Emily and I arrived in Punta Diablo a little earlier than planned, and we were able to send an e-mail off, using our bus’s WiFi to let Sebastián know. Sebastián is the owner (or manager?) of the hostel, Hostel de la Viuda. He showed up to pick us up in his truck not long after.
The hostel is a bit far from the beach, but that didn’t matter so much because the hostel is just so awesome. It’s a destination in its own right.
First I’ll review it according to the list of “five things” we look for in a hostel that we posted in an earlier blog.
When it comes to rating, this hostel is a clear winner. With hundreds of reviews on TripAdvisor and Hostelworld averaging out to 4.5/5 stars and a 93%, respectively, we had high expectations.
We paid around $16 each per night in a room with three bunks. I think that’s a good, fair price for high season. That said, I checked today and you can get a bed in a room with five bunks for $11 on Trip Advisor, and $12 on Hostelworld. I think that’s a steal! Either way, the hostel wins in the price department.
Punta del Diablo is a small, chill beach town. The beaches aren’t bad, and the best part is that you don’t have to share them with crowds, especially if you walk just a bit. This is not Punta del Este, which is a plus, for me. Nearby, about an hour by bike, is Santa Teresa, a national park with a bird sanctuary, an old Spanish fort and more beaches. The hostel is on the outskirts of Punta del Diablo, about 15 or twenty minutes away from the beach, walking. If it were closer it would be better, but the location is okay, and the general location is great for a few days of relaxation.
Hostel de la Viuda hits this one out of the park. They have so many places for guests to mingle: the living area, dining area, kitchen, back porch, two-story terrace, several groups of hammocks, THE POOL, firepit, building with a billiards table, and a building in the back of the property with a foosball table where they encourage people to hang out if they stay up late. The hostel also has a very well-stocked, clean kitchen which means allows lots of guests to cook and eat dinner together. They have snacks and drinks available so you don’t have to leave for those things. All in all they give a space that really encourages a community to form in their hostel.
Hostel de la Viuda appears to follow a very organized, daily cleaning regimen. Every morning the clean all the floors and bathrooms. They lift the cushions off the couches to clean them. They sweep at different intervals during the day, and do a final clean before closing down the main common area every night. I never saw them clean the dorms, but I think they may sweep a little when they set the beds up with new linens. They have two sinks in the kitchen which makes it easier for guests to efficiently clean the dishes they use. We also saw them do lawn maintenance while we were there. In general, the place is very neat and tidy.
There were so many great things about this hostel. They get extra points for the following:
The Pool: The pool is small but clean and inviting. Great for enjoying the sun when you don’t want to walk to the beach.
The “Mirador”: the top floor of the terrace is fantastic for stargazing on a clear night. We really enjoyed looking up at the Milky Way.
The Service: There was almost always at least one staff member available to help us at all times. Usually more. When I went to squeeze limes with part of a machine juicer (I didn’t want to actually use the machine), a staff member saw me and showed me that they had a manual juicer with a container underneath to catch the juice. The staff was attentive and kind.
We had such a great stay. The only caveat I would add is that this is a bit of a party hostel. We don’t usually think of ourselves as the party hostel type, but despite the noise of people celebrating late into the night, we slept fairly well and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Just bring a pair of earplugs.
I couldn’t recommend staying anywhere else if you want to thoroughly enjoy your stay in Punta del Diablo. ¡Gracias Hostel de la Viuda!