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“Great Place to Stay!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort

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Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Empalme de El Valle, 991.5 m al Este | Follow the Surf Ranch Signs, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (Formerly Surf Ranch Action Sports Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 21 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Eagle River, Alaska
1 review
“Great Place to Stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

Some friends and I found a great deal on theclymb.com for 5 nights all inclusive at the surf ranch and decided to go. Once we showed up at the Surf Ranch we were greeted by great employees and other vacationers (who soon became friends). While at the Ranch we swam, surfed, spearfished, went on a nature hike, and more! The staff is very willing to help set up activities for you daily, and even helped us plan out the rest of our trip with recommendations on where to go, stay, and who to meet up with. With the free shuttle service into town, You can be in town with a 5-10 minute ride. We would definitely go back if the opportunity presented itself! Thanks for the great time, and hopefully we will return!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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157 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    76
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

My best friend and I bought an awesome deal on Zozi.com for an all inclusive 5night/6day stay at the Surf Ranch Nicaragua. We really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we bought the package, we just wanted to get out of the states for a quick vacation and explore inexpensively. What we got was a life-changing all around amazing experience!! San Juan del Sur is a quaint, beautiful location. The Surf Ranch itself has enough fun that you'd never have to leave: pool, pool bar, skate park, air pad, paintball. We did yoga in town, went surfing every single day, explored multiple beaches via dirt bikes, went ziplining, and so much more! The Surf Ranch helps you to coordinate all of your off-site activities with ease. There is also a free shuttle that takes you to and from the town square. The staff is friendly, polite, and a lot of fun. They are happy to offer advice and recommendations. The food is delicious, and with the all-inclusive package, there was plenty of beer and rum to go around! You will often see the owners mingling about, happy to help, or just to chat. We instantly made new friends with our other ranch mates staying on the property. San Juan del Sur is definitely underdeveloped by American standards, but the culture is part of what brings the experience to life! We will be back. Thank you for the unforgettable adventure, Surf Ranch Nicaragua! Nica <3

Room Tip: Villas are more spacious than the condos and there is AC and TV in the new penthouses!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

I went to the surf ranch with my boyfriend after we found an awesome add on theclymb.com. The food was amazing, the drinks were amazing, the staff was awesome and fun. We went surfing, skating, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, ATV riding, and hung out in San Juan Del Sur for delicious food. We also met a ton of people who also stayed at the Surf Ranch and we now consider them friends. I would definitely go back in a heart beat. Thanks for the amazing time and memories.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Carlos, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Came with a crew of 13 people and I can't speak for them, but my experience was great. We had free breakfast, lunch, dinner, rum, and beer, which was like a dream come true. We were able to go surfing everyday and enjoy the attractions at the resort (except the airbag was out of commission :/ but stuff happens). The owners and staff were great and you could tell they enjoyed themselves. Looking at past reviews it seems they didn't realize they were headed to an undeveloped country. Staying at a handful of other resorts, the Surf Ranch is by far the nicest and most accommodating place I stayed at during my trip. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goes, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

This place has huge potential, is beautifully arranged, with a nice pool, nice bungalows but lacks attention for detail. We reserved a deluxe condo, double room, which, upon arrival, was already given to someone else. So we are relocated to a bungalow. The bungalow though did not have curtains in the bedrooms, no furniture except a couch, no paintaings at the wall, no cupboards, tables or chairs to put stuff. The roof terrace is nice but does not have seats or tables, the torches in the garde are nice, but are not used at night. The place does not have a generator and lights were off until 8.00pm that night, the water stops functioning without electricity and as soon as the tanks are empty. We indicated the various items to be improved and we also indicated our feeling that the bungalows were less furnished compared to the condo/rooms that we reserved, but nothing was done to please us. The food is good and quick, breakfast was nice, with big mugs of coffee. In all we felt that the place has huge potential especially is some more attention is given to the details.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
John

Thank you for staying with us. Unfortunately you booked the room that same day, in which we had already moved someone to the double penthouse condo, before you booked it, so it was not updated in the system yet.

However, we did move you to a villa, but all the villas were taken except 1 or 2. Unfortunately these villas are the only ones that are not fully furnished yet. We had been focusing on furnishing all of the condos and have started on the villas, but only have 2 left, 1 of which you were in. We had been fully booked, so we tried to move you to a different villa, but no luck.

The generator is on its way, but we still need to fully finish the resort. This is a must, as here in Nicaragua, power goes out a lot, without warning. Thank you for remembering that we just opened and are brand new.

I am glad you enjoyed the food and the other parts of your stay, we hope to see you soon.

Thank you.

Lucas Boychuk
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granada, Nicaragua
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

My husband and i stayed at the surf ranch, he surprised me in our first anniversary, i never thought that he would take me to this kind of place but he did, surf ranch was the best of both worlds for us in some way, he likes to do crazy stuffs and i like to stay in my safety zone so...my husband enjoyed everything! he loves skate and surf, me? stayed at the pool, taking the sun and reading a good book. The staff makes us feel good, very helpful and always with a smile on their faces, the owners are really nice and have a cute dog, makes us feel like family.and the food is excellent and french fries!? best french fries ever! Think is now one of my favorite place, didn't like the bugs and mosquitos but despite of that, i really enjoyed spend the time with my husband there. Thanxs Surf Ranch for make us feel comfortable! :)

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PENNSYLVANIA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

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.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
ksusens

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.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort

Address: Empalme de El Valle, 991.5 m al Este | Follow the Surf Ranch Signs, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (Formerly Surf Ranch Action Sports Resort)
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 21 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Surf Ranch is Nicaragua`s first and only action sports resort, featuring Nicaragua`s largest skateboard park, jungle paintball course, tower drop into a huge inflatable airbag, world class restaurant & bar, swimming pool & swim up bar, poolside cabanas, villas and penthouse condos. The Surf Ranch offers many extreme sports and activities such as surfing, skateboarding, catamaran sailing, fishing, yoga, scuba diving, paintball, rockclimbing and more. Whether you are looking for an adventure or to just simply get away and relax, the Surf Ranch has it all. We are located in the tropical surfing town of San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, 2 hours south west from the main capital, Managua. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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