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“My advice? GO !!!!!”
Review of Surf Simply

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Surf Simply
Ranked #1 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Nosara
Certificate of Excellence
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“My advice? GO !!!!!”
Reviewed January 13, 2011

Surf Simply more than met our expectations for this holiday and delivered to a very high standard everything they offer on the website.

Ru, Gem and the Surf Simply team are second to none, both on a personal level and the surf coaching that they perform which is both about the technicalities of surfing but equally important the wider aspects of the sport such as board design, duck diving, meteorology and etiquette.

The accommodation is stunning, nice cool rooms, great showers and the Rancho with its 7ft deep pool and shaded chill out area is fantastic...especially when Sarah and Gem's beautiful fresh healthy food is brought out !!

We are now back at home, after a long flight, but if we had the offer we would have a night to catch up on sleep in our own bed then we would turn round and head straight back out there !!!!!

JUST GO....we are already booking again

Pete n Di

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 8, 2011

I didn't know anything about surfing when I decided to take this vacation. From the minute I arrived in Costa Rica, Ru and Gem (the owners) made this vacation fun and easy. Our instructors were excellent and positive. They really knew how to break things down so that I could learn to catch a wave, trim, and carve, and make me feel comfortable in the ocean all the while despite unusually large swells during our visit. After hours of great instruction at the ocean there was plenty of time to relax back at the camp, with home cooked healthy meals, daily yoga, and a massage. The camp is small, fitting only 12 people, whom will inevitably become your friends and cheerleaders. Nosara is beautiful and warm. Go go go!

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1 Thank Emily28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2011

I was really excited about my surfing holiday, and I have to say it surpassed my expectations.
The resort is small and located in a quiet unspoilt area, you are literally in the jungle. There were 15 guests and it was fully booked. This creates a very friendly personal environment where you get to know the other guests, coaches and the rest of the team.
The price of the holiday for me was very expensive, but once I was there I soon realised that I could not have done the same things cheaper away from the resort, and if I had it would have taken so much planning the holiday would not have been relaxing. The organisation was amazing, I didn't have to query or worry about anything.
The week includes:
10 surf lessons ( 2 each day for 5 days)
5 yoga sessions or 1 massage
All meals (except lunch and dinner on Wednesday, which is a surf free day to explore and do other actvities) Breakfast and lunch take place at the resort and dinner in various local restaurants all the food was very good, lots of fresh fruit and veg great meat and fish selection.
Airport taxi (my transfer was 5 hours just imagine how much that would cost each way)
Your wednesday activity - mine was the zipline, it was amazing, Surf Simply organised our taxi to and from the venue so it was completely hassle free.
A welcome basket full of useful items such as zinc and rubbing alcohol. There was also a well stocked bathroom and complimentary rash vest and T-shirt.
A fridge full of soft drinks, beers and wines which you can help yourself to.
The Rancho where you can snooze, read and chat.
A pool and sunlounger area.
I really could go on and on.
The surf coaches were brilliant, a great combination of mentoring and letting you try things on your own, they were always encouraging and with the photography and filming you got a real feel for how you were doing.
As we were there for Christmas and New Year there was also a speacial Christmas dinner and the team shared their plans with us for NYE so we could join them in the local night club.
The best holiday I have ever been on, I would go back in a second.

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1 Thank EHilditch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2011

After two surgeries on my shoulder and bruised knees over the years, I have spent the last 6-9 months exploring different activities/sports. Having taken lessons in various sports under several instructors, I have never felt so comfortable learning something new and challenging given my injuries. When I signed up for this, I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my shoulders. On further reading the week before I left, I became very nervous and wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle this. The instructors were really knowledgeable, very patient and never put me in a situation I wasn’t comfortable in. They were very supportive, giving all the confidence, encouragement and time I needed to keep progressing at my own pace.

This place is more than just a surf school, its got a nice location away from the hustle and bustle of the town but just a shot bike ride away to the restaurants, shops and night club. The setting is cool with a lovely rancho by the pool to relax and comfortable chalets. The food was awesome, something I looked forward to every day especially after the surf. Even as a vegetarian, I was able to enjoy some really amazing dishes. The food really was a culinary delight and surprisingly healthy. Thanks to Gem for this.

The yoga and massage were really awesome. Having never seriously done any yoga previously, I did find it quite challenging but again the instructor was great, understands that most of them are beginners and adapts it suit your ability. As for the massage, i didn’t initially sign up for one, choosing yoga instead but on recommendation of others in the group, decided to go for one and it really helped stretch and relax muscles after a couple of days of surfing and decided to go for 1 more. I would really suggest having a couple of massages over the week especially if your body isn’t very nimble & new to surfing. A week of surfing will sure make obscure muscles ache that you never knew existed.

Overall a great place I will for sure return hopefully sometime soon.

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Thank djock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
Reviewed January 1, 2011

I cannot say enough good things about Surf Simply. I feel a bit like I got in on the ground floor of something very, very special.

I arrived at Surf Simply by myself, a little nervous about learning to surf and spending a week with complete strangers. For me, vacations don't happen all that often, so when they do I want them to be everything they can.

This was absolutely beyond.

It was worth the money. It was worth the time. It was worth everything.

The people, the instruction, the food, the monkey's, the yoga, the conversation.

I will go back.

You should come with me.

(my full blog post: http://beingbrad.posterous.com/surf-simply-exceeded-all-expectations-thx-sur)

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Thank beingbrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2010

I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't been said in all the other reviews here. Our week at Surf Simply was an amazing experience. From the surfing lessons to the accommodations to the food to the activities, everything was top notch and it was one of the most memorable trips we'll probably ever take. I came because I wanted to learn how to surf, but surfing was just one of the amazing memories we took home.

As for the surfing -- since that's why you're likely going -- it was fantastic. Despite never having stepped on a surfboard in my life, I felt completely comfortable standing up and catching waves by the end of the first day (compared to many friends who have taken lessons elsewhere and said they could barely stand up after two days). The Surf Simply teaching method is great, and the coaches were incredibly knowledgeable, personable, and just plain fun to be around. The beach is wonderful, the waves are remarkably consistent and perfect for beginners yet enough action to keep experienced surfers interested too.

It's not just the twice-daily surfing lessons that were great. The daily "theory" classes were a great addition, teaching you concepts like stance, how tides and storms impact waves, and board design. It was nice to spend a bit of time outside of the water and get a real deep understanding of all of the aspects of surfing. When you're not surfing, you're watching surf videos, or reading surf magazines, or talking surfing with other guests -- it's truly an immersive experience.

There's more to it than surfing, though. A few weeks after we booked our trip, we found out my wife was pregnant, and though she'd be able to travel, surfing was out of the question. Becky and the staff was incredibly accommodating, offering us a number of choices instead. She ended up choosing to get daily yoga and daily massages instead of surf lessons, which I think excited her even more! The masseuse Crystal was amazing, and my wife says she hasn't been this relaxed in 15 years. Of course, spending most of the day lounging by the beautiful pool, surrounded by fantastic landscaping and the sounds of nature didn't hurt.

One of the best things about the trip was that everything was taken care of for us. Other than being on our own for lunch and dinner on Wednesday, we didn't have to really worry about anything. Transportation, food, accommodations, all of that was included. Sure, you might be able to find some place cheaper if you just want to learn to surf, but the fact that we didn't have to worry about all the other aspects of the vacation made it much easier to focus on the surfing and relaxing. When you're tired from a morning of surfing on the beach, do you really want to dig in the bottom of your bag for coins to buy a soda -- or would you rather come back to a fully-stocked fridge, plus freshly baked banana/chocolate-chip muffins and fresh smoothies?

Speaking of food, it was fantastic. All of the lunches and a few dinners were cooked fresh, and despite a large group with diverse food preferences and requirements (e.g. vegetarian, lactose intolerant) we were treated to amazing food on every occasion. Don't eat meat? They've got you covered. Don't like mushrooms? Gem will create something special for you. And if you're hungry in between meals, there's always a fridge of beer and soda, plus snacks waiting for you.

When we did go out for dinner, we got treated to great meals at great local restaurants. The staff has tried a lot of restaurants and dishes so you don't end up pressing your luck and ending up with a disappointing meal.

I could go on and on about the beach, the scenery, the surfing... but I think the thing that stuck out most in our minds was that we really truly felt like we were "at home" in a strange way on vacation. You don't get that feeling when you're by yourself in a strange city, or with thousands of others on a cruise ship, or even in a "luxury" hotel. We were on a first name basis with everyone from the second we arrived. We made friends and shared experiences with our fellow surfers and coaches. We drank and dined and surfed with interesting people from around the world. We felt more like we were staying in a spare room at a friends' house than we were some nameless guests in some random hotel room. All of that made it much more enjoyable (and I think easier) to learn to surf, and made it a much more enjoyable experience overall.

If you just want to blend in to the crowd, if you don't want to associate with "the help," or if you just like keeping to yourself, sorry, this isn't the place for you... but I think Ru and Gem will be okay with that.

Low points? One day it was in the low 80s rather than the mid 80s. Really, though, that was about the low point of the week.

Tips:
- You won't need as many clothes as you think you will. A few pairs of shorts, a few t-shirts, a good set of board shorts, and a good pair of sandals and you should be all set. (Some closed-toe sneakers are needed for activities on your day off like zip-lining, if you choose.)
- Bring your camera, though they'll take plenty of pictures (and so will your fellow guests) and share them with you afterward.
- Bring your computer to check email on their wifi, or don't, and pleasantly go off the grid to enjoy your vacation even more.
- There's enough downtime for good reading, and though there's a nice library of surf books you may want to bring a few books along.
- While many places in Costa Rica take Visa, often there's a minimum charge, plus a service charge, so cash is usually a better bet. There's an ATM

Highly, highly recommended. An experience of a lifetime -- though hopefully we'll get to do it more than once in our lifetime!

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Thank jefflash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviewed December 27, 2010

This was a wonderful trip and surf simply thought of every detail. As a single female traveler with the need to get to the beach and have an adventure. I felt taken care of and encouraged at every part of this journey.

The highlights of my trip were the excellent surf instruction (as a beginner), the wonderful friends I made, and the lasting photos / videos that Surf SImply prepared. It truly was a superbly designed surf experience that I hope to share with my friends / family.

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Thank cfish767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf Simply

Property: Surf Simply
Address: Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Nosara
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf Simply has broken the surf camp mold by providing coaching of a standard one would usually expect to receive in more mainstream sports. The makes of the Surf Simply podcast (available on iTunes) offer all inclusive package from their beautiful boutique surf coaching resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. You stay incorporates not only - video analysis, theory sessions on everything from board design to surf forecasting, pool training and in water coaching during your two fun surf session each day; but also transfers, accommodation, yoga classes, massage, fresh home cooked food and a variety of destinations in the evening from beach BBQs to stunning cliff top restaurants. ... more   less 

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