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Hotel Naturista El Refugio

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Avenida Las Amarras y El Gratil Chihuahua/ PuntaBallena / Maldonado, Punta Ballena, Maldonado 20003 Uruguay
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Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Other miscellaneous taxes and hotel fees which are not fixed or due at time of booking may be payable at the property at time of stay. Please see our partners for more details.
Traveller (44)
Pool & Beach (21)
Room & Suite (9)

About

#2 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Punta Ballena
Location
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Value
A different place to relax clothing optional hearing only the sound of wind and sea, waking up with the singing of the birds just 15 minutes from Punta del Este Coming from Montevideo, after crossing the Arroyo del Potrero in km.115,5, 800 mts., the seaward Interbalnearia and in a natural forest close to the ocean in Playa naturist Chihuahua.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Free breakfast
Beach
Golf course
Airport transportation
Baggage storage
Wifi
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Car hire
Non-smoking hotel
Shared lounge / TV area
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Fireplace
Safe
Room types
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Charming
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
49Reviews1Q+A3Room tips
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Meandering Naturists wrote a review Jan 2021
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania97 contributions79 helpful votes
+1
We simply can't believe this place existed for so long before we finally found it. Since we're always looking for warm places when it's freezing cold in North America, El Refugio ticked all the boxes: pleasant accommodations, friendly owners, and just a short walk from an expansive naturist beach, better anything we've found outside of France. They only have a few rooms in the main inn, but we stayed in the annex two doors down in a small self-catering apartment, which was perfect for us since we are happy to prepare our own meals and save a few bucks. The place is located just a short walk from the famous (and traditionally clothing optional) Chihuahua Beach, which has soft, sloping sands, and depending on the tide, is great for long beach walks where nobody seems to care what you're wearing (or not). The owners are absolutely delightful. Their English is limited, but my Spanish is WAY more so - and still, communication was no problem. They were super accommodating in making sure breakfast met our gluten-free needs. This would totally be a five-star review, except to note that the place has simple amenities, was super clean, but it's not like staying in a luxury hotel. The pool is small but great for cooling down on a warm day, where you can read at pool's edge while watching the iguanas scavage for food. That's WAY more entertaining than it may sound. LOL Great place. We can hardly wait to go back.
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Date of stay: February 2020
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Room Tip: Choose self-catering if you want to cook for yourself, as I don't think you can keep food in...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Giancarlo A wrote a review Mar 2019
Amsterdam, The Netherlands310 contributions166 helpful votes
During my holidays in Uruguay I stopped 2 nights in El Rifugio. It is a beautiful house with comfortable rooms, breakfast is very basic and, while the rooms are very tidy and cleaned the overall atmosphere was not pleasant. Upon arrival I was hand out a printed A4 with a list of house rules some of which contribute to an uncomfortable stay ( no food nor drinks could be brought into, no visitors, no no no no ... ) I found that, with all respect for Marcela and Ricardo, some of these rules were more appropriate to a religious children campus or community than of a Pousada or a Hotel at least for the rates that applied in January. Furthermore my feeling was confirmed by several people I have met on the beach and that explained that el Refugio is renown for not welcoming LGBT and are not happy to rent out rooms to single man like myself that could potentially bring visitors. but who knows their reason why. I give this review 3 stars exactly for that feeling I have had trough my stay, furthermore to be noted is that the pool area and the living room was not well look after, A pile of old sun bed were piled up in the back yard of the house, while the communal space was a mix of kitchen/office/guardian room not cozy nor comfortable to seat and stay. There are other choices for a more chilled stay in Chiuaua and I cannot suggest el Refugio to others.
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Date of stay: January 2019
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Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
3 Helpful votes
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Response from delmarysolar, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 12 Mar 2019
We are glad that you liked the rooms and you appreciated the cleanliness of the place. Regarding the rest of the comments we understand that it is somewhat subjective of this guest but we do not agree. The guest came in January (high season) and paid US $ 103.5 (room for two or one person, double bed 1.6m x 2m) the night and received a "basic" breakfast that includes homemade breads and loaf cakes, jams, butter, cheese, cold cuts, fruits, cereals, yogurt, coffee, tea, milk and orange juice. The first thing that the A4 mentions is that every passenger is WELCOME! (EVERYONE is welcomed, this includes LGBT). It is clarified that the hotel is nudist-naturist, the schedules of entry, departure and breakfast, some useful recommendations for the passenger, the WiFi passwords, etc. and in the end only three restrictions. One example: that for security reasons the room key can not be given to anyone else, or allow the entry of strangers who are not properly registered in the hotel. You can read the rest of our policies on our website playachihuahua which they have to read and accept to book. We did not even know that this guest was gay o trans o bi etc., we did not ask for information about his sexual preference, we treated all guests equally. It is important to clarify that we do not discriminate against anyone for their sexuality and they are all WELCOME, in fact we are visited by many singles men and woman who repeat their stay. We care about keeping the park with a neat lawn and a clean pool, it is not clear to us what this guest intended to do in our hotel that he could not, but we are very explicit when it comes to informing what we offer so people will not come with false expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Poppylinc wrote a review Feb 2017
Boise60 contributions58 helpful votes
We spent a week at this cute little place and loved every minute of it. The best part is the owners, Ricardo and Marcela, who were always gracious, helpful, informative, and friendly. They each speak some English, and their daughter Camela is fluent in English. The complementary breakfast was wonderful. We also had several sumptuous dinners here, and the cost was reasonable. It is a walk of two blocks to the beach, and they will provide sunbrellas and beach chairs if you ask. The pool is a bit small but I was able to swim laps, albeit a lot of laps to get in a workout. It is in a very quiet area away from the crowds of Punta del Este, but close enough to drive to the amenities there. It is probably best to have a rental car, although we did not at first. But Marcela was able to arrange a very cheap car rental with a local company so we had mobility for a few days. We took the bus from and to Montevideo and Ricardo conveniently picked us up and dropped us off at the local bus stop. Or the Punta del Este airport is close by if you prefer to fly. The only downside to the hotel is that the walls are made of brick without any soundproofing, so we were able to hear the conversations of the neighbors. We would return here in a heartbeat if we are ever in Uruguay again.
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Date of stay: January 2017Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 2 Mar 2017
Thanks for your review, we are pleased that you have felt well taken care of. Best regards Marcela y Ricardo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Jaime C wrote a review Feb 2016
1 contribution1 helpful vote
I came to check the place up as I was staying somewhere else and decided to stay here next summer. We are coming back to the area next year and will definitely stay at El Refugio. Excellent valla for money.
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Date of stay: February 2016Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 28 Feb 2016
Thanks for your review!! . We will see you the next year. Saludos cordiales Ricardo Rodal
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
fcamp1122 wrote a review Apr 2015
Boston, Massachusetts24 contributions20 helpful votes
I stayed here for 4 nights in April, having found it on Trip Advisor. I was looking for a quiet and low key spot close to the beach. The owners were lovely, room comfortable, location perfect, 5 minute walk to the most exquisite beach in the area. I was very happy there and would stay there again. I am not a nudist, but for me not an issue. If you have a problem with that, not the place for you, nor is this beach. If not, then I highly recommend!
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Date of stay: April 2015Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 7 Apr 2015
Thanks for your comments, we are glad you had a good stay. We hope you can come back another time. Saludos cordiales Ricardo Rodal
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
scott1234312 wrote a review Nov 2014
Atlanta, Georgia4 contributions2 helpful votes
Stayed at El Refugio in January 2014. This was my first trip to South America. I speak only a few words of the Spanish language. I chose to begin my trip here before moving on to Peru and Colombia. Being a naturist myself, I hoped this would be a good place to relax, meet friendly people, and acclimate myself with the language while experiencing Uruguay. It was the perfect place! Ricardo was very helpful with booking, answering all of my questions, giving directions from Montevideo airport by bus, and picked me up at the bus stop with his car. Originally booked 4 nights with plans to stay in other locations in Uruguay. After a couple of nights I extended to stay at El Refugio for the entire 2 weeks, opting to take a few day trips to explore other areas. El Refugio is a beautiful property, uniquely rustic, it reminded me of some expensive B&B’s in the Carolina Mountains. The accommodations are very clean and comfortable. The pool is nice and refreshing particularly because you have green grass surrounding it instead of concrete. From the terrace you can observe parrots, parakeets, and many bird species. The food is excellent. Scrumptious breads (baked by Ricardo) & preserves awaiting you every morning, and delicious reasonably priced dinners at night. The beach, 50 yards walk down the sand road, is beautiful, clean, spacious, wide, not overcrowded, with a clear fresh water river flowing into the sea. I have spent much time on Orient Beach and thought it could not get any better, until I experienced the relaxing tranquil days on Chihuahua Beach. Amazing sunsets! This is a place where you can still safely walk on the beach at night. Uruguay is probably the safest country I have visited. Ricardo & Marcela are wonderful, they take good care of the guest, and were so helpful with translations, directions, and information. I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed my stay at El Refugio. Did not want to leave, and look forward to returning, hopefully very soon. Highly recommend treating yourself to this tranquil experience. Scott South Carolina
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Date of stay: January 2014
Value
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Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 21 Nov 2014
Scott thank you very much for your review, we are glad you've been happy with our attention and hope you can return again at some time. Best regards Ricardo Rodal
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
John T wrote a review May 2014
Saint John, Canada24 contributions13 helpful votes
We stayed here February of last year. If you want a spot that is unique and provides an authentic experience this is it. The owners are very friendly and helpful. Rooms were great. This is a very peaceful spot and close to the beach.
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Date of stay: June 2013
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 27 May 2014
Thanks for your good comments, it will be a pleasure to welcome back to you at El Refugio. Marcela y Ricardo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Elizabeth T wrote a review Nov 2013
Long Beach, California3 contributions3 helpful votes
As you can tell, we liked it a lot although we were able to stay only one night. We arrived early in the day and much to our delight, the Winter weather turned HOT. As a result, we were able to enjoy the clothing optional beach which is within a few minutes walking distance. El Refugio is clean, simple and a delightful place to relax. It's within easy driving distance of Punta del Este. The owners are personable and take great care and pride in providing whatever is needed. We would recommend it highly to our family and friends should they travel to the Chihuahua area in Uruguay.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: September 2013
Value
Rooms
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Renting a car from AVIS in Punta del Este is recommended to reach El Refugio instead of taking a...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 19 Nov 2013
Thank you very much for your generous review. We hope you can return soon. Best Regards Ricardo Rodal
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
pocitense wrote a review Feb 2012
Montevideo, Uruguay58 contributions34 helpful votes
+1
We booked knowing the beach was very close to one of Uruguay's few "clothes optional" and "gay friendly" beaches. We weren't prepared, however, to be among nudists at the Posada itself. Our fault. The rooms are clean, spacious, but have no air-conditioning, which we believed at $110 a night, should be included. Our four-day stay included three terribly hot and sleepless nights even with the room's door wide open. There is a ceiling fan. The corner rooms (see pictures below) have window panes on both sides making them more illuminated. The breakfast was simple, containing no fruit, but a good selection of home-baked breads. Very small orange juices. The pool is smallish but spot-less. It's size is reasonable for a splash. The owners are courteous. Maybe they would have been friendlier if we had been in the nude. We weren't.
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Date of stay: February 2012
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Corner rooms have two large window panes. All rooms are on the second floor with nice views. We...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 19 Mar 2012
Thanks for your opinion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
nickfromParis wrote a review Mar 2011
Paris, France144 contributions69 helpful votes
I spent a few days last february at " Posada el Refugio" in Chihuahua Beach , had a nice relaxing time there ,Marcela and Ricardo did everything to please my stay ,in a relaxing friendly and informal atmosphere ; room was simple ,with fan and bathroom ,spotless , no televion ( this i appreciated ) , perhaps a safety box would be good in the room ,above all if you travel alone; i had dinner there and once lunch ,prepared on the moment ,and the food was quite nice ( best :marcela's pizza ) , they also booked the bus back to Montevideo for me and took me to the bus stop , very friendly people in a quiet nice seaside surrounding
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Date of stay: February 2011
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Location
Cleanliness
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Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Ricardo R, Propietario at Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Responded 23 Nov 2011
We appreciate the criticism, we now have a safe box for guests in the bedroom.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
PRICE RANGE
$90 - $90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
el refugio hotel punta ballena
FORMERLY KNOWN AS
El Refugio
LOCATION
UruguayMaldonado DepartmentMaldonadoPunta Ballena
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Naturista El Refugio
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Nearby attractions include Mirador Punta Ballena (5.8 km), Museo – Taller de Casapueblo (5.4 km), and Arboretum Lussich (4.8 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Conveniently located restaurants include Las Cumbres, Medio y Medio, and Restaurante Club de los Balleneros.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Hotel Naturista El Refugio have airport transportation?
Yes, Hotel Naturista El Refugio offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.
Are there any historical sites close to Hotel Naturista El Refugio?
Many travellers enjoy visiting La Azotea de Haedo (14.1 km) and Plaza Torre del Vigía (12.6 km).