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.