't we would have cancelled our booking and returned back to Buenos Aires where we had based ourselves before heading down to Antarctica.
Our room was bright and modern with a lakeview terrace where we could sit and watch the sun go down and see (and hear!) the amazing birdlife. Although early in the season, the weather was great and we were able to spend the day sunbathing and enjoying the pool which was spotless. Unfortunately that day there was construction work going on beside the pool which disturbed the peace so our timing wasn't perfect!
The staff were friendly and very helpful but the food was a let down. Breakfast was a lack-lustre affair and the lunch/dinner menu was very limited such that we felt we had exhausted the entire menu over our 2 night stay and, at that, the quality of what we did order was poor. We hoped to taste the best of what Uruguay had to offer as the US$ prices were quite high compared to Buenos Aires but the steak was tough and over-cooked with a very heavy sauce, and the hamburger meat was low quality with too many toppings. The pasta dish was stodgy and tasted like it was re-heated.
Setting aside the food quality which the hotel can do something about, the overall ambience and location of the hotel is outstanding. The lake and skies were almost mystical as the colours ranged throughout the day. I would certainly recommend this hotel but we will not return to this region of Uruguay as Punta Del Este reminded us of the worst building excesses of parts of Spain.
I'd also like to warn visitors on the way to Punta Del Este about a roadside family-run shack/bar/restaurant halfway between Montevideo and Punta Del Este called "Pallidad Los Carlitos" located in La Tuna by the River Tuna about 70ks from MV. We saw smoke from a chimney and a few cars parked out front and pulled in. The young owner and his wife were cooking chorizo sausages and ribs on the fire and there were a few tourists and locals seated around. There was no menu and no price list. At the owner's suggestion, we ordered the lunch of the day which was hearty and rustic. We had a simple salad of lettuce/tomato/onions followed by the ribs/sausage and chips, followed by a local dessert which tasted like stewed dates. We also had a pepsi and a water followed by coffees. We only had Argentinian pesos on us as we were advised. However, the owner charged us what turned out to be €66 ($80) for this simple lunch! We expected the bill to be about €20/$25 max. It was a complete rip-off and we were too tired/confused with multi-currency conversions to realise just how badly the owner ripped us off until we got to our hotel and checked prevailing exchange rates for the Uruguayan peso (which changes dramatically be the day - ignore the rates found on google!). I'll also write a restaurant review of this experience but because the building was a little shack on the roadside I'm not sure whether this will count but PLEASE ask for the price list first and make sure you know the true cost in your currency before ordering anything! This experience was a real shame as we were delighted to have this friendly lunch by the roadside until we were taken advantage of so badly. Maybe the hotel owners in Punta Del Este could have a word with people who abuse tourists in this way as this is bad for business.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A true art gallery, Hotel del Lago Golf & Art Resort is located next to a willow lagoon and beautiful golf courses. Part of The Chic Collection hotels & resorts group, Hotel del Lago has 10 tennis courts, a large outdoor swimming pool with wet bar and waterfall, heated pool, recreational areas and spa treatments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Punta Del Este
- Barcelo Del Lago
- Hotel Del Lago Golf & Art Resort Uruguay/Punta Ballena