Hotels in Punta del Este


Except in the stormy and chilly winter months, Punta del Este is simply unmissable – and a trip in season does not need to break the bank.

Inexpensive chalet-style accommodation can be found along the series of beaches from Piriápolis to Punta del Este proper, in the heart of the peninsula of Punta del Este, and also inland (although many of the resort's most luxurious options are also away from the beach).

Be aware that prices can be sky-high on New Year's Eve and during the first two weeks in January. You will need to book your room several months in advance if you are planning to visit at this time. February is a little less busy (and therefore a little less expensive) and after Easter it's very much a buyer's market, irrespective of the category of hotel. If you are coming out of season we recommend you call around to get a good deal.

Geographically, by the way, Punta del Este (simply "Punta" to its aficionados) is increasingly taken to be not just the town around the promontory that gives the resort its name, but the whole stretch of coast from the rocky and often windswept Punta Ballena in the west, to the exclusive, well-heeled former fishing village of José Ignacio 40 km away to the east.

We list here our favourite lodging picks in Punta del Este. Most qualify as boutique hotels; indeed two of them are recipients of UruguayNow awards: L'Auberge wins Best Boutique Hotel in Punta for 2010, and the Posada Aldilá heads our Best-Value Boutique Hotel category. For details of Punta's landmark Conrad Resort & Casino, meanwhile, please refer to our main feature on Punta del Este.

Look out for budget accommodation listings, and practical money-saving tips, in the next edition of UruguayNow. It will be out in good time for the 2011 summer season.

Unsurprisingly, Punta has restaurants of all price categories, too. The least expensive tend to be on and around Calle Gorlero, the main drag on the peninsula, where you can also find fast food options and simple sandwich shops. There are also some good (for Punta) deals at the informal beach bars on Playa Mansa which cater primarily for families. More expensive are the restaurants clustered near the marina on the sheltered west-facing side of the peninsula. The spectacular sunsets over pine-covered Gorriti Island are another good reason to check out the options in this area, although most holidaymakers dine hours after the sun goes down – even in high summer.

The town's most expensive eateries of all are in a different price category to anything currently available in Montevideo. Jean-Paul Bondoux's La Bourgogne, for instance, can easily run to US$400 per couple for dinner, and more if you choose an exceptional wine.