Rambla C. Williman P.4, Punta del Este
With a beach, casino, spa, and luxurious suites, the former 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
This property lost its affiliation with Hilton and is now the independent Enjoy Punta del Este, so we’ll check back in at some point to see how the service is holding up without the international management it had in place as the Conrad.
The monolithic terraced design of the “Enjoy” in Punta del Este is the first indication that the property is the high end “everything” place in Uruguay’s primer beach resort area, at least for those who want to be in the center of the action. The resort 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.
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For an evening of entertainment the Enjoy Resort 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 resorts’ 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 resort.& This property is home to one of the few casinos in the region and includes a VIP lounge. A gratis Kid’s Club makes it an attractive family destination. Valet parking is available along with underground parking.
While all accommodations are bright and spacious, the standard rooms here should be bypassed in favor of the 24 suites. These Punta del Este 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.
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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. This resort was not quite up to the level of newer Conrad Hotels located in other resort areas around the world, perhaps why it is not an independent operation instead. But in an area where most luxury hotels are small and secluded, this is still the best full-service resort for those who want some action and nightlife. Guests should keep in mind that it is both a city and a beach hotel.
Web Address: book in English at Expedia Total Number of Rooms: 302 Published rates: $160 to $3500 BB
Review by Sandra Scott, photos by the author except where indicated.
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