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“Asylum Argentino”

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Argentino Hotel Casino & Resort
Ranked #3 of 23 Hotels in Piriapolis
Reviewed 11 December 2012

This grand old hotel's days of glory have come and gone. It could be really cool if it were fixed up, but sadly it is malodorous, dirty, dark, creepy, and seems it was last updated in the 1960's/70's. One gets the feeling that they just can barely afford to keep the hotel going, and that it has been slowly deteriorating over the decades, and thus out of desperation they are charging an exorbitant price to stay here. The rooms and facilities would need a prohibitively expensive overhaul to bring this up to the level of even just being comfortable and clean. We overlooked the outrageous price of US $200/night (which was $30 more than our beautiful beachfront boutique hotel in La Barra/Punte del Este) and decided to stay here because we thought it would be interesting due to its classic vintage luxury and its location in a smaller, more humble beach town. This was by far the worst quality and most expensive hotel we stayed at during our trip to Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Uruguay beaches.

The building is grand and has some beautiful architectural features, but these do not make for a comfortable stay. The carpet in the hallways was old, dirty, and stained. Many of the rooms sit vacant with old dirty mattresses drug out in to the hallway, light bulbs in the hallways that are burnt out, and there is an enormous amount of vacant space and eerily old furniture, both that of the 1970's and from earlier periods, in the hotel common areas that makes one feel like they are staying in the lodge in the movie "The Shining". We felt like we were staying in an insane asylum from the early-mid 20th century, or in an old decrepit funeral home. The room smelled stale, like the faint scent of urine odor one notices in a hospital or nursing home. The mattress was very old, thin, uncomfortable, and the sheets were threadbare and stained from decades of use. The bed had only a thin, cotton blanket, which was sufficient because it turned out the rooms had no air conditioning. It looked like they may also have no central heat, as there were portable electric space heaters in the rooms. The bathroom was last updated in the 70's, and had not been well-cleaned. The shower tile had grime, hair, and sludge in the corners, and an old electric ventilation unit inside the shower that vented the steam into the hallway of the hotel. Other rooms had bathroom windows that opened into the hallway...which is not a great situation for the experience of passersby. Junky crusty small towels and an ashtray on the bedside table (even though it is illegal to smoke indoors in Uruguay) added some class.

The "spa" advertisements had photos from the 1960's that showed people wrapped in strange full-body vinyl accessories that looked like giant blood pressure cuffs and other obsolete medical-appearing equipment, and various pictures of people lying in bubble baths with tubes and electric panels with dials connected to them...so we skipped the spa. The outdoor pool and garden were pretty, but they told us we could not go in the pool because it had not been cleaned, and would not be open until the weekend. There was some old dangerous and broken play structure equipment for children, complete with a splintering wooden slide. The on-site casino had a handful of elderly people sitting at the slot machines with buckets of change, but nothing else going on.

The Piriapolis itself is interesting for a 1-2 day trip, but it is extremely windy at this beach and thus we were unable to open the windows in the room. There were also no screens, so bugs were also a problem with the windows open. The area has very few restaurant options, as most of those we read about had been closed. The restaurant that we did go to was awful. The hotel restaurant seemed vacant, huge, and sketchy, so we skipped the breakfast and didn't try anything from there.

Lonely Planet mentioned that the hotel even had an ice rink, and we were disappointed to learn that it was now gone. The beach town also used to have a chairlift up a hill from which you could see a view, and this was also broken down and no longer in use.

All in all, we had an uncomfortable stay and the service was minimal. We felt like we might have been better off staying in a hostel in this town, as none of the other local hotels looked much better from the outside. However, the price was just outrageous for the location and condition of the hotel, maybe if it were US $50 we would have just taken it for what it was and felt better about staying there.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Erin699
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2012

it is a pity that such a superb art deco restauration has been done at 2/3 only. the Argentino hotel is a ticket to the past, the vitraux of the luxury staircase is amazing, the restaurant with windows facing the ocean is simply a piece of the 20s available today. however the rooms need a wise and complete upgrade. having said that, the pools with the warm salty water of the ocean are unforgettable.

Room Tip: those facing the ocean of course are the very best
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Raul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2011

If you look for a place in Piriapolis, this looks like the place to be.....well it isn't! The hotel is really old and you can see it and smell it! If you like 100 schoolchilderen next to you room on a camp, it is the place for you....

The price of €110 per night is really too much.
Except for the location, I wouldnt choose this hotel.

In the last 6 weeks travelling in S-America this has been the worst and one of the most expensive one....

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank Yiorgos81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2011

A hotel lost in the past... terrible service and very poor amenities and rooms

  • Stayed: January 2011
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1  Thank Mariana-romani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2010

I decided to stay at a hotel casino at Piriapolis after watching a cult movie called "Whisky". I wanted some of that late sixties air... We arrived by bus from Montevideo and the hotel was so close to the bus station that we decided to walk instead of taking a cab. We had very little baggage, it's true. We were promptly welcomed by the hotel staff and taken into our room. When I first made the reservation I asked for a room with sea view but, I was told that I'd only get a room with a side view of the beach...oh well that'd be enough for my tight budget... But surprise! Notwithstanding I was taken into a room righ in front of the beach! the most breathtaking view of Piriápolis beach. At night I could place a seat at the balcony and spend the most relaxing hours looking at the waves and listening to the soothing sound of the sea. I had wrap myself in a coat because it was really cold but worth it. So beautiful it was that I have taken a photo which is my pc wallpaper now. I had to personally thank Ms. Mariana Camacho for the choice of the room but wasn't so lucky to meet her at the hotel. The hotel is very beautiful. It is huge and the ceilings are so high! I see many people complaining that the hotel is old and that many things are worn out. I agree that somethings are actually worn out but, being an antique is what made this place so charming for me. The room was very spacious. It was divided into two rooms with beds in both of them for the guests to chose which one suited them best. It didn't have air conditioning but It had oil heaters for the rooms and ceiling fans. However the weather was so nice we didn't need either of them. It was rather cold outside but the room was naturally warm and cozy. The furniture suits the antique looks of the hotel which may be deceptive for the lovers of futuristic decoration. I loved it. We attended a guided visit of the hotel led by an incredible man who seemed to know by heart every little historic detail about the hotel and the life of Francisco Piria (founder of the city, former owner of the hotel) however if you're not into historic detailed explanations you should skip it for the visit itself is just a history class with a rather poor slide presentation. We had breakfast at the hotel cafeteria which for me was ok and with a dazzling view of the Rambla de los Argentinos. Although it is far from the quality of breakfasts of Brazilian Hotels I can't complain about it. The hotel has swimming pools with warm sea water. It is a very nice experience and we spent a lot of time there. I had been told that uruguaian men wear only shorts at the beaches and at swimming pools. I had brought only baithing suits and I wore them. I had no problems besides some old guys staring at me (maybe they found me attractive lol). By the way, the other guests at the hotel were a couple with a small child and a few other childless old couples. They seemed pretty cold people for me. In Brazil, we usually give people a head nod at the very least when we don't know them but they were silent people and that was wonderful. The casino was way boring for me and after spending three 10 pesos coins I left the place. Instead I stayed at the hotel lobby near the cafeteria where a guy was playing a sax so nice... The hotel staff is incredibly efficient. We couldn't rent a car so We asked Ms. Luana to help us and she promptly made the deal for us by phone. I have to praise her promptness and efficiency. We had a computer at the lobby which had internet access and was very handy. Well considering my expectances the stay was a very pleasing one. Yet, Piriapolis at spring is a wonderful place for those seeking some rest like myself.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank UNDTRIPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2006

I spent a week at the Argentino in Feb 2006 - It was summer there and the place was packed with families with children - a bit noisy at breakfast! I enjoyed the place but its NOT for those looking for 21st century amenities. Its one of those huge old destination resorts where people went for large blocks of time in the summer back in the old days. The halls are 18 feet wide! Elevators old but functional. The building itself is an incredible concrete monolith. Like vacationing at an old State mental hospital. Bedrooms are a bit spartan - large with high ceilings and dated wooden furniture. We sprung for a "Senior" room which had air conditioning (most rooms are not air-cinditioned). The AC was a most insufficient noisy through-the-wall unit. However there are constant breezes off the water (location is right on the Rambla facing the beach) and after the first night we turned the wheezing unit off and opened the huge windows. If you open the transom over the door you get a powerful steady air current through the room as the hotel keeps the enormous hallway windows open at all times. Meals were OK, except in the main DR which was too crowded and noisy for my taste - check out the wonderful grill room in the back of the property beyond the pool - nightly entertainment. The freshwater and salt water pools behind the hotel are surrounded by lawns with plenty of trees for shade, if you want it. This is a family oriented resort - lots of room for kids to run around and organized activities daily. They also have nightly cultural offerings - guitar concerts, poetry readings, a book discussion etc. In Spanish of course. Overall I liked the stay here and I liked being someplace clearly different than what we usually experience.

The town is small - there is a wide sandy beach in a crescent shape. There is an arial tram to the top of San Antonio Hill with good views of the area. Many small restaurants along the Rambla if you get bored of hotel food.

SB Philadelphia

  • Stayed: February 2006, travelled with friends
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12  Thank LU722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2006

I stayed at the Argentino Hotel in Piriapolis in February, 2006. Fortunately, we only stayed for 3 days. It was awful! Even when we rented one of the "recently renewed rooms" and one of the most expensive room in the hotel.

The building resembled a public house or a hospital: very tall ceilings; huge corridors, with no furniture; floors were old and damaged, elevators were old and did not work properly.
Rooms were not well appointed. In those rooms that were "renewed", small TVs were placed on some iron-made tables which, certainly, had nothing to do with the old fashioned style of the hotel. This was just one more detail that showed the poor quality of the hotel. There were no blankets available: just some small ones, similar to airplanes blankets.

Bathrooms´ windows faced the corridors, so you could hear noises from the bathrooms when you were walking the 150 m corridor that stood between your room and the elevators. Regarding "renewed" bathrooms, pls expect some renewal from the 70´s, nothing after that. Hot water was missing sometimes. The quality of towels and soaps was really poor! Not even in some cheap budget hotels I had found stuff like this.
Pools were ok, even when they needed extra maintenance ( painting and some other details were missing).
Breakfast was ok, nothing great but not bad.
By night, there was a live music show that gave some fresh air to the overall depressive hotel.

The exterior of the hotel is impressive: it looks really nice. Unfortunately, the interior is not quite the same.
I found no better hotel at Piriapolis: the whole city lacks a good tourist infrastructure. Just budget hotels. Caffes and restaurants were also modest and did not seem very clean.
Beaches were good.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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38  Thank Sil2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Argentino Hotel Casino & Resort

Address: Rambla de los Argentinos s/n, Piriapolis 20200, Uruguay
Region: Uruguay > Maldonado Department > Piriapolis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Piriapolis
#2 Spa Hotel in Piriapolis
Price Range: £84 - £218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Argentino Hotel Casino & Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 356
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
¨ Nice Weather all year long ¨ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Argentino Hotel Piriapolis

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