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The mysterious abandoned hotel in Sauce de Portezuelo, the myth of the gay complex and an uncertain future

What would it be for gay community. That the owners died, but that some are alive. that is not known Why was it never opened? That Guido Manini Ríos asked about the place to do a addict rehabilitation center That it’s all run run and nobody knows anything for sure.

Which is a mystery.

The neighbors of Willow of Portezuelo, in maldonado, speculate and comment on the most varied theories about an entire block of 22,458 square meters that has looked the same for almost 16 years: a cement construction a few meters from the beach that is reminiscent of an old hotel on the road that appears in the movies.

And the place doesn’t seem to have a certain future. To the Maldonado City Hall No initiatives or projects came to him to reconvert the old hotel.

With modules with six doors each, connected by an orange layota sidewalk corridor –which is almost the only thing that gives color to the space, along with some modules that are painted in pastel colors– and windows with broken glass, “it looks like a barracks”, several neighbors agree, especially because of the tower that rises almost in the middle of the property which was where the water tank was going to be.

Maria Eugenia Scognamiglio

The construction was practically finished

The construction began in 2007 and was to be a 4,509 square meter hotel complex built by about one hundred studio apartments with kitchenette, a space to sleep and a bathroom.

Juan da Silva

The rooms are studios

For the time, it was “re modern”, say the neighbors. “In a hole, where there is an opening, you look through and it is a painting. You can see the dune, the grass and the sea,” said Graciela, a resident of the area.

also had a party room and even a 296 square meter poolwhich was built with a underground pipe that reaches the beach water to fill it. The pool pump is also in place and in good condition. In addition, the complex has its own UTE sub-station and a deposit.

In the hotel on vacation alone The inauguration ribbon was cut. Something that never happened.

Juan da Silva

The party room has finished wood stoves

but the play It was not only unfinished in the facts, but also in the papers: the night watchman had to change a pump that had broken and had to access the plans. There he saw that despite the years that the owners -or the owner’s son- They did not close the work, a procedure that is carried out before the BPS.

He The current owner of the complex, who is the son of the person who built it, is an Argentine businessman that the neighbors do not see frequently around the place, although there is a person in charge of maintaining it and two night watchmen who take care of the space, especially from vandalization, the theft of copper from the cables and the theft of debris, something that worries those who live in the surroundings. “If I see that there is someone there, I call the police right away. Because one day they steal rubble right there in front and another day they steal it from me,” said a neighbor.

Maria Eugenia Scognamiglio

The windows were vandalized over the years

Graciela he sees the hotel from the door of his house and says that young people come with “the desire to destroy and break”, so when he sees that situation he takes photos and sends them to the person in charge of the place so that he can go. However, in the complex there have been no major security issues nor people who have clandestinely occupied the rooms.

During the night the place is taken care of Sandrowho in those hours stays in one of the studio apartments that he adapted to be able to inhabit it, because no room has electricity or water connection.

When he sees someone arrive, he already imagines what will happen: they will ask him if any of the “little houses” are for rent.

He has been there for four months and he believes that he is not the right person to talk about the history of the hotel, although he says he knows and has heard some things because his brother took care of him for 14 years. “Abandoned it is not”, corrects the question of The Observer and adds: “It’s damaged by people, it’s not abandoned.”

Maria Eugenia Scognamiglio

The hotel complex has the pool built

“There were eight (owners), they died and two remain. But there is one that has the majority. I think it was not inaugurated due to some legal papers, however this is for sale. Four million eight hundred ask,” said Sandro.

No one knows for sure the official story. Not if there were eight owners, not if it was one. “Neither name, nor surname, nor anything”, says Graciela when asked about who owns it. The same responds Sandro.

A mystery.

Alfonso, an 82-year-old man who has lived in Sauce de Portezuelo for more than 60, reaches a link in the story and also does not know the name of the Argentine owner of the hotel. He tells that Dino Lapi, an Italian entrepreneur that divided and forested Sauce de Portezuelo in the forties, He sold the land to a man named Cardozo who in 1973 built the campsite “El cardenal azul” there. that worked for 22 years, recalls Alfonso.

In 1995, Cardozo sold the camping land to the Argentine businessman who built the hotel and died before inaugurating it, according to the neighbor’s version. However, Afonso says that he does not know the name of the owner and that he does not know him. “He is a sole owner and the son, who is from Argentina, goes around every time he can. I never found out the name because there is not so much privacy between the neighbors anymore,” he said.

The myth of the “hotel for gays” and the projects

The theory that the Resort was to be for the gay community is spread out in the community. The neighbors heard it or affirm it. It is almost a legend of the spa that is accepted as true, but that is not known.

Neighbors say that when the Argentine bought the land, the Chihuahua area and its iconic nudist beach were booming. And position this complex as a gay hotel was “good marketing”. Although for Graciela “it’s all a run run”.

She claims that “The man’s idea was to bring already retired couples without much purchasing power” to vacation in an area close to East Point. “The builder, Omar, passed away in 2012. The only thing he did was marry his daughter, who is a doctor,” said the neighbor. The party for the doctor and her husband was held in the hall of the complex. “It was the only thing it was ever used for.”

Alfonso is decisive: the gay hotel “was an invention that occurred to a lady who wanted to have some statements in a newspaper”, He said and argued that he does not believe “there is a gay organization that is so organized as to make an investment of this type.”

Sandro says that the Administration should acquire and use it. “When there are these things lying around in Uruguay, with the housing need there is… politicians can!”, said the serene. AND Graciela expects the state to build some kind of industrial educational center

alfonso account that the Club Banco Republica members were interested in the complex, also the INAU and Graciela says that she received “a little before the pandemic” to envoys from Manini Ríos of Cabildo Abierto who went to the area to find out data to turn the complex into a rehabilitation center for addicts. The Observer consulted with him Senator Guillermo Domenech, the deputy of the Cabildo Abierto in Maldonado, Sebastián Cal and the president of INISA, Rossana de Olivera -belonging to Cabildo Abierto- but the three affirmed that they do not know if these efforts occurred.

The truth is that the hotel that was not it is so settled in the place that it is part of the landscape for those who live there. And it doesn’t seem to be getting up anytime soon. There may be several more years to continue building stories and myths around the mysterious complex.

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