My Suites is ranked Number 1 in Montevideo not just on Trip Advisor and Expedia but on a bunch of other Spanish and English travel sites. Why, I wondered, do other travelers rave about the place? So I went to find out for myself.
The first impression of the bedroom at My Suites is airy, spacious, full of light. The surfaces gleam. The colors and design are bright. For me, the room literally exudes positivity. It is quite unlike those rooms, you know the kind, which resemble wet rags, dank, drab, dismal … the kind that makes the heart sink when you enter and seems to suck from the soul all pleasure in life so that the only thought dominating the consciousness is the urgent need to escape those oppressive confines. The My Suites rooms are – to the contrary - the kind you feel pleasure on entering and if you need to spend a few hours inside during the day because of work or weather, you won’t feel at all trapped. If anything, you’ll feel energized. I should add that the mattress is firm and of excellent quality; there is no sagging and no lumps. I get a good night’s sleep. I shouldn’t omit mention of the strong internet connection. Scrupulous attention to quality does make a difference.
The cleaning staff are dedicated and do an excellent job. You have stayed – as have I – at hotels where the staff are demoralized and for that reason do a lousy job. You can sense the resentment, the complaints about management and the sullenness in their job poorly done. I have the intuition – it is I admit but an impression – that the staff at My Suites are very proud of the job they do and the hotel they work for. And that pride shows in the thoroughness of the cleaning.
That sense of professional pride and upbeat morale extends to the reception staff (Daniel, Jessica and the other members of the team) who are unfailingly obliging, enthusiastic and pleasant to deal with. Because it is not a large hotel, not corporate in mindset, not bureaucratic in procedure, My Suites is surprisingly flexible. Because I like to work in the afternoons I asked that my room be cleaned before noon. It was and is an inconvenience to their schedule, but the staff were happy to accommodate me. Plus the staff make a point of remembering the names of the guests which greatly contributes to the ambience of friendly and congenial hospitality. Of course that is characteristic of all the great hotels of legend (think of the places James Bond stays at …).
Now the big thing about the hotel, its theme if you will, is the pride in and love for Uruguayan wines. There are very few hotels of this size that employ a sommelier. Mauricio is most knowledgeable as well as being highly opinionated about the wines and olive oils of his country. (Have you ever met a sommelier who was not opinionated?) Five nights a week he conducts an olive oil and wine tasting. Definitely an item to add to the schedule. And it’s free of charge :). Who knew Uruguay boasted such tasty olive oil and fine muscadets, chardonnays and Gewürztraminers? The seeded bread offered for tasting the olive oil is baked specially for the hotel. Yummy!
Any flies in the ointment? Well, it might be nice if the hotel had a sea view. My Suites is just a few steps from the sea front on a quiet side street. And it is located in a lively and relatively safe part of the city dotted with little shops and restaurants (just like Spain and Italy used to be before the arrival of the hypermarkets). On the other hand, a sea view also means a place right in front of the busy highway with its 24 hours a day noise of speeding traffic. I cannot avoid mentioning that the offering for breakfast is a bit weak and overly dominated by sweet pastries and other sugary items. Probably 75% of the guests are South Americans so this predilection for the sweet is understandable but leaves those guests who like fiber in their food and unadulterated pro-biotic yogurts scratching their heads. It is as if all the focus on quality and attention to detail was expended on the wine leaving behind too little for the food.
So, why is My Suites ranked Number 1?
The answer is very simple. The owners, managers and staff have united in a determined drive to make the hotel the best that they can.
But lots of places claim that they try so very hard. So, what’s their secret that enables them to achieve what so many others aspire to?
The secret lies in the ownership and the size. My Suites has 40 rooms which is of sufficient size to generate the revenue necessary to support a full panoply of hotel services while small enough to avoid the corporate bureaucracy and impersonality that bedevils the behemoths of the hospitality chains. And because My Suites is privately owned and operated, the hotel can offer services and flexibility in its offerings that are impossible or uneconomic elsewhere. You really have to love wine to employ a sommelier in a hotel of this size and to offer wine tastings free of charge. And it is evident that the proprietors do love their wine. That love extends to a pride in the hotel and a determination to make its services of the highest quality.
In summary, a very good place to stay. Actually, I liked the place so much that I bought it. … Just kidding. I liked it so much that I decided to stay here for a few months to work on a book. Nice people, good room, lovely surroundings, walks along the seafront every day, fine food and wine … What’s not to like?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- MY SUITES MONTEVIDEO Boutique Hotel & Wine Bar is the first wine hotel in Uruguay; moreover it has changed the classical concept of the hotel industry in Montevideo. Design, sophistication and forward thinking are blended together in this 4 star hotel located in the heart of Pocitos.The forty spacious suites are fully equipped to the utmost comfort and decorated with paintings by local artists. Fully equipped kitchenette, dinnerware, microwave oven, minibar, electric kettle –complimentary coffee, tea, sugar and sweetener- flat screen TV, free Wi Fi, free local phone calls, king and double queen beds, iron and ironing board, safe deposit box with socket and large enough to hold a laptop, desk station, spacious bathrooms with bathtub, amenities.Each floor is dedicated to an export winery and bottles from this winery are found in the minibar for the guests’ enjoyment. Besides buffet breakfast, one winetasting lead by a Sommelier is included free of charge in order to get acquainted with the pleasures of Uruguayan wines. The bright breakfast room turns into a Wine Bar in the evening featuring a glass roof and a door to an inside garden. Also in the hotel: the Meeting Room called “Tannat Hall”, an acclimatized Wine Boutique, and on the 11th floor a pool, solarium, sauna and Fitness Center.In My Suites Wine Bar, there is a moment at sunset for the wine lovers guided by a Sommelier, to enjoy Uruguayan wines produced by the Wineries which are displayed at the Hotel: Ariano, Marichal, Castillo Viejo, Irurtia, Gimènez Mèndez, Grupo Traversa, Juan Toscanini, Los Cerros de San Juan, H. Stagnari y Varela Zarranz. ... more less
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