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Hotel Palacio 2.5

Montevideo, Montevideo Department, Uruguay

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Hotel has charming, antique character
  • Iconic location at the entrance to the Ciudad Vieja
  • Walk to harbor, restaurants, and museums
  • Rooms are tidy and private, with small balconies and stunning city views
  • Computer station with free coffee in the mornings
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Twenty-four hour front desk

Cons

  • Neighborhood can feel dodgy at night
  • No on-site restaurant or breakfast
  • Lack of outlets in rooms
  • Bathrooms are dated

Bottom Line

The 15-room Hotel Palacio is a value option at the edge of the Ciudad Vieja with old-school rooms featuring flat-screen TVs and air-conditioning. It’s a historic hotel, and one whose age-old charm is as emblematic of the district as the surrounding museums and architecture. The classical factor has some drawbacks: there are limited outlets in rooms, rickety floors, outdated bathrooms, and no on-site restaurant. The location is ideal for those who want the best starting point for exploring Montevideo’s most picturesque district by day, but those looking for dining and nightlife should consider Intercity Premium in the elegant Punta Carretas neighborhood -- it's a more sophisticated (and pricier) alternative. 

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Scene

Simple, historic hotel with old school charms

Hotel Palacio is on the corner of a vibrant intersection at the entrance to Ciudad Vieja, where during the day the street buzzes with vendors hawking their wares, tourists wandering around, and businesspeople heading to work. It’s an iconic spot that’s fitting for this European-style hotel with a long history: Hotel Palacio’s tenure here started in the early 1900s. The grand wrought-iron elevator that greets guests at the entrance is a reflection of the hotel’s ability to stand the test of time, and to do so with a certain grace. Overall, though, the hotel is a humble affair, with a small wooden lobby and a handsome computer room making up the extent of it's common areas. The simple property is best suited for couples, friends, and families that appreciate location over on-site features. 

Location

Area buzzes with daytime activity and history, but can get sketchy at night

Map of Hotel Palacio

Hotel Palacio’s location at the entrance to Montevideo's scenic Ciudad Vieja is one of this hotel's strengths and one of its weaknesses. During the day, the hotel provides a perfect base to explore Montevideo's most historic neighborhood -- there’s a bakery around the corner, the seafood restaurants by the harbor are only 15 minutes away on foot, and there are museums, parks, and cathedrals sprinkled throughout this charming district. Yet at night Ciudad Vieja is a ghost-town, and the deeper into the neighborhood you go, the sketchier it gets. Because Hotel Palacio stands right on the border of this district, it’s a bit tamer, but still night-time ambience is lacking overall. Cabs to other parts of Montevideo are easy to find here, and most of the nightlife and swank dinner spots are located elsewhere, in neighborhoods like Punta Carretas or Pocitos, a 10 to 15-minute ride from the hotel. The international airport is about 40 minutes away via taxi, and ferries to Buenos Aires depart from the Terminal Fluviomaritima, a 15-minute walk from the hotel. The Tres Cruces Bus Station is a 15-minute drive.

Rooms

Basic and clean, with antique details and dated bathrooms

Rooms here are basic, but private and impeccably clean, while the hotel’s age is reflected in details that are both charming or frustrating -- real keys open the huge room doors (rather than key cards), plus there are creaky hardwood floors and handsome antique pieces like desks with marble tops, and a serious lack of electrical outlets. Rooms feature tube-style TVs, as well as mini-fridges, desks, and air-conditioning. Cream colored walls are hung with antique lithographs or sketches, and beds are made with bedspreads underneath simple wood headboards. The look is decidedly old school. More importantly, sleeping here is peaceful, as the wooden shutters keep out much of the noise and light from outside. Requesting a Superior Room on one of the top floors is definitely worth it: the balcony views of the harbor and Ciudad Vieja offer a truly charming perspective of Montevideo. Bathrooms, though, look dated as opposed to deliberately old, with tan or blue tiling, curtained stand-up showers, and pedestal sinks with no counter space. 

Features

Free Wi-Fi and computer room with free coffee

The features are extremely limited at the Hotel Palacio, even for being a budget hotel. There is no on-site restaurant and breakfast is not served. The attractive computer room off the lobby has free coffee and there are some books to peruse as well. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. The front desk is manned around the clock.

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Address

Bartolome Mitre 1364, Montevideo 11008, Uruguay

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