Like most of the people on here, I bought my "5 night Nicaragua Surf Getaway" through The Clymb. It seemed too good to be true... shame on me for not doing my homework. I should say that I am all for adventure travel and did not expect to have anywhere near a 5 star experience. In spite of this, Surf Ranch was a big disappointment.
First of all, this place is not even close to the ocean. They offer free shuttle to one beach (twice a day), otherwise, it will cost you $10-$20 per person just to get to the surf. The free board rentals are ok for very beginners, but are offered on a first come basis so you might not even get a board. Some of the more "advanced" boards were in such terrible condition that they looked unsafe.
Conveniently, they offered a periodic shuttle into SJDS, so we could go to a local Surf Shop to get rentals and beach shuttle for a fraction of the cost.
Like previous reviewers stated, you were at the mercy of the chef for meals (Vegetarians beware: for dinner they gave me potato salad as my vegetarian entree. Not cool.) They charge you for EVERYTHING... water, coffee refill... Air bag was not operational, skate park was typically underwater due to poor drainage, rental skateboards were crummy, we didn't even get a bar of soap in our bathroom, and a friend didn't have toilet paper.
Luckily, I declined their airport shuttle. The $120 pricetag for two people was double what local transport companies were charging, and I bet you could have gotten a cab for even less.
On top of all of this, I had paid for a private villa, and none were available at the time we were traveling. So we took a "condo" (read: hotel room). Can't blame Surf Ranch for being booked up, however, the owners were so rude in their correspondence and unaccomodating leading up to the trip. Not a great way of running a business.
Not all of our stay at Surf Ranch was horrible... the Nico staff were awesome, and we met some great fellow guests to commiserate with. And Flor de Cana rum is amazing (I am not a hard alcohol drinker)
Do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else. Also, link up with the guys at Good Times Surf Shop. They will take care of you.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 16, 2013
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I am sorry to see that you had a bad time. This is very unusual at the Surf Ranch. I looked into the past emails with you as you said that we, the owners were very rude, when in fact, I did not get the chance to talk with you before through email or when you were here, as I was in Canada. Can you please state who you were talking with and how they were rude to you?
Let me clear things up on your statements so you and future guests can get the correct info before they come:
1. Yes, we are not on the beach, no resorts in San Juan Del Sur are on the beach. That is why we offer a shuttle to and from town and Remanso beach for free. If you wish to go to a further beach, it costs extra, this is all stated on our website. All of our boards are brand new as of last month, replacements boards are on their way. If there is a board we do not have, we can get you one from the surf shops in town. Our surf shop at the resort is almost complete, and will hold a huge selection of rental boards. You mention you can rent boards in town for a fraction of the cost...this is exaggerated as our prices are the same, even cheaper.
2. If you are a vegetarian, we have many things on the menu without meat. Do not be shy to tell the chef and/or receptionist that you would like a vegetarian meal, and they will cook you up anything you wish. I talked to the chef about you and this comment, and he told me he made you a full vegetarian meal, including potato salad...not just the potato salad.
3. If you purchased the all inclusive...it clearly states what is included and what is not. Also when you check in, they do the same thing, and then you sign a sheet stating everything that is included. I am sorry, but I can not help you on this one.
4. The airbag is operational - I trained our new staff on how to work it. Simply ask the reception...they blow it up once a day. Please do not expect it to be blown up all day everyday, we need people to sign up before we do so.
5. The skate park was underwater for 2 days while you were here, as we had the worst rains of the year...The pipe got clogged, so we needed to snake out the 300 ft drainage system. Do not worry, the skate park has long since been drained and is fully operational. Our guys are on top of it.
6. Our rental skateboards are all brand new. I do not understand how they are crummy? Please send me an email to explain this to me.
7. Bathrooms do not have soap bars. However they have multi use hand soap, which can also be used for washing off in the shower. All bathrooms have toilet paper...they get filled up everyday. If you tend to use both rolls within a day, please ask the reception to get stocked up again.
8. The $120 airport shuttle is a great price, considering all of the taxi robberies going on at the airport. With our shuttle drivers, you will be 100% safe, and they pick you up in an air conditioned shuttle van. If your plane is late, they wait for you until it arrives and bring you straight to the Surf Ranch. Most taxis charge $100 for 2 people to San Juan Del Sur...then you will get there, and they will charge you another $20 as the Surf Ranch is 5 minutes south of town. Then you will need to tip them on top of it, not to mention the danger of if it is actually a real taxi or if it is a set up. It is by far better and cheaper to go with our airport shuttle.
9. Good times surf shop...you say to hook up with them in town? Please understand that they work for us at the Surf Ranch, they are the ones who take you surfing, etc...Your boyfriend also wrote a review on here stating to go with Good Times, but I have already told him the same thing.
I am sorry you did not have the facts straight before you came, you would of had a much better time. Everything is on our website and package that you purchased.
Thank you for staying with us.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.