Live a piece of history in what may become one of the best hotels in Uruguay.
Minutes from iconic beaches and nestling in the most picturesque landscapes and trekking in Uruguay, soak up the serenity at this truely vintage hotel.
All my Uruguayan friends were so happy when, after years of abandonment, the Hotel Solís, once one of the best hotels in Uruguay, reopened in January 2020 as a delightful B&B and tea-room with the kindest, most attentive owners.
Built in 1900 as a family home, the Solís was converted into a hotel in 1914. With running water and gas lighting, it was the height of luxury accommodation anywhere in the world. Later it became the first hotel in Uruguay to boast ensuite bathrooms in every room—the owner having seen the concept on a Grand Trip to Europe.
Hotel Solís quickly became a firm favourite with the emigré British community who managed Uruguay’s railways—as well as banks and public utilities. So much so that a train station was conveniently located nearby, and there was even a small airstrip for guests. During World War Two, long-time guests included British spies who were intercepting the movements of German gunboats on the River Plate from their guestrooms. One of the best hotels in Uruguay or what?!
The hotel is run by Marcela and her husband, Alegre—whose family has owned the building since the 1940s. Nothing is too much for their guests, they’ll even drive you to the beach. Everything at the hotel is original. If you look at photographs from the 1920s, you’ll see the same chairs as you’ll be sitting on at Sunday high tea. The only difference is that the palm trees are now so much taller.
What you should know
The owners are eager to stress that the hotel is a work in progress and there’s evidence of the passage of time (which the owners are planning to conserve—a decision I applaud). For instance, the old-fashioned sinks and baths have not been re-enameled to preserve the century-old branding (so there are blemishes but it’s all scrupulously clean). In contrast, bedding and linens are snowy white, five-star quality.
Not walking distance to restaurants or bars Home cooked breakfast is included (Marcela had read that I love Eggs Benedict and she made some for our breakfast—such a lovely touch). The hotel has an afternoon tearoom on weekends and holidays. With advanced warning, Marcela is delighted to cook simple Uruguayan cuisine for you using local organic produce. There’s good local eating 5-20 minutes drive away (and some of Uruguay’s best restaurants).
As several of the best hotels in Uruguay, the property is just off the coastal highway The thick century old walls mean that the noise is minimal. An added benefit is that the international airport is under an hour away.
The owners speak limited English Though Marcela is a natural communicator. Alegre speaks Hebrew.
Things to do close by
Vineyards, olive oil plantations & the cutest countryside towns Some of Uruguay’s top coastal vineyards are short drives away. Alegre will drive you so you don’t need to worry about drinking and driving.
Trekking You can see the Sierra de las Ánimas, the highest point on the Uruguayan coast and home to the enigmatic Pozos Azules (a remote swimming hole) from the hotel. There are also several miles of forested trails on the property itself.
See The Guru’Guay Guide to Uruguay pg 30-48 for many more suggestions