When we arrived, we were excited about this hotel. The reception area is very modern, and fairly similar to other boutique hotels we've stayed at; there is a media area, and a waterfall (from the pool!) and green spaces inside, so it feels good to be there. The man who checked us in was very nice, very welcoming, and his English was great.
When we arrived at our room, things started to change. First of all, the room was very hot when we arrived, because apparently 80% of their power is solar, so they try not to waste. Well, it's nice that they are friendly to the environment, but it is awfully uncomfortable to try to settle in to a hot room after a long drive. The air conditioning worked, but slowly.
We were very disappointed to discover that our room didn't have a fridge. None of the rooms do, they told us. This was a problem for us, because we eat kind of a difficult diet, so it is important to us to be able to bring our own food along. We had a leaky cooler which we placed in our shower. The problem was worse because this hotel also has no ice machines or ice buckets. In the morning my husband had to go to a gas station to buy bags of ice.
There was also no wired Internet connection, only the wifi, and that wasn't a big deal, but inconvenient, because my husband's computer has some problems with wifi. We didn't expect or require a wired connection, but it would have been nice. On the other hand, the room DID have an Argentina-type outlet, so I think that would be a very convenient bonus for those visiting from Argentina.
There were other more basic things, like, there was no information in the room. Usually hotels have a little book to let you know basic things like where to get pool towels, and when to check out, and some suggestions for nearby restaurants. Most boutique hotels have a very fancy cute little book, and most cheap motels have a plastic card with the same information. This room just left you wondering.
Then there was the issue of the room key. The room key was attached to a card that had to be inserted to power the lights and air conditioning. I understand the idea behind this is to save electricity, and that is fine, but the problem was that we had only one of these keys. So, when my husband went to get our luggage, or went to get ice in the morning, or when I went to breakfast without him, you can't take a key with you and come back or you leave the other person without power. It was kind of awkward, because when I was asleep in the morning, I wasn't awake to open the door for my husband when he came back, but he couldn't leave me without cool air on a hot day, so he just had to wait until I woke up. It seemed unnecessary and inconvenient.
The "boutique" feeling that is present in the entry and shared areas is totally absent from the room. Usually boutique hotels have a lot of extra details: little decorations that make the rooms feel very homey and fresh...but our room didn't even have a rug, let alone extra pretty blankets or decorations (except for one wild painting on the wall). Obviously with no fridge there were no snacks available for purchase from the room, but there was also no restaurant there, and no book with recommendations. It just felt really empty, and not special or warm or welcoming in the room the way that other boutique hotels are. There were also no supplied amenities except for ones from dispensers in the shower. Not a big deal, but just definitely the absolute minimum. Our soap dispenser was also super hard to use (it was a pump one that you had to push and it didn't go down), which I know sounds petty, but it's just all about the details.
The pool was a little cool, but otherwise nice. The whole thing is quite deep so it did not work well for our baby. But it was okay. The pool area is pretty and pleasant.
I slept well. I thought the beds were comfortable. There were light-blocking curtains and separate, sheer privacy curtains so that was good.
In the morning, the breakfast was really disappointing. As I mentioned, we're eating a very restrictive diet, which we try to plan for, but usually--and especially at boutique hotels--we can eat a variety of different things. There was a large assortment of baked goods, little cakes and stuff...it didn't look fresh or homemade or anything like that, but if you just want a bunch of sugar to start your day, you'll have about 15 different options. There were also cereals. If you want a healthy option that doesn't have sugar, grain, or milk, you're left with a dish of fruit that is unripe. Except the watermelon, which was fine. There was some sad looking ham and sweaty cheese on a platter, and we ate a bit of that. There was something wrong with the orange juice. So we ate a slice of watermelon, a gulp of "juice" and part of a slice of ham. There was a breakfast attendant in the kitchen adjoining the dining area, but she didn't welcome us, or offer any special breakfast services, or even really reply when I greeted her. We left to search the town for somewhere that was open for breakfast.
We were not having the relaxing experience that we had hoped for, so we decided we were not really interested in staying another night.
We packed up our stuff and told the lady at the front that we wanted to check out. She told us sorry, but they were going to charge us for another night, because it was their policy that you cannot cancel less than 72 hours before the reservation. She was willing to offer us a voucher for us to use our night another time, which we didn't want. Okay, well, I can understand why they would have that policy, because of course it is not nice to reserve a room and prevent others from reserving it, and then leave them with a vacancy, but we had BOOKED it less than 72 hours before we checked in, and we had paid EXTRA for a refundable rate. The lady was really confused, and she said that she couldn't understand why we would want to leave because nobody ever had wanted to leave early before. (Really?) We mentioned some of the problems with no fridge, and with our special diet, and she kind of blamed us, saying that none of the rooms have fridges (well, I don't care, that just means that none of them will work for us), and then she said that we should have told them that we had a special diet because for grain free they have a special sugar free marmalade (? to put on bread that we don't eat?) and they can make eggs (THAT would have been nice to know) if we had told them that we had a special diet. We didn't see anything being cooked differently, so we just didn't know. She said she would call someone, and the result of the call was that she still wanted to charge us for both nights. So we said okay, well, charge the card you already have on file, and we will just dispute the charge, I guess. She wanted us to give her a new card and to sign for a new charge, which we were not going to agree to, so she said she could call the owner to come meet with us. She did call him, and asked if he could come in to talk to us, and after that call she said that he must have been in a good mood that day, because he had agreed to give us a free night. Meaning, we wouldn't have to pay for the following night that we were not going to be there for anyway, which we had only recently reserved as a non-final reservation. Ooookay. Thanks. She apologized for the moment, saying policies are policies, and she is just an employee. So we paid for our one night and went home. It was definitely the most awkward checkout we've ever had. And it isn't even like we were trying to not pay for our frustrating night that we did stay there--we just didn't want to pay double for one frustrating night!
Overall, if we hadn't had such an awkward checkout, I would have rated this a bit higher, 3 dots (average) instead of 2 (poor). The rooms and breakfast did not match our expectations based on several other boutique hotels we've stayed at...but the room was clean and quiet, and the bed was comfortable, so it isn't terrible. We paid $180 for our room, and felt that it was overpriced.
Location of the hotel was incorrect on Google Maps. It is a few blocks from the old wall, and a little walk or drive to more of the city.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It is a warm Posada Boutique one block from the Historic District, nicely decorated, with spacious common areas, underfloor heating, swimming pool, breakfast buffet. Designed for Responsible Tourism, low standards of environmental protection (with supply solar energy for hot water and underfloor heating) ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Posada Las Terrazas Uruguay/Colonia Del Sacramento