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“Great for surfing local spots but not Witches Rock or Ollies Point”

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Witch's Rock Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great for surfing local spots but not Witches Rock or Ollies Point”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I had a great time for the 1 week I was there. We surfed a lot of different spots and the guides typically know where to go to find an uncrowded but decent surf. The hotel food, room and jacuzzi are nice too.

My big complaint is the Witches Rock/Ollies Point trip. I could tell from looking at Surfline that the swell was peaking in a day or so and dropping by the end of my stay. I discussed this with the hotel staff and tried to get our boat trip to Ollies booked for the peak of the swell. This is supposed to be the highlight of the trip! The staff said they will go for it. The next day I find out we have been pushed another day later because they have a paid group from people not staying at the hotel hiring them for the trip at the same we wanted to go.

Basically they took the extra money from non-patrons of the hotel and ignored us since we had already paid for the whole trip and were staying there. We don't have any choice as to when we want to go to the island. We ended up going on a crap day. There were exactly zero waves above waist high at Witches Rock or Ollies. It put a huge damper on what was otherwise looking to be a great trip. I went home pretty angry after having spent over $1,000 for my 1 week stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bryce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Guest Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to review your review honestly! I am extremely sorry to hear that happened in regards to the trip to Witch's Rock & Ollie's Point, as we do understand this is THE highlight of the trip for a lot of our surfers.

I looked a little further into your reservation, and saw that you guys were signed up for our Intermediate Coaching Program which does not include Witch's Rock & Ollie's Point, and could have been where the misunderstanding happened. Either way, obviously you were not explained properly about the program, and we take full responsibility for it.

We know that even our Intermediate Surfers dream of going up to Witch's Rock & Ollie's Point, so I want to make sure that if you come down here again, that you will get up there, and on the best day of the swells & conditions. You know where to contact us, so please make sure to address myself, and we will take really great care of you!

Pura Vida!

Shawna
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (141)
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English first
Barrie, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 7, 2014

My new husband and I were looking for a bit of adventure instead of just lying on a beach all day. WRSC was really great for this - a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, good food, and quality surf instruction. I had never surfed before but after a few days I felt way more confident and managed to catch a few (small!) waves.

Our room was fairly small and basic, but they upgraded us at the end of our stay - I'd say go for the bigger rooms for sure. The staff surprised us with a special private dinner on the beach, with candles, wine, and a great lobster dinner. It was a really nice touch! They also gave us a discounted rate for spending our honeymoon there.

If you are looking for a couples-only upscale honeymoon this is not the place, BUT if you are looking for a more friendly and laid back experience then go for it! Tamarindo is an easy vacation spot, and WRSC is a great place to spend a week together. It was the perfect blend of excitement and relaxation.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

My family and I just returned from a 10 day surf camp adventure at Witch's Rock Surf Camp. I was the only one who surfed, but everyone had a great experience. The staff and instructors are super nice and very patient. The lessons were well organized, and I felt very taken care of and cared about. The bar and restaurant were fun to hang out in and I met some really interesting people. The social climate was great...Everyone got to know everyone else and it really felt like a "camp." I loved it so much I have already made reservations for next year!

Room Tip: We stayed in the "pent house." The best part of the pent house it the huge deck overlooki...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Mary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This was by far one of the most laid back adventures I've been on. The hotel is a great oasis in this pura vida town with beautiful beaches and great surfing. We arrived in the evening at the airport in Liberia (I suggest to anyone to fly into this airport if you're going to Tamarindo, it is worth the little extra $). The hotel had a guy pick us up from the airport in a nice van. It was about a 45 minute drive to the hotel. It was late when we arrived so the surf shop and main bar were closed but the driver had our room key and reservation all together. We wanted a drink and luckily the smaller bar was still open. Our room was a suite with a loft and a large balcony. It was great for us and the kids (2) they each got their own bed and we shared. The food at the restaurant/bar was delicious. I'm sure we tried everything on the menu during our 6 day stay. Breakfast is included with your stay. The surf lessons were great and the kids had a fantastic time with their instructor. We also had Thanksgiving dinner at the hotel which consisted of a whole lobster. Also delicious. The town is full of shops and boutiques as well as multi-cultural food. The pizza we had was great. There's just so much to do in this little piece of paradise. It was so hard to leave.

Room Tip: The upper level rooms have the A/C outside on the roof so it was a little noisy. If you're a li...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Avery C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
Reviewed December 26, 2013

My boyfriend and I traveled to WRSC for the first time back in May 2013 strictly for surfing. We had never been to Costa Rica before and felt that an organized camp/hotel like WRSC would be better for us rather than taking off on our own, considering that we didn't have much knowledge of beautiful Costa Rica just yet. We flew into San Jose and had no problems with WRSC picking us up from the airport, though I would not suggest flying into San Jose if you are considering the Tamarindo area! 4 1/2 hours of driving was not worth it for the savings in our airline tickets! Once we arrived to WRSC, we knew we were going to have a wonderful trip. The layout of the hotel is very nice, with little nooks for reading, a nice sized bar/restuarant, a beautiful infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, and chairs to lay out under the trees. Our hotel room looked right out to the ocean, which was one of the best parts about staying here! Every day I would wake up and watch the surf from our balcony, then proceed to head down to the restaurant to have some amazing breakfast, while still watching the surf...can't beat it! And then we went surfing, of course!. Surfing right in front of the hotel was just okay. The wave closed out very quickly at that break pretty much the whole time we were there. Casitas, however, was extremely fun when working (the rivermouth break to the north of the hotel). Every day the camp would take us to a surfbreak away from the hotel for a few hours. We were in the intermediate group. I am a surfer of over 10 years who is from the mushy beach breaks of Florida and my boyfriend had just learned how to surf 6 months prior. We felt that intermediate would be the best for us considering that we aren't experienced in bigger surf and we were right! Intermediate was perfect for us and actually the advanced group surfed with us a few of the days on the trip! The camp took us to Playa Grande and Avellanes. Avellanes was the best break to me. Playa Grande had some messed up sandbars the week we were there :/ Avellanes was clean and perfect! After surfing, we would go back to the hotel have some drinks and relax at the pool, or go back out surfing behind the hotel. It was a perfect surfing trip :)

I loved pretty much everything about our stay in Costa Rica at WRSC. My only complaint would be the organization of the daily surf trips. The first day we arrived, the van nearly left us, and when I stopped the van the surf guides looked at us like we were crazy because they didn't even know we were coming. The rest of the week was okay as far as organization goes until the last day we were there. The camp tried to charge us 60$ a person for going on the boat to Avellanes. No one told us that on our last day at the camp that we could not go with the group surfing. It was the only day during the whole 8 days that they took us out on the boat to Avellanes and we were so excited! We went with no problems at first and had the best surf day of the week, only to come back and get yelled at by the girls in the office because we weren't supposed to have gone. It all was resolved in the end and they ended up not charging us. However, that put a bad taste in my mouth for the ride and flight home. Organization is key to running a good surf camp! I think that because WRSC is so big, they can't keep track of everyone. So if you were 5 minutes late to a surf lesson or trip on the van, they may just leave you. That is how I felt overall. Would I go back to WRSC? Maybe! It is one of the cheaper camps/hotels in Central America which makes it more appealing. It is a very good place if you are coming with a large group or family because you can keep everyone together. If you are one to want to do things on your own time however, then I would suggest renting a hotel room so that you can surf where you want and when you want throughout your trip :)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank seagypsyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Had a great trip ... we went about 10 years ago and still the place to go for a chilled out surfing experience.
Quality of surf instructors cannot be beaten .. especially Paco !!
Food and drinks good ... staff could not be more helpful.
Other travellers always looking to talk and share experiences etc ... great for a couple (us) or singles
... only one downside ... please, please,please get some new music behind the bar .... it gets a bit tiring listening to 70's soft rock everyday !!
Pura Vida ...

Room Tip: go for as large a room as you can .. the small ones are exactly that
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank D9912EQPeterB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Connecticut
1 review
Reviewed December 16, 2013

If you want to do Costa Rica the right way, spend some time with the crew at WRSC.

Location and amenities- awesome
Food and ambience- awesome
Staff- awesome
Surf Experience- Tremendous

I wouldn't consider coming to Tamarindo without a stay at WRSC, the whole program is run so professionally. It will peel years of stress away from your life. If there was somethihng i could balance out my rave review with to show a bit of reality, i would include it, but i remain pleasantly surprised and thrilled to have been a repeat visitor to Witch's Rock Surf Camp. My next trip will be with the wife and useless indulgences (children)

Room Tip: get an ocean view, it's worth it!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Chappyhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Witch's Rock Surf Camp

Property: Witch's Rock Surf Camp
Address: Enfrente de Economy Rental Car | Playa Tamarindo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 74 Specialty Lodging in Tamarindo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Witch's Rock Surf Camp is a small beach front hotel in Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We have 18-rooms on the beach directly in front of the best surfing waves in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We are located 45 minutes away from Liberia (LIR) Airport. We cater to surfers and anyone that wants to learn how to surf in Costa Rica. Come and join us for the surfing vacation of your life. Call Now! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Witch`s Rock Surf Camp Hotel Tamarindo
Witchs Rock Surf Camp Tamarindo
Witchs Rock Surf Camp Hotel

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