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“Viva the 70'....”

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El Mirador Hotel and Spa
Reviewed 24 March 2011

I booked the hotel as part of a weekend trip with BUQUEBUS, the ferry and travel agency in Buenos Aires. Goal was to see a little bit of Colonia and being able to relax a bit at the same time. As my Spanish is not extremely good and I am vegetarian (which still is a bigger problem at some places), I first wanted to go to a 5*-hotel. As the three 5*-hotels in Colonia all had no vacancies on that weekend, I choose the El Mirador, being the only 4*-hotel in town (or, at least in BUQUEBUS' offer).

The hotel is situated eight blocks away from the city center, so it still is in a walking distance. Next to the hotel, there is a shopping mall (probably the only one in Colonia). The hotel is built in a 70' hotel complex style you also find all around the Mediteranean.

First thing I noticed when I checked in was that the staff did not speak English at all. This is so far no problem as, having booked a travel arrangement, I didn't have to talk a lot with the receptionist. On the way to my room I noticed that it seems like to hotel is trying to develop the Spa part a little bit more (you see the swimming area, massage offers, the cosmetics boutique,...).

The only thing that changed in my room since it was built in the early 70' was the telephone (early 90'), the A/C and the TV (no flat TV - a normal one from the mid 90'). One thing they probably did not change since then were the light bulbs, as they didn't work. To be honest, I was a little disappointed about the room - it was less the kind of 4*-experience I expected and more the style of a Eastern European hotel that was built during cold war to get western money....

There was a WIFI-network in my room that came from the hotel (and it even was for free), but unfortunately, it didn't connect with the internet. Luckily, the neighbor seemed to have a pretty strong WIFI-router, so I was able to surf for some minutes.

The pool area outside on the other hand was quite nice. Also there, it did not feel like they replaced the infrastructure for the last 30 years, but it seems like outdoor aging is perceived more as remembering the good old time (I know from good and bad hollywood films)than as bad style.

As dinner was included, I went to the dining hall around 9 pm. Again there, I had to learn that none of the waiters spoke a word of English. I tried to explain that I am vegetarian and - as there was nothing vegetarian on the menu - I assembled a veggie course out the other dishes they were offering (this is by the way normally also a good way to find out if a cuisine just reheats food or really cooks - and it is appreciated by most of the restaurants that do not offer a vegetarian alternative). The waiter agreed to my choice, so I went to the buffet for the starter and was looking forward to eat som pasta with cream tomato sauce.

Unfortunately, nothing happened. After 90 mins, I noticed that the waiter started to avoid my table. After 120 mins, I saw that the waiter was pointing towards my table and explained something to his supervisor (it looked like he was telling him that I ordered vegetarian food and it did not arrive from the kitchen, yet). After 150 mins - everyone else already left the restaurant and they have already taken away the starters and desserts buffet, I then tried to ask when I can expect to get my main course (in Spanish...). He then explained me that the kitchen was already closed. After I insisted he confirmed that I have ordered something and that this really is not a 4*-service, but it was only his third day. Disappointingly, he did not offer me another alternative and the small bottle of wine was charged to my room (at least, I would have expected that that bottle would be for free...).

Breakfast the next morning was self-service and was quite okay. The buffet was filled with many different cakes and tartes and some cheese and scrambled eggs (and meat...). The day, I spent outside next to the pool.

When I checked out in the afternoon, I felt that it would not make sense to complain in my very poor Spanish, so I just paid the bottle of wine that was charged to my room and left the hotel.

(this was by the way an excellent choice, as the old town of Colonia really offers a lot - not only to see, but also nice restaurants, cafés and ice cream shops).

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank swiss_guy82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 27 of 474 reviews

Reviewed 8 May 2008

Well... I went with my boyfriend for a romatinc get away....we're from Argentina, so it was very close to us....our principal idea was to go to other hotels... but the only one aviable was this one...(we booked with no time :S)

The hotel has its own combi so they pick you up when you arrive from Buquebus...

The check in was quick and nice...we were given a room with no sight, so we ask for a change, and no problem!

the room es very confortable and warm....the food in the breackfast and dinner, very good, and VERY NICE ATENTION from the personal.....

the pool is nice, but it was cold!

for now, all PROS...the onli CONS....it's a little far away from the historical center, and the main streets....

advisable!!!

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  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank dafnu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2007

Our room on the top floor had a great little balcony and panoramic views of the town and river. It was a five-minute walk into historic Colonia, just far enough outside town to avoid any tourist crowds. (Though we were there in winter, so thankfully the crowds were few.)

The room was cozy and clean. The staff were very friendly and helpful, considering our Spanish skills amounted to very few words. There is also a brand new indoor pool that looked very inviting. And the restaurant is a great option for those nights when you don't feel like leaving the hotel.

The hotel is a five-minute walk from the Buquebus (the high-speed ferry to Buenos Aires). They also have a van that will take you there and pick you up.

As two women traveling alone, we always felt safe in the hotel and walking around Colonia. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank slsnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2006

My husband and I were in BA last December 05 and wanted to get out of the city for New Years Eve "like most locals" ... we heard some good things about Colonia and decided it was close enough that we made arrangements on the fly through Bouquebus. It was a few hours by boat to Uruguay and sounded like a good way to relax towards the end of our trip. The trip was all inclusive ... boat ride, transportation from the boat to the hotel, meals, and even a city tour in English. Well ... you get what you pay for.
The boat ride was actually kind of fun. The transportation from the bus was a hectic as they weren't very organized, but we managed to get to the hotel. The hotel was a bit frightening.
The facilities are on the older side, the rooms are small and not very nice at all. The bathrooms were as basic as basic gets, with very poor water pressure.
Our room was on the second floor and the hotel didn't have an elevator ... so they had to carry our lugguage on their backs up the stairs. The outdoor pool was large, but also on the older side. The pool chairs were those straight out of the 70's ... if you managed to get one and not sit on the grass.
The meals at the hotel not very good at all. Breakfast was very basic. Dinner was cold and bland ... lot's of cheese on everything. The service was lacking.
The hotel was located close to the town, probably a 15 minute walk, but there was nothing else around ... so bring a book, or two.
Overall, I would say ... if you can get another hotel ... do it. If you're stuck ... it's okay, if you close your eyes to most of the details.
ps. Most of the staff at this hotel does not speak English ... but will struggle to help you out.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank saphireinto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2006

i actually enjoyed this hotel quite a bit, the indoor swimming pool was pretty big, the staff very friendly, the restaurant way above average, sure, it is not the waldorf or the delano but it is still good

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled solo
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7  Thank peterhelms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2006

We booked this hotel through "Buquebus" (their staff recommended it highly) but I must say it's not for the winter season.

The hotel lacks central heating, there are small and noisy hot/cold air conditioners in every room. As a result, hallways, restaurant and lobby are freezing cold and in our first room we didn't get enough heat from the AC so they had to change us to another.

Also, don´t go for the "Spa". The Spa is actually a very nice indoor pool and a (hallway) separated sauna room, but incredibly there is no changing room near them, just toilets, so I don´t think anyone has ever used the sauna (imagin' yourself going out sweating and back dripping in the open hallway). The hotel is pretty big so walking from your room in a robe to the pool is also painfull in such low temperatures.

The walk to the barrio historico is 20+ minutes long (nice if you like walking and is a fine day) but if it is windy, very cold or rainy you will regret not being in a posada.

Finally, the restaurant is totally overpriced for such small dishes.

This might be a nice place to stay in summer (with the nice grounds, tennis courts and outdoor pool), but in winter I would definitely recommend staying in a downtown posada.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Diego_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Facundo V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Mirador Hotel and Spa

Address: Av. Roosevelt 381, Colonia del Sacramento 70000, Uruguay
Region: Uruguay > Colonia Department > Colonia del Sacramento
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Colonia del Sacramento
Price Range: £89 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Mirador Hotel and Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 102
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Mirador Hotel Colonia Del Sacramento
El Mirador Hotel And Spa Uruguay/Colonia Del Sacramento

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