Rambla C. Williman P.4, Punta del Este
With a beach, casino, spa, and luxurious suites, the Conrad is the "everything" destination in Punta del Este. The imposing tower in the center of tourist area is a landmark and the place to be seen.
© Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino
The monolithic terraced design of the Conrad in Punta del Este is the first indication that the Conrad is the high end "everything" place in Uruguay's primer beach resort area. The Conrad commands a choice spot across the street from La Mansa Beach in the pulsating heart of Punta del Este. The hotel is for those who want the best of two worlds: the world of the tourist or the world of luxury. After mingling with the masses on the beach, in the restaurants, and during events, guests can retreat to the tranquility of the spa or the serenity of their suite.
Upon arrival guests are greeted by liveried doorman and enter large, lofty marble lobby with several conversation areas––usually filled with both guests and gawkers. Often overheard is, &The next time we will stay here!& Don't be surprised at lobby spectacles: like a young lady on a Segway passing out fliers about the night's event in the theater. The large mural behind the registration desk depicts Punta del Este a hundred years ago, before it took on its Miami look.
A security guard guarantees only registered guests pass beyond the lobby area. The dining options are many and include Las Brisas Cafe Terrace, a Californian–style bistro with barbecue and pizza wood–oven, where the complimentary breakfast is served. The St. Tropez Restaurante is the gourmet dining option with a la carte menu featuring Italian cuisine and excellent service. For casual dining it is the rooftop Gaucho's Pool Grill & Bar with a menu that includes barbecued meats, snacks and cocktails. Snacks, tapas, hors d'oeuvres, and a complete selection of beverages are available at the popular Los Veleros Lobby Lounge. The Conrad is located in the heart of the tourist area so guests have a choice of many off site dining options.
For an evening of entertainment the Conrad has a lounge–style theatre specially built for shows and complete with cocktail service. A variety of presentations are offered throughout the year from name–recognized musical stars to boxing matches. Fashion shows and live music take place regularly in the Los Veleros Lobby Lounge during afternoon tea.
A full service, state of the art spa provides a variety of treatments and workout areas complete with indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools. The gym has a wide range of high quality workout machines including an Escalador, a treadmill–style rock climbing apparatus. An al fresco workout area is near the Conrad beach area where there is an attendant on call to supply towels, lounge chairs, and shade protection. The blue clamshell sun protectors shout, &I am a guest of the Conrad.& The Conrad is home to the only Harrah's Casino in South America and includes a VIP lounge. A gratis Kid's Club makes it an attractive family destination. Valet parking is available along with underground parking.
© Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino
While all accommodations are bright and spacious, the standard rooms here should be bypassed in favor of the 24 suites. The Conrad suites are especially spacious, offer spectacular views from their balconies, luxurious amenities, and attentive service. Opt for the suite with a Jacuzzi looking out over the wide, ocean–like Rio de la Plata. Dining on the balcony is spectacular, especially at sunset.
For those who want to feel the pulse of Punta del Este with easy access to the beach, restaurants, and looking for a Vegas–style hotel, there is no other choice. Guests looking for pampered service in a serene setting should look elsewhere, however. During high season, (December to February) staff may be overwhelmed by the high occupancy rate diminishing the quality of service. The Conrad Punta del Este cannot be compared with Conrad Hotels located in resort areas such as the one in Bali. Guests should keep in mind that it is both a city and a beach hotel.
Web Address: www.conrad.com.uy
Total Number of Rooms: 302
Published rates: $180 to $7500 BB
Review by Sandra Scott, photos by the author except where indicated.