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Visiting the Hotel Carrasco, Montevideo, Uruguay: Belle Epoque elegance by the Franco-Argentinian Carlos Thays

Updated on August 3, 2012
Flag of Uruguay
Flag of Uruguay | Source
Hotel Carrasco
Hotel Carrasco | Source
Carlos Thays
Carlos Thays | Source
Map location of Montevideo, Uruguay
Map location of Montevideo, Uruguay | Source

Dating from 1912; in recent years undergoing redevelopment

Hotel Carrasco is located in the suburb of the same name in the Uruguay's capital, Montevideo; the building's twin towers have come round to be somewhat of symbols of the suburb of Carrasco itself. Carrasco was originally named for an early settler, rancher Salvador Sebastián Carrasco (1).

The edifice was constructed in 1912. Its design was by the Franco-Argentinian Carlos Thays (1849-1934)(2), and is regarded as a fine example of Belle Epoque architecture. Thays notably studied under Edouard André (1840-1911), known for his work in developing public places in the Principality of Monaco, as well as in Montevideo,

In some ways, the Hotel Carrasco reminds me of the Hotel Carlton, Cannes, France, built in 1911 although there may not be a direct influence between the designs of the two buildings, both of which have similar, twin towers between an elevation facing an Esplanade. In the case of the Cannes hotel, this is La Croisette. In the case of the Hotel Carrasco, this is the Rambla República de México .

In the early 20th century, coastal Uruguay emerged as a highly sought after vacation area, with a number of great hotels and resorts becoming very well known. Together with establishments at Uruguay's most famous resort, Punta del Este, facilities such as the Argentino Hotel in Piriápolis and the Hotel Carrasco here in Montevideo combined to make Uruguay's coast from Montevideo eastwards very popular with visitors, especially from Argentina.

In recently years, refurbishment work for the Sofitel chain has been led by architect Adrián Ibarroule, particularly know for his work on developments in Bariloche, Argentina.

July 28, 2012


(1) The name has also been given to a local stream, the Arroyo Carrasco .

(2) Carlos Thays also worked on the plans for Independence Square (Spanish: Plaza Independencia ), and Rodó Park (Spanish: Parque Rodó ), both in Montevideo, and on numerous, major projects in Argentina.

Also worth seeing

In Montevideo itself, numerous visitor attractions include: the Independence Building facing Plaza Independencia; the Artigas Mausoleum; Gateway to the Citadel (Spanish: Ciudadela ); the Salvo Palace; the Legislative Palace; the main building of the University of the Republic (UdelaR); the Obelisk; the Cerro Fortresss; the Cerrito; and many others.


How to get there: LanChile flies to Montevideo , Uruguay from North American destinations including New York and Toronto . The Uruguayan airline PLUNA, which codeshares with VARIG, flies to a number of Latin American regional destinations. Car rental is available at Montevideo Carrasco International airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


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    • fcmosher profile image

      FCM 5 years ago from near the Equator

      sure, why not? nice lens, well put together.