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“A little piece of paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shaka Beach Retreat

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Shaka Beach Retreat
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200 M Norte de Escuela | Village of Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #10 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Vista
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A little piece of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

We just returned from staying 7 days at Shaka Beach Retreat and it was fabulous! The Cabina was spacious and clean with A/C and a nice bathroom. The staff were all very friendly and helpful with anything that was needed. It was fun to get together with all the guests for meals at the dining table in the Rancho...and the food was great. Always plenty to eat. The yoga studio was amazing - it was so cool to be relaxing with all the wild life making their noises around you. Megan was a great instructor as well, very patient with my beginner yoga struggles. The walk to the beach through the jungle was short and always filled with butterflies, iguana, monkeys and flowers. And the beach...WOW! It was as if we had our own private beach. Absolutely beautiful. It was fun renting quads so you could drive into town, or go on a quad tour through the jungle and on the beach. Megan and Cristallia can help you get any type of activity arranged from surfing, zip lining or horse back riding on the beach. I always felt completely safe while staying at Shaka and would recommend staying here to all of my friends.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Carlsbad, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Shaka is the perfect start for a genuine Costa Rican vacation experience. The owners are so sweet and make it a point to get to know you and accommodate your needs. I booked my stay over Christmas about a week before I decided to go. Everyone was very helpful in booking a flight and ground transport to Shaka. The rooms are clean and spacious, but the atmosphere here is more family-oriented than luxury big-resort. I was under no pressure to get to a specific place during my surf lessons...I was encouraged to enjoy my experience and after a few days of one-on-one lessons, I could just grab a board a go on my own.
The yoga place down the beach is hands-down the BEST yoga I've ever experienced! I highly encourage the surf and yoga package! My vacation consisted of surfing in the morning and yoga in the afternoon before dinner. I would indulge in an afternoon nap before a trek into town, but that was to be expected. Based on the number of guests at Shaka, I would either turn in to bed early or stay up and hang out with a group of interesting young folks who just wanted to have a good time.
Our cook (don't know what she really was called) was AWESOME!!! All of the meals prepared were wholesome and filling. There was a small store down the street for afternoon snacks but I rarely needed those since I was stuffed from breakfast. Can I recommend a bottle of the delicious salsa to take home?? It makes everything taste better!!

Overall, the property was clean and relaxed. The owners will help you book additional tours if you want them. The surfing instruction is great (relaxed, not pushy) and the owners really make you feel like part of their family. They even bring their kids to the kitchen which really makes you feel part of the family! I felt extremely safe the entire trip and would go back in a heart beat!!!! What great memories!!

Room Tip: All rooms are private and wonderfully clean and fresh!
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whistler, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We loved every minute of our 10 day honeymoon at Shaka. All of the staff were so friendly and helpful. It was the little things that made it such a special trip. The housekeeper would sometimes use her creative talents to decorate our room with flowers and colorful twigs. We had many positive and genuine conversations with each of the staff that made the trip feel more like family.
Our goal was to learn how to surf and although we have a long way to go before we can call ourselves 'surfers' - the coaches got us standing and riding white water on the first day. By day 4 we were out back catching the bigger waves. It was enough to make us catch the bug and look forward to surfing again as soon as we can. :-)
The yoga instructor Megan was great. I don't normally go to yoga classes because I don't buy into the vibe that I usually experience. Ilooked forward to every class with Megan because she is so genuine and unique in her practice and makes you feel great about your efforts.
The food was Really good and healthy.
If you're looking for a truly unique and incredible journey Shaka is the place to experience just that! Thank you to all Shaka staff. Hope to visit again!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

My visit to Shaka exceeded my very high expectations. I loved the remote location, I felt like I could really relax and unplug, and I almost felt like I had my own private beach! Shaka is in the perfect location: in the middle of the jungle (with all of those exciting perks and animals), on the nicest beach in the area, and close enough to town if you want to shop or dine out. There are also many day trips to explore in the surrounding area. My favorite things about Shaka were the new open yoga rancho, the hammocks and the family style dining. The way Shaka is set up it's really easy and fun to socialize and the whole group ends up feeling like family right away. Jerry is a great surf instructor, and I loved Megan's yoga classes. It really was the best vacation ever!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland, USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

It was exactly what we wanted - learn to surf and do some yoga in a place that's a bit away from civilization. The staff is all really friendly and helpful. Our group was 7 of the 12 guests, so there was some flexibility in the schedule as well. Max they can fit is 16, so definitely on the smaller side, this is great because you can get lots of individual attention from instructors and staff. Always people around to chat with and plenty of room to spread out if you want some privacy. For a surf vacation in Costa Rica, I would stay here again.

Shaka is outside of town, which is nice - you're away from the noise and the dust. Plenty of people sharing the beach though that you can get some interaction. And easy to get into town if you want. I saw more wildlife in Shaka's yard that on previous "nature-hunting" trips to Costa Rica. Growler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, many species of birds, iguanas, etc. awesome!

The surf instructors seemed to really care that you learned to surf - they were out there with us for hours each morning and hung around in the afternoons in case we had questions. Megan, the yoga instructor, is a professional. Yoga classes are in the brand new open air purpose-built villa. Beautiful.

To note: as with all resorts in this area, Shaka has 3 dogs that are super friendly. Paco would come to the beach with us each day and sit with our stuff. If you really hate dogs though, I would consider staying elsewhere as they're definitely part of the experience.

What I would improve: the beds could be a bit more comfortable, but frankly I was exhausted from surfing, cruising the beach and doing yoga all day that I could sleep just about anywhere. Definitely not a deal breaker.

Room Tip: All four cabinas are the same, so you don't even need to worry about which to choose! There is...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

SO here it goes, best review here by far:

IF you look like your name is "Herman Finklestein" or something of the like, or that is your vibe, and/or if you love carrying your money and electronics everywhere with you in weird pouches that you strap to yourself, this may not be your place to stay. Especially if you love mainstream mega-resorts, packed with hundreds of other Finklesteins like yourself doing pretty much nothing but waiting to eat predictable and mediocre food you try to convince yourself, family and friends "is actually pretty good" every meal.

OR. or or or. You can get away from a trip where the most excitement you gets from eating chain resort food. If you refuse to be looked at as a "Herman" or a "Finklestein" and want to leave your house to experience something different, Shaka bro. Trust me, Shaka. Great, local food dishes, as well as some comfort food, amazing pizza. More over, it's all just very clean and healthy food, as well as well seasoned and flavoured. That with a yoga or surf program, other offered affordable excursions like ATV'ing, and costa rican sea air has you feeling like a king. And not one of superficial wealth, but the inner one, the real one. With the all inclusive meals and cheap liquor/beer in town, it was a very economical trip to a nearly private beach on gorgeous surf island in C.R. The sand felt like flour and the beach itself with a backdrop of lush jungle as oppose to strips of Mega hotels and whatever was paradisesickle.

Oh ya baybay, makin up words.
It's that good. And oh ya, a little thing called best staff you'll ever meet in the whole wide world. Being interesting and charismatic must be part of the interview process. If you don't have incredible life experiences, and a magnetic and positive personality that radiates pure joy, you can't work there. Pretty special stuff. Oh ya, and did I mention the marble and wood-decked private villa you will receive with your package, with a large marble spacious shower. Lavish without the cheese balls up in your face non-stop and long corridors. If I were you, and you are someone that is yearning to finally shut off your computer screen for a few weeks and put a perma-smile on your face during that time, don't go somewhere and just stagnate on your butt. Try this out, do a surf or yoga retreat, learn how to get much better at either, much more than you expected, and much more healthy fun exercise than you anticipated. You'll have some actual cool stories to tell your peers about and unique pictures to show them. You want to be adventurous, you do, you know you do, and this is a good comfortable place to do it. Unless of course you're Herman Finklestein or the like. By the way, no offense to Any Herman or Finklestein reading this, I had to pick goofy names, it just happened like that, but i still love you, and do apologize. And to any Herman Finklestein, really really sorry man, feel terrible; You should still come to shaka though because the odds of you being as goofy as your name are probably slim, you'll love shaka, trust. And same to you.

Room Tip: eat at Koji's and Habanero's (of hotel Playa Cielo) if you feel like spoiling yourself.
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  • Stayed February 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I came here over christmas 2012 and had a great time with my mom and boyfriend. We stayed in the house lodge and did the surf lessons every morning. Our surf instuctors were great! They were extremely helpful and ALL of us stood up on the board the very first day. Everyone aside from myself did great surfing over the next two days. The retreat itself was super cute and had a "hostel" community feel. Every meal was served in a large hut style dining area with hammocks and large family style farm table. The food was excellent and we actually missed out on a few meals by eating out. Mokeys were in the trees every morning and the retreat had that "off the beaten path feel" that is so effortless in CR. The only con was that the resort was definitely not walking distance to the town center so its great if you rent ATV's or a car. The best part about this place was how nice everyone was from the instructers to the other guests. We had a great time and my mom and I even got matching tattoos in the local tattoo shop downtown - another reccomendation for the more adventurous vacationers :)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shaka Beach Retreat

Address: 200 M Norte de Escuela | Village of Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#15 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 5 minutes North of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, is the highly desirable upscale neighborhood of "Playa Hermosa." Shaka Beach Retreat is a private haven offering an alluring example of modern tropical architecture, nestled in the tropical jungle surroundings, home to monkeys, birds, and fruit trees. A short walk leads to one of the most beautiful quiet beaches the country has to offer. Perfect for swimming, relaxing on the sand, and all levels of surfers. Join us for our popular Surf and Yoga Retreats, offered year round. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shaka Beach Retreat Hotel Santa Teresa
Shaka Surf Camp Hotel
Shaka Surf Camp Santa Teresa
Shaka Beach Retreat Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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