After we rented a car in Montevideo, we drove up the coast and headed out to Punta Del Este. We decided to find a hotel in Punta Del Este for the night and then take a slow drive back to Montevideo so we could visit a few more beach towns like Punta Ballena, Piriapolis and Atlantida.
Even though it was raining, the drive out to Punta Del Este was nice. We were finally able to use Zoë’s car seat, although the poor little girl got a little car sick at one point ☹ It’s a pretty, scenic drive and you quickly realize how sparsely populated the country is outside of Montevideo. It was quite relaxing (but I wasn’t driving ☺).
When we finally reached our destination, it was already dark so we set out to find a hotel in Punta Del Este. We stopped by several hotels to inquire about prices and they ranged from U$S 30-100 (this is the low season for Punta Del Este hotels; I’m sure the prices skyrocket in summer). We also stopped by the hostel (Brian’s friend Johnny who is staying with us was curious about prices there), but they were full.
After checking with about 8 hotels in Punta Del Este, we decided to stay at the Shelton Hotel, which is a family built, owned and operated hotel. It was U$S 30 per night for a single room and U$S 45 for a double room.
The staff was very nice and they even showed us up to our rooms and made sure the heater and TV were working properly. The staff consisted of 5 people, the Sagorsky family. Their grandfather built the hotel in 1974 and it’s been in the family since. We like to support family businesses.
From the moment you walk in the hotel, you feel like you stepped into a bit of a time warp.
Here are few pictures of the Shelton Hotel lobby:
And the hallway on the way to our hotel room:
We even had an ocean view from our hotel room (this is a picture from the next morning):
It was definitely a solid 3-star hotel. Nothing fancy, but it was perfect for our needs… a safe, quiet place to stay for the night. We decided to rest for a bit before we ventured out to find somewhere to have dinner since it was only around 7:30 and restaurants don’t typically start serving until around 9:00 in Uruguay.
When it was time to go out to eat, we walked around Punta Del Este a bit and settled upon a restaurant called View Point. It was situated at the top of a building, overlooking the water.
We walked into the building and took the elevator upstairs. It definitely appeared to be the nicest restaurant we had dined in since moving to Uruguay. We were all dressed VERY casual, but the staff still treated us like royalty.
We had three waiters serving our table! Seriously… the best service we’ve had just about anywhere.
Zoë had the squash and spinach ravioli. They brought hers out first so we could feed her before our food came out. The fresh pasta was covered in a simple butter sauce and was delicious. They made it special with no cheese for her since she’s allergic to milk. She said, “Mmmmm!” with every bite.
I had the seafood risotto. The mussels in Uruguay are so different than the mussels in the US. They aren’t chewy and I actually like them. The risotto was great and I couldn’t finish my whole plate, even with Zoë’s help.
Brian had the pasta sampler, which included shrimp angel hair pasta, gnocchi and two types of ravioli. He said it was delicious and couldn’t finish his portion either.
Johnny had the Ribeye steak, which was also great.
In addition to the four entrees, the guys shared a bottle of Don Pascual Tannat Reserve, and we probably had 3-4 bottles of mineral water (in addition to the wonderful bread basket). Our bill came out to around U$S 160, which is by far the most expensive meal we’ve had in Uruguay, but well worth the experience. We knew the restaurant prices in Punta Del Este would be higher than in Montevideo.
Afterwards we walked around Punta Del Este a little bit more and headed back to the hotel. We wanted to make sure we got a good night’s sleep so we could head out early to check out Punta Ballena, Piriapolis and Atlantida.
In the morning we took advantage of the Shelton Hotel’s complimentary breakfast. It included coffee, orange juice, water, toast and marmalade, medialunas (similar to croissants) and some shredded apple for Zoë. Again, nothing fancy, but it filled up our bellies.
Overall, we weren’t really impressed with Punta Del Este… a lot of high rises crowded around the water. But, we’ll have to go back in high season to give it a fair shot. Before we close out this blog entry, here are a few pictures of the beaches in Punta Del Este.
The story of our road trip through Punta Ballena, Piriapolis and Atlantida will continue in our next blog…