Now offering Booking.com savings & convenience direct from Uruguay Expat Life!

Booking.com logoWe’re proud to have partnered with globally known and highly respected discount hotel booking service Booking.com to provide you with one-stop convenience for booking all your hotels for your Uruguay visit. Starting today, you can book hotels in Uruguay, or anywhere in the world, right from our site. Use the banner ad above to go directly to Booking.com‘s main website, or the handy search box in our sidebar. We’ve helpfully pre-populated it to search for hotels in Uruguay, but you can change that to any country, city, region, or attraction you like.

We, Lisa Mercer and Mark Mercer, have used Booking.com many times ourselves, both for our original exploration of Uruguay back in mid-2011, our so-called Uruguay Reality Check trip, and for the hotel stays before and after our temporary seasonal rental here in Atlántida. We’ve used other services, and many of them also are good, Continue reading Now offering Booking.com savings & convenience direct from Uruguay Expat Life!

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Thank you for this great year of excellent community, nearly 4000 viewers each week just of our website, and the very successful launch of the Uruguay Expat Life Community at Google’s interactive platform – join in at is.gd/UYcommunity

Lots of plans for the New Year. We intend to re-purpose AtlantidaExpats.com (and its alt-URL AtlantidaExpat.com) as an information vehicle and advertising opportunity for our local/regional Costo de Oro businesses. We made a free “internet gift culture” offer of use and editorial control of it to the existing unofficial “Atlántida English Speakers” newsletter and bi-monthly “expat meeting” but it was refused by them. Now, onto new opportunities for it, including ways to promote our friends and neighbors at local, Uruguayan-owned businesses, to the English-speaking expat community of our region.

wooden walkway over the dunes to the beach
Take that path to your dreams in 2014.

We are the owners of the valuable domain names AtlantidaHotel.com, CostaDeOroHotels.com, SouthernConeHotel.com, and SouthernConeHotels.com domain names, along with a portfolio of other names. We will be either creating hotel directories and advertising opportunities for our local hospitality businesses, or selling these domains for the opportunity they provide to some smart hoteliers, or a mix of the two approaches. Email domains-at-southerncrossweb-dot-com to make an offer for any of these names, or contact our related web and social marketing operation via the contact form at southerncrossweb.com.

We will be launching UruguayFor.Me as a separate site, with lots of detailed information and links to services you need, and will have advertising and featured-post opportunities available there too! Bookmark it now; it will bring you back here to Uruguay Expat Life until Uruguay For Me is live.

Unlike some sites, we will continue to keep our original brand, Uruguay Expat Life, collection of of sites, social networks,  and online communities, always free, Continue reading Happy 2014!

Casa Inspiracion Atlantida

One of the great things about being an expat is the fascinating people who share ta similar lifestyle. Just as we came from the snow-capped mountains of Colorado, Syd and Gundy arrived from the mountains of British Columbia. Read about Casa Inspiracion, their bed and breakfast in Villa Argentina. If you’re thinking of doing a “try Uruguay” trip, these folks are an excellent resource.

A private pool at Casa Inspiracion
Pool at Casa Inspiracion

Sunset Watching in Parque del Plata

Had a lovely evening yesterday at a small, modest, fun hotel and fast-food beachside place two towns up the coast east from us. The Hotel Via Park, in Parque del Plata.

Customers getting served fast food at the Via Park
Via Park Hotel – Beachside Fast Food cooked to order

About 3 or 4 kilometers from where we live in Atlántida. Quick 10 minute 19 peso (U$S 1 dollar) ride on any Copsa 710 or 761, Raincoop 222, or Cutcsa C4 or C3 bus passing through Atlántida. (It’s a short ride, you can put up with the disgustingly dirty and ill-maintained-interiors Copsa buses for 10 minutes. Longer, wait for Cutcsa or Raincoop!)

Classic beachside fast-food & motel joint, to the extend that it was bringing back memories of Humarock Beach on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Except without the rocks of Humarock, and without the freezy cold water too! And the beach with its high dunes is right there on the other side of the road, not even set back a ways like in Atlántida.

The event? An expat friend of ours who is a longtime Uruguay resident, is buying the hotel. Plans to keep it pretty much the same, menu will still be a fast beach food offering, not gourmet cuisine nor Uruguayan parrilla. Panchos (hot dogs), hamburgesas (común, con queso o completo con huevo – cheese, eggs, probably ham), chicken nuggets, french fries, and really good calamari rabas. He may tweak it a bit, but it’s beach food and affordable beachside rooms.

Parque del Plata feels even more “beach resort” to us than Atlántida, which has more of a year-round-with-a-beach feel. Though Parque del Plata is a true year-round community and an actual city, the beachside area has a deeper concentration of fishing and sport shops, food stands, beachside hotels, and beach-centric feel than here along either our Playa Brava or Playa Mansa.

The weekly feria shows up there on Saturdays, and was just closing down as we arrived. We saw several of the same sellers as at our Thursday feria in Atlántida, but many different ones as well. When Lisa said “look it’s the same sunglass guy!”, I replied “Look, it’s the same sunglass guy. Now buy some sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV like I’ve been nagging for weeks!”. She finally did, and saw the rest through rose-colored glasses.

Photo of the crescent moon in the early night sky above the umbrellas on the terrace lounge
We stayed well past sunset. A little blurry, but so were we by then.

Our host opened up the rooftop terrace outside the 1st floor rooms (2nd floor to you estadosunidenses – “Americans”), as the “VIP Lounge” for drinks, food, darts, and sunset watching. Likely to open it to the public as a bar/lounge/restaurant area rather than just for guests, as part of the update. There’s a stairway up to the higher rooftop over the lodging area, and he has some plans for there too.

Imiage of large room with large bed and single bed, colorful red tones, ceiling fan and air conditioning
Family room at the Via Park hotel in Parque del Plata

The property right now under current ownership is lovely, affordable, brightly painted for a modest, appealing beachside experience. Check them out! Good place to play, eat, and stay right now, and even better things to come.

Edit 10 May 2013: Changed the link in the first paragraph to the hotel’s new English-language website. With this disclosure: We, Mark and Lisa Mercer, the owners of Uruguay Expat Life & Uruguay for me, just built and earlier today published that website for them, under their contract with our new venture, Southern Cross Web and Social Marketing. However at the time we wrote this blog post in Dec 2012, our new venture didn’t even exist, and our client hadn’t yet even completed the purchase of the hotel. Other than the link change and this disclosure, our post is unchanged from our unsolicited, uncompensated words six months ago.