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).
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- Also Known As:
- El Mirador Hotel Colonia Del Sacramento
- El Mirador Hotel And Spa Uruguay/Colonia Del Sacramento