Making the most of Montevideo

Sep 27th, 2016, 08:26 AM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
The good part is that I found a new hotel and am much happier here. It's new, has a lovely terrace and the staff are wonderful.

The bad part is that the original hotel were not able to refund my credit card immediately. They said it will take up to 30 days to get the refund processed. To add insult to injury, they said they could only refund the full amount and that I would have to pay separately for the first night. I told them I didn't want to pay for the first night at all, all things considered, especially as the delay in refunding me would leave me out of pocket, but I got nowhere. They reluctantly gave me a pathetic discount of about $15. They didn't seem to be able to get it into their heads that I was leaving because their hotel was so awful, not because of a change of plan. The receptionist even said 'well, you're choosing to check out early' as if it had nothing to do with being woken up by drilling and banging at 7am or not being able to use the pool or roof terrace I paid for. There was no apology at any stage or any recognition of the fact that this messed up the first day of my trip and now I get to spend the next month stressing about the money and hoping it gets refunded. Zero concept of customer service. If I'm allowed to name and shame, I will. I'm definitely not demanding when it comes to accommodation and this is the first time I remember having a major issue in my years of travelling, so believe me when I say it's awful.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Sep 27th, 2016, 08:28 AM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
It was the Vivaldi, avrooster.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Sep 27th, 2016, 10:26 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,646
So whqt horrible thin happened in thetaxi and walking to dinner/ Surely you askeD Adice from reception before setting ouT.


POST YOUR HOTELREVIEW ON TRIPADVISORALSO IF THEY HAVE AFAQCEBOOK PQAGE.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 27th, 2016, 12:19 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,646
tHE ONLY DANGER IN MERCADO DEL PUERTO IW WHAT ALL THAT STEQAK WILL DO TO YOU ARTERIES

aNTHONY BOURDAIN'S VISIT


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaYY3oGfkyg
mlgb is offline  
Sep 27th, 2016, 12:27 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
http://tinyurl.com/z7563zz

I already asked the OP to report about her experience more in detail WHEN TIME PERMITS.

The OP replied:

"I will of course update you all on my experiences here when I get back to BA."

and

"I will be back to update you on MVD when I can!"

Loud and clear from AVRooster: THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!
avrooster is offline  
Sep 27th, 2016, 01:57 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
Clementine: http://tinyurl.com/zx8pctf
avrooster is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 02:32 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
Clementine: during October and November you can watch near BA the best polo players in the world.

If at all inclined to this kind of thing, don't miss it!

Have a great time in my town.
avrooster is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 03:53 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,619
Did you read the links I posted? I ate a couple of very good meals in Montevideo, and no bad ones.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 05:01 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
As far as I can see above, the OP said she had a "horrible experience WALKING to find somewhere to eat".

She hasn't yet reported on the quality of her actual dining experience.

My own experience dining in Montevideo seems to be the opposite of other posters: very expensive and decent, at best. And I went to places suggested by knowledgeable locals.
avrooster is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 06:27 AM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
Yes, right again, avrooster. The problem wasn't the restaurant, or the food, but rather a bad experience with a person. Haven't had a bad meal here yet, although no outstanding ones either. I went to a cute little place for lunch yesterday which had decent vegetarian options (I'm not a vegetarian but need a break from all the meat I eat in Argentina) and was a nice spot to spend an hour or two with a glass of wine and my book.

Yes - I saw that review yesterday but unfortunately it wasn't there when I booked. I find it incredible that guests staying there over the last few weeks have given it 4-5 star ratings and positive reviews. The construction noise is intolerable and the rest of the hotel mediocre at best. It actually has better reviews than the place I'm staying at now, which people have given low star ratings for very petty complaints. Bizarre.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 06:36 AM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
No es culpa del hotel tener dos obras al lado; pero si pesimo que no te digan en la pagina cuando haces la reserva o pero aún que no te avisen cuando haces el chek in y te dan la habitación pegada a la obra

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...partment.html#

The above is what makes me really angry. No, it might not be their fault that there is construction next door, but it is absolutely their fault that they take your money and don't warn you about it. I specifically requested a quiet room on a high floor and was given a low floor right next to the worst of the construction. It is absolutely unethical not to mention the noise which starts at the ridiculous time of 7am. I'm aware that it's difficult for the hotel to have to deal with this annoying construction site, but there is no excuse for taking money from innocent unsuspecting guests who just want a decent night's sleep and then leaving them out of pocket for 30 days. Woeful.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 06:38 AM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
BTW, a quiet room on a high floor is my default request - I wouldn't have booked at all if I'd known I'd be in the middle of construction works.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 10:58 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
Clementine:

I had written a long post, but the machine acted up and I lost it.

Assuming you have IN WRITING your "I specifically requested a quiet room on a high floor and was given a low floor right next to the worst of the construction.", I would contact these management e-mails

[email protected]

[email protected]

telling them about your experience and asking for your money back, or else!

If it comes to that, I'll tell you exactly what I mean by "else".

I worked in the hospitality business in a "previous life" and I know exactly how their mind works.
avrooster is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 01:17 PM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
Thanks avrooster. I also worked in the hospitality business, so I know what you mean.

I understand that the booking.com preferences/requests are just that - preferences or requests, and I don't always expect them to be honoured, of course, but in light of the construction work it makes everything even worse. I will definitely contact those people - I'm too angry to let this one slide!
ClementineLdn is offline  
Sep 28th, 2016, 01:26 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
Having booked through booking.com won't help your case at all, from the point of view of the Vivaldi.

I usually suggest using search engines to check availability and the forums to choose the hotel you want.

Then, I always book directly with the hotel. They LOVE it.
avrooster is offline  
Oct 5th, 2016, 11:39 AM
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 172
Indeed, avrooster. I will contact the management anyway and see what they say, if anything.

I'm not sure my time in Uruguay really warrants a trip report of its own because I did very little, but in case anyone is interested, I'll put a few notes here.

I went over to Colonia on the Buquebus. No idea what was going on with immigration that morning, but it took me an hour and a half to get through and the boat had to be delayed because half the passengers were stuck in immigration. Once on board, I didn't manage to get a window seat, but I did get one in the middle row nearish the window. A family of 3 sat in the row next to the window. About 10 minutes after we left the port, they all got up and went over to get food, leaving nothing behind. I wanted to move into their seats but thought they might be coming back (previous experience told me this!). About 20 minutes after that, a man from the row behind them moved into the window seat and assuming they wouldn't be back, I moved next to him. The family came back about 10 minutes after that and were very indignant about us 'stealing' their seats. This must be a cultural thing because it's happened before - people walking off and leaving no indication that they'll be back (leaving a sweater or something on the seat) and then getting annoyed when their seats are taken. How are people supposed to know they're taken? I don't get it.

Anyway, the boat was fine - nice, smooth crossing over to Colonia and it was easy to get to the Old Town from the ferry terminal. I bought my bus ticket to Montevideo in advance, deciding to leave at 4pm, giving me around 5 hours in Colonia. It was a beautiful day and I spent half an hour by the river watching my Buquebus leave the port to sail back to Buenos Aires and having mate (yes, I'm becoming more and more Argentinian ) I then spent a few hours walking around the cobbled streets of the old town. I went up the lighthouse (not really worth it IMO) and out of curiosity, also checked out the modern part of town before sitting down for an overpriced but relaxing lunch near the river. I did enjoy my time in Colonia - it is super relaxing - but I wouldn't have wanted to spend any more time than I did. I went back to the bus station was able to board my bus quite early. It was modern and comfortable (the company was COT) and had good Wi-fi - a nice surprise!

On arrival at the bus terminal, I took out some Uruguayan pesos from the ATM and went to the taxi rank to get a taxi. I gave the driver the name of my hotel and the address and he told me he didn't know it and then just kind of sat there. I pointed out that he had a sat nav system, but he just ignored me and then started driving. I figured he'd put the address into the system when stopped at a red light or something. No, that would have been too easy. He went to the area where the hotel was located and then proceeded to pull over and ask random pedestrians for directions. I was started to get irritated now because all this was on MY dime. I once again suggested he put the address in the GPS and again, he just ignored me. He eventually pulled over and finally did it, taking his time, and now very irritated, I asked him to stop the meter because I wasn't going to waste my hard earned money for his mistake - he should have done this at the bus terminal! Again, he ignored me. Eventually the hotel came into view and I said 'just let me out here'. He kept driving. I now shouted 'let me out!' and he muttered something about having to turn around so he could pull up outside the hotel (which was on the other side of the road). I said 'I don't care. LET.ME.OUT.HERE!'. Again, he totally ignored me and proceeded to drive down the street, take a left turn and drive back, which in heavy traffic took another ten minutes. I tried to get out but the door was locked. I was furious by this stage. In all my time travelling I have never had a taxi driver just totally ignore me and refuse to let me out. A horrible start to my stay in Montevideo, made worse by some creep stalking me and then staring through the window at me for a good half an hour when I went to get something to eat. And this in a supposedly upscale area!

Unfortunately it would get worse. The next day, I was woken at 7am sharp by an unbearable drilling and hammering which felt as if it was on the wall right behind me (it turns out that it was!) The whole room was shaking. I called reception to ask what on earth was going on and they said 'oh that's normal, there's construction work going on next door'. I asked why they hadn't told me about this when I booked, or at least when I checked in, and the guy couldn't answer that question. He offered to switch my room, which I was initially OK with, but when I went up to the roof terrace (I had specifically booked this hotel because of its roof terrace and pool), I saw that not only was the noise unbearable, but the construction site was literally overlooking the terrace. It was completely unusable. I went to reception and told them I was checking out and wanted a refund for the other nights (they had made me pre-pay on arrival). They agreed, so I went to have breakfast and tried to be positive, and I booked another hotel nearby. After breakfast, I went to check out and get my refund and they told me it would take 30 days. Agh! Why didn't they tell me this? Because I had used a debit card to pay (my credit card wouldn't work in their machine) I was now out of pocket - that money was the money I had put aside for my two days in Montevideo. I was furious. Their attitude was totally 'well it's not our problem' and they actually made ME feel like I'd done something wrong!

I took my stuff and went to my new hotel and the difference was like night and day. They were friendly, welcoming and gave me advice about local places to eat. My room wasn't quite ready, so I spent an hour or two reading on the terrace before putting my stuff in my room and going to a cute little restaurant called Un Secreto, where I had a good vegetarian lunch and glass of wine on their terrace. In the late afternoon/early evening I went for a stroll along Rambla Gandhi along the waterfront - this was really nice and I got some great photos. There was a good atmosphere there with people rollerblading, cycling and jogging along the path and people scattered on the grass drinking mate. I was feeling super tired at this stage due to the lack of sleep the night before, so went back to the hotel and had dinner there and then relaxed in my room.

The next day, I met up with an old friend of mine and she introduced me to her friends. I spent the day with them as they worked on an art project. It was interesting to meet ordinary people and do something non-touristy. We went to a few different locations in the city and I have to say, none of them really stood out to me at all. I did not find it a beautiful or particularly interesting city. Meeting my friend and her friends was really the highlight of the whole trip. We had a nice dinner at a lovely wine and tapas place in Punta Carreta, then I went to the bus terminal the next morning to get the Buquebus bus to Colonia, where I got the boat back to Buenos Aires. No stressful immigration lines this time - everything went very smoothly and the boat left on time and arrived on time.

My impressions of Uruguay? Initially I hated it, mostly because of the terrible attitude of the people I met. The second and third days were much better, which makes me think I could have just had really bad luck the first day, I don't know. It is a very expensive country and in most cases, I don't think the level of service is up to the prices charged. I think Colonia would be a nice day trip from BA but certainly would not bother with Montevideo again.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Oct 5th, 2016, 01:10 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,243
I can't help myself: IHTSITYSBITYS

Just kidding. LOL!!!

I'm sure you'll go on having a great time now that you are back in my town.
avrooster is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:09 PM.