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“Get pampered, get surf, get serenity...just get there!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Soma Surf Resort

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Soma Surf Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
“Get pampered, get surf, get serenity...just get there!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2011

1.THE FOOD 2. THE SPACE 3. THE LAND 4. THE SURF 5. THE PEOPLE 6. THE VIBE 7. CASEY + BILL
1. Food was excellent: light, filling and tried many things on the menu and they were all great. (veggies be sure and tell Casey and she will accomodate) 2. Beautiful, gorgeous, serene. I got there and my jaw dropped. I would lay on the hammocks where there is quiet space to look out over the UNTOUCHED hills with cows grazing, take a yoga class, or sparr with Bill. Infinity pool and beautiful bungalows tastefully designed and built with respect for the land 3. Beautiful and rugged; an indigenous area, weather was great. 4. I've surfed in many parts of the world, Nicaragua is way up there with waves for all levels 5. Nica's are the sweetest, coolest and down to earth people. 6. It starts with Casey and Bill. They love what they do, they enjoy making the guests happy you can tell; its GENUINE. Anywhere you want to go they arrange to have you driven; surf at 5 a.m. volcano tour, horseback riding, tide pools...They set the tone, it is paradise and it isn't expensive at all. 7. Casey and Bill are wonderful, its like I have known them for years, a very family vibe. I felt very much at home. They employ local Nica's and they are all happy to be there and very cool. Not pretentious, laid back, accommodating, inexpensive, great vibe I can't wait to go back. Oh yeah, last but not least...the BEDS are soooo comfortable, slept great. Can't wait to go back!
Caveat: Food takes a while to be prepared so order early, take a shower, or dip in the pool, then eat. It can feel a little isolating, not much nightlife around. Not on the beach, but the view alone is worth it. You don't want to surf the same beach anyway...they take you wherever you want to go. Theres lots of good breaks nearby.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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205 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2011

How often do you plan a vacation and everything you want to do, you do and it goes off without a hitch? I would say never, until now. I travelled with my wife, little 6 year old daughter and best friend to Nicaragua to catch world class waves and have jungle adventures. We stayed for 6 nights, 7 days. Casey and Bill run the place and they are Americans with an amazing sense of design, artistry and knowledge. They are warm and accommodating. They really know the area and if they don't know something they have locals around them that are extremely knowledgeable and have grown up their whole lives in San Juan Del Sur. The boutique hotel is perfectly placed on top of a small hill just a quick ride to some amazing beach and point breaks. If you want to go out on a boat to surf some bigger breaks that is easily accessible and affordable from SOMA. At first you would think that you want to be on the beach, but the truth is that the beach can be tough all day (with the sun) and night and the atmosphere is more of a backpacker crowd. The genius of Bill of Casey is recognizable in so many ways. They have created an environment where families can come and have fun if they surf or don't. I went out surfing with my buddy and the girls went horseback riding. The accommodations are upscale, but the cost is reasonable. The beds are so comfortable I think I slept at least 9 hours a night except for the last night, because we woke up and did a dawn patrol session at Popoyo beach. The food is fantastic and the people we met and hung out with seemed to be of the same mindset. You can go horseback riding, Yoga, explore the tide pools, visit the volcano Mombacho and go zip-lining (this was an incredible experience). http://www.mombacho.org/ This is the official site, but I think its only in Spanish.

I would recommend getting picked up by SOMA from the Managua airport. It's tricky to get out there and you don't want to mess around with all the dirt roads and streets without street signs. Nica's are not great about signage. Once you arrive you know you went to the right place.

I went for my 40th birthday and typically my wife and I don't ever travel to the same place twice, but we both talked about going back to SOMA. Thank you so much Bill and Casey for thinking of everything and making or day trips effortless and incredibly fun.

Make sure you read the faqs page before you go and definitely get some Nicaraguan money (Cordobas) if you plan on buying some gifts and going to the small towns.

If you are going to surf in Nicaragua SOMA is has to be your first choice!

Room Tip: We stayed in a bungalow and it was extremely comfortable and quiet.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank meltzer17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2011

Very much like Miramar and Buena Vista, Soma was conceived and is operated by a couple who carefully planned this business for years. Everything from the location, bedding, common areas and amenities reflect thoughtful and savvy proprietors. Surf-centric trips are no longer about “roughing it.” I want a nice view, beautiful accommodations, delicious food and all the creature comforts if I can find it. (Like Peru, where finding hot water for the shower was a luxury?!)

Soma was so beautiful, my name-dropping, manolo-wearing, weekly mani/pedi, prima donna friends would have been pleased. (But I’d leave them home anyway.) When I came back home, I told my buddy about a place he could go surfing and his wife wouldn’t be miserable, complain and do nothing the whole trip.

The resort is perched up on a breezy hill, about 1-1.5 miles from the beach. I was expecting Popoyo to be the crowded tourist mecca known as Tamarindo and Soma to be a luxury resort that sort-of offered some surfing- I’ve never been so happy to be totally mistaken. I think I was 2 places for ding repair and 1 bar in the whole town (okay, I probably missed a lot), but it’s a far FAR cry from overbuilt northern Costa Rica. And Soma proximity to the breaks is no different that the dozen other surf “camps” in the area.
I went on this trip primarily to surf. I requested a 7'6 of 7'8 funboard to rent in advance of my arrival. They had been able to promptly procure a board and have it the day I checked in. We usually sorted out the next day’s game plan the night before- how I felt, when was high tide, what beach Bill recommends for me under the expected conditions. And for those early times, the coffee was brewing by 430AM.
I didn't see too many dining options or bodegas’ in the area. At Soma, the owners and staff were always around so that I could dine at my convenience. I do suggest that if your surfing or plan on being particularly active, to pack some energy bars, nuts, dry, portable food.
I took a day to do the volcano hike. For the park fees, guide, food, water, snacks, I suggest you bring $50 (solo) or $40 per person (2+) minimum in small bills. They have bathrooms there but- I highly recommend you pack some toilet paper and hand sanitizer because the bathrooms can run out of those things. The truck makes 2 stops. First stop is a cafe where you can buy bags of coffee as gifts, cookies, pastries, water, and order hot drinks like coffee and cocoa. The cafe is priced in USD. You have about 10 minutes, and then you get back in, and continue up to the park station. If you want to eat something more substantial, wait till you arrive at the park station at the top of the hill. The final stop also has water, snacks and sports drinks that are far less expensive than the cafe.
I did the puma trail- they told me it takes about 4 hours but I completed it at a moderate pace in 2.5 hours. It not hard, but with stone steps covered in mud and wet leaves, hilly stairs at 40 degree angles, chose footwear with traction, I’m glad I didn’t wear my running sneakers. Flip flops are not a good idea either. And be mindful of the time- the trucks that take you back down come every few hours, not every hour or half hour, ask the rangers when the next truck is arriving before you start your hike.

Room Tip: Its hard to tell in the pictures, but the private bungalows have vaulted ceilings with nickel polish...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank asuchio99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

A yoga friend recommended SOMA and it was fantastic. Casey, Bill and team were gracious hosts and offered regular trips to hot springs and surfing of different beaches. The views are amazing and you may find that the only problem is leaving.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank emgollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2011

I recently got back from a 6-night stay at Soma Surf Resort, and I'm already trying to organize another trip down there! This new boutique hotel/resort was such a wonderful find. Casey and Bill Morton (the owners) spent several years building this oasis nestled high up in the Nicaraguan countryside and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

We were greeted at the airport by one of Soma's excellent staff members and Bill himself before setting out on the 2.5 hour drive to the resort. We arrived at Soma and immediately settled into our gorgeous private bungalow. What a spectacular space with two double beds made up with crisp white linens, several chairs to lounge in, and a magnificent bathroom made from hand-cut stone.

Soma offers something for everyone. We spent a few days simply lounging by the beautiful infinity pool, napping in hammocks, and eating in the open air restaurant. Over the course of our trip, we hit the waves with expert surf instructors, went horseback riding on the beach, hiked around the beautiful Mombacho volcano, and participated in a rigorous boxing class. We recuperated from these adventures by visiting nearby natural hot springs (3 times in 6 days!) and treating ourselves to wonderful massages.

Casey and Bill go out of their way to make their guests feel at home. They are happy to arrange any activities or excursions that guests are interested in and clearly enjoy introducing guests to the beauty of the Nicaraguan landscape and people. I have such fond memories of sitting around a big table at the restaurant enjoying conversation with Casey, Bill, and several other guests while watching the sun go down. I have traveled quite a bit throughout the US, Europe, and Africa, and I have to say that this was, without a doubt, one of the best vacations I have ever taken. Soma is both wonderfully luxurious and amazingly affordable for the service, facilities, and location. I highly recommend considering Soma for your next vacation. I know I'll be heading back there as often as I can!

Room Tip: Go ahead and splurge for a private bungalow...it's a great deal for such a beautiful living spac...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank surfnewbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2011

When I arrived I couldn't believe my eyes... I thought, "I left NYC this morning and I have landed in heaven." Not only is the place unbelievably beautiful, Casey and Bill (the owners) and their whole staff are so down-to-earth and make you feel like you are at home... a home in paradise! The food is delicious and such a great price. The drinks are unbelievably good. Anything you want, they make it for you. Everything is so fresh. They are so knowledgeable about the local produce and were great at suggesting things I might like to try. The private bungalow was so clean and comfortable. Activities we did were surfing, hot springs, Mombacho, horse back riding, getting massages, shopping, and of course being lazy in the hammocks and by the pool. We were only there for a week, but I could have stayed forever. It is a great place to stay if you are traveling solo, with friends, or with a significant other(it is very romantic)! It is also great for a variety of activities- if you want to just lay around or if you want to do something physical everyday. They are very flexible- whatever you feel up to. On our last day it felt like leaving family... I was very sad to leave. I will most definitely be back.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2011

Just finished our trip and we are sad to leave. Soma (Casey and Bill's baby) is awesome. This is a wonderful place that allows you to be yourself. From the wonderful views (perfect for chill'n out, reading a book or yoga) to the AWSOME food [gotta try the plantains with fried locally made cheese...out of this world] to the inviting pool while sipping on a cool drink (great mojito's). This is THE place to stay. Casey and Bill make you feel like you are part of the family. Great location for a surf retreat or a point of departure for other local adventures. The rooms are wonderfully decorated and quite spacious. HUGE walking shower was something I did not expect.

Can't wait to see them again in November when we come with Roy and Linda!

Muchas Gracias!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Luv2Travel_696969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Soma Surf Resort

Property: Soma Surf Resort
Address: Playa Guasacate, Popoyo, Nicaragua
Phone Number:
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Popoyo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Popoyo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Soma Surf Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy world class surfing, expert surf lessons, guided surf excursions, yoga, natural hot springs, tidal pools and more. Soma has a full service restaurant serving fresh fare with a distinct flavor using natural ingredients where you will truly savor the "farm to table" experience. Enjoy our infinity pool an open air rancho with hammocks, free WIFI plus many more amenities. We are a resort sustainably built with a portion of our proceeds benefiting local charities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Soma Surf Resort Nicaragua/Popoyo

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