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“Nice cabins, but not the best place to eat”
Review of Oasis Surf Camp

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Oasis Surf Camp
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Spent three nights at the Oasis Surf Camp. The cabins were nice and clean, and the location at the beach is of course really idyllic.

I found the restaurant to be expensive, and the food to be average. I only ate there one night out of three, and I actually preferred to walk 15 minutes to the pizzeria Jamming, which had amazing pizza and good food for the price, compared to the Oasis restaurant.
I only tried the fish with patacones and salad, which was ok, but nothing more than that, and definately not worth $10.
It says it is a restaurant specialized in italian food, but the pasta did not seem spectacular.
Even though you get alot of food for the money, it wasn't really worth it for me.

The couple that owns/runs the place were very nice and friendly though.
All in all, nice place to stay if you don't mind walking for 15-20 minutes to get to Santa Catalina to eat.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Oda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 - 58 of 120 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2014 via mobile

I can see why this place could be popular... It sounds ideal - the beach right on your doorstep! But beware, you will be dropped on the other side of the river inlet and will need to walk across it, which is fine at low tide. It's just ankle deep. However if you want to go out at night you will be wading through waist deep water, maybe higher. Not the safest thing ever.

There is a restaurant on site. It's the only place you can access the slow Internet (Internet is slow everywhere in Santa catalina though). Some meals are ok, some aren't that great. The staff are mostly family and service is slow.... But you can't go anywhere else at night so you are stuck there. The first night my meal came out half an hour after everyone else, and when i chased it up to see where the meal was I was informed that I had ordered for a specific later time!!!! Why would I do that when my partner and friends had already eaten? A simple apology would have sufficed.

The entire place is black sand and muddy. We didn't have a doormat outside our cabin. Our air con didn't work. Our shower had no hot water and bad pressure, though someone else had hot water in theirs. There are bugs throughout the cabin, and we couldn't shut the windows in the bathroom at all to keep them out.

If these are issues you don't care about though, maybe it's not so bad. We did see a turtle crawl up on the beach to lay her eggs which was really great!

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank DiL5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Firstly, it is also h confirming that the location of this hostel / surf camp is superb. Secondly, the cabins (and from what I saw of other privates) are very pleasant, with clean rooms and private bathrooms. However, sadly there are several distinct negatives about this place.

1) the internet is abysmal.
2) the food is a tad expensive for the area.
3) you can find better value private rooms with air con further up the road towards the town if you are willing to walk an extra 5-10mins to reach the water.

The staff were also up and down...One minute really friendly and the next incredibly rude. Difficult to judge...you may have better luck though!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

We had booked tents the day before on the telephone and when we arrived they did not have tents available but only a room for 3 people and a blow up bed on the floor for the 4th person charging 60 dollars for the night. When we explained that we were on a tight budget they quite rudely dismissed this and said that we were not going to be able to pay less. After a night in this room we went to find accommodation elsewhere and did so without much difficulty and for the same price as the tents they were offering us! The owner was very rude when we said we were not staying and told us we were no longer welcome in the camp. Bad customer service but great location. Quite good food in restaurant. Internet doesnt work. Good for surfers.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank Pols_07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

The location can't be beat right on Santa Catalina's sandy long Estero Beach. We stayed in the new 2 bedroom house on stilts. The front porch with hammocks and seats was awesome to have, as was the kitchen. The bathroom is beautiful. That said, it was expensive, $150 a night. You have to overlook the building materials all around, they are building out the bottom floor sometime soon. It would also be good to have your own router in the house, the internet connection was really bad and only sporadically turned on in the restaurant. For $150 a night I'd rather have that than a flat screen tv I'm never going to watch.

Also, the power was out for over 7 hours one night we were there. That is not their fault, but when the power is out you obviously don't have AC, and there are no screens on the windows. And the biggest deal is that with no electricity you have no water, and no way to flush the toilet. Which is not good for 4 adults.

The owner was helpful, but most of the staff is not. It felt like we were inconveniencing them asking for anything. We thought it would be a fun place to hang out and meet people in the restaurant but that was not the case. There are definitely more welcoming places to stay and hang out in Santa Catalina.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank jennypn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

As the name indicates, it is a surfers CAMP. Bear in mind, not a hotel or resort. If you are a surfer who just needs a wave, a bed and whatever to eat, you do not need to read any futher.
If you however come to relax at the beach for some days, or explore the area - you might find the following information useful when deciding if this is the right place for you

LOCATION
It really is at the beach, - private, beautiful beach. Wonderful sunset, a sky full of stars at night. Waves yes, but also possible to go for a swim
However it is also a fair bit out of the small town of Santa Cantalina, and there are no taxis. Perhaps you think you do not need to go to town in such a paradise? Well, after you have read about the food and (lack of servie (or tried it yourself) you will want to
Another thing is that, depending on the tide, you have to wade through the river to get to the camp. Maybe with water to your tighes. Not so bad when coming from town after a few beers perhaps, but mind you - you also have to carry your luggage across when coming or leaving.

ROOMS
Quite basic cabanas, but the bed is not bad at all. Sleep quality surprisingly good. Bit muggy bathroom, and hardly any hot water. It is not easy to keep places well maintained and clean in such a climate at the sea and all the sand, so I will not be rating it unfairly low under these conditions. A hammoc outside is nice, however the chair at the patio was nearly in pieces. No wifi in the cabans (and hardly at the restaurant either). Free sunbeds at the beach

FOOD
Italian owners here, and they advertice for their Italian cooking. Well, the real Italian mama would feel sad about what is cooked here. Why have a long menue full of complicated options, when you are not able to prepare at lot of the dishes because of lack of ingredients, keep track of orders, forget orders, make mistakes all the time? Would have been better if they could stick to a few dishes which they were able to cook up without "mistakes" Every meal here was a dissappointment, as it either took ages to have it served, they forgot one of the dishes, or made mistakes about what you ordered. Forget about the chances to have a romatic dinner, you will never ever have your food served approximately at the same time. There was also a total lack of excuses or compensation for these failures. "The cook forgot your order". "We are busy". I guess they know we do not want to wade across the river and walk for half an hour to town.....so it doesn`t matter much to them if we are unhappy with their service

They have a very basic hostel in town, so make sure you do not end up there if your plan is to stay at the beach!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank abcnord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2014

First of all one thing need to be said: they have two places where you can stay. I'm telling this because I stayed at "pueblo Oasis". This will be the first one you'll see because it is on the bus path.

They have a big sign where all amenities are written, but if you want to stay at this place you will see that is not true.

I checked in and asked for the internet password and the receptionist told me that I had to go to the other place (like 20 minutes walking) and ask for internet.

I was there using the slow internet and after a while a guy came and said that I could not stay longer. The maximum was 1 or 2 hours but they never said this. And he said all hostels where like this.

I'm travelling in a long term and I need to make money somehow so I chose Oasis just because they said they have internet and I'm a web developer so I lost some money because of it. (the first night they were full and I stayed in Donka Vianca: a hostel closer to the beach in a private room with A/C but no internet for the same price Oasis charged me for dorms with broken fans)

But it is not all. The way they treat you, the way they speak with you is really bad. It seems they don't need you there.

It was a bad experience and I don't recommend. There are much nicer places there.

Enjoy it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bug_ufrj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Oasis Surf Camp

Address: El Estero Beach | In Front of Estero Beach, Santa Catalina, Panama
Region: Panama > Veraguas Province > Santa Catalina
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Santa Catalina
Price Range: £39 - £52 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Oasis Surf Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Oasis Surf Camp located in the Estero beach, Santa Catalina province of Veraguas in Panama, is the only hotel in front of beach that provides a comfortable and relaxing family atmosphere, where you can enjoy your stay without going anywhere. ... more   less 
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