Serena Hotel Oceanfront boutique amongst Punta’s high-rises
Misled Travel and Leisure readers, budget-minded party crowd
Reason to Stay:
Architectural Design, Beach Club, Residential Setting
Special Features:Beachfront, Trendy Clientele, Design Hotel
Amenities:Restaurant, Spa, Pool, Lounge, Fitness Center
Most guests arrive by plane, making the pilgrimage by rental car through the rolling countryside and along the Rio de Plata-side of Punta del Este. A skyline of high-rises seems to appear out of nowhere, erupting the tranquility of the land with '70s style condominium projects and towering residential blocks built for vacationing Argentines. If given the choice, always opt for accommodations in La Barra or Jose Ignacio, or expect to experience what many consider the Vegas-side of Punta del Este.
Located within a casino-chip throw of the Conrad Hotel and Casino, with its bedazzled-marquee promoting concerts by Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin, this stylish hotel dresses-up an oceanfront strip of sand with boutique accommodations and nighttime party scene. Visitors arrive through a tranquil walkways leading to the main hotel lobby furnished with all-white club chairs and candlelight flickering amongst piped-in house music. A small restaurant and bar comes alive on summer afternoons and evenings offering live deejays spinning Latin-house to a sexy fresh-off-the-beach crowd. Everyone usually overflows onto the pool deck, which happens to be the best part of the hotel, with its infinity edges and beachfront location.
It’s the only true boutique hotel in Punta del Este, unless you count the swanky-Posada del Faro in Jose Ignacio (a better choice in general). You would think that at just 32-guest rooms all would have some sort of ocean view. Unfortunately, most of the rooms overlook a surrounding car park and humm in a harmony of passing traffic and air conditioning noise. Originally built as a state culinary school, the hotel embarked on an adventurous remodel that did not include the reallocation of room sizes. Queen-size beds are stuffed into cramped quarters with bad carpeting and quirky furnishings lending a youthful if not luxurious touch. Bathrooms are simple and practical with maple-pedestal sinks and showers that may not massage or be temperature-controlled, but do work efficiently. Visitors should keep in mind that the hotel is a 10-minute drive from downtown Punta, and a car is virtually a necessity for navigating the area.
Uruguayan-modernism in hip-residential setting
5-star luxury in secluded La Barra enclave of Punta del Este
Editorial: Michael Martin
Oceanfront boutique amongst Punta’s high-rises
Stylized beach hotel with small rooms and happening pool scene. Sound Familiar?
Editorial: Ann Vine
Posada del Faro
Bungalow beach-retreat for life-changing getaways
Vanish into South America’s last unspoiled beach paradise
Editorial: Ann Vine
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