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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
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
Aspen, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A Little Piece of Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

Shaka Beach Retreat is my absolute favorite place to stay in Costa Rica. This was my 5th time staying there and every time it keeps getting better.

Shaka has an amazing staff...they've all been there since my first stay, so going back and seeing familiar faces makes me feel like I'm at a home away from home (only with a beach, surfing, great food, zip lining, 4-wheeling, yoga...you get the picture).

They're also located just a short walk away from the beach. And this is not just any beach. I'm talking pristine, absolutely beautiful. The perfect beach to enjoy with family, friends, or solo. The mornings are super quiet (I went for a morning run and was the only person there) and the late mornings/afternoons seem to be for the surfing crowd. The first time I want to Shaka I took a surf lesson and now I'm surfing like a pro! Okay, maybe not a pro but I'm definitely getting better.

Shaka is in close proximity to great places to shop, pick up groceries, or anything else you may need during your stay. On the other hand, it's far enough away to no be affected noise-wise.

This little piece of paradise includes breakfast and dinner everyday, which in my opinion, is the best food I've ever tasted. The housekeeper will also do laundry upon request (I give a big laundry tip, since most places don't offer this) and does a daily turn-down service (the housekeeper is the sweetest and will assist with whatever you need in your room). Anything else you can think of, they will accommodate! And the best part of all...it's SO affordable. One of the most reasonable places for everything the offer.

I can't wait to go back to Shaka...it seriously is my favorite place to be.

Room Tip: Every room is amazing!
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 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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125 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Shaka for a week in March of 2013. We are both snowboarders who wanted to learn to surf, and we decided on Shaka after reading many online reviews.

The small staff is warm and wonderful. We especially loved getting to know Megan, the yoga instructor. The surf lessons were excellent, and everyone was able to progress at their own pace. Although we never really mastered it, we both were able to get up on the board and catch short rides. it was harder than we expected and we were quite sore all over from the daily effort. But we had a lot of fun and loved every minute of it.

The beach is fabulous! Beautiful white sand, not at all busy or touristy. It was like having your own private, pristine stretch of heaven!

The accommodations were simple, but clean and comfortable. The air conditioning was a blessing as we were there in the height of the dry season and it got very hot in the afternoons. We had planned to visit the area in the afternoons, but it was so hot that we had many great afternoon siestas instead! There is no tv in the cabinas, but you won't even miss it.

The meals were authentic Costa Rican fare. Simple, but fresh. You don't get any say in what is served, so this is not the place for you if you are a picky eater or if you have dietary restrictions. But trust me, it is all delicious - especially after a hard day of surfing and yoga! Breakfast and dinner are provided, but you have to make your own lunches or go into town for lunch. (It would have been nice if we had known this in advance of arriving, as we thought it was included.) We discovered that you could take a nice walk down the beach to Pranamar, a fancy yoga retreat, for an amazing lunch. Shaka does not serve alcohol, but you can buy it nearby and store it in their fridge. (This would also have been nice to know ahead of time.)

Shaka is a beautiful getaway. The whole experience felt very authentic, and the people were so warm and welcoming. We would love to go back with our kids one day when they are a bit older. This would be so much fun for teenagers!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
shakasurf, Owner at Shaka Beach Retreat, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Pascale,

Thanks for the awesome Trip Advisor review and for choosing Shaka for your vacation. I am also an avid snowboarded and it really is a completely different sport. I grew up surfing and then moved to Colorado and took up snowboarding as well. It was the exact opposite as you but I remember thinking how different it is and also remember how sore I was everyday.

Thanks again for the review and stay warm as winter approaches. Hopefully it will be a good snow year for both of us. Hope to have you again for another amazing Costa Rica adventure.

Have a great day.

Frank Bauer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aspen, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013 via mobile

Shaka contains a very special force that encapsulates you and opens your heart and mind and soul to the beautiful wilderness and water of Costa Rica's Nicoya Penninsula. The staff are warm and nurturing and it is almost as if you are residing with a special family, a community of ticos and lovers of surf who welcome you and nurture you throughout your stay. This is in a somewhat remote surf community, so be prepared to turn off, relax, and remember that is the simplicity and reflection and love of nature in life that we all need to nurture more.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
shakasurf, Owner at Shaka Beach Retreat, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Natalie,

Thanks for the awesome review, it was great to have you celebrate your honeymoon with us. Both you and Andrew are amazing people and everyone at Shaka was in love with you two by the time you left. I am still hearing about how nice you were to them so thank you.

Have a great day.

Frank Bauer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Missouri
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

It has been 2 weeks since we returned from Shaka and we have wanted to be back every minute of every day! We loved our time there and it is definitely a piece of paradise and will recommend it to everyone. We surfed and did yoga with the amazing people at Shaka. We were also able to go quad riding, horseback riding, and an amazing zip line. The staff are all amazing and warm and we loved visiting with them all and we felt like we were with family! Hope to be able to go again one day. Beautiful views and an amazing place to see, from the ocean to the forest with the monkeys and other animals. This is a place you will not want to leave!

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vista
1 review
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, California
1 review
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whistler, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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 1
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:
#5 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): $$
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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