Posada Plaza Mayor

Colonia del Sacramento, Rio de la Plata, Uruguay Book from Book from £83 per night

Historic hotel with an Andalucian courtyard in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage site, an hour by ferry from Buenos Aires

A flock of parrots scatters into the extravagant orange-lavender sunset, transforming the Río de la Plata to mother-of-pearl. The fragrant Paraíso blossoms intoxicate. With day-trippers gone, the splashing courtyard fountain is interrupted only by the occasional buzz of a motorbike bumping over centuries-old cobblestones. Staying over is the best way to soak in Colonia del Sacramento’s timeless magic.

The Portuguese settled this rocky peninsula in southern Uruguay in 1680, fighting the Spanish for dominion for nearly a century. Today Colonia is a historic treasure, locally renowned for its freshwater beaches, lighthouse and colonial ruins - ideal for history-lovers or anyone seeking a peaceful (and romantic) respite from hectic Buenos Aires. Like the surrounding Barrio Histórico, this 13-room hotel is a marriage of authentic Portuguese and Spanish heritage architecture; 1860 buildings constructed on a ranch settled in 1700. Ground-floor rooms with irregular Portuguese exposed stone walls open to a flowery courtyard straight out of Old Seville. A small yard overlooks the river promenade. Museums, shops and restaurants are steps away.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.


  • Ideally located on a cobblestone street just off the main plaza in the picturesque and fascinating 10-block historic district; easy walking distance to shops and restaurants
  • Old World courtyard with wisteria, jasmine, azaleas, begonias and pansies surrounding a blue and white ceramic fountain
  • The colonial-style former family home includes architectural details and fixtures from the original Portuguese settlement preserved in a charming Spanish layout
  • It's a pocket of peace after bustling Buenos Aires


  • The hotel has recently changed management and there are lots of changes taking place - we will update this page as soon as we hear about them
  • You'll need to eat out for lunch and dinner, but there's lots of choice on your doorstep
  • It's quiet most nights; not for those hooked on Buenos Aires' all-night party vibe
  • No pool, but the beach is close at hand (unpretentious but a bit scruffy)

Best time to go

In summer (December to February) days are warm to sweltering, making Colonia’s beaches popular - though delightfully un-crowded. In February the town hosts its annual jazz festival. The Easter holiday is particularly busy with visiting Argentine families, so make sure you book well in advance if you plan to stay at this time. Winter months (July and August) can be cold and damp. Our mid-October (spring) visit was perfectly timed - a rather dramatic storm blew in briefly one afternoon, but most days were clear and cool.

Our top tips

Bring a Spanish dictionary - English is less widely spoken here (or less fluently) than in neighbouring Argentina, and you'll need one for navigating restaurant menus and getting around. Uruguayan Spanish is similar to rapid-fire Argentinian Spanish, peppered with slang.

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 13 rooms
  • Breakfast (+ restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


Built on the foundations of a 1700 Portuguese home that was part of Colonia del Sacramento’s original settlement, Posada Plaza Mayor is an interesting historic amalgam of Portuguese and Spanish colonial architecture, look out for the original Portuguese stone walls and tiles. The 13 rooms - ranging from small Senior Rooms to large Suite Deluxes - surround a flower-filled courtyard so picturesque it’s a favourite for wedding photographs.

Simple vintage-style furniture, thick terracotta tile floors, Portuguese-style walls of irregular grey stones, sloping beamed ceilings and shuttered windows with blue-and-white tiled sills make you feel like you’ve stepped back a couple of centuries. You may scratch your head at the touches of chintz and the sterile motel-style bathrooms (white tiles speckled with black and trimmed in cherry red?), but the heating, air con and jetted bathtubs are among the welcome 21st-century touches.

Mod cons in all rooms include minibars, hairdryers, small safes and roomy wardrobes with shelves and drawers. Note that the WiFi signal may not penetrate the thick walls of your room, so you might have to get online in the garden, lobby, reception or cafeteria instead.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • WiFi


Enjoy breakfast with a spectacular view of the river in the second storey 'cafeteria'. More charming than the name implies, this long wood-panelled room is inviting, with cheery blue and white checked tablecloths, an antique sideboard and a bar. The typical buffet includes yoghurt, juice, fresh fruit, cold cereal, ham, breads and pastries including croissants and cakes, jam, coffee, and hot water for tea.

Drinks and snacks (essentially the same fare offered at breakfast) are available via 24-hour room service, but for anything more substantial you'll need to head out. You can also get a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoons in the cafeteria.

Just opposite is the pink-walled Pulperia de los Faroles, which has live music most nights, and specialises in beef and bean dishes and homemade pasta. El Buen Suspiro is a good little wine bar with great cheeses and small plates; La Florida also gets good feedback. For dinner, Meson de la Plaza, opposite the Basilica, has a romantic vibe in a colonial setting and we liked their rich dishes; while the pricier Restaurante del Yacht, has a 3-sided view of the river. We also loved lingering over a café cortado (steamed milk 'cut' with a shot of espresso) at a shady sidewalk table outside La Luna, where the main drag - Avenida General Flores - meets the river. You may want to get to know menu terms, including cooking styles and cuts of beef served in local parillas (steakhouses) - perhaps even more popular here than in Buenos Aires. To further confuse things, chivito means something completely different in Uruguay than it does in Argentina - not goat, but beef loin (topped with lettuce, tomato, green olives, hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise on a thin muffin-like bun), and much championed by aficionados.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service


  • Soak up Colonia’s timeless magic: stroll along the river promenade at sunset, hang out at waterside cafés, and wander along the Portuguese (irregular stone) and Spanish (brick) streets (comfortable shoes are essential!)

  • Schedule a tour (gratuity appreciated) of the Barrio Histórico, browse the half a dozen small museums (one has an impressive whale skeleton in its garden, admission to all is covered by one ticket), and climb the 1857 lighthouse for a panoramic view. The unexpectedly plainly decorated Basilica del Sanctísimo Sacramento (the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament) is worth a look inside, stone-built by the Portuguese in 1808

  • Shop in the town's unique shops, galleries and boutiques - prices are reasonable for one-of-a-kind designer jewellery, handbags, shoes, antiques, handicrafts, leather, art, clothing. US dollars, Argentine and Uruguayan pesos are all spend-able here

  • Rent a mountain bike, motorbike, golf cart or 4x4 for exploring the town, as well as nearby beaches

  • Cool off at one of Colonia’s freshwater, white sand beaches; the warm, shallow waters are perfect for young children

  • Back at the hotel, settle back with a good book to the soft splash of the fountain in the flowery courtyard, work out in the gym, watch a DVD in the lounge, or enjoy a massage in your room

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming


Families are welcome; there's no charge for children under the age of 2. Baby cots can be provided on request.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

An extra bed can be provided in Suite 2, Suite 5, and Suite Deluxe 12. Baby cots can be provided in all rooms.

Kids Activities nearby:

Children will love the nearby uncrowded freshwater beaches, which have calm water safe for swimming. There's a (somewhat rickety) playground just next to the Feria Artisanal and Stadium.

Kid Friendly:


Posada Plaza Mayor is located in Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. It's only an hour by ferry from Buenos Aires in neighbouring Argentina.

By Air:
Most visitors arrive via Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (75km away). Alternatively, you can fly into Montevideo Carrasco International (160km away). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport
If you're arriving from Buenos Aires, you can either take a taxi from the airport to the port and then get the ferry to Colonia, or drive (see below). If landing at Montevideo, the easiest option is to drive.

By Boat
Most visitors arrive via the Buquebus ferry from Buenos Aires. The crossing takes an hour. First-class seats and child discounts are available.

By Car
See our car rental recommendations. There are 2 road bridges connecting Buenos Aires with Colonia.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Uruguay and getting around.


  • Buenos Aires Ezeiza International 75.0 km EZE
  • Montevideo Carrasco International 160.0 km MVD


  • Beach 2.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


La Posada is quite a magical spot and we had a gorgeous room with our own terrace and access to a small garden. Very stylishly decorated.
The booking process on i-escape was seamless and in the hotel itself the front desk staff were super helpful booking restaurants for me.
I would mention that I didn't enjoy the breakfast as much as I'd hoped I would.
We were there towards the end of the season ( early March) , so it mightn't be as lively as some might wish though the slow pace suited us perfectly for a few days.
Colonia is a delightful town and is perfect to chill out after lots of hectic tours or sightseeing. It's worth bearing in mind it's quiet there. There is a walking tour, some interesting shops. Dining out choices are limited. The sister hotel Charco has a smart restaurant and bar but other than that, the fare on offer is pretty standard.


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