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“My rating says it all” 2 of 5 stars
Review of KayaSol Surf Hotel

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KayaSol Surf Hotel
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100 M Norte Hotel Guilded Iguana, Nosara, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 20 Hotels in Nosara
London
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“My rating says it all”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The place isn't bad but it's certainly nothing to rave about. We unfortunately left it a little late and most other accommodations (Iguana, Harmony and several private rentals) were booked up but the website does make it look better than it is in reality.

We stayed in Suite 3 (top floor with air con) and I found it really depressing. Bars all over the windows, nasty dated decor and not a great deal of natural light. We were in Costa Rica by the beach in a lovely town but you wouldn't think it to stay here. It is also a little further than we thought from the beach - the map on the site is a little misleading.

The pool area is nice though and we bumped into the gardener and one of the cleaners a few times and they were lovely smiley people. We're both surfers but we did find quite a few of the American surfers staying around the pool to be very unfriendly. You say hello and you get nothing back - weird. Anyway, I digress...

The most annoying thing was arriving and finding a note in the "suite" saying that theft is common and on the same page stating that cleaners come every 2 days. No other info. Now, we found that odd and we also found it very odd that they state that theft is common yet they don't provide a safe for their guests, meaning the first feeling is of anxiety about where to stash cameras etc!

We did see a few bugs (looked like roaches in the bathroom) and our toilet also overflowed one day - nice! but we didn't mind the ants etc as we're basically staying in the jungle so that's to be expected.

Anyway, it could certainly do with a general renovation job, some internal decor work (not blood red curtains with hardly any light and yellow walls - that's just plain nasty) and a safe in each room.

There appear to be quite a few new places popping up in Nosara so KayaSol will have some new competition unless they make a few changes, either that or just stick to being a backpackers and make it obvious that that's all you really are.

Room Tip: Don't choose suite 3 or Cabina Fria which is basically right on the road and forms part of the o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
    34
    13
    8
    4
See reviews for
11
35
20
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, South Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Currently at Kayasol on Our 3rd visit to Playa Giones. Stayed at different places each time. Love the laid back/chill/bohemian feel in spite of being older than most at Kayasol. (We probably fit more into the age group at The Iguana.) Experienced just what I expected in a friendly laid back environment with good food and fair prices. I'm so happy Kayasol maintains an environment that kids can afford at such a special destination. Mattresses could be better but that's not why we came here. No biggie:) Wifi worked great in our room but would have been nice to have access at the pool. Pool was lovely and peaceful.....maybe because we had no wifi and read instead!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sohan K, Owner at KayaSol Surf Hotel, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Dear David from Charleston,

Thank you for your lovely review. I am happy to hear you felt welcome there with our wonderful group of mixed-age clients! That is something so special about Nosara.....you become friends with all walk/ages of life because you are all there with the same thing in common: passion for Pura Vida! I am sorry to hear about your disappointment with the mattresses and a bit confused because 100% of our rooms received brand-new orthopedic mattresses for Christmas? And we do have Wifi at the pool and throughout the entire property however I like your attitude about more reading and less screen time. Maybe it was a blessing! Hope to see you back next time!
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Santa Cruz, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

My daughter (4) and I stayed at Kayasol for 30 days in June, 2012 with 6 friends and family coming and going at various times. The dorm rooms, affordable costs, and different accommodations for diverse travelers worked out perfect for everyone. We all surfed as many days as possible and swam in the pool every day several times. We were not expecting a sterile Hilton hotel as we were in a Costa Rica surf town. The kitchen was clean and well equipped, the showers were hot, and the housekeepers and staff were always attentive, helpful, and welcoming. The grounds were absolutely amazing. You walk in under the canopy of well maintained coconut trees, and fruit trees filled with Howler monkeys and amazing tropical birds. We have traveled to several surf towns in Costa Rica over the years and we made a great choice to be at Kayasol for our first family trip choosing to stay in one place for 4 weeks.

  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

Recommended this place by my rough guides book and it didn't dissapoint! Really tranquil hostel for those looking for a relaxing time away from 18-20 yr old American kids! Still full of Americans but not bad ones as they're mostly older, 25+! Great adjoining restaurant and the shaded pool is lovely and refreshing for after being in the sun! A really pretty hostel and pretty good value for the area! Has a kitchen in one of the dorms too for self catering! I'd you're backpacking then this place is perfect!! Yes there are bugs around, but it's in the jungle for Christs sake!! Ignore bad reviews and give this place a try!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I can't believe some of these negative reviews and the kind of unrealistic expectations people seem to have for a hotel, at this price, in a 3rd world country. You won't be pampered here. You don't need to be because you should be out surfing and enjoying the stunning beauty of this place. Accommodations are simple, which keeps costs low. But the service is excellent, the food is great, and the location can't be beat. It's also VERY clean. Getting an air conditioned room will keep bugs away, if that's a problem for you. The staff is responsible for making the hotel bar a really fund place to gather in between surfing and at night. People live simply here and are happy. If you left this place dissatisfied, it probably has more to do with you than with the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sohan K, Owner at KayaSol Surf Hotel, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Tinelabela,

Thank you for your direct and honest review, we greatly appreciate it! Nosara is a mecca for surfing and we strive to keep it affordable for all to experience. Throw in some great service, clean rooms and friendly vibes and you've discovered the secret recipe to livin' the dream! Let us know when you are planning your next trip down and we will hook you up.... our return clients are our greatest reward!
Pura Vida~Sohan
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Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

They have a great restaurant here but that's a separate review so come here to eat not sleep. The great thing about this place was that they had an open room... and it was cheap. Beyond that we have major problems:
- Bugs everywhere, I mean bugs everywhere. Hundreds on the floors, walls, shelves, it was gross.
- I turned on the bathroom sink and it fell off the wall from the force of me turning it on
- Our room had a tin roof that was extremely loud all night from the breeze

I could go on but what's the point? Stay somewhere else if you can afford it.

Oh, the pool looked nice and clean but we didn't swim.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sohan K, Owner at KayaSol Surf Hotel, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your feedback on our hotel. We realize there are areas of the hotel that need improvement and we are constantly working towards exceeding our guest expectations however we are a family owned and operated business in a 3rd world country. Our focus is to create a safe, friendly and clean hotel for all to enjoy the natural wonder's that are Costa Rica. At the close of each rainy season in October we fumigate our rooms. During the high season we do upkeep with natural products so as not to use harsh chemicals while our guests are staying with us. The fact lies that we are in an open-aired environment in the jungle and bugs are simply a part of life. We have occasional bugs in the rooms but certainly not hundreds. Your reservation was in our most economy room hence the affordable price and things do break however as you experienced we tend to them quickly. Send us an email directly and we can discuss how to remedy this situation.
Warmly~Sohan Zeller
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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

It was affordable and we probably got what we paid for. There are a variety of room options which is nice. The website does a good job of letting you view and book those. We had a room that slept 3-5 and they only gave us one key. That was tricky but after asking for another one it was a lot easier to coordinate coming and going. It's open air so it does get warm but the fans help a lot. Do expect some ants and such to be crawling around. This has been my experience in both trips to Costa Rica. Your room is not air tight. I'd recommend bringing your own towel (beach and bath). They're a little stingy with them. The office staff wasn't very accommodating and we found ourselves asking multiple times for things but perhaps that's just the pura vida life. The restaurant staff was great when there wasn't too big of a crowd but a lot less attentive when full. JC was my favorite server there. always a smile and maybe even a little dance! The menu is delicious. Nachos were a nice treat and the breakfast croissant was very tasty! Be prepared all over in the restaurants/airports for a 23% (total) tax and service fee added to the bill. That was a shocker!

Overall, the experience was fair. The beach is close. Mini mart is right around the corner. Lots of other options for eating close by. I'd recommend it unless you're looking for luxury.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sohan K, Owner at KayaSol Surf Hotel, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for our hotel. We appreciate the feedback as it helps us learn how we can continue to improve. It sounds like overall you had a wonderful experience and I am happy that you found ease in our new website and enjoyed our restaurant. Our accommodating staff and as you can see from other reviews has been our strongest attribute throughout. I am sorry that this was not your experience with us and I will speak directly to our staff with hopes to strengthen this for guests to come. During the high season things can get a bit stressful all of us and it becomes challenging to exude the PURA VIDA vibe while expected to tend to clients accustomed to a fast-paced world. We gratefully experienced more traffic than usual this high season which is a wonderful sign of a growing economy and we were short on towels which is not an easy commodity to come by (there's not a target down the street or on-line shipping!) We have to travel 6 hours to San Jose or order them by bus which we did do however that takes some time. We greatly appreciate your business!
Sincerely~Sohan Zeller
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Additional Information about KayaSol Surf Hotel

Address: 100 M Norte Hotel Guilded Iguana, Nosara, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 20 Hotels in Nosara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our quaint family owned and operated hotel is located on the 200M Maritime Protected Zone. A 2 minute walk takes you to the best surf Guiones has to offer. We boast great prices & location; clean, comfortable, simple rooms; and our service is excellent. We are located on the non-commercialized end of the beach which gives you the tranquility you deserve yet puts you within walking distance to shops, restaurants & yoga. Come and enjoy the good life. Pura Vida! ... more   less 

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