For those who have watched the movie "Clueless", you will understand the reference to Monet (nice from afar but a mess up close). We were disappointed by the hotel and please allow me to explain why. First of all, let's start with the hotel itself. As it is the only hotel situated on the beach in Punta del Este, this is indeed its unique selling point and the hotel's saving grace. The beach area with the lounge sofas/beds is indeed quite picturesque with a Zen feel. There is even a large Buddha sculpture by the pool for the added exotic ambience. Unfortunately, the rest of the hotel showed very little care. From the inexpensivel materials used (wood showing cracking paint) to the lack of maintenance (the room looked worn, the hotel pool was dingy and dirty), it was an unpleasant sight.
We booked a room with partial sea view, but in fact our window faced the parking lot. One had to strain to see a bit of the sea, unfortunately completely overshadowed by the presence of the parked cars. When we mentioned this to the management, the GM explained that was how the owner sold the rooms, and that the other street facing rooms were even smaller,
Now the staff. Most of them spoke no English and some looked like teenagers straight out of high school. We learned later that indeed a number of them were at the hotel for summer work (January to March). The shortage of professionalism was compensated with enthusiasm and a youthful vigor. None of this is a real problem, but not if you are paying top dollars.
The price. We knew that during the high season in Punta, the prices hotels command would be higher than usual, however, at double the regular price, a tad extra effort should be made to accomodate the guests, but no such attention was evident. This is a difficult issue to overcome, because you'd probably not want to visit during the low season, yet what you get in the high season is totally not commensurate with what you pay. My "average" rating is for low season prices. For high season prices, the rating would be closer to "poor".
The breakfast was so-so. We ate both lunch and dinner at the hotel (the property is far from restaurants or the center), and the food was good, though pricey as expected. Free WIFI in the common areas while inaccessible in the rooms.
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- Also Known As:
- Serena Punta Del Este