Updated on June 13, 2010
El Diablo Tranquilo Hostel, Punta del Diablo, Uruguay
El Diablo Tranquilo in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay certainly lives up to its name in the off season. I would describe the establishment as a cross between a bed and breakfast and a hostel. El Diablo Tranquilo is set in a small surf/fishing village on Uruguay’s eastern side.
El Diablo Tranquilo was founded by Brian Meissner and his girlfriend Heidi about a year ago. The inn opened up during peak season, January-February, and without any stutter became a success. Punta del Diablo swells from around 400 hundred residents in the winter to upwards of twenty thousand in the summer. During peak season the inns 54 beds are regularly filled, although El Diablo Tranquilo is open year-round.
The inn has five dorm style rooms, two suites with private bathrooms, a double room with shared bath, a private room with bunk beds and a shared bath, and a triple room with three beds. The triple room and both suites also have private fireplaces. The triple room is perfect for a family because of its double bed and accompanying bunk beds.
El Diablo Tranquilo’s entrance way is dominated by a three piece circular sofa surrounding a cozy fireplace. This is a great area for travelers to chat over a few drinks to get to know one another and to discuss their travels. The upstairs landing holds two computers and a foosball table. The internet access at El Diablo Tranquilo is the best I have used in Uruguay. The computers all work and the internet is fast. Also, if you are traveling from the United States the power strips at each computer are 110 volts just like back home.
The inn is far above the standards of any other hostel I have stayed in. I really don’t even like to call it a hostel. The vibe is a fusion between a bed and breakfast and a hostel. The resulting atmosphere is welcoming place where you want to hang out, far more then merely a bed to sleep in.
The plans didn’t stop here and neither did the project. Brian also purchased a piece of ocean front property where the inn’s accompanying bar and restaurant was built. It is also one of the most direct ways to get onto the beach. The bar is open to the public and hosts bands and DJ’s during the busy summer months. During the day and early evening, until about 11pm, the kitchen is open for dinner and the food is some of the best in Punta del Diablo.
The restaurant and bar is open for limited hours during the winter months, but will almost always open for hostel guests to have lunch and dinner.
The best thing about El Diablo Tranquilo, especially during the winter months, is the atmosphere. Immediately upon walking in the front door one feels at home. Most people shed their shoes at the front door and flop on one of the leather sofa sections. Much of the reason that the inn has such a cozy atmosphere is that it is the home of Brian and Heidi, who live their year round. Every day they welcome guests in to their home to share a magnificent view of the South Atlantic out of the floor to ceiling front windows.