Smart Hotel Montevideo
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes daily buffet breakfast
- Central location in downtown Montevideo just two blocks from Independence Square and a short walk from the river
- Guestrooms are spacious by Montevideo standards
- Evening cocktails in the popular Bar Americano
What To Know
- Brand new hotel, opened in January 2015
- Boutique size: There are just 65 guestrooms outfitted in a clean, contemporary style
- Guests have access to a gym on the 10th floor, and there are great places to ride a bike along the nearby Ramblas and coastline
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
Opened in January 2015, Smart Hotel Montevideo is a boutique hideaway in the heart of the Uruguayan capital’s historic downtown. On the ground floor, the small lobby opens into the gastropub-style Americano bar and restaurant, where a continental breakfast spread (cereals, pastries, coffee and more) is served daily, as well as a hearty international menu and drinks from the well-stocked bar, which stays open until midnight throughout the week. Upstairs, all 65 guestrooms are spacious by Montevideo standards; they’re done in a clean, contemporary style with gray walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and blond wood furnishings. The bathrooms feature stand-alone showers and Smart brand toiletries. Guests have access to a small gym on the 10th floor, and there are great places to ride a bike along the nearby Ramblas and coastline.
In the Area
Join the locals for a stroll or a cycle along La Rambla, the gorgeous beachfront promenade that parallels the coast road. Take a taxi to the Ciudad Vieja (Old City) and have a traditional Uruguayan lunch at one of the parrillas (steakhouses) inside the Mercado del Puerto, which dates from 1868. Then head to boutique winery Bodega Bouza to taste Tannat, Uruguay’s delicious but little-known red wine.
How to Get There
Enjoy relaxed atmosphere with modern conveniences. Perfect beds, views, and walking proximity to points of interest. For us, the grilled steaks at the market we're good enough to question a vegetarian, lol.
I have many positive things to say about the Smart Hotel. It is in an excellent location near the plaza. The breakfast buffet was tasty and plentiful, and the staff was quite accommodating. Overall, I had a good experience, however, I would not recommend the hotel for light sleepers. The staff was kind enough to give me a room on the 9th floor to avoid some of the street noise, but there is a club across the street. Even though I was on an upper floor, I still heard drunks throughout the night yelling in the street. The hotel was certainly not responsible, but I would probably not stay there again because of the noise.
As the name suggests, the room was planned in a smart manner. Two minor suggestions are to supply tissues and a larger garbage can. The neighborhood appears iffy, but is it central and safe. The front desk staff was friendly and helpful. Breakfast was pretty standard.
If we're honest - as lovely as the people are - Montevideo isn't much to look at or spend time in. If you're expecting a bustling Metropolis you might just be left wondering where everyone went. Even on the weekends, it's virtually deserted. Uber can be slow and problematic.
Smart is a complete 10-floor island in the middle of this empty cityscape. It's urban, chic, gentrified, and connected to one of the best restaurants in the area (Americano). The location would be extraordinarily good if there was anything to do nearby. Yes, there's the plazas, the theatre, the museum, and a few main roads. Everything is in walking distance. One small walk around town and you realise the choice of places to stay really is a lot more limited than it appears: the Radisson is a casino, and Hotel America really should be called Motel America.
The rooms are relatively spacious, immaculate, and if you have the choice, have a beautiful view from the rooftop garden out onto the sea. If you're a couple looking to get away, it's a perfect spot for your own private lunch/dinner with some candles and a bottle of wine.
You have a supermercado and ATM nearby, but the street itself (Andes) isn't the best advertisement when it comes to tourism: plenty of drunks and beggars passing the graffiti-lined walls and strip clubs. It can feel dangerous even if everyone assures you it isn't.
If you're going for dinner or drinks, there's only one place: Los Lenos. It's 2 blocks away and one of the cosiest little cocktail gastros i've seen in a long time. Reserve in advance though as it gets very crowded. In that area there's probably 2 others close by. Apparently there's an Irish bar off Independence square, but most of the place was shut when i saw it. With the quiet vibe of Montevideo, it's probably worth renting a car and spending days out on the beach.
Overall, it's a great stay. But you're kind of left thinking.... why?
This is my fourth stay at this hotel. I come regularly to Montevideo to visit relatives, and we find that long-established eating places are consistently good nearby, as well as the busy 18 de Julio Boulevard is always good for long walks, stopping at a park and people watch. Some nice museums located in nearby Ciudadela are always great for learning about Uruguay’s past and present.
The hotel is in a great location, and the service is simple but good. Breakfast is somewhat below average to other hotels in the city, service is always attentive. Coffee is way below grade, and the variety is limited.
This time I was given a room just above the restaurant on floor 1 and the noise from outside was very bothersome. Additionally, Bar American - the restaurant has instrumental music going during its entire open hours that was truly annoying. Done was slow jaZ with wind instruments that were truly not the right ones to have. This music -woke me up every morning and it was loud enough to penetrate through the walls.
I will think twice before returning here, even though I like the Centro area of town