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“Delivers on every level - fantastic two week stay!! 5*” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Surf Sanctuary

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Blue Surf Sanctuary
Santa Teresa~ Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 30 Santa Teresa B&B and Inns
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Delivers on every level - fantastic two week stay!! 5*”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2009

Santa Teresa is a long way from London but the team at Blue Surf made the trip worth while!

The rooms are beautiful, huge beds, great bathrooms, great kitchen facilities and only 30 seconds from one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen. We were also very lucky to have really consistent surf while we were there.

While in ST you must rent an ATV and take the back road to Montezuma, dine at Brisas del Mar, Playa de Artistas, Soda piedro Mar (i think) and try the Spa/yoga facilites at the resort next to Blue Surf, incredible.

Great place to stay, enjoy!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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96 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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 (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
NYC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2009

I just came back from a week at Blue Surf Sanctuary and am hard-pressed to think of a single bad thing to say about the place. It's located a one-minute walk from the most stunning beach, the rooms are beautiful, the staff takes great care of you (I loved waking up to a pot of fresh coffee a fruit every morning), and, most important, the people who run the hotel and give the surfing lessons are quite special.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 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.
london
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2009

My husband and i booked ten days holiday at Blue Surf with our one-year-old son. We wanted a holiday of surfing and relaxing which we did not know would be possible with a baby. Blue Surf were absolutely brilliant at enabling us to have the most wonderful chilled out - and high action surf holiday - in gorgeous santa teresa.

Before we booked the aboslutely brilliant hotel manager Pia and owner Gloria, were utterly helpful on the phone, assuring us that no requests would be too hard. We asked for something to make the balcony safe for our son and if we could have surf lessons around his schedule rather than what is normally offered. We also asked for a baby car seat for our airport pick up and a baby sitter to come while we went surfing and for some evenings out. They sorted everything brilliantly, finding a loving and reliable baby sitter and even even flying in wire mesh from LA to properly secure our balcony! During the week Pia and her assistants Sophia and Tanya helped us with any arrangement we wanted to make (and change at the last minute), from massages to horseriding to booking restaurants in the evening.

The hotel is made up of four lovely bungalows overlooking a small pool and set in a lush garden with an open air kitchen for communal breakfasts which you can use to cook in the evening and just hang out. It made the place feel more personal than a hotel, and all the staff were so fab, and so welcoming to our son, we really felt like we lived there, rather than being faceless tourists. That said the atmosphere was a communal as you wanted it to be.

Every day we had surfing lessons with the surf school which is run from the hotel and our two instructors, Toro and Quique were unbelieveably dedicated, patient and helpful. There were times when one would be under water helping push me on to waves, or personally pulling my board through heavy white water with me clinging on. Despite being unconfident in the waves my surfing really improved with them as teachers and even in big, scary waves i managed to have fun.

Re the location we were a little in doubt at the beginning as to whether to stay at Blue Surf because it wasn't actually on the beach like many of the hotels. But in the end we considered this an advantage - it was actually quite nice to walk 100 yards back to a tranquil green garden which was more restful than the beach front properties. It also felt lot safer in that the hotel was enclosed and the grounds locked at night with a security guard so you didn't feel like anyone could just wonder in off the beach. this was particularly reassuring having a small child. Blue Surf is also at the quieter end of the beach - which is more chilled - although it does mean that to go out at night requires booking taxis or hiring a car, or a half hour schlep along the beach. We were so tired most nights we were happy to stay in and order pizza, cook, or eat early at the nearby local beach restaurant.

In summary, Santa Teresa is a gorgeous beach with lots of great places to stay, but being somewhere that was intimate and personal and run by such lovely people, meant a great holiday became absolutely wonderful.

  • Liked — lovely staff and location
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2008

Truly a sanctuary! Blue Surf is an amazing place to stay. The bungalows are beautiful, clean and above all relaxing. I traveled there solo and I never felt more welcomed, taken care of and safe. Gloria, the owner and her amazing staff promote a welcoming and low key atmosphere while providing top notch accommodations. There is an open air kitchen for all to share and you become quick friends with everyone who is staying there. The beach is literally steps away and there is a pool if you feel like going for a dip! The surf school is great and Ben is an awesome instructor! I highly recommend this place and I will be going back very soon. I’ve stayed at many places in Costa Rica and this by far THE BEST and you can not beat the price.

Thank you Blue Surf for an experience of a lifetime! See you soon!

  • Liked — The atmosphere and my room.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
New Port Richey, fl
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2008

The property was phenomenal. It was always very well maintained by everyone. You did such a great job on every aspect from the decorating of the rooms to the wonderful hammock and swinging beds, that I believe we all sleep on at one time or another. I would definitely return, hopefully sooner than later.

I have to say that we all feel like something is missing since we returned from Santa Teresa. We have all spoke about moving there...but then we remember we already have one mortgage. : } Everyone that we met was so nice. It is really neat to hang out with all the same people at a different bar each night! D&N was great on reggae night!

Thank you for such a great place with such a wonderful atmosphere. I have found it very hard to describe to people the feeling of content that comes over you once you arrive. I would definitely recommend Blue Surf Sanctuary to anyone looking to travel to Costa Rica and embrace the surfer community.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2008

The location is beautiful and the people are all very friendly. The villas are absolutely georgous - all the makings for an amazing vacation spot. The downfall of my stay there was being robbed while sleeping in my room- it was a very scary experience but we could see measures such as motion lights being installed at the end of our stay...too little to late for me. It was an unfortunate situation but still - it's a situation that more people should be aware of.

  • Liked — It was very clean, open and beautiful.
  • Disliked — Being robbed.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueSurfSanctaury, owner at Blue Surf Sanctuary, responded to this review, May 18, 2008
We were so happy to have M. and her group stay with us, as they were a lively and wonderful group of people......unfortunately, Costa Rica has the
true reputation of occasional petty theft, so we seriously advise our clients to utilize the state of the art digital safes provided in each room, to
protect their valuables. Apparently this advise was not heeded and the door was left open and with the other guests in the party having fun with
music and playing poker, it was an easy situation for the thieves. We extended our most sincere apologies to M. and take her and every guests
safety, enjoyment and comfort in high regard.

As is our responsibility, we have taken every precaution to keep our guests safe, with a security guard, locked gates and now, motion detector lights. As a courtesy, we have offered M. and her boy friend a complimentary stay at Blue Surf when she returns...
Her friends sent me pictures of their holiday, and they all ensured me that they feel their decision to stay at Blue Surf Sanctuary was one they do not
regret!
Quite the contrary! I received emails from most of the guests in her party that were so complimentary and grateful, saying that they had an amazing time and the property was phenomanal!
We are told always that our staff is kind, warm, sweet and helpful.
I very much appreciate the kind words and rave reviews I get from most guests and feel it is only fair to to share that this was a rare incident and not indicative in any way of a typical stay at Blue Surf

Many Blessings,

Gloria
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2008

The Blue Surf Sanctuary/Safari Surf School was one of best 'specialized' travel experiences of my life. In short, both the hotel and surf school based on site; (Safari), captures the true essence of the sport.

Long before I even arrived on the grounds I had numerous conversations with both Gloria Armond (owner of the hotel) and Tim Marsh (owner of the surf school). Both of them were incredibly hospitable, helpful and warm. They accurately described the experience, property and location and when I arrived I was not disappointed.

For people interested in the experience, I really encourage you to spend some time talking to either of them. They are both terrific and honest people and will answer any questions you might have about their product, a rarity when it comes to this sort of thing.

Upon arrival at the hotel I was instantly struck by the warmth of the place and the people staying there. It might sound cheesy, but as there are so few guests (7 total during my stay) everyone becomes instant friends and u end up spending a lot of time chilling with each other. Although I am a very friendly guy who doesn't have problems meeting people, i never really expect to hang with strangers on vacation. At this place, its not only inevitable, its actually one of the perks of your stay.

Blue Surf Sanctuary does an amazing job creating a great overall 'vibe'. Its hard to explain, but you will feel it the moment u arrive. So much of the appeal of surfing to me is not just the activity itself (which is completely transforming and addictive) but the lifestyle that accompanies it. This hotel completely fosters that feel with the Balinese style 'cabinas', the flora, the open air kitchen, and the staff they employ. I felt completely at home and completely relaxed.

A typical day begins with a 6:30 AM wake up call (some dude starts knocking on your door) to get you up in time for a quick and tasty costa rican coffee before u take the short walk down to the beach for your first lesson of the day. Although at first one might be surprised by the forced wake up, you will be totally grateful for it when u hit the empty beach and see the pristine waves at high tide. Each morning a light offshore breeze had groomed the surface to perfection and we enjoyed crisply defined 4-6 ft waves.

Your lesson lasts just over an hour (i usually kept my board and surfed for an hour more on my own) at which point you walk back to the hotel for breakfast which is included in your package. Breakfast is simple but really good, especially after a few hours in the water. We were usually served fresh eggs, yogurt, fresh tropical fruits, granola, etc. It was exactly what you wanted after an early morning in the water.


The rest of the day (depending on tides you will be due back sometime between 3-4:30) you spend doing what you want. There is no shortage of things to do. We rented Quads (the 4 wheeled ATVs) for the duration of our stay and they were a total blast to ride around. We took them on the beach, through the mountains, into the jungle, etc. It was so much fun. I really do recommend that anyone going to the hotel do invest in an ATV rental as the 1/2 mile walk to town does get a little tedious if you are surfing 2x/day. Don't be scared to drive them, if u can drive a car u can ride a quad.

Activities between surfing can include yoga, pilates, hiking, zip line tours, the nature preserve, eating at the many excellent and affordable restaurants in santa teresa or just chilling at the hotel by the small but attractive pool. We engaged in a combination of all of the aforementioned activities.

A few word about the instruction and staff: uniformly excellent! Pia who manages the place runs a very tight ship and is a terrific host (and surfer). She knows everything and everyone in santa teresa and can help you with whatever you need. She handled our ATV rental and also booked by transfers, had advice for restaurants, etc. She was also my favorite surf instructor as she possessed the best technical skills in my opinion. This is not to say the rest of them were not great too, as I did learn something different from each. That has largely been my experience with surfing instruction: every one has a different style of riding, thus every teacher has something different to offer.

Another excellent feature of the hotel is Maureen, their resident massage therapist. INcluded in your package are 2 massages (Which are completely necessary as just about anyone who surfs will take their lumps regardless of skill level). 'Mau' as they call her had magic hands. A highly experienced and skilled surfer herself, Mau knew exactly how to help you heal and unwind after 4 hours in the surf. I usually feel asleep for a moment or two during my massages and felt so relaxed afterwards it was otherworldly!

We really loved all the restaurants too. They are so inexpensive, (dinner is usually around $10 including a few beers) and while simple: grilled chix, fresh fish, etc., the food is delicious and very healthy.

I don't think you can have a bad time at this hotel. I have stayed at many 5 star hotels around the world (I usually travel at the Four Seasons level when on vacation) and to be honest this was as wonderful an experience as any I have stayed at--for 1/5th the price. I am an avid surfer, but even if you have never touched a board, I think your experience could be equivalently great.

The Blue Surf Sanctuary/Safari Surf school are proof that you do not have to spend a lot of money or stay at some contrived corporate name brand hotel to experience true hospitality and the best a tourist region has to offer. I recommend this hotel unreservedly and I encourage anyone who is interested to feel free to reach out to me with questions. I look forward to my return!!

  • Liked — The gorgeous scenery and wonderful staff
  • Disliked — No complaints really
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 30 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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