Yes, it’s a chain hotel, but don’t let that put you off. The Aloft opened in September 2017 — not just as a hotel, but also a sign of change in Montevideo. Long seen as the dowdy sibling to full-throttle Buenos Aires, visitors are waking up to the Uruguayan capital’s art deco architecture, laidback vibe (cannabis is legal), cultural history (tango was born here, not in Argentina, locals insist), and beautiful beaches. Housed in a glass-fronted towerblock near the beach in posh Punta Carretas, the hotel’s 108 rooms have a slick, youthful feel. It has a rooftop bar, 15th floor indoor swimming pool, the W Xyz bar and Re:Fuel snack bar. Doubles from £93, B&B.
Part upmarket B&B, part hotel, this renovation of a belle epoque building whirls you back to Montevideo’s turn-of-the-century heyday. Rooms are dressed in antiques, and a first-floor lounge is filled with books. Doubles from £119, room only.
Splendido Petit Hotel
‘Hotel’ doesn’t begin to describe this place. Is it a shabby-chic hotel? An upmarket fleapit? A bit of both? Any which way, it’s glorious. En suite rooms are filled with both dark-wood antiques and 1970s kitsch. Doubles from £30, room only.
Italian owner Roberto Begnini has stamped his mark on this five-room maison d’hôtes. Everything in the hotel’s available to buy, while the restaurant, Delicatessen, brings a taste of Italy to Uruguay. Doubles from £89, B&B.
Published in the April 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)