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“THE BEST!”

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Witch's Rock Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“THE BEST!”
Reviewed September 9, 2009

Hey guys,

Many many thanks for another wonderful time at WRSC. You all make me feel so at home over there, it’s very difficult to leave.

Thanks to Larry & Shawna for setting me up in a sweet room!

Thanks very much to Flash for all my surf lessons. Flash is cool & very fun to surf with. His positive energy and love for surfing is infectious. He makes you feel very comfortable in the water and would introduce new things for me to try so I can progress everyday. I was no longer going straight that very first day back! Even if I didn’t have a lesson scheduled, he would still help me out in the water which I was very grateful for.

Let’s not forget Edgar who I didn’t have as an instructor my first time at WRSC and had twice during this trip back. Now I understand why everyone raves about Edgar. He is incredibly nice, chill, so full of information, makes you understand it all step by step and pushes you in his own way (I went from using an 8’6 to a 7’6 board in a day with success and caught all the waves we tried). I really felt like he cared about me learning as I improved so much from my last 2 lessons with him. Most important is I always felt safe in the water because he is so calm. I really think he is a naturally gifted teacher who really listens when you are out there in the water and wants to share all his knowledge.

Thanks to everyone at the camp and at Joe’s restaurant. I miss the food & micheladas and am looking forward to staying longer in December.

Abrazos, Pauline

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank paulsmall26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, November 18, 2009
Pura vida Paulsmall26,

Thanks for such a great review. I know exactly who you are, and have become an amiga to many people around our camp. Come back again with your awesome attitude!

Shawna Mullen
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English first
Vancouver, BC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2009

My wife and I stayed at Witches Rock for a brief surf camp experience August 31 to September 3, 2009. We only have two complaints one of which is our problem the other easy to solve by witches rock.

1. Fitted Sheets that fit the bed. I'm sure we could have asked for different sheets but didn't feel like whining, not a big deal, just thought we'd mention it.

2. We didn't stay long enough! After three days of excellent surf instuction from Carlos and Edgar we were wishing we had at least a week to stay, surf and enjoy Tamarindo and neighboring breaks.

Like others have said, WRSC is not the Ritz but we wouldn't want it to change. It is virtually impossible to find atmosphere like that created at WRSC anywhere we've travelled. The people are friendly, laid back and accomodating, the food is awesome (banana pancakes for breaky rock!) and the happy hour deals are both easy on the wallet and taste buds.

Lots of boards to try out, great view from the pool and a sushi bar to boot. Being from Vancouver, BC we know a thing or two about good sushi :-) !!!

Special thanks to Edgar for teaching us to "Set the line". Even though the swell was down for our days we still learned the basics and thanks to Edgar progressed further than we thought possible in three days.

Simply put, WRSC Rocks we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank westc0asttravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, November 18, 2009
Hi Westcoasttravelers,

Muchas gracias for the thumbs up review. The next time you guys will have to make your stay longer with us, but 1 day with us is better than no days here.

The next time, we promise to have fitted sheets.

Pura Vida

Shawna Mullen
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california
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2009

I fled to Tamarindo for a last minute solo getaway. I wasn't aware of Witch's Rock so I stayed across the street at Vista Villas which was nice. I took my very first surfing lesson at Witch's Rock with Carlos and within 20 minutes, I was already standing on my board and enjoying the waves. As a 30+ female, standing up and catching a wave now ranks as a life highlight. It's invogorating, youthful and makes one feel invincible. My instructor was amazing - super patient and supportive - and as excited as I was for my accomplishment. I had a blast with him and the other surfer students. I am a klutz and never expected I'd be able to even stand....let alone surf for an 1hr! I loved the spirit and sense of community and wished I hadn't waited until my final day to take a lesson, or I would have returned. I want to return to CR and plan to stay here so I can have daily surf lessons. My surfing pics remain one of my most prized momentos! Stay here or at least take a lesson (and enjoy happy hour at Eat at Joe's - $2 beers and tacos every night )! I am so thankful for Witch's Rock for providing me one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Pura vida...

Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank blackburn77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, August 26, 2009
Wish you could have stayed with us, but it is great that you were able to try out a lesson with us.
Hope to catch you the next year, and thanks for the great review!

Shawna
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surfinjuly
1 review
Reviewed July 17, 2009

We were there for 8 days, but the experience felt so much longer, but in a good way. I'm a workaholic, and usually proud of it so the first few days were a bit of an adjustment but once I got hooked, i got hooked. To tell you the truth, these days I'm more used to 5 star resorts and when my brother mentioned this place, I was a bit more than hesitant. Yet the key to Witch's Rock is the intimacy of the experience. Its all you expect of a true, tropical get away, but its not simply the lazy days in the pool or the pristine beach's that are literally steps away. I know its an old saying but its so true in this case. Its the people that counted most to me on this trip, the people that run this small, but wondrous hotel and camp. From the owner and his two son's Otis and Happy, that you see every day at the pool, to the office staff that would bend over every direction to make your stay perfect, to the people at the restaurant who made you feel welcomed and appreciated, remembering your tastes and opening you up to new flavors, and of course the wonderful and truly inspiring surf instructors who leave their mark on you. I came back home, and instantly found myself recommending it to everyone I spoke to about my glorious trip. I hope to return to this small bit of slow existence that we call Witch's Rock some day soon.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank surfinjuly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, August 26, 2009
We know who you are! I could just tell from the day that you both arrived, that you were going to be those people that had a smile on your face the entire time.
We really enjoyed having you two and do hope that you will skip that all inclusive resort the next time as well and visit some old "amigos" in Tamarindo, Costa Rica!

Pura Vida

WRSC Family
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newport beach
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2009

i think when reading a review, you need to know who is writing the review and what they are comparing the hotel to....i would give the Four Season Papagayo five stars, i would barely give this place one star. The funny thing about it, is that when the bill comes at the end of the trip, and you see how ripped off you have been, you will wish you had spent the money at the Four Seasons. Our room was actually cheaper there!

On a positive note, the restaurant, Eat At Joe's is delicious, fresh and has a good menu for young and old. The smoothies are great and each morning we had a terrific breakfast there....I give the restaurant a 4.

I almost don't know where to start. We traveled there with our two children from CA. Husband is already a great surfer, I don't surf, and the kids surf a lot with their dad. Needless to say, when we go there, we told them on the first day that they didn't have to put us on the surf schedule everyday because the kids would be surfing with their dad. We did want to rent the surfboards though, and they said that was no problem, and the price was going to be adjusted....more on this later...

The room was DINGY at best. I didn't really see any bugs, which was great, but everything had a very worn tired feeling. I mean, if you are a 20 yr. old surfer dude, I am sure you wouldn't care about this, but I have two kids and this was below par. The air conditioner didn't work and it was 100 degrees every day. we were HOT at night. The shower had no pressure at all and a couple days there was actually just a trickle along the back wall of the shower....so you are hot, salty and relatively dirty, and you can't even take a decent shower. plus on day four, i had to ask the maid if she could please change our very dirty sheets...maybe this is eco friendly, but i just think it was being cheap....the noise from the street is LOUD, which brings me to another thing i did not like about this hotel. LOCATION- the location is right on the road....i mean our room was right on a busy smelly grimy road. tamarindo is not the quaint beach town it used to be when i visited there 10 years ago. there are fumes, honking and just too much traffic to make the location good. yes, there is the beach on the other side of the hotel, but the hotel sits on the road.
the beach would be more enjoyable if there were chairs for you to hang out on - there are no chairs owned by the hotel - well, except two that are so far back by the hotel they aren't too enjoyable. you have to pay a "chair vendor" $10 to use a beach chair! that gets old, fast.
I'd say that you could go hang by the pool, but the pool is an above ground pool with about 2-3' around the edges - large enough to sit on and dangle your feet in it, but not large enough to put a chair up there and hang out.
When we were there, the property next door burned garbage all day. i am not talking a small amount. i am talking a ton of debris, that caused smoke to make your eyes tear while you were at the restaurant or on the beach. a lot of people said they couldn't believe how bad it was....our clothes smelled of smoke daily.
Speaking of smoke, can i mention that the hillside across the street caught fire one day!!! i mean a BIG fire that went through the night. we packed our things and watched the fire in shifts all night long...the smoke was so bad we had to put wet towels under the doors to try to block some of it out - our kids eyes were stinging and they were scared - fun times!
we ended up checking out that next day. it was way too smoky and the place was bad anyway - why stay. they said they would refund a portion of our bill and we could contact them when we got home....
which brings me to the reality check. we got home and we were charged $3700 on our credit card for our 4 night stay....are you kidding me!?!? obviously it hadn't been adjusted yet, so we called and emailed. we wanted to pay for our nights we booked - it wasn't their fault we checked out because of the fire, and we paid for our surf board rentals. our food was actually on a separate bill....that was 3 months ago and we haven't seen a dime. they basically charged us over $500 a night for the rat trap room and the boards....did i mention we had 4 people to a room - squished in 2 full size beds....what a joke!!! i cannot believe people like this place!
of all the great places to go surf in the world - you can find a better spot - really people - look a little further.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank babyknewport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Sales/Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, August 1, 2009
At least you have one side of the story everyone, but there is always another side to it all. Thank you trip advisor for giving us this opportunity.

To start, Skull Candy Group has been down to our Camp a few years in a row, and we have always taken extremely good care with their group, as we do to all of our guests and take pride in it. We take their stickers and put them all over our sponsored instructors, guides and owners boards. We constantly take pictures of our staff wearing Skull Candy gear and mention them all of the time on our blogs and websites.

This year they booked to come down for a week, and they occupied 8 of our rooms for the week. As everyone knows that comes and stays with us here at the camp, that we like to reserve our rooms only for the people that come down and are on the surf package. They are well aware of this fact.

This trip was booked by one person for all of the different families that stayed with us from Skull Candy and friends. He sent us 5 different updated excel sheets with the names, flight information, credit card information, and the amount of the reservation(amounts given by our sales office). We made all changes and charged accordingly. This family was made up of 4 people and they were all signed up for the surf package(as requested). We gave them a very nice discount for being gold return guests, and also booking such a big group.

If one of our guests come down here and they are on the surf package, they can not opt out on it. If they would like to miss a few days, then that is in their hands and not ours, as we have already scheduled and counted on a certain amount of people to come. We have over 60 people that work for WRSC and our local people count on our guests doing our surf packages to pay for their living. Where can you cancel a international vacation while you are there, unless some HUGE emergency has come up, do you think the 4 Seasons would?

Unfortunately for this family, they didn't take part in our surf package even though they signed up for it which is what makes the WRSC experience. Our instructors, guides, restaurant/bar, drivers, and office staff are some of the best that you come by. You can tell by all of our amazing past and future reviews for WRSC. According to this family, our guests must be budget travelers, and that is where you are wrong. We just had a family from the Canary Islands that comes down every year for the past 5 years and stay three weeks with us. He is an owner of one of the more famous restaurants on the island, and extremely successful. That is the great thing about here, is that we get all types of travelers, and you meet people from all around the world. This week we have another family of 5 that this is their 5th trip, and the parents love that their children are always in good hands, and have another culture to learn and live for a short time. You have quite frankly made an offensive comment to all of our past guests that have gave us raving reviews.

I will not lie, nor do I lie to people that buy our packages and hotel too, but our hotel is is not 5 Star, we do not try to be 5 star. We have a hotel that is right on the beach, comfortable and clean rooms, and some of the best views from the rooms(especially the ones that you guys were in). Not sure how you heard the street noise, you were facing the ocean and they are our quietest rooms. We actually do not have neighbors or a property next to us, not too sure where you are talking about here "When we were there, the property next door burned garbage all day. i am not talking a small amount. i am talking a ton of debris, that caused smoke to make your eyes tear while you were at the restaurant or on the beach. a lot of people said they couldn't believe how bad it was....our clothes smelled of smoke daily". 


What makes this place the 5 Star experience is our surf packages and all of our staff, that most guests just fall in love with the local culture and the special way that they take care of them. It is really too bad that you decided not to take part in our packages, there are tours package for people that can surf, because that is really where you missed out. I am sure that you stayed in your little group and didn't want to actually learn about the Costa Rican culture, you just wanted your 5 star resort. I think the 4 Seasons is perfect for you with all of the other North Americans that want to just relax on the beach and stay in your own little world.

A tip to you the next time you stay somewhere, if there is a problem, report it before complaining. We can fix and make things better if you do not let us know personally. I hear about all of these issues and I did not hear one complaint from your family until the end of the trip, when you came in and personally spoke to us in regards to the smoke in Tamarindo, which was totally out of our control. We understood your complaint and more than willingly refunded you for the nights of accommodations that you had left for(something that is never done but made the exception). I refunded your credit card for the amount of $400.

Unfortunately through years of building a great business relationship with your company, Skull Candy, we have now had to come to this. I think that I was extra accommodating in giving your family a refund at all, in regards to the fire that was burning on the hill which was over 2 miles away from us and out of our control.

Thank you again trip advisor for giving the business the opportunity to respond to the reviews. We all know here and all of our past guests that couldn't say a bad word about here know that WRSC is what it is today due to all of our amazing return families, friends and all of the good words everyone puts out for us.

The 4 Seasons and all inclusives alike are waiting for your families return. Hope that the next dry season you return, that you do not get smoked out of there :-)

Sincerely,

Shawna Mullen and the WRSC Family
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Columbia, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2009

Lisa and I were in Costa Rica from 6/6-6/13 for vacation. It was more a trip for me than her. I went to Surf Camp at Witch's Rock, Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. It was a true learning experience for me. I surfed twice before, once during a two hour lesson in Hawaii, lucky enough for it to be on the North Shore at Turtle Bay and another time in San Diego. This was a completely different experience. It was challenging and fun. The instructors are great people who are encouraging and dynamic. They all have great stories. I surfed everyday for several hours each day. I got beat up at Playa Avellenas the last day. I can now say I surf but it will take a lifetime of surfing before I will call myself a surfer. Part of me thinks its a lifestyle too or a mindset. Thanks to Pedro, and Flash. Chest up, paddle one arm at a time, feet together, and pop up.

The hotel is fine. I would suggest getting the penthouse facing the beach. I was able to walk out onto the rooftop patio every morning and have an amazing view of Playa Tamarindo. Food is fresh and tasty. Staff is considerate and friendly. It was also nice to meet several of the over guests.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Max878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, August 26, 2009
Surfing is a lifestyle, and I recommend that everyone get into that mind set. Once you catch your first green wave, there is no turning back. The most amazing experience you can come by.
Hope to see you again soon! Pura Vida-WRSC Family
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Santa Monica
1 review
Reviewed June 3, 2009

Went with some friends and did not know what to expect. Once we landed at the airport, our shuttle service was waiting for us, we did not even have to wait. This trip was so smooth and the staff at Witchs Rock Surf Camp are ALL so nice and genuine. Don't expect an all inclusive resort. The rooms are small and no television but it all makes sense once you wrap up the surf safety class and hit the waves. You dont spend time in the rooms as we were all out surfing 2-3 times a day. I had so much fun on this trip and made great new friends. The only thing I would change on this trip if I could was an increase in water pressure in the showers upstais, but that was the least of my concerns. I totally recommend this place and cannot wait to go back. Also, Pedro rocks!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ssbmaverick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRSC, Public Relations Manager at Witch's Rock Surf Camp, responded to this review, August 26, 2009
I am so super excited to hear that we really surprised you with our great service!
Next time we will get more pressure up in those showers for you. We do have the best hot water in town though :-)
Pura Vida-WRSC Family
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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 #3 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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