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“A LAID BACK ECO-LODGE TO CHILL OUT IN” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bouland Uruguay

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Bouland Uruguay
Ranked #16 of 17 La Barra B&B and Inns
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A LAID BACK ECO-LODGE TO CHILL OUT IN”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2012

I came a couple of years back with friends to Bouland (punta del este as it was), and I see from the pictures that Fonchi has continued building accomodation and extending the existing facilities from salvage. What you see is what you get, its somewhere to feel at one with the beautiful environment forget immaculately disinfected rooms with mod-cons. This is somewhere to turn your phone off for a few days!

Bouland is very open, fun and the perfect place to chill. Dolores and Alfonso are a fun young couple who try to put on lots of entertainment but of course sometimes chilling out prevents much action! We walked through the woods to the beach, made sushi, bread etc. in their kitchen and shared meals with their friends, Alfonso taught us to surf and we free climbed the cliffs of a local beauty spot to overlook the Casapueblo and waited whilst we looked around Carlos Paez Vilaro's masterpiece before driving us back to Bouland via ice creams in La Barras luxury gelateria. The local estancia also checked in which allowed us to go riding the next day at sunrise. Everything comes at a cost but they're upfront about it! I'd recommend doing a little supermarket shop on your way into Bouland as food is (or at least was) only available at the very laid back hours the others kept!

It is however true that the experience is quite expensive for what it is, I'm sure there exist other places that are more organised/well equipped etc. but it will be at the expense of the hippy character which is so special to Bouland and which also keeps the experience exclusive so that you aren't surrounded by tourists!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Owies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Maldonado
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

I came to live to Maldonado about 5 months ago, and thats when I visited Bouland
for the first time. I had heard a lot about it from friends. Everyone I knew, that had been there, talked about how nice it is, and the good times they have there. I must say, upon my first arrival, I immediately felt its magnetism, and realized it was a very special space.

The land itself is breath taking! With incredible views, and rich vegetation, which exudes
good energy. You can also find various friendly animals, enjoying their day there with you.
The dog, and 2 baby cats playing around; the chickens and the rooster feasting on the land
all day.. In just 5 minutes of stearin out into that landscape, all your worries vanish, and you
are instantly recharged.

If all that is not enough for you, there are amazing walks through the woods, nice walks to town and to beautiful beaches... and if you still need a little more, you can also ask Alfonso,
the owner to teach you how to do mud constructions, surfing, horseback riding, and so much more, that he has to offer. The place he has created, his care and attention, and the inspiring story behind the journey of his project, are invaluable. I have been very fortunate to spend many marvelous days there, and always leave with countless unforgettable moments that I cherish.

As a local here, 'No seas malo' (there restaurant) is the place to be at, friday nights.
For a good meal or just some drinks.. listening to good music, or even sometimes to dance
the night away. There is no where i'd rather be on fridays!
Stunning starry nights, surrounded by hundreds of magical fire flays. Not to mention,
the mellow yet vibrant ambiance, as well as the charisma and good vibes of the people there;
customers as well as the staff. The people that work there and the owners, are super nice
and friendly, and their attention and hospitality is priceless!

I would encourage everyone with a taste for nature, art, creativity, or anyone that just wants to have a really nice chill vacation, to visit or stay in 'Bouland Inn', or stop by for a good dinner and some drinks to 'No seas malo' if your visiting the area. Most people I've met there, including myself, have a hard time finding reasons or the will to leave, but when you do, Its hard not to feel replenished, and you always leave with a big smile.
Its a unique place to see! It is a memorable experience!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tamUY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

Loved this place.
Bouland is a quiet and relax place to stay, surrounded by nature and ecofriendly constructions. It's an amazing property and laid back alternative, rates are not over priced as many other hostels around the area.
I found it to have all the things that are important to me. A nice quiet room with a forest right outside the door, a tasty breakfast and the greatest host, Alfonso. He was completely open to getting to know his guests, but in a way that didn't feel like you had to. Anytime we needed anything he was right there to give us advice on what to do, where to go, or just help us out.
During my stay, I had some of my best nights sleep, waking to the sounds of local birds and crisp ocean air.
Renting a car is a must, specially cause Bouland is a 15 min walk to the beach.

Room Tip: stay on the tree house
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mary550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

to begin with, i was recommended this place from some friends which they met Alfonso, and told me he was a great guy who knows how to enjoy life every second every single day of his life, and part of this was because of the environmet he created with his own hands. The place is full of positive energy, good people, and you can either have lots of fun, or just be quiet and enjoy.

When i just enter i saw that the houses and the restaurant where made of mud, really nice and tidy, the rooms where not as the usual hostel rooms, they where confortable, clean and you could feel the good vibes. The restaurant was really nice, an open space ehere you can appreciate the moon and the sky full of stars, and then you have a closed space which is really nice decorated, and the service and stuff is really great, everyone there has his own story, and everyone was always with a smile on their faces.

if you surf, they can organize you surftrips, and other activities such as horserides.

so in my oppinion i have to say im glad this man was able to create this place, this environment, full of great energy and lovely people that the only thing they wanna do is to be your friend and that you take home much more than just to be there.
Great place.

.Paradise

thanks for teaching me so much..

Peter.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mango123424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bratislava, Slovakia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

I was a little surprised to see the other two negative reviews about this little gem in Punta Del Este.
We arrived in Punta del Este and we also decided to give this place a go after we had searched around in the local hostels and found them to be ridiculously over priced and pretty tacky. So, Bouland was where we decided to stay.
Initially were totally blown away by the location, it is set in a beautiful pine tree forest with a really nice and laid back alternative set up. The accommodation was very comfortable and pretty cool in my opinion. The extra effort Delores and Alfonso made to make us feel comfortable really enhanced our stay (which we prolonged in the end by two days).
We did have one concern and that was the distance from the beach. After the first day, this was one of the main attractions of the place. The walk takes about 15 mins to the beach, through a really beautiful and tranquil pine forrest trail,(there are other ways to get there). We did this in flip flops every day.
Out of our 6 month trip through South America, this place has stuck in our minds as one of the most interesting, hospitable and laid back locations. Having staid in a lot of hostels and hotels in S.America this place was just what we all needed to recharge the batteries. That said, we still made it out to the strip and back without any major hassles.
With the best of the pine forest location and the nice beaches a small distance away.
Escape the commercial mainstream and give this place a go if you want to unwind and recharge. Go with an open mind and be rewarded with what this place has to offer.

Room Tip: ask Alfonso to bring you for a walk in his forrest, definitely worth a stroll
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Aidan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2011

We decided to take the plunge and book a room at Pousada Bouland. They apparently now also call it 'Pulperia No Seas Malo' which I guess is a result of trying to further lure guests into booking overpriced accommodation there.

We were greeted by the owners in Punta del Este, who took us to our "villa". In fact, it was nothing more than a hostel with hardly any hot water and not even a proper lock for the property. We were safe to say very disappointed and asked Dolores (who is the manager) to cancel our remaining stay. She then became quite threatening and said that her boyfriend Alfredo "would not be happy". They charged as 250 USD per night for what should have been priced as a cheap hostel. Truly terrible!

This experience seriously destroyed some of the fun with Punta del Este and I sincerely advise people to look at other alternatives.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank wdonson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bouland, Manager at Bouland Uruguay, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Bouland Inn is a rustic eclectic construct from Modern Green Building techniques, set in the woods. We are very similar in spirit to the pioneer Hawaiian surfer adventurers of the early 50's, but with modern features. We've created a casual, playful environment, perfect as a congregation point for surfers and adventurers.
The rooms only have hot water, and we don't have locks on any doors, including my own house and the restaurant, because I have lived here for 10 years and I have never been robbed. The only alarm system I have are my dogs, because none of my guests have ever had anything stolen, nor ever had any security issue.
There is no air conditioning in the rooms, for the walls are made of hard local clay with a fine clay finish, which creates the perfect indoor temperature. There is no TV in the whole establishment, nor electronic toys that could disrupt from enjoying the spectacular joy of living in the middle of the woods.
At the Bouland Inn you can book 1 of 3 cabins or the tree house to have your own room and a private bathroom. The cabin accommodations can be converted to sleep up to 5 persons for a single group or organized as a Hostel. Many of our guests enjoy the small Hostel experience.
Punta del Este, La Barra and Jose Ignacio, are known to be the highest priced at high season in all of South America, so take note. The price per night is non negotiable, it is a flat rate. If you do some research you will find it is one of the least expensive for the privacy and rural experience. La Barra hostels are usually expensive at peak season, and you will share the room and bathroom with a much larger crowd.
Bouland Inn is located in the rural area of La Barra on a parcel of 60,000 mt2, views of the woods around you, beautiful walking paths through the woods, to town, or to amazing beaches. La Barra beach is only 1500 meters away. You usually find surfers there.
I only have 3 cabins, each with a private bathroom, and a tree house. I offer a peaceful place, away from the crowds, but close to anything need. Here you won't be sharing the space with 100 other people; its only me, my horses, my dogs, my chickens, and a few other guests.
If you like to party, you are steps away from La Barra and not far from Punta del Este. If you like gambling you have the Mantra casino 1000 meters away. If you like crowded 'top' beaches you have Bikini Beach at only 3km away!
We hope you like a serene setting, scenery walks, the choice not to see anyone, getting to the beach through the woods, & adventures. You can talk to me, the owner. I can show you my world; my secret calm beaches, and some very nice walking tracks.
I can teach you how to surf, how to horseback ride, and I can also teach you all I know of Green Construction. My construction classes are for all ages, and it's a fun, relaxed experience.
For those of you that are looking for seclusion & serenity, even the calmest place in La Barra is not calm in high season. In high season even we get a little crowded with visitors that come to the restaurant "No Seas Malo". You will enjoy my rustic open air restaurant.
Sincerely, Alfonso
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2011

This is a review and equally so a firm warning to fellow travellers contemplating booking Bouland Inn in the La Barra neighbourhood of Punta del Este (or Posada Bouland as they also market it as through various internet sources).

The "manager" Dolores and her boyfriend Alfonso who runs the place has been marketing the property as a bed and breakfast where according to their email "We have two separate houses both with stunning views of the Laguna Blanca (White Lagoon) and an outside kitchen where we serve up a free all you can eat breakfast every morning!". The breakfast was very basic with only dry bread etc. There is NO view over the Laguna Blanca, in fact there is no view of anything except for the local terrain. The houses are in fact mud shacks (marketed as an "eco lodge") without proper hot water, a properly function toilet, nor proper doors for the shack. The "outside kitchen" is the place where the owners spend most of the day playing loud music, and it is directly overlooking the mud shack they normally rent out to travellers, in other words no privacy is offered. The shack is VERY basic and very poorly lit.

The shack we rented over the Christmas holiday, which is considered the very peak season in Punta del Este, is marketed by the owners as having a "big bedroom, bathroom with walk-in closet, small living room and fully equipped kitchen."

There is NO walk-in closet, just an old closet placed in THE BATHROOM full of the owners' used clothes, which is frankly disgusting to keep there when paying guests are staying over. The kitchen is definitely not fully equipped, in fact there is only an old stove and no proper cutlery etc.

In their marketing email, it also states that "For your comfort we also have internet access, cleaning service, bikes, surf boards and horses".

This is a completely fraudulent statement as there is NO internet access offered on the property.

The owners charged us USD $180 per night during the Christmas/New Year's season on the basis of completely false information. We would strongly warn other travellers to book this property. The male owner Alfonso and his friends also acted rudely to us, and had friends hanging around the house we booked all day and all evening - showing no respect or consideration for privacy whatsoever.

To reiterate, this property is also marketed as Posada Bouland and to call it a bed and breakfast is to strongly mislead guests paying almost $200 USD per night to live in a mud shack without hot water or working sanitation.

The owners justified this highly excessive rate by the fact that it was high season, but we found for similar money a proper seaside hotel in the centre of La Barra. The location of Bouland (unless you walk through the forest) is an around 2 km walk on stone roads, which is also misleading given that the owners stated that it was "1 km from the main street of La Barra". The shack and the service of the owners was of lower quality than that of a backpackers hostel, a very disappointing experience.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mantelstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bouland Uruguay

Property: Bouland Uruguay
Address: Camino la Laguna, La Barra, Maldonado, Uruguay
Location: Uruguay > Maldonado Department > Maldonado > La Barra
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in La Barra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Bouland Uruguay La Barra

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