My husband, brother and sister-in-law arrived from the Liberia airport at 6:30pm and were welcomed by Francisco. He was very friendly and gave us a tour of the townhouse. I enjoyed conversing with him in Spanish throughout our stay, one of the highlights for me. Greg greeted us soon after we arrived and offered to take us to the local Super Wendy and then to La Perla so we could have dinner. He was so kind to take us and then take our purchases back to the townhouse. Greg and Gladys and Francisco and Marling were there whenever we needed anything. Stef Surf is located within walking distance to the beach, 2 super mercados and many restaurants and sodas. We really liked breakfast at The Shack, which is owned and operated by Jay, an expat out of Boston. The food is good and the coffee is serve yourself. Jay likes to sit and talk to his guests and is a wealth of Costa Rica information. Our dinner favorite was Las Brisas at the northern end of the beach. Walk there before the sun goes down and then walk the road home. We got lost coming home one night but it was fun and the locals gave us directions. Coco Loco in Playa Flamingo is a great place for sunset drinks and dinner right on the sand. On Wednesday nights they have a fabulous singer/guitar player who also tells great stories about the area while he walks on the beach or among the tables. La Perla is a good place to get dinner and we were lucky to be there when the Eagles played the Vikings and watch it on the big screen TV. La Isolina, to the left at the end of Pina, is a good breakfast place as well. I recommend renting a car so you can just head out to various areas. Although we not big fans of Tamarindo, it's nice to take people there to shop for souvenirs and have lunch at Eat at Joe's, which has a nice history and good food. We drove to Buena Vista Lodge to hike and so my family could experience the suspension bridges. Next time we will go to Rincon de la Vieja to hike or Santa Rosa National Park. We headed down to Playa Avellana on our last day and found a great Italian restaurant on the dirt road to the beach called Restaurante Mauna Loa. The owner is from eastern Italy and the food is fabulous. Lola's on the beach is closed on Monday but we were able to sit at the tables in the shade on the beach and visit Lolita, the huge pig mascot. As for beaches close to the townhouse, we drove to Playa Flamingo, which is south, and to Las Catalinas, which is north, and parked at the end of the dirt road after the construction site. You pay the guys there $2.00 to watch your car. We walked the trails on the left to the beaches and then had an Imperial at the Las Catalinas beach restaurant. Later on in the week we drove back up there and hiked the Las Catalinas trails on the right. It was beautiful. Take plenty of water. The sign says that you need a permit but we did not have one nor did another couple who went hiking and no one bothered us. We stopped at the Hotel Sugar Beach on the way back and had a wonderful lunch on the terrace. The second week of our stay two of our friends joined us and wanted to see crocodiles. We got in touch with Captain Tom and he arranged for a river cruise down the Tempisque, breakfast at a panaderia on the way, lunch at a local home where the food was cooked on a Hornillo, open fire style and then to the city park in Filadelfia to see the very large, orange iguanas. A great day!!! Lots of crocodiles and birds. Go early so you will be the only boat on the water. We would stay at Stef Surf again without a thought. It was comfortable, beautiful, nicely decorated and Greg and Gladys very welcoming and we had a nice time sitting around the pool and talking to them and their friends. Pura Vida!!
Stef Surf sits down a quaint dirt road (which most roads are) that is definitely in the heart of what Playa Potrero has to offer. As soon as we knocked on the front gate of this literal oasis, the pictures we saw online came to life. We were immediately greeted by a very friendly and all around awesome guy named Francisco. Francisco and Marling reside at Stef Surf 24/7 and did an incredible job of taking care of us and the place for the duration of our trip.
Francisco showed us the condo we would be staying in and then introduced us to Greg and Gladys. Greg and Gladys were extremely welcoming from the beginning and helped us with any questions we had.
From the beginning of planning our trip Greg and Gladys gave us a very detailed packet with restaurants and activities to do in the area. They introduced us to Lis, which is probably the most important part of our trip. Lis, our concierge, helped us get acquainted with our location and helped us plan and book every excursion we went on. She set up a private ranch and boat tour, booked horseback and zip lining for us and managed to save us a few dollars in the process. Lis also arranged transportation with Walter, a local taxi driver who doubled as a tour guide. Walter speaks English and we highly recommend him if you do not plan to rent a vehicle. These six individuals made our vacation perfect!
The condo itself was perfect! The master bedroom had floor to ceiling windows at the foot of the bed. This was perfect for waking up in the morning and watching/listening to Costa Rica’s very diverse wildlife. The kitchen was fully stocked with everything needed to cook with a washer and dryer located right off the kitchen. Stef Surf is a literal 3-minute walk from, what is quite possibly the most beautiful beach we have ever experienced. As advertised, it is nearly deserted! Be aware you may see herds of cattle roaming freely down the street and even some iguanas! However, neither the cattle or iguanas will top the calls of the howler monkeys you wake up to daily.
All of your needs from grocery stores, to restaurants, to a newly opened brewery and within walking distance and virtually everyone in this quaint neighborhood are extremely welcoming and very friendly. We could not recommend Stef Surf more! As I am typing this I could say so much but I am trying not to write a novel lol. .
Seriously, this place and people are amazing! Check out Google Reviews & YouTube for our pictures and videos!
The "condo", which I would call a townhouse, was wonderful and met our expectations from the previous outstanding reviews. The landscaping and pool were beautiful and made me feel like I was in a a tropical paradise. The townhouse itself was immaculate --modern, spacious and nicely furnished and everything (the TV's, the internet, the kitchen appliances) worked!! It was very nice to just hang out there even though one is not on the ocean itself. Greg and Gladys were also wonderful as advertised. They were warm and friendly and all of their tips were accurate and helpful. This part of Costa Rica is also very interesting and fun to visit. Lots of secluded, almost empty, beaches down dirt roads --not very built up but a sufficient number of activities and restaurants to keep one entertained. I think having a car is a must---preferably one with high clearance and perhaps 4 wheel drive capability although one can probably do ok without a car---just will not be very convenient. For a quiet, laid back beach vacation--I would go back!
I can think of no better place to call home while visiting Costa Rica, comfortable, luxurious and affordable, this place had it all. Francisco and Marling did an excellent job of making us feel welcome and safe our whole stay here. The gardens and pool were gorgeous and the location was so close to numerous restaurants and shops that you would want for nothing. Even though we had some issues with AC and a stubborn fridge, Greg was lightening quick to rectify the situation and we barely noticed any interruption to our stay. A brief walk to Playa Portrero beach was a twice daily ritual as well as the well stocked Super Wendy up the road for beer or snacks. Don't let the dirt roads and backwoods surroundings fool you, this place is definitely a luxury stay by any means. My only complaint is that we did not spend enough time sitting with a drink on one of the many outdoor balconies to watch the fireflies and listen to the surf
One of the nicest places we stayed. Great pool and close to the beach. Best beach however is Dantita beach. Next to danta. Postcard beach and Great for swimming with children. Diner with Sunset, go to Coco loco at 5.30 Pm table on the beach, reservation recommended.
We had a wonderful stay for a family vacation--the space easily accommodated our family of 4. We visited during the rainy season, which just meant rain most afternoons, but very clear mornings/early afternoons. One thing we noticed was that the Playa Protero area had a lot more standing water on the ground, which meant a lot of more mosquitos than some of the other nearby areas. This wasn't a huge deal--but it and the humidity did make the air conditioning a great benefit. The house was spacious, very clean, and beautiful. The kitchen was well stocked and easy to use, and we really appreciated the washer/dryer (although the dryer seemed to be going out). The pool was also great and very well maintained by the onsite caretaker, who was very helpful and had a lot of very useful information. Beaches are close by (the best ones are much better accessible by car than by foot) and were absolutely amazing. We highly recommend!
When you book this property the owners will send a welcome email with a map and a 28 page PDF that they created for you to refer to throughout your stay. It included pictures with long detailed descriptions of anything from all beach locations within an hour away, local fruit stands and restaurants, to locations of medical clinics in case of a medical emergency (and much more). Just about every topic imaginable is covered in this document and provides an explanation on how to fulfill your requests. This was the first time I have ever booked a private property where they provided this much useful information. You can tell the owners take pride in this property and are genuinely happy to help you have a great vacation. There is also staff that work as the maintenance, security, and concierge who are extremely helpful and will give great advice. For example, we wanted to walk to a beach (different beach than the one located one block from the property) that was far away and the concierge told us to walk in the morning when the tide was down and take a cab back because the tide will shift and the water will be too high to walk back along the beach. This was a detail we never would have thought of. The growing pains of being in a new country and traveling are limited by the extremely helpful staff. Also not enough can be said about Francisco (man in charge of maintenance and security). He keeps the property looking like paradise and can either help you with your request or get you in touch with the correct person. Everyone involved in the process of staying at this property does their job extremely well.