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“Surf Simply is simply awesome!!” 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
New Hampshire, USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Surf Simply is simply awesome!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2010

While being a faithful follower of TripAdvisor, I have never felt compelled to write a review until now. My son and I attended the last session of the season in August. This review is submitted a little late but this being my first submission, I had trouble figuring out how to fit in everything I want to share without it being 10 pages long.

When I decided on a surf camp vacation, I had a few concerns. First, and foremost, I wanted to go someplace where I would actually learn to surf and not just splash around in the water with a surfboard for an hour between spa treatments. Another concern was that both my son and I have no surfing experience at all and we would need a camp equipped to handle newbies without sticking us in the children’s group. Then there was the matter of fitness level. My son is young and athletic but I'm neither. Would they be able to teach someone who is not exactly ready to run a marathon or swim the English channel? I found the Surf Simply reviews on TripAdvisor so I checked out their website. It seemed like they had all my concerns covered so we booked with them and I’m so glad we did. We had a blast!! You’ll never meet a group of people as passionate about surfing as they are. There were instructors for every skill level so we didn’t get stuck in a group with advanced surfers. As for the fitness level, I found surfing to be physically challenging but not outside my comfort level. I never felt over my head or beyond my physical ability. Luke was our main instructor for the week and he was great. “Stoked” is definitely a word I would use to describe him (as well as friendly, knowledgeable, and patient). Even though I found every possible way to wipe out, Luke never gave up on me or make me feel like surfing was beyond me. I can still hear him yelling out to me in the whitewater, “Chicken-wings, April, chicken-wings!!!!” Besides telling me what I did wrong, he was always quick to tell me what I was doing right and to genuinely cheer me on when I caught a wave. Also, the lessons taught by all the instructors were detailed and understandable instead of the vague "just feel the wave, Dude" instructions that I was expecting.

Now I need to talk about the chalets. Can I just say Wow!?! My son and I shared a 2 bedroom chalet that was absolutely beautiful with marble counter tops in the kitchen and tile floors. I can’t, however, figure out what the full kitchen was for. We never had to cook a meal for ourselves the entire length of our stay. Breakfast and lunch were served up at the main house and dinner was hosted at a different local restaurant each night which was great. One thing I have to mention is that while I enjoyed all the meals, my absolute hands-down favorite was lunch. We would return from surfing expecting to find a sandwich and chips or something similar waiting for us. Instead, we were served a fantastic gourmet lunch prepared by Gem. Seriously, it looked like something you’d see on the cover of Bon Appétit (and it tasted as good as it looked too).

Besides surfing, there were massages with Krystal you could schedule and daily yoga sessions with Jessie which were both fantastic. Also, we got to choose a mid-week non-surfing activity. We picked the canopy zip-line tour which was very cool. I could go on and on about our stay at Surf Simply but I want to keep this review at a reasonable length so I'll just say that it was, by far, one of the best vacations we have taken. The whole Surf Simply team (Ru, Gem, Luke, Becky, Harry, Sam, and Sausage) made our stay amazing and unforgettable! My son and I have already started talking about going back for another stay.

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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
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English first
Paducah, Kentucky
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2010

Hello all! I stayed with the folks at Surf Simply back in August (2010) and it was most definitely a 5 star experience. I am still a beginner surfer as this was my second surf trip, but with the instruction I recieved from Luke, Sam, Harry, Ru, and the whole crew (in and out of the water) I feel like I can go back in the water next time with full confidence. The food was incredible and always hit the spot after a session. Not to mention, they take you out to a great local restaraunt nightly. Thursdays are especially enjoyable. Especially if you make it La Banana with Sambo! They're a very friendly and warm bunch of people who make you feel like you're at home through out the week. The chalets were also great. Modern, but very simple, which I enjoyed immensely. I haven't been to any other surf schools, but I looked into several others before booking with Surf Simply, and I can't imagine any of them being on top of their game the way Surf Simply is. Highly reccomended and well worth the cost. I would definitely travel with them again. In fact, I believe I recall saying this within the first 24 hours of being there. Thanks again guys!

Todd.

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Lake Forest, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2010

Surf Simply (SS) was one of the best vacations I've ever had. Surf Simply met all of my expectations. The website is a very accurate depiction of what you will expect for your vacation. It truly is an all-inclusive package. There is a comfort in knowing that there isn't any constant "upselling" or "add-ons" or "hidden costs".

Excellent SURF INSTRUCTION!
Ru, Harry, Luke, and company are some of the best surf instructors you'll meet. SS's instructors provide clear and concise instruction. Every minute of the lesson is dedicated to their guest. They critique almost everything you do in the water, but always make a point to provide positive feedback. They're always encouraging you to try something different, but never pushing you beyond your comfort limits. And most importantly, everyone was having a great time during the lessons!

Personally, I had some previous experience with surfing, but always had problems with catching unbroken waves. With Ru's instruction, I finally learned what I needed to improve on, in order to bring my surfing to the next level. Many aspects of surfing finally started to click for me. As for the other guest during my week, some had never surfed before in their lifetime. By the end of the week, they were consistently standing in the whitewater.

Great FOOD!
Lunches were awesome! Gem is an amazing gourmet cook. No PBJ! Healthy gourmet salads and delicious milkshakes! After a morning surf session, you'll be scarfing everything down.
As for dinner, the staff accompany you to different restaurants in the evening. The restaurant food can be a bit of a "hit or miss" at times, but never horrible. Regardless, it was always something to look forward to at the end of the day.

Overall, I highly recommend this experience to everyone. Ru and Gem run an excellent surf camp. (I've never met people more passionate about surfing.) Look forward for a return to Surf Simply some day.

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London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

Surf Simply is a fantastic place to learn to surf / improve what you can already do on a wave as well as an awesome place to go on holiday

The location in Nosara is beautiful, one of the most picturesque beaches in Costa Rica, totally unspoilt with very low levels of development. The resort is in a quiet spot which is perfect for getting to the beach and the (pretty small) local town/amenities. The resort was only recently opened this year and it shows as everything is new (bathrooms etc) with the bungalows feeling very private despite being on a relatively small site. There is a great pool for lounging around when you're not on the beach where the guys will also demonstrate duck diving and other water techniques for people.

What sets the place apart however is the incredible friendly and attentive attitude from the owners and all the staff. Nothing ewas too much trouble both in and out of the lesson environment.

The surfing instruction itself is why one would book a holiday with simply surf as it is "simply" miles ahead of any other surf school I have been to or looked at. I had one to one tuition from Harry for the whole of my stay as well as theory lessons from Luke and Ru. They are all excellent and are a long way from the typical surf school "paddle dude and then stand up" attitude that I have seen before. They use very useful video analysis to help show where you are going wrong as well as a really good camera to take action photos which played well to my narcissistic tendencies.

The food / drink is all included in the price and good. On about half of the nights we went to local restaurants (some were better than others but - the food is not really the reason one goes to Costa Rica) and on some nights we ate at the resort. The food provided by Gem back at the resort was actually much better than the restaurants we went to. In addition they had a fridge which was full of chocolate, drinks, snacks etc. which we were free to raid any time we wanted.

This was a great holiday and one where I really felt my surfing improved. I would highly recommend to anyone else and am planning to return myself next year.

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NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2010

I would absolutely recommend Surf Simply and the whole Nosara experience to anyone looking for a stunning, unspoint place to explore and have an active, fun holiday. Gem and Ru were great hosts and made it feel like we were guests in their home with great home cooked meals and exploring various local restaurants in the evening. The accommodation was lovely with just a short stroll into town. I was travelling on my own and I could not have been made to feel more welcomed and part of the group, made new friends, and would recommend it to any other single travellers, but also great for couples, families and all age groups!

The surfing itself was amazing! I was a complete beginner, and the instructors were thorough, patient and great fun, and with the incredible backdrop of Playa Guiyones it's hard not to become hooked. If you're a more advanced surfer, you'll still be put through your paces by the team who video the surf sessions and give live feedback. You won't be disappointed with the waves! I've already booked my trip back......

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

Surf Simply Surf Camp far exceeded all of my expectations! I have always wanted to learn how to surf, and after my week long experience in Nosara at Surf Simply... I consider myself extremely lucky to have been the hands of such pros! Ru, Gem, Becky, Sam, Luke, Alex & Harry are such great folks, and they were all very focused on getting our whole group to the next level.

In terms of surfing - I think that their curriculum is second to none. They break everything down in a way that makes sense, and they know how much to push you at every stage. Sometimes surfing gives off an exclusive... 'too cool' vibe that can be hard to break through, but the way that Ru & Gem have set up their programming makes you feel like you are a true surfer from the get go. The team helped me to surf waves that I never thought would be possible. Whether you are learning to surf, brushing up on technique or an experienced surfer... I would still highly recommend Surf Simply!

In terms of the vacation... I am the type of person who enjoys a vacation with active adventures and challenges. But regardless of your vacationing style Surf Simply offered the best of both worlds... they pampered you with Gem's amazing dishes (I have so many favorites, but the one that I keep on dreaming about was the delicious Brie sandwich she whipped up one afternoon). Most nights they would take us to a restaurant in town where we could take in the amazing views and local flavor. Every day we had an amazing yoga poolside yoga session and plenty of time to lounge and hangout with the staff and guests.

The digs... We in a pleasantly secluded area that was just minutes from the beach. The layout of the boutique resort was just perfect. Plenty of privacy, with an amazing pool and lounge area for surf theory, yoga and dining.

The guests... because Surf Simply offers such a uniquely rich experience it attracts very interesting people from all walks of life. My fiance and I felt so lucky to have such a great group of fellow vacationers... and have a feeling that each week attracts another great group of guests.

Thank you Surf Simply for such an amazing trip - we hope to be back sometime in the near future!

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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

I've been to a few surf schools over the years and I have to say that Surf Simply clearly stands out.

Most importantly the quality of teaching is exceptional, the instructors are passionate about surfing and they are very good in passing over their knowledge. My instructor Luke was with me in the water all the time encouraging me and giving me feedback after my rides. I enjoyed the duck diving lesson with Ru and Luke, it was the first time I ever touched a short board so it was great to have a short practice in the pool before we headed out to the beach.
The video analysis sessions are very useful, they give a valuable feedback about your rides.

What I like the most about Surf Simply's teaching method is that they not only teach you how to surf but also tell you why you should surf that way.

The food was fantastic. Gem is a amazing cook, she prepared delicious meals and the restaurants we visited had tasty food and beautiful views.

The resort is cleaned every day, the chalets are super-tidy, comfortable and safe.

About the extra activities:
- I recommend taking yoga classes with Jessie, she is an amazing instructor.
- If you want to see a bit more of the area surrounding Surf Simply I suggest you take the canopy-tour, it's fun and the views are stunning.
- I found the stand up paddling with Spencer very relaxing and great fun, I will definitely have another go with it

All in all, you can see from their website, the resort and their teaching method that they put a lot of effort in the school and it shows, Surf Simply is the best surf school I've ever been to.

Thank you Gem, Ru, Becky, Jessie, Lulu, Luke, Sam, Alex and Harry, see you next year

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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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