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“Great Surfcamp and stay”
Review of Swell Surf Camp

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Swell Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 26, 2014

SWELL got to be the first stop of my arrival. I had had a terrible flight experience and my luggage and surfboard were lost, I couldn't know where i'm going and I was preparing myself to struggle a bit more with no food and sleep, but instead I was sooo happy to have booked SWELL for the beginning of my whole trip. Antonio - the driver was very punctual meeting me from the bus I was coming with at Sosua CaribeTours stop, he brought me to the Swell hostel and there was this amazing wonder-lady Haudy - she organised the breakfast made for me, gave me room, sent me to sleep over the jetlag and promised to figure out my luggage...in few hours I woke up reborn and had my luggage coming! This was my first impression with the service and hospitality! In fact I had worked in surf camps myself and so I could judge the attitude and services from both prospective: as being a staff member and a client. I must say SWELL works on very high standarts. The place is amazing, beautiful and clean; equipped with everything you may wish to find for your entertainment on holiday: ping pong table, table soccer (I was very happy with), work-out and yoga equipment, chill-out area with FATBOY pillows, big screen and surf-videos on.
Food is smth to talk apart! AMAZING! it will respond all your possible expectations or demands: gluten-free, fat free, fat full, low-sugar, high-sugar, protein, carbs - seriously, all you want! I've never had such a great food in the surf-accommodation before. Big thanks to all the kitchen staff!

I never had lessons with swell but of course I saw how the lesson goes at the beach or the theory lesson back in the camp. The guys are very responsible and always looking to find an individual approach to every client. Surfing is possibly one of the most difficult kind of sports and it is very important to start it with an experiences and caring instructor who will teach you not only stand up on this board in the water, but also to read the water, the ocean, to see it, to feel your connection. The guys are trying to involve and create the true interest to the subject with every coming student and that's why I saw people picking-up so quickly and surfing on the first or second day already.
Every activity camp is a great experience of meeting new people and making new friends but the big impact is the service, the staff and the owners who create the impression by communication.
It was a really pleasant stay. Thank you, the SWELL TEAM!

Room Tip: I stayed in the dorm. Clean, fresh, and quite. with hot water, shampoos and conditioning!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Anastasia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 - 82 of 241 reviews

Reviewed December 23, 2013

This is one of the best trips you'll ever take and it's because of the incredible culture that owners Clare and Jim have created, as well as the care and enthusiasm of the instructors and the staff who bring the Swell Surf Camp vision to life. Within a day, I already knew that I would return again in the spring, and also, to soak up every minute because I was going to miss it dearly when I left a week later.

Swell Surf Camp:
During my week at Swell, the other visitors also arrived solo from across the globe: Greece, Switzerland, Montreal, NYC, Portland, and more. Since everyone there essentially decided to stay at Swell for many of the same reasons, and through somewhat similar processes, it's inevitable that whoever attends during your week, you will become immediate and long-lasting friends.

Owners:
I don't know how Jim and Clare do it, but they are incredible in their ability to create a magical place. Not only was registering made simple by Clare, but they also check in on you during your stay to make sure you're having a great time. It's not just business to them. That level of care only comes from people who are truly and sincerely invested.

Surf Instructors:
The people who work at Swell are amazing. Adan, Sam, Neno (surf instructors) so obviously love surfing, and teaching others to love what they do. They immediately assess and work with your level of surfing so that everyone maximizes their surf session each morning. No matter where you begin, you will leave improved in your ability! Also, get the photo package. Totally worth it.

Staff:
The people who support Swell - Anna, Esmpirala, Spria., Michel, Franklin, Wrani, Ramone, Victor - make everything run smoothly and make you feel as if their home is your home. Haudie will be your #1 person who will make you feel as if you haven't a worry in the world because she knows the answers to everything! Not to mention everyone in Cabarete seems to know and love her, for good reason.

Other:
After surfing in the morning, you can choose to relax or an outdoor activity. I highly recommend cliff diving/rappelling with Kayak River Adventures (Helmut, Matthew, Paolo, Alberto, Marisol) absolutely kill it...and horseback riding through villages and rivers with Rancho Luisa y Tommy. Yoga, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, massages, everything is there. Just get to Swell, open one of their many adventures books, and pick whatever makes you happy!

The food is incredible. Cabarete is beautiful, alive, and filled with locals and ex-pats who share your level of enthusiasm and joy to be around the ocean, nature, and happiness. Put it this way, even the street dogs/puppies and random other animals you'll see everywhere are smiling and happy with well-fed little tummies!

Kudos to the entire Swell Surf Camp team. Amazing people with amazing hearts.

Room Tip: Every room is great. Pick whatever fits your budget and style from the website. Rooms look exactly...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank China K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

You can't find a better place to spend your holidays in! Amazing place, amazing people, great food, incredible staff, you can seriously not find better than this haven! You meet great people at the camp and instantly become a close gang that have fun all the time.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Sandra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

I chose to stay at Swell surf camp because of all of the amazing reviews I read online and I'm so glad I did. The staff is super friendly, the instructors are awesome. They really make you feel at home. The accommodations are super comfortable. Everyone you meet becomes a good friend. I wish I didn't have to come home!
Thanks Haudy, Esmerelda, Cipriana, Anna, Wrani, James, Adan, and Neno for crazy fun time!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank chellebelle75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

I stayed at Swell for a week and had an absolute ball tearer (good time). Not only were the instructors top notch but the food was by far the best I had on the island. The rooms and layout of the hotel is one which induces socialising and getting to know the fellow guests, instructors and staff at the camp. The night guard, cook, cleaners, drivers and management made you feel right at home from day one.
The instructors were not only professional and super knowledgeable about surfing but top blokes too. It was more like hanging out with old mates than instructors. Although I was initially a little confused seeing the chief instructor was a pom, I was immediately taken in by his knowledge, skill and mancunian swagga' on the waves. On more than one occasion the instructors were on hand to chat about anything from travel to surfing to philosophy to most importantly how to stay out of trouble on the local drinking circuit (cheers Neno, the Milky Bars are on me next time). One of the instructors, Adan takes some absolutely awesome photos if you'd like some momentos of your trip to take home.
I'd recommend Swell to anyone who wants to learn to surf or can already surf and just wants to chill with like minded holiday makers in a first rate environment with a first rate crew. I'll be back for sure, I even bought a t-shirt.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank AaronWilliamson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

My highest recommendations. Nice, clean, well managed by Haudi with excellent food and two super rad instructors James and Neno. Guys taught me from zero to rail grabs and surfing head standing in one week. Everything in super friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Looking forward to be back!!!

Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
2  Thank Tomasz D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

I stayed at Swell September 1-7, 2013. It was a last minute trip that I booked just days before my arrival. Without much time for reconnaissance work, I had my misgivings...arriving in a country I knew nothing about, alone, and without any surfing experience to really speak of. I relied heavily on the reviews I read on tripadvisor and various surf forums. Trust me when I say, all the positive reviews are truly deserved. This place was fantastic! From the moment we were picked up from the airport in Puerto Plata, to the time I had to say goodbye to new friends, this place doesn't miss a beat. The atmosphere is unequivocally social and completely inclusive, which is great for the solo traveler. The location was safe, as was the immediately surrounding area, however if you are a female, wanting to go for a run alone, I would definetly stick to the beaches in front of the resorts only. The accomodations and grounds are more boutique hotel than a traditional surf camp. The food was delicious and the staff were top notch all around. In just a week I was surfing the greens! The heart and soul of Swell is undoubtedly James and Neno. They love what they do, their enthusiasm for surfing is infectious, and their instruction is clear and concise. These guys will have you riding waves your first session out, guaranteed, and with a smile on your face no less. Consummate professionals and talented surfers, they set the tone and tempo of Swell. This place is lucky to have them. Now go book your trip...you won't regret it!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank mseagren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swell Surf Camp

Address: Calle Las Palmeras, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Cabarete
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 51 Specialty Lodging in Cabarete
Price Range: $40 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swell is a brand new purpose built hotel for surfers in the center of Cabarete. All rooms have en-suites with AC optional. Swimming pool with LED and fibre optic lighting and a large communal area with pool table, fussball and ping ping table as well as a video library and other games.We cater for active people that want quality accommodation in a social setting. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Swell Surf Camp Hotel Cabarete

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