Uruguay New Hotel Construction Wave Moves Beyond The Coast

Patrick Archer foreign investment, hotels & casinos, real estate, tourism, uruguay

The recent wave of Uruguay luxury hotel construction and renovation continues rising and spreading from Montevideo and Punta del Este into the country’s previously underserved interior.

The current boom was set into motion with the approval of pro-tourism legislation in 2007 when the only luxury hotels could be found in coastal areas like Montevideo, Maldonado and Colonia.

Today, Uruguay has 13 five-star hotels (4 in Montevideo, 3 in Colonia, 3 in Maldonado and 3 in Salto) and 33 four-star hotels (18 in Montevideo, 4 in Colonia, 3 in Salto, 2 in Cerro Largo, and 1 each in Nueva Helvecia, Rivera, Artigas, Rocha, Durazno and Soriano.

“And the phenomenon continues,” writes El Pais’ Eduardo Delgado noting the Ministry of Tourism approved 48 hotel projects in 2011 worth US$136.8 million, 68 projects in 2012 worth US$338 million and 39 projects in 2013 worth US$125 million. Another 20 hotel projects pending approval could push the total above US$300 million for the second consecutive year, according to Subsecretary of Tourism and Sports Antonio Carambula.

Juan Martinez, president of the Uruguay Hotel & Restaurant Association (AHRU), highlights two positive trends during the current luxury wave: the opening of more four and five-star properties outside of traditional markets like Montevideo and Punta, and the simultaneous spread of more established international chains like Hilton, Hyatt and Sofitel and regional chains like Dazzler, Esplendor and Regency. (Full Story in Spanish)

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