I love art hotels. Hotels — and cafés — are the perfect place to highlight local art and get lots of eyes on beautiful pieces. I don’t understand why more hotels don’t showcase art and support the arts scene.
At Colonia Suite Art B&B — which is both a hotel and a café — the walls are full of paintings, both by owner Fred Liniado and others. The B&B is a magnet for the local arts scene. During our visit we were charmed by poet Eugenio Polisky, in town from Buenos Aires to do a poetry reading at the Argentine consulate (he has two beautiful books with English translations, available at bookshops in Buenos Aires and via mail order). If you love supporting and being exposed to the arts, you’ll love Colonia Suite Art.
The B&B has just four rooms, as well as a sitting area with art books and indoor and outdoor dining areas. The biggest guest room is decorated to honour artist Jean Miro; another pays homage to Frida Kahlo. The suite has a wood-burning stove and a balcony overlooking the garden, where the bungalow — where we stayed — sits amongst the greenery.
The bungalow has a thatched roof protecting natural brick walls, giving a seaside cottage-y feel, which made sense given we were just a few blocks from what feels like the sea (though it is actually the Rio de la Plata, the widest river in the world). A more luxurious stay is in one of the three rooms in the main house.
We arrived feeling warm in the height of South American summer. But there was chilled water waiting for us in the mini fridge in the kitchen area of our bungalow. The air conditioning cooled the room almost immediately and we soon felt ready to go exploring the town of Colonia.
Later after our long walk, a spectacular sunset with passionfruit cocktails, and a typically late Uruguayan dinner, we fell into the queen bed with its soft sheets. We took our breakfast the next day in the garden. We could have lingered for hours over the delicious Illy coffee, fresh juice, pastries, breads, cheeses and charcuterie; and then enjoyed the light lunch and sweets served later in the day when the café opened.
Whimsy. It’s the only way to describe this little hotel in the heart of Colonia.
Posadita de la Plaza started as a photo gallery, but owner, photographer and artist Eduardo Alvares Boszko keeps expanding it as it grows in popularity.
You enter through the gallery at street front. The gallery reflects the personality and taste of Eduardo. His beautiful photographs are along the walls and everywhere else you’ll find his eclectic collages and collections. Eduardo loves conversation and you’ll be delighted with his stories of life in Colonia, his native Brazil and of his travels.
The hotel has four rooms, one in the same building as the gallery, and three out back through an art-filled garden with a small plunge pool (which helps beat the significant summer heat). There are a few lounge chairs and tables in the garden area, as well as more of Eduardo’s collections.
The rooms are more subtly decorated than the public spaces, but also have touches of whimsy. Ours featured vinyl records on the wall and black and white palm trees, as well as a comfortable bed with crisp sheets, mini-fridge, flat screen TV with DIRECTV and DVD player, safe, A/C, plus an immense closet covered in vintage newspaper ads. The bathroom was light-filled and spacious with a large shower space (duel-headed) and big sink (I’d love this bathroom at home!)
Breakfast is served in a room off the gallery, with Eduardo, as he says, “searching for excellence in simplicity”. The breakfast — including fresh juice, warm bread with French jam and dulche de leche, Nespresso, ham, cheese and yogurt — is so large you won’t have room at your table for everything at the same time.
Leave time during your stay to browse through Eduardo’s photography prints to take home a unique memory of beautiful Colonia.
Alma Histórica is one of those rare hotels that just makes you happy. The hotel is thoughtfully designed and beautifully decorated, staff are kind and take care to ensure your stay is wonderful.
In the heart of Montevideo’s historical centre, the boutique hotel is ideally located for exploring Montevideo’s stunning architecture and incredible food scene. The hotel is at the corner of a pretty city park, and you’re just a couple minutes’ stroll to the Rambla waterfront and Sarandi pedestrian street.
This 15-room boutique hotel has a strong commitment to Uruguayan art and culture. The building was an old family house, carefully restored and renovated. Original wood floors and tiles were kept wherever possible and laid in the new building. Antique furniture is featured throughout, and at breakfast you’ll enjoy your breakfast, including Pilar’s perfect omelettes, on beautiful mismatched china.
The hotel promotes the artistic history of Montevideo and Uruguay. Each room is named after a different artist and decorated accordingly. My room — appropriately, named after writer Don Horacio — even has an old Underwood typewriter. Little artistic details are everywhere. Up the beautiful staircase in the library, I fell in love with artist Hugo Alonso’s sculptures fashioned from intricately folded old books.
Each room at Alma Histórica is unique. You can choose pillows from their pillow collection, and they’ll be encased in the 320 thread count Egyptian cotton linens. Bathrooms are large and modern, featuring hand-made amenities. Rooms have a safe, minibar, tv and desk; superior rooms and suites have more room, sitting areas, and some have balconies.
On the building’s roof terrace — a perfect place for a marriage proposal — you can watch the sun sink into the Rio de la Plata while enjoying cocktails or fabulous Uruguayan wine. There’s a hot tub up here too (though during our stay it was a better temperature for a sunny afternoon rather than evening soak).
Alma Histórica is a hotel where culture, hospitality, art, history, and unique experiences are important. You’ll love your stay here.
You might not have ever tasted Uruguyan wine. You might not even know much about it, given the South American wine giants of Argentina and Chile. This is something you should remedy.
You can do just that at My Suites Montevideo.
At My Suites they’re passionate about wine. Each floor is named after an Uruguay winery. The hotel has wine tastings from Tuesdays to Saturdays in the dining room, where you can sit beneath a wall of wine bottles from across this lovely country, each with a signature and a story. We ate a delicious dinner at My Suites, and I was surprised to learn how much I enjoy Uruguayan tintos (reds), especially the very purple tannats. We also sampled some very fine Uruguayan extra virgin olive oils (Colinas de Garzón in particular) — sorry, Italy and Spain, you have competition!
Just a few blocks from one of Monetvideo’s longest beaches, My Suites is a spacious modern hotel which caters to the needs of both the short- and long-term traveller. Staff are friendly with good attention to service.
The hotel’s 40 suites are huge and feature little extras which maximize your comfort and enjoyment. For example, the summer South American sun is very powerful, but My Suites provides blackout blinds and sunshades that you can raise or lower at the touch of a button (don’t forget to close them if you leave for the day or you’ll create a big job for your air conditioner). Our king suite had a big leather chair — perfect for watching a movie, but perhaps too comfortable for the soccer match that was on screen. Rooms all have a microwave, fridge and minibar, lots of closet space, a desk and sitting area.
My Suites’ top floor has a well-equipped gym and a small outdoor pool with views out to the Rio de la Plata. If you feel like a swim rather than a dip, borrow a beach towel and walk two blocks to the Playa de los Pocitos. The white sand is ideal for strolling or sunbathing, and the gentle waves beckon.