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“Great Place to Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Surf Sanctuary

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Blue Surf Sanctuary
Santa Teresa~ Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #4 of 31 Santa Teresa B&B and Inns
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Place to Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

Stayed at Blue Surf during the Green Season and were the only guests during our short stay. The staff at Blue Surf were always available and helpful and the rooms were very nicely appointed. While located "in-town", definitely liked being a bit away from everthing. Great surfing on the local beach and would definitely put it at the top of the list when returning to the Nicoya Peninsula.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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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101 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    93
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

We were planning a Costa Rican vacation with another couple that would include our grown children (17-25) and our oldest son is a surfer and had made several trips to the Mal Pais area, raving about the laid back, natural vibe. We stumbled on Blue Surf Sanctuary and what a blessing. We booked all four bungalows for a full week.

Rather than go on and on repeating all of the wonderful reviews, let me just mention my personal high points.

Location - remote - imagine a Survivor episode, but you have hot water, clean sheets, a/c and good food. Granted, we were there in June, but there were times in the late afternoon when there was not another human being visible on the beach right at the hotel. We drove up the road a ways to Hermosa Beach and didn't see another person for over a mile up the beach. In the mornings or when the tide was right, there might be 20 surfers out on the water, the occasional horseback riders and folks strolling the beach. Now, on the road into town there is always activity.

Clean, simple rooms with comfortable beds and plenty of pillows. Huge showers with rain heads. Air conditioning in the rooms - I'm all for roughing it and acclimating to the conditions, but it is really nice to fall asleep in a cool room and it also allows your clothes to dry out.

Spacious balconies on each bungalow. I somehow found the time to read three books while hiding on our balcony, surrounded by palms and tropical flowering plants I can't even name, occasionally distracted by the swarms of butterflies and hummingbirds and the occasional iguana or squirrel, the distant call of howler monkeys, sipping on a fruity rum drink - just magical.

If you've ever sat on a Pacific beach and just watched the surf and been lost in the horizon, then I don't need to describe it. If you haven't, then, well you just have to do it.

The open air kitchen/dining area - maybe the heart of BSS. There is a huge table and a couch and chairs and a lot of counter space. There is internet access. This is where we congregated and shared stories of our adventures and played card games and laughed, a lot. It was like we moved our home to paradise. In a week we probably cooked three evening meals and maybe the same number of lunches and breakfasts. There are plenty of decent places to eat, but sometimes it’s just fun to cook, particularly the big Rooster fish that we caught on a trip set up by BSS. From morning to evening there is a host hanging out at the table to help with just about everything and the hosts ...

When you read the reviews, everyone raves about the staff and you think, "C'mon, don't overdo it". But these folks are just the best - Facu, Julieta, Sean and dear Sofi. Friendly, helpful, intelligent, engaging, attractive, funny, competent - we left some real friends back in Santa Teresa. There is always a night watchman that I expect stays awake all night (but I can't swear to that as I was sawing logs).

I know this stretch of coast is on most surfers’ bucket list, but I don't surf. I can say that it was a thrill finally getting to watch my son shred (is that the word?) chest to head waves, scary watching him take his younger brother through the impact zone (he's more of a rookie) and great fun watching two of our friends' kids taking lessons on the smaller stuff.

Blue Surf Sanctuary is probably not for you if:

- you want to go into town and shop for designer clothes and jewelry.

- you are uncomfortable driving on gravel roads

- you want to emerge from your beach side room, properly quaffed in full designer beach attire to find Pepe the beach boy setting up your chair and umbrella and ready to scamper off to get you mineral water and zero calorie snacks and set up your many/pedy (nothing wrong with this, it’s just not BSS)

- you can't wash a dirty plate

- you can't handle a full day of travel (it is remote)

- you need someone to watch the children while you go into town for dinner and dancing

- you are looking to hook up unless the twenty-something trustafarian with dreadlocks is your type (boy or girl).

If you are looking for a beautiful place with friendly people, to escape and unwind and commune with nature and still enjoy the basic creature comforts and be looked after by folks that genuinely care, then Blue Surf Sanctuary is for you.
Murphy in Texas

Room Tip: All great. "Hermosa" is at the far end.
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

I travelled by myself to Costa Rica for a much needed break from my corporate life. Many people I met were surprised that a woman would travel solo but this was, hands down, the best vacation I have ever been on (and I've been all over the world). Much of this was due to the amazing staff at Blue Surf. I'll admit I was a little nervous conducting all the business via e-mail and sending my money off into cyber-oblivion via PayPal - but everything went perfectly. The staff arranged for a pick-up at Tambor (even though my flight was nearly 45 minutes late, the car was still there to get me). **Piece of advice - don't fly Nature Air. I made the mistake of thinking I could save a few dollars by using this airline on the way into Tambor. It actually ended up costing me more because you have to get a cab from San Jose to Pavas Airport, which is about 30 minutes away or $30. They then charged me extra because my bag was over a certain weight. Totally not worth the headache. Fly Sansa both ways - the plane is bigger and feels safer.**

I was warmly greeted by the staff at Blue Surf. The property consists of 4 bungalows and I believe each one sleeps 2-3 people. There's a safe to keep your valuables and I particularly loved the huge, tiled shower complete with a clothesline to hang your suit apres surf. There's an outdoor (covered) kitchen that guests are free to use to make meals as well as a small pool. The place is wonderfully decorated and kept immaculately clean (which is hard to do in Costa Rica). You're surrounded by amazing wildlife - iguanas (don't worry, they're very shy), frogs, hummingbirds, squirrels and (if you're lucky to spot one), Howler monkeys.

I paid for a package deal which included 10 surf lessons, 2 yoga lessons, fruit/coffee before the surf lessons, and a full breakfast at the hotel down the street. My surf instructor, Chito, was amazing. I seriously thought I'd spend the majority of my time getting tossed off the board - but, by the second or third day, I was riding the waves. I was lucky enough to go at the start of the low season (early May) so all of my lessons were one-on-one. Honestly, if you can plan it, go during this time. All of the tourists had left and we often had the beach to ourselves. The restaurants were also super quiet and I spent much of my time chatting with bar/restaurant owners and finding out the secret to saying "f*** it" to the daily grind of corporate America. I wasn't there to party so if this is your thing, you'll probably be disappointed to go during the low season. The weather was perfect, with an occasional, short rain storm.

Since I'm all about giving a balanced perspective, I will provide you with the downsides. But, they're so minor in light of all the other amazing things about Blue Surf. First, the hotel is close to the main road so you will hear the occasional motorcycle or ATV screaming by. At night, this noise is very minimal but it is a little distracting if you're trying to relax by the pool - well, you should be out surfing most of the day anyway. Second, Blue Surf is located a little bit farther away from most of the good restaurants/bars/shops. I would highly recommend renting a scooter or an ATV. Scooters are cheaper at $30 a day - I think the ATVs are more like $45-60. I attempted to borrow one of the hotel's bicycles one day and pretty much exhausted myself trying to pedal over the rocks in the heat of the day. Save all that energy for surfing!

Overall, don't stay anywhere else. Seriously. You can stay at the posh hotel down the street (FlorBlanca) and be surrounded by Americans who think they're "roughing it" because they can watch an iguana while eating breakfast (FlorBlanca is where you'll have your breakfasts anyway - Blue Surf provides a voucher). Or you can stay at Blue Surf and meet fabulous people from all over the world while staying in a darling little boutique surf hotel and enjoying first-rate service. I'm already trying to figure out how quickly I can go back.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

I recently stayed at Blue Surf with 2 of my girlfriends. We were there to learn how to surf, and liked the idea that it was a Billabong sponsored surf camp. We arrived late at night, but the security guard was there to greet us and instantly made us feel comfortable and safe. The room we were staying in ( Sereno) was beautifully decorated with a balcony over looking the pool amidst lots of trees, wild plants and exotic flowers. The whole space they've created at BSS is very airy and open.....and VERY clean! My favourite spot to relax and unwind was in the hammock near the pool, or in the dining room, where we shared a few potluck style meals and a bottle of wine or.... two.Also, BSS is located near many wonderful restaurants and grocery stores, all within 5 to 20 min walking distance on the main road.
Our first surf lesson was amazing! Our surf instructors ( Chito and John O) were really patient and encouraging. Which is what you're looking for as a first time surfer. They also explained safety and surf etiquette thoroughly before we went out....which made me feel like i was in good hands. The beach in front of BSS is ideal for beginners as well as experienced surfers, which is cool, cause you get to watch them and get a better understanding of the ocean and how to catch the waves.
Last but not least, the BSS staff! They were all so special and extremely accomodating. Always there to answer your questions, help with reservations, book a massage (which was btw...the best massage i've gotten in a long time, i truly recommend getting a massage with Daiana) and all that done with a smile! Thanks again to all of you who made my trip so memorable ( Sofi, Toro, Amelia and Juan...just to name a few )
I really feel like i discovered a little piece of paradise in Santa theresa.... where sipping on a coconut by the beach at sunset and doing nothing was better.... than i had ever imagined!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Boulder, CO
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Blue Surf Sanctuary for two weeks in March. The rooms are beautiful with lovely decorations and comfy beds. The pool and landscaping were immaculate and added to the ambiance. The best part of the hotel is the staff and surfing instructors. We did not do a surfing package because we wanted to relax and spread things out over our two week stay. We are beginner surfers and found the surf lessons very helpful and fun - I would imagine that even experienced surfers would enjoy surf lessons here, as the instructors are top-notch and teach you about local surf spots, conditions, etc. The location of the hotel is perfect - just a short walk to the beach and a lovely beach-front restaurant. There is also yoga within walking distance, but it's worth it to rent a car or atv for a few days to explore a bit (Montezuma Falls were awesome, as well as some restaurants in Santa Teresa that you need a car/atv/taxi to get to). In sum, I would recommend the Blue Surf Sanctuary to friends and hope to be back soon!

  • Stayed March 2012, 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
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Clarksville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Thanks to Kelly and Aaron we were able to take a sort of last minute honeymoon! :) We spent 4 days at Blue Surf and it was absolutely wonderful! Learning to surf was so much fun, the instructors are very good! The entire staff makes you feel like you are at home. The bungalows are so peaceful and quaint and the property as a whole is so beautiful. After surfing you can enjoy a nice swim in the small pool that is on the grounds. The beach is only a minute away and the sunsets are like anything we have ever seen. The best part is you can sit at a beach bar and watch it! Food in the area is delicious! We didn't have near enough time to spend at Blue Surf, but we will be back soon...hopefully with a group!

  • Stayed April 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal, Qc
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

I spend 10 days in blue Surf, and I had an amazing time.
Everybody is nice, friendly and helpfull.
The place is really nice, the bungalow are really comfortable.
It's located just a little walk from the amazing beach and restaurants (really good food).
My friends and I took surf lessons and the instructors were great!!
One of my best trip!
Hope to go back!!!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Blue Surf Sanctuary

Address: Santa Teresa~ Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 31 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blue Surf Sanctuary is a small boutique hotel & upscale surf school located in magical Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, 100 yards from the sand!Gorgeous bungalows with daily housekeeping, A/C, pool and fully equipped kitchen. We pride ourselves on our stellar customer service, our use of organic soaps and consciousness about our beautiful oceanWe offer both accommodations only, surf packages or surf lessons to outside clients! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Surf Sanctuary Hotel Santa Teresa
Blue Surf Sanctuary Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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