What is the best secret hotel in Uruguay? Probably this one.

Casa Zinc in La Barra across the small wavy bridge from Uruguay’s famed coastal hot spot, Punta del Este.


It’s part of the Tablet Hotel collection, which hints at its exclusive, uber-cool nature.

Casa Zinc is a small hotel, a hipster’s dream; an unassuming collection of six rooms in a quiet residential neighborhood off the main thoroughfare.

Don’t let the trompe d’oeil facade and Casa Zinc’s consciously rumpled public areas fool you. The illusion masks attention to detail in all creature comforts, wrapping modern conveniences in luxurious, carefully curated bohemian chic with just a whiff of intrigue.

Want to conjure up a mysterious past?  Cafe Zinc is the perfect setting.

See if you don’t agree in the following slideshow or Casa Zinc’s online gallery, here.

Staying at Casa Zinc is akin to finding yourself a guest at the home of your most exotic friend – you know the one.  The discreet staff brings forth fresh orange juice in the morning, whips up the most robust lattes, and offers eggs or simpler fare.

Other guests join the communal breakfast table, or take their light meal outside in the garden on rusty iron chairs somehow look very inviting. There’s as much (or as little) conversation as you like.

Sitting in the garden with a book or laptop (the reclaimed, vintage surroundings belie an excellent wifi connection) is restorative.

The house wine is from the exquisite Bodega Garzón, well worth the hour’s drive for lunch and a tour.IMG_1916

The famed beaches of Punta del Este and La Barra are close-by.

as are shopping opportunities that will make you wish you brought an extra suitcase.

Aaron Hojman, Casa Zinc’s charming owner, who channeled his passion for antiques into this inventive design,  summarizes his unique property perfectly. “I’m a reverse plastic surgeon,” he says with a wink, “I take the new and make it look old.”

And, might I add, to great effect.

Viva la Uruguay….


If you’ve been to this hideaway, please comment below – if not, put it on your bucket list!



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