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“Can't Stop Coming Back” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kalon Surf - Surf Coaching Resort

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Kalon Surf - Surf Coaching Resort
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Altos de Miramar | 4km de Costanera Hatillo, Dominical, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Can't Stop Coming Back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

Several years ago, I decided I wanted a surf vacation, so I looked at some websites and wrote a few emails. The first (and fastest) reply came from Marcela at Kalon Surf. That level of service and professionalism is one of many reasons I've visited Kalon six times now.

Each time I come back, I can count on two things. The first is that the waves will be good, the sunsets awesome, the people friendly and welcoming, and the food will be five-star quality. I value this consistency when vacations are rare and you want and need the time to really count. But I also know something will be different and better than the last visit, and this is the second reason I keeping coming back.

The highlights this time were the new accommodations. The mansion blends into the local scenery, perched amid the jungle and nearby rain forest and offering stunning vistas of verdant countryside and winding coastline. It has resort quality amenities but also a local flavor and aesthetic that keeps a person comfortable but also provides a window into the culture. The rooms all have terrific views - it's such a treat to start the day with a cup of coffee on the deck and see local birds or maybe a monkey and to then end the day with a communal meal as the sun sets.

When you add such a great place to a great experience, it makes for a memorable vacation. I've met such interesting people, from around the world and a variety of backgrounds and professions, from families to couples to solo travelers, and it's common to keep in touch even after the vacation ends. And it's an equal treat to returning to see the people who run Kalon - Kjeld and Silene are engaged owners, Marcela makes everyone feel at home, Roberto and his crew are committed to providing a fun, safe surfing experience, and Esme and Christopher's food will have you asking for more (and for recipes).

In this respect, Kalon has become a home away from home, a place where I escape from a busy life and unwind and relax while chasing the perfect wave and hanging out with an interesting, friendly people. Not everyone is going to come to a place six times, but this wouldn't happen if the first time hadn't left such an impression. I wish people the same experience if they visit Kalon.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
Helpful?
Thank Ned S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

We landed an hour late into San Jose but the airport was easy to navigate. Roberto was waiting for us with a couple other guests. He loaded us up in the Kalon Toyota Land Cruiser Prada which is a very comfortable and well maintained vehicle. The drive was as advertised between 2 ½ and 3 hours and was a nice chance to take in Costa Rica scenery all the way out to the coast. The last 10 minutes is a pretty fun climb up to the Kalon property on top of hill.

The entrance to the property is gated with security staffing the gate and property at all hours. Not that I would ever worry about safety here, but some might find this comforting. The camp is an absolute beautiful new building that was only recently finished. There are still some odds and ends being worked on throughout the stay but nothing that affected our experience. The main floor is very open with the kitchen on one end. The huge dining table is in the middle and the living room on the far end. Everything is finished beautifully and well taken care of. The whole wall facing the ocean is sliding windows. The view gives endless panoramic views of the ocean and coast line. Marcella was here to greet us and get us settled into our rooms. The rooms are finished perfectly. I found the bed very comfortable and the balcony and views amazing. There is no AC but the cooler evenings and ceiling fan made it very comfortable. The pool area was perfect place to hang out after the morning surf session. The pool was perfect refreshing temperature. The pool chairs were comfortable and there are umbrellas on one side of the pool when the sun becomes too much.

The food throughout our stay was absolutely delicious and something we all looked forward to daily. Our breakfasts were light in the morning at the camp and then we would get breakfast on the beach during our surf time. Lunch and supper/dinner are always perfect no matter who is cooking it. My only suggestion would be that there were maybe some more snacks available during the day in between meals. The fridge was always stocked with cold Imperials and a couple different bottles of wine along with coke and diet coke.

The surf crew (Henry, Roberto, and Andres) is very professional, patient, and excellent teachers. All the surf boards seemed to be in great condition with a large variety of boards. We surfed two breaks while at Kalon. Playa Hermosa and Playa Domicialita. We spent all but one day at Playa Domicalita. It had waves for everyone and was a beautiful beach. The only downside is the gravel you have to walk through to get out. Once you get used to that this is definitely the place to surf uncrowded waves. Playa Hermosa had a pretty good rip current and waves were a lot bigger. Fun for a day. The nice thing about both beaches is the jungle runs right up to the sand. When you weren’t in the water, you got sit in the shade. Diego was always there taking pictures and shooting videos that would get analyzed daily back at the house to help with everyone get better.

The Kalon property is definitely off the beaten path a ways. We took a cab ride to Manuel Antonio one day to go through the park. It was $200 for the day. Not terrible when split up four ways. One of the guys wanted to ride into Domicalita which was maybe 7 kilometers away and he was given a price of $50 which I thought was a little steep. When surfing early in the morning and finishing around 10:00, there is a lot of free time. Marcella will set up anything that you want to do. If you want anything on the way home from surfing let the guys know and you can swing into a grocery/convenience store.

I would definitely recommend Kalon to anyone looking to experience a epic surfing adventure with a lot of amenities usually not found at surf camps. I would prefer and will look for a surf camp / hotel on the beach next time. A great staff and as luck would have it a fantastic collection of guests made this a week to remember.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank roughneck784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

incredibly organized, friendly and talented staff, beautiful facility, delicious food all set on top of a costal mountain, buried in the rain forest... absolute paradise.
surfing instruction is top notch, with a progression approach that keeps the beginner learning and achieving small victories daily while ramping the skills all week, a complete success each time.
the new facility is like staying with a friend in their jungle retreat relaxed with beer in the fridge and a pool to lay beside, perfection.
Authentic Costa Rican meals, and fusion dishes 3 times daily, with snacks on the beach and after surfing... completely satisfied everyday.
friendly family like atmosphere with all the staff, just ask if there is something you would like.
HUGE beds with amazing pillows, clean large washrooms, incredible views, natural wildlife sounds all day and night... very powerful place.
gated property with night watchmen, netflix, wifi, back up power, surf videos, streaming music, and all the sunscreen you can use.
not to mention the like minded travellers, great equipment, comfy couches, friendly dogs, nature trail, pilates instruction, multiple beach locations...and so on.

Kalon is the real deal, don't wonder any longer!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Damian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

This Place and all the staff and owners are top notch. It takes a lot of work, effort and energy to bring the perfect surf trip to us and you. Having just done a week here made me realize what a bargain it really is. It only seems expensive until you go through it. You are treated like a friend here. I was told by the owners its all about having the right people on the team and team Kalon gets it right. They helped me with every request and inquiry I had about getting and navigating things. They have exciting things and plans for their business . I am a tough critic about life and come from a big city. This is the real deal and I could not think higher of a business than these guys. Don't hesitate about this, Just book it and go.

Room Tip: They are all good.
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Blackstardeceiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

I always dreamed of a place like this but honestly never thought it existed until now. I joined 7 other women- all of us looking for an adventure and a bit of pampering. What we got was WAY more. Everything at Kalon is planned to perfection with our needs and wants always in mind. I've been to resorts all around the world, but NOTHING compares to the professionalism and the quality of Kalon. Starting with the staff - so friendly, accommodating and fun to be around. We were like one big family. We laughed, we danced, we surfed and did pilates together. Then there's the food - so fresh, healthy and incredibly delicious. Definitely 5 star. As for accommodations - the mansion is amazing! Immaculate, spacious with tons of great little spots to sit and relax while surrounded by the beauty of the forest and breathtaking views of the ocean. We all loved the infinity pool - great place to hang out and unwind after a hard morning of surfing.
The surfing was the best part of the trip. Starting with the surf instructors - Henry, Roberto and Esteban - these guys were truly an amazing team! These guys were professional yet funny and warm. They never made you feel awkward - instead encouraged and pushed you to perform at higher levels. They exuded so much patience while maintaining a smile and a sense of humour. The lessons were progressive and dialed to our own individual abilities. The daily video analysis (filmed by the great Diego) was really helpful. They take the time to dissect your skills and give you pointers. The videos are also a blast to watch.
The beach we learned at (Playa Hermosa) has a sandy bottom and the water is incredibly warm - making it even more pleasant. We didn't want to leave. On our 4th day of surfing, they took us to Playa Dominicalito to surf the green waves. I never imagined we would be good enough to surf these waves after only 3 days - but we did it! This was an unbelievable day and truly the highlight of my week.
7 days is just NOT long enough - although you get 5 days of surf, a rest day (where we got a wonderful massage and went zip-lining) and tons of rest time - you just want to stay there forever. Our group is already planning our second trip.
Thank you to everyone at Kalon for making this such a perfect dream vacation! I have found my new HAPPY PLACE!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank Mel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

If you want to step back and focus on dialing up your surfing skills with hands on support Kalon is the place to go. There are plenty of surf camps in Costa Rica but these guys are at the upper end of the spectrum for a number of reasons. (1) Hands on tuition. We were a small group but everyone got the 1:1 guidance they needed day to day to help raise their surfing game. (2) Daily video analysis is really helpful. Even for beginners its good to step back and see what the more experienced surfers in the group are doing. (3) Food, facilities and mid-week massage really get you in the best shape to focus on the surfing. If you want to get focused on surfing and dial up your skills this is the place to go. If you want to party hard and just have surfing as an afterthought this place won't work for you.

Room Tip: All the rooms are spacious, clean and well laid out. There is space to chill around the villa and if...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 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
Helpful?
1 Thank JimBerridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This family vacation was so incredible we are already trying to plan a second visit to bring friends. First and foremost, the owners and staff members are incredibly friendly and accommodating. They all went above and beyond to make our vacation fun and stress-free. I can honestly say you can arrive with your bathing suit, flips flops, pajamas and toothbrush and you are set for the week. When they say to pack light, do it. The surf instructors were fun and experienced surfers. My 14 and 11 year old had a great time and became better surfers. On our day off from surfing, the kids chose to stay at the resort and swim even though horseback riding or zip lining was available. The resort was extremely spacious and incredibly clean. There are no words that can adequately describe the natural beauty that surrounds the resort. The sunset is breathtaking. The staff prepares all snacks and meals. They even accommodated our picky son. The meals were delicious and the best part is that we did not cook or drive to a restaurant. I chose to skip a day of surfing to lay on the hammock to read. My husband researched surf resorts for our vacation and the reviews for Kalon were unbeatable. Now we know firsthand why people love Kalon and now you know why we are planning our second trip.

Room Tip: You won't go wrong with any of the rooms. We enjoyed the rooms on the second floor because they...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Helpful?
Thank Florida_Family2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kalon Surf - Surf Coaching Resort

Property: Kalon Surf - Surf Coaching Resort
Address: Altos de Miramar | 4km de Costanera Hatillo, Dominical, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
COSTA RICA'S LEADING SURF SOLUTION Are you looking to learn or improve your surf? And experienced coaches, proven methods and quality methods sound good to you? You also just want to surf and relax? --- well this is it! You just surf and let our coaches help you improve, we take care of the rest - the moment you set foot in Costa Rica, you do not have to worry about anything. We got you covered from beautiful lodging, to your airport pick up, to your Watermans Sun Block and even your smoothie! Just to make sure you can focus on surfing together with our surf coaches.We know that your trip does not just start when you arrive here, so we make sure you already can get excited before the trip starts. During the surf week here, we are sure it will be everything you thought it would be and more. And to make it complete, at the end of the week our coaches will help you understand what your level is and how to improve further, while we prepare your own Kalon Surf USB stick with all photos of the week on it, so you can show it to your friends and family back home. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kalon Surf - Surf Coaching Resort Costa Rica/Dominical

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