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“No doubts.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Surf Simply

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Surf Simply
Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Nosara
Fort Collins, Colorado
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“No doubts.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

It all started November 2011. I was visiting Playa Guiones with friends and family from Colorado. Every day I would surf, flail, try different boards, sometimes get a good wave and have a frustrating brand of fun. During that week, I noticed a group of people down the beach being coached. And, well, by the end of the week, it was apparent that the surfers being coached down the beach had became more confident and stronger surfers during that week. It was obvious that if I wanted to actually advance in the sport of surfing rather than continue to flail around, coaching was the answer. Those coaches down the beach and the answer was Surf Simply.

Surf Simply is your deep immersion surf coaching program, all surfing, all the time. And not just in the ocean, but in the pool, in the yoga studio, in the coaching, in the theory, in the video analysis and in the electronic ether. Or not. It is your choice.

The coaching is what I came for, and coaching is what I got. Graham offered a lot of patience and a lot of words in helping me realize what I should be thinking about and doing when out in the surf. And while Graham was my official coach, all of the coaches were my coach, willing to offer advice and encouragement. Very good people who love surfing and love teaching surfing.

And the rest: the sleeping, the eating, the massage, the people, the location, the whatever you want, it is really as good as you can have it. Honestly, as a frequent traveler of the North, South, and Central Americas accustomed to a wide variety of sleeping, eating, and living conditions, the Surf Simply Resort treatment is reaaaaaallllly nice. Nothing to think about except your feet, hands, hips, and head.

I am excited for my next surf trip, to put all this surfing wisdom and enthusiasm into practice. I am excited to ride more waves in different ways. And I am excited to think about returning to Surf Simply for more.

  • Stayed July 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
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297 reviews from our community

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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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012

Let me start by saying this is my second tripadvisor review over Surf Simply. I have traveled to a fair amount of places before and even stayed at other surf resorts, and have enjoyed all of my vacations to some degree or other. However, I have never before felt compelled to take the time to share my gratitude on tripadvisor. Surf Simply is simply that awesome. On my prior trip and subsequent review, I tried to mention and describe all the wonderful people that helped make Surf Simply so outstanding, so on this review, I can focus more on the individual coaching I received.

I worked with Graham Swingler (or rather he worked with me) for both weeks I was there, and I will have a difficult time describing how lucky I feel to have had his support and guidance. Like all of Ru's coaching staff, Graham is highly educated regarding all aspects of surfing technique/maneuvers, board design, safety, meteorology, wave formation, etc. In addition, he has a natural talent for coaching and motivating his students, providing positive yet honest feedback and clear/consise directions. Prior to our sessions, we would discuss goals for the day and week, such as white water wheelies, floaters, grabbing rail, carving turns, and weighting/deweighting. Then we would incorporate different combinations of these maneuvers during the surf sessions. FUN FUN FUN!!! I did not accomplish all of these said maneuvers in reality, but I thought about them, and that's a start.

And I already mentioned Sarah on my previous review, but I cannot help myself here. She is AMAZING!! Cacao/banana/avacado mouse? Fresh caught Pargo with a lemon caper cream sauce? I felt like a judge on Iron Chef rather than a guest at a surf coaching resort.

While the amazing yoga guru, Francella, is taking time off to have her baby, the serene and talented Amber provides energizing and relaxing yoga classes. The housestaff, Maria and Alba are super friendly and were so patient when I tried to practice my elementary spanish skills. The videographers, Ale and Laura, team up to provide quality video and photos of everyones experience.

And how does Surf Simply attract the best of the best crew for this amazing surf/yoga/culinary experience? I have to give credit to incredibly hardworking owner, Ru Hill, and his almost super-human, infectious enthusiasm for the sport of surfing.

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bermuda
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

So, I’ve been back home from my visit to Surf Simply for almost a month now and I still find myself daydreaming about all the fun I had while I was at Surf Camp! Learning how to surf was something that I always wanted to try and I did a ton of research before finally picking Surf Simply Coaching Resort. I am so glad that I found Surf Simply, the instructors are the coolest “surf parents” teaching you all the fundamentals that you need to know to be able to get a good working knowledge of whatever surfing level you are on. I started out as a complete novice, having never even touched a surf board before. At the end of my two week stay I was able to “go out the back”, “drop down on a wave”, “ride it in”, do some “carving and trimming” and my favorite, “ride the white waves” (which is the equivalent of the kiddie rides at Six Flags, lol). Riding the white waves is one of the first things that they teach you, so the mastery of that was my first big surfing accomplishment that paved the way for all my other cool surfing milestones. The accommodations are very comfortable; the instructors are very friendly and personable. The food is fabulous. Just go! My words can in no way compare to actually being there. Trust me I always research for the best and this place is the best! I just want to give a shot out to my second “surf Dad” Ru, my instructor for my second week who pushed me to do things that I never thought I could do AND enjoy doing. Graham, my first “surf Dad” who was my guide into the world of surfing and was there to “hi-five” me while I rode in my very first wave from “out the back” into the shore without falling off (which is huge!!!). Jessie, Ollie, Jack and Harry who were not my personal instructors but were still there to offer pointers, advice and encouragement. Francella, who kept me from turning into a pretzel with her awesome daily yoga classes, Dani, who made sure the whole experience ran smoothly with her excellent organization skills. To Allie for being the best hostess and Sara, for her off-the-hook cooking, (mmmm vegetable lasagna). Thanks to Lulu for her delicious, filling banana-chocolate chip muffins (which taste AMAZING with peanut butter), and last but not least to Laura, for making me look absolutely fabulous in the photos and video clips. Thank you all, for making this the best experience ever. So, now that you know everyone at Surf Simply, you absolutely must make the trip to meet them in person, it is totally worth it!!!

  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

If you 'simply' love the water, want to achieve a goal, have stamina and energy and crave a holiday that will challenge body and soul, Surf Simply is the place for you...beginner or experienced surfer your needs will be met and you will achieve great things...

If you want to just lie on the beach or by a pool all day this is not for you!

It pains me to write this because I don't want the place to get booked up (I think another reviewer has expressed the same!) but how can I not recommend Surf Simply...it is quite 'simply' Awesome!

I've been an occasional, and frankly rubbish, surfer for about 7 years...I've had MANY lessons in my time...I've visited Surf 'lodges/schools/camps/surfaris' around the world...NOTHING compares to Surf Simply. Ru Hill and his band of merry teachers (the emphasis being on great teachers, not just great surfers!) have developed a 'simply' incredible coaching method - there is something to meet everyone's learning style with practical and theory sessions combined.

Let's face it, surfing can be daunting - it's 'cool' and scary right?! Only for the beautiful people? Think again! I am overweight and of average fitness, so yes at first it felt a little intimidating, but within the first session I was soon put at ease, felt less self concious and was up for the challenge. My coach, Graham, quickly became a friend as well as my font of all knowledge for the week - we had such a laugh and I learnt LOADS from him - 'simply' put; he definitely had the measure of me and wasn't going to let me wimp out!

The practical surf sessions were challenging but fun and 2 sessions of 2 hours a day is enough time for you to perfect what you are learning, to tire you out but not kill you! The theory is engaging and SO useful...I especially found the pool sessions a revelation! Why has no one taught me how to turtle roll or paddle properly and efficiently before?! Thanks Jessie!

I have always found yoga to be an essential tool in helping me surf - it builds strength and flexibility, gives you methods to employ to stay calm (which you need when those big waves are crashing overhead!) and allows time for physical and mental recovery and relaxation. Francella is a beautiful, creative and intuitive Yogini...I LOVED the yoga sessions...beginner or advanced you will gain so much from this 'simply' magical hour or so each day.

And then there is the food...(I mentioned my weight, I'm an expert!) Do not go to Surf Simply to go on a diet, you will 'simply' not be able to resist the culinary majesty of this place...but don't worry, the food is, as you would expect, super healthy! Sarah and Dani do a wonderful job in the kitchen at meal times and Lulu's muffins are delicious beyond description... You will eat in some of Nosara's quite basic but pretty fabulous restaurants over the week, and for those moments when you just need to kick back there is a fridge full of beer and wine from which you can 'simply' help yourself!

What makes any travelling experience special is always the people...I was not disappointed on this score! My fellow 'pupils' were fabulous people - I think any group at Surf Simply will work because the numbers are kept sensible (you won't get lost in a crowd), you receive personal coaching and everyone is there wanting to get the most out of the challenge - your desire to learn to surf or improve what you already know binds you together. As for the staff, what an AMAZING bunch...Ru has built a team that is customer focused, attentive, friendly and highly qualified in their own area of expertise be it the surf instructors, the chef, the resort management, the yoga, the massage, the photography or the cleaning - all an essential part of the team and all with one goal, to give you the best holiday of your life.

Finally I have to mention the central protagonist in this amazing drama...Costa Rica! This was my first time in Central America and I went to Surf Simply at the start of 6 weeks exploring the region. Costa Rica offers beautiful scenery, crystal clear sand and sea, rainforest delights and more exotic creatures than you ever knew existed, so try and stay on after your Surf Simply experience to explore more of this wonderful country (and of course practice what you have learnt in the water!) If you get the chance to wander further afield be sure to take it; Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are on your doorstep - these were the other countries I visited, far less developed than Costa Rica but all offering an abundance of riches beyond the commercial...life's true riches...and not to be missed!

So don't all rush at once or else there won't be space for me to return...but I 'simply' can not recommend Surf Simply enough - I can confidently promise you won't be disappointed! Enjoy!

  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

The place, coaches, staff and participants were a fantastic surprise! Everything perfect!! Amazing food, clean and comfortable rooms, High tech equipment for a personalize training..........last but not least the location is simply perfect: Costa Rica, the best place to learn to surf! Consistent waves, warm water, wild nature!!

  • Stayed July 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.
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

I'll first start this review by stating that it will be hard to mention everything, as I can go on and on about Surf Simply....how amazing it is, etc. In fact, Surf Simply comes up in conversation all the time and when I start, I can't stop talking about them. Now for the review. My wife Cindy and I stayed at Surf Simply at the end of February in 2012. I had a little bit of surfing experience and my wife had no surfing experience. This was not a big deal. We were split up into multiple groups based on ability and the coaches are very good at determining your ability. Speaking of coaches, they are the best. My group consisted of Ru, Oli, and Jessie for our coaches, and my wife's group had Harry and Kerianne as coaches. If you want to learn to surf, and surf well for that matter, they will teach you the way. If you are nervous about anything, and feel reluctant to try surfing, Surf Simply will teach you and make you feel comfortable. Trust me....they are amazing teachers and have a gift, that most do not. They will push you, if you want to be pushed, and you will leave Surf Simply with so much knowledge that you will want to return to learn more. Surf Simply will make you feel at ease in the water, regardless of your experience. You will not want to leave. We stayed in Guiones for two weeks, with one week at Surf Simply. Cindy kept asking me after the first day, "Why didn't we stay for two weeks?". It was hard to leave Surf Simply as we had made so many new friends there, with both the crew and the guests. The entire Surf Simply staff is amazing and they make you feel at home when staying there. You feel like you are staying with your friends, and not with a bunch of strangers. In fact, we shared a chalet with another couple who we did not know prior to our trip and it was perfect. You don't spend a ton of time in your chalet except to sleep, so you really don't need your own chalet unless you are going to fill it. The rooms are private and that's all you really need. We arrived late in the evening and everyone was already asleep. We opened the fridge and there were two plates of dinner wrapped up for us, with two cold beers and two cold sodas. Where else does that happen????? As for sleeping, you will sleep peacefully and always feel well rested. Kudos to Dani, the amazing resort manager for helping arrange everything for us and answer any questions, helping with breakfast, and just being a very cool person to hang out with. As for the food, Sarah's cooking is simply the best. If you like to eat, you will love Sarah's cooking. All of her dishes are prepared with tasty, and healthy ingredients. There wasn't one thing that she made, where we didn't want seconds and thirds. You will be able to eat a lot of food too, trust me. After day two, you will have worked so hard that you will eat and eat. I certainly felt that way. After lunch, you will have the option of doing Yoga with Francella. This is a great way to loosen and stretch the body after a great session in the water, and right before you go out again for your afternoon session. Francella is awesome and very helpful. I had only ever been to one yoga class before, so I needed a lot of help. Thank You Francella! Cindy and I also took advantage of a massage from Crystal, mid week. This was much needed and so excellent. Crystal is a great massage therapist and also a super cool person. Do not pass up the massage. Your body will need it and thank you for it. Last but not least, Thank You, thank you, Laura, for catching all of the amazing shots on your camera and video. You will leave the week with some awesome photos and video footage (a serious amount of amazing footage and stills) to take with you and the footage and stills are very professional, and also, very fun and candid. As I mentioned earlier, I can go on and on about these guys. They all make Surf Simply the amazing place that it is and we cannot wait to return. Thank You guys for making our trip as memorable as it is!!!!! Hope to see you all soon.

-Bryan & Cindy

Room Tip: They are all good
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  • Stayed February 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

that week went so fast its not funny and now i am DEPRESSED!!!! i want to say something negative about the place so people will be put off and there might be space whenever i want to come back....even though i want to, i cant-the place was amazing-the saying of the week RU-"be the hunter not the hunted"-north shore 10fters are mine!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed July 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.
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Additional Information about Surf Simply

Address: Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Nosara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf Simply has broken the surf camp mold by providing coaching of a standard one would usually expect to receive in more mainstream sports. The makes of the Surf Simply podcast (available on iTunes) offer all inclusive package from their beautiful boutique surf coaching resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. You stay incorporates not only - video analysis, theory sessions on everything from board design to surf forecasting, pool training and in water coaching during your two fun surf session each day; but also transfers, accommodation, yoga classes, massage, fresh home cooked food and a variety of destinations in the evening from beach BBQs to stunning cliff top restaurants. ... more   less 
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