Our stay was in 2011, but I thought I'd leave my feedback even though it has been a long time... I've got Costa Rica on my mind
Myself and a few friends stayed here for 8 nights and it was wonderful. Two of us stayed in a cabina and our other friend stayed in the rancho. The cabina was small, but it was all we needed. They offer a room with a double bed or you can take a room with bunk beds. There is no AC but they offer a fan. I think there may be rooms that offer AC for an additional cost if you want it. The rancho is an open-air hut with four beds (hostel style option). The rancho offered large lockers, unlike the cabina. However, the owner allowed us to leave our valuables with him and he kept them locked in a safe in his office for us. We had no problems using that as our option for security. We just carried what we needed for the next few days and got with him once we needed more cash, etc. Both the cabinas we stayed in and the ranchos share outhouse style bathrooms which I thought was nice because it gives you the feeling of showering outdoors without actually being seen by anyone.
The property is amazing, maybe even the best piece of land in the area. It has a beautiful pool, and a fully equipped recreation area with a pool table, ping pong table, indo board, swing, and lounging area. There was wifi but the signal strength was so-so. There is a big screen tv set up with cable and a selection of surf dvd's for visitors to enjoy. There is a bar and kitchen where the staff will whip you up great meals. Make sure you try a banana shake with cocoa. It was a great place to meet fellow travelers and share travel stories. Surf lessons are offered through the surf camp as well as board rentals. The staff was very nice and the owner has lived in the area for a very long time. He tends to mind himself, but is happy to talk with you and tell you anything you need to know if you just ask. If you're lucky you may even get a little surf session in with him.
The property is a short walk from the center of town, and an even shorter walk to a beautiful beach with great waves. You will see some wild animals on the property, and the resident dogs Roja and Alf are fun and friendly.
When we first arrived we heard that some guests had an issue with a break in to their room, but we chose to play it safe, taking managements advice for how to stay safe and we had no problems. However, if you are at all worried I hear that as of mid-2012 the owner has installed safes in all the rooms so now you should have NO WORRIES! Also I would imagine that the communal kitchen he was constructing at the time is now open for guests to use as an option to save a little money on food.
All in all, we were very happy with our stay and have recommended Mal Pais Surf Camp to all of our friends and family. Thank you guys, we'll be back!!!
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