A beautiful and modern city filled with impressive architecture and teeming with Uruguayan culture, Montevideo has been well-loved by Royal Holiday members and other tourists for decades. The home of the first FIFA World Cup and a highly ranked destination among many vacationers, the city has also been named the top Latin American urban center by Mercer since 2006, topping the list due to its excellent quality of life and continued economic success. Royal Holiday members will do well to visit this unique city, which offers a number of sophisticated delights and old fashioned fun.
Members will stay at one of Royal Holiday’s most picturesque affiliates, the Cala di Volpe Boutique Hotel, an oceanfront resort with studio rooms perfect for a businesswoman’s trip to Uruguay’s economic heart or a couple’s romantic vacation. Located just outside downtown, the Cala di Volpe sits in the Punta Carretas neighborhood, the home of the Parque Rodó and its gorgeous grounds and the Punta Carretas Shopping mall and the Juan Zorrilla de San Martin Museum. Of course, the main attraction for Royal Holiday members visiting in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months will be the beach, which is only a block away. The hotel offers the usual amenities, ranging from Wi-Fi and in-house gym to a lobby bar and room service, while nearby options for playgrounds, theaters, and entertainment make it a popular destination.
While the debate concerning the meaning of “Montevideo” continues to rage on, with many tracing the origins of the city’s name to a comment from one of the boatswains working under Ferdinand Magellan, the city’s history offers a clear view of the forces that shaped Uruguay. First established by the Spanish Empire in the early 1700s, the colonial battle over Uruguay caused the city of Montevideo to fall under the command of the British and Portuguese, as well as the then Empire of Brazil, prior to the country’s emergence as an independent nation in 1828. Today, more than a third of Uruguayans live in the capital, and its vibrant, exciting culture make it well worth a visit.
Most Royal Holiday members will do well to make their first stop the Montevideo Rambla, the bustling promenade that lines the entirety of the Montevideo coastline. Enjoy a cup of mate, Uruguay’s national beverage, while you sit on one of the many benches lining the Rambla or lay out on one of the sandy beaches. The Rambla is also a great location after dark, when the nightlife flourishes. Montevideo is the home of the tango, and should one visit during the height of carnival season in January and February, one will find endless live music and dancing fun, though, as a city of many cultures and musical forms, the party continues year-round. Royal Holiday members hoping to enjoy some of the local culture will want to check out the many impressive monuments and landmarks, from the impressive Teatro Solis and the Plaza Independencia to one of the city’s 12 excellent museums. English speakers hungry for companionship will enjoy strolling through the expat-heavy Pocitos neighborhood, with its trendy bars and bakeries, while those looking to soak up authentic Montevideo will enjoy a visit to the Old City, where open-air markets and excellent restaurants offer delicious local cuisine.