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“No dramatics just nature and surfing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Grande Surf Camp

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Playa Grande Surf Camp
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Playa Grande, Playa Grande 011, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“No dramatics just nature and surfing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2011

I came to PGSC with one purpose and that was to surf. I just wanted somewhere close to the beach with no hassle. Well, I found perfection. The owner was laid back and cool, there was an impressive quiver of boards to choose from and the prices were great. He has a maid come every day so the place was super clean.

There was always a cool group of people to talk to and you could pretty much come and go as you please. The best part was that all you have to do is throw a board under your arm and walk a few paces to the beach. I had a great time and always felt like I was part of a family of travelers.

Also it's close to the restaurants in the area and just a beach walk away from Tamarindo. It's a way more chill and authentic place to stay if you don't want to be right in the middle of the tourism of Tamarindo.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2011

I would highly recommend Playa Grande Surf Camp for anyone looking for an amazing experience at a beautiful location. The camp truly feels like a relaxing paradise. There are little private a-frame cabanas as well as raised cabanas that are charming. I went to have a few relaxing and romantic days with my boyfriend and it was perfect. There is also a fun social vibe as there is a pool and central area where you can sit out, eat, and play cards with other travelers. The surf camp is literally steps from the beach, and a stunning beach at that! The location cannot be beat. What really makes the camp most special, though, is the owner. Gerry is involved completely with the camp and lives on site. He gives great surf lessons and has a real camaraderie with the guests. I've actually had several surf lessons before and Gerry was able to help me so much comparatively. His is so hospitable and really makes you feel welcome. PGSC cannot be beat and I can't wait to get back!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

If you're looking for a resort, this is not your spot. But it's definitely the best thing you're going to get for the money in the area (including Tamarindo). The cabinas are great. Rustic, sure, but good enough, clean, with AC... It's a communal vibe. The boards are accessible, and the surf is steps away. The staff is friendly, laid back. Gerry and Kevin are great. Stay anywhere else (and I have, literally everywhere), and you are looking to spend 5-10 times the amount. Unless you stay at Kikes. And, well, that's just gross.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Adelaide, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2010

The atmosphere and staff at PGSC are what really makes it an amazing place to be for a short or long stay.

From the moment we walked in, quite late at night, we felt welcome. The guys really bent over backwards to make us as comfortable, and as cliche as it is, as "at home" as we could be.

Its not a 5 star hotel, but it doesnt pretend to be, and its a perfect place to relax, unwind, and enjoy surfing or lazing on the beach. If you are thinking of coming to this part of the world, PGSC is close in proximity, but far removed in vibe, from the touristy built up Tamarindo. At your front door is the amazing beach, which is great place to learn to surf (as we tried to) and the short walk along the beach to Tamarindo is beautiful.

The people staying at the camp were also a highlight. A group of us ended up going to a local fiesta, on the advice of a friendly local called Chris, and it was honestly probably the best experience of our time in Central America. If you are around in November/December, make sure to ask Gerry if there is one in the local area.

We will definitely be heading back at some stage, and our only regret is we couldn't stay longer!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2010

Our 10 day trip turned into a 17 trip because of PGSC, my best friend and I couldn't leave. After stumbling upon PGSC without having a place to stay we were quickly welcomed and accommodated for in any way we needed. The staff is friendly and outgoing would be an understatement. They are more than willing to help, whether it be teaching you how to surf or telling you where to eat and how to get around. My friend and I quickly bonded with everyone in the camp and they became like family. By far one of the best trips I've been on thanks to PGSC. HIghly recommended, great prices for the services received and the location. It is steps to the beach, perfect for being able to run down with a surfboard or a quick walk back to jump in the pool. We are two young, female travelers and felt very safe and secure here. Going back the first chance we get! Thanks for a great stay Gerry! Love, Shelley and Cammie.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Valencia, Spain
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2010

I stayed at Playa Grande surf camp in August 2009. I was planning to stay for only 2 nights, but ended up staying for 10. It was the end of my 6 month adventure through South America and what a place to end my trip. For me, it was the perfect spot to end, ideal for relaxing and chilling out by the pool. Although it was off season, we still managed to get a few days of surf. Gerry is an awesome guy, he made my stay very enjoyable, took me to restaurants, surf lessons and generally been a fantastic host. If your Irish, you will be very welcomed here as Gerry has roots there. The boat trip from Tamarindo is all part of the adventure and not a hassle. I couldnt recommend it more. I will be back.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2009

First off, I am not a surfer and I chose to stay here due to how cheap the rooms (cabanas!) were. I was a bit nervous about staying at a "surf" camp, however there were several other non-surfers mixed in. I LOVED it there. It was laidback, decent and clean rooms, the staff was outgoing and helpful, 1 min to the beach. But the absolute best part had to be the people we met while staying there. The place definitely has a community vibe where everyone sits in the outdoor kitchen discussing anything and everything. Just know that the camp is what it is and is not supposed to be a hotel or resort (although everything is very clean).

The only negative was getting to and from the camp because we had to pay a lot of money for a shuttle as we couldn't carry our luggage all the way up the beach and estuary to the bus.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Grande Surf Camp

Address: Playa Grande, Playa Grande 011, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Grande Surf Camp is located only footsteps from one of the best beach breaks in all of Costa Rica. This beautiful beach is perfect for surfers of all levels and all types of boards. We offer both private cabinas with AC and dormitory-style pilotis without AC at budget prices. Both surf packages and surf lessons are available. Amenities include a pool, kitchen, and BBQ, PGSC offers the perfect mix of relaxation and fun. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Playa Grande Surf Camp Hotel Playa Grande

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