We booked this property at the last minute and we certainly did well. The property was perfectly maintained by Francisco and his wife Marling who happen to be some of the nicest people in the world. Greg was very communicative and gave great suggestions for the area. I'm already looking forward to returning!
We stayed here with another couple to celebrate our ten year anniversary and had a spectacular time. It starts with the responsiveness of Greg to all questions and then the thorough welcome guide that gives advice on places to eat and things to do was great. We spent most morning walking the beach and then heading back to the condo to quick shower and head out for a bite to eat. There really isn't a need for a car with all the places so close but we did take a couple trips to Las Catalinas and the nearby beaches for a little different flavor. All the beaches were basically empty and the waves were great for body surfing. We use Liz the concierge to book a great catamaran trip on the Lazy Lizard and also took a day trip to Nicaragua which was a really long day (start at 5AM and get back at 11PM) but it was interesting to do, I wouldn't recommend for smaller children as there were long waits at the border which would be hard for a kid. The Condo is down a dirt road and it really reminded me of the way Costa Rica was 20 years ago before it became so popular. The nearby restaurants were all good and there was a nice variety of places to drink and watch the sunset. Although we usually just packed up some beers and walked down to the beach and watched sunset on the beach, then walked along the beach to eat. I highly recommend staying here and we will definitely be back. The pool was a perfect way to relax to once it got too hot since it is shaded.
Our family was lucky to find this gorgeous rental in Playa Potrero where we stayed in March 2018. We were especially thankful that the reservation schedule and the owners allowed us to shift our stay two days as we were delayed at home by a snow storm. It was an easy ride from Liberia to the condo if you stayed on the main road (Route 155); a bit more of an adventure if you took route 911, which would probably be a real challenge in the wet season as it goes through a stream bed. The condo was very accommodating—great beds (firm), water pressure and well equipped kitchen. Greg and Gladys provided an exceptional guide to the area listing restaurants, beaches and activities and arranged for a local concierge, Lis, to help us book some activities. Lis knew a great surf instructor, booked a catamaran snorkeling trip for us, and gave us the lay of the land the way only a local can know it. This service sets this place apart from others. The pool and grounds are a beautiful tropical sanctuary which allowed us some R&R. The property managers Francisco and Marling were kind and helpful. There are lots of restaurants in walking distance, but we kept our car to allow us to travel to further afield. We had mixed luck at the Super Wendy market, but there are two better grocery stores nearby. There is so much to do and so much to see in Costa Rica I can’t wait to go back—I’d return to this condo in a minute!
My husband, brother and sister-in-law arrived from the Liberia airport at 6:30pm and were welcomed by Francisco. He was very friendly and gave us a tour of the townhouse. I enjoyed conversing with him in Spanish throughout our stay, one of the highlights for me. Greg greeted us soon after we arrived and offered to take us to the local Super Wendy and then to La Perla so we could have dinner. He was so kind to take us and then take our purchases back to the townhouse. Greg and Gladys and Francisco and Marling were there whenever we needed anything. Stef Surf is located within walking distance to the beach, 2 super mercados and many restaurants and sodas. We really liked breakfast at The Shack, which is owned and operated by Jay, an expat out of Boston. The food is good and the coffee is serve yourself. Jay likes to sit and talk to his guests and is a wealth of Costa Rica information. Our dinner favorite was Las Brisas at the northern end of the beach. Walk there before the sun goes down and then walk the road home. We got lost coming home one night but it was fun and the locals gave us directions. Coco Loco in Playa Flamingo is a great place for sunset drinks and dinner right on the sand. On Wednesday nights they have a fabulous singer/guitar player who also tells great stories about the area while he walks on the beach or among the tables. La Perla is a good place to get dinner and we were lucky to be there when the Eagles played the Vikings and watch it on the big screen TV. La Isolina, to the left at the end of Pina, is a good breakfast place as well. I recommend renting a car so you can just head out to various areas. Although we not big fans of Tamarindo, it's nice to take people there to shop for souvenirs and have lunch at Eat at Joe's, which has a nice history and good food. We drove to Buena Vista Lodge to hike and so my family could experience the suspension bridges. Next time we will go to Rincon de la Vieja to hike or Santa Rosa National Park. We headed down to Playa Avellana on our last day and found a great Italian restaurant on the dirt road to the beach called Restaurante Mauna Loa. The owner is from eastern Italy and the food is fabulous. Lola's on the beach is closed on Monday but we were able to sit at the tables in the shade on the beach and visit Lolita, the huge pig mascot. As for beaches close to the townhouse, we drove to Playa Flamingo, which is south, and to Las Catalinas, which is north, and parked at the end of the dirt road after the construction site. You pay the guys there $2.00 to watch your car. We walked the trails on the left to the beaches and then had an Imperial at the Las Catalinas beach restaurant. Later on in the week we drove back up there and hiked the Las Catalinas trails on the right. It was beautiful. Take plenty of water. The sign says that you need a permit but we did not have one nor did another couple who went hiking and no one bothered us. We stopped at the Hotel Sugar Beach on the way back and had a wonderful lunch on the terrace. The second week of our stay two of our friends joined us and wanted to see crocodiles. We got in touch with Captain Tom and he arranged for a river cruise down the Tempisque, breakfast at a panaderia on the way, lunch at a local home where the food was cooked on a Hornillo, open fire style and then to the city park in Filadelfia to see the very large, orange iguanas. A great day!!! Lots of crocodiles and birds. Go early so you will be the only boat on the water. We would stay at Stef Surf again without a thought. It was comfortable, beautiful, nicely decorated and Greg and Gladys very welcoming and we had a nice time sitting around the pool and talking to them and their friends. Pura Vida!!
Stef Surf sits down a quaint dirt road (which most roads are) that is definitely in the heart of what Playa Potrero has to offer. As soon as we knocked on the front gate of this literal oasis, the pictures we saw online came to life. We were immediately greeted by a very friendly and all around awesome guy named Francisco. Francisco and Marling reside at Stef Surf 24/7 and did an incredible job of taking care of us and the place for the duration of our trip.
Francisco showed us the condo we would be staying in and then introduced us to Greg and Gladys. Greg and Gladys were extremely welcoming from the beginning and helped us with any questions we had.
From the beginning of planning our trip Greg and Gladys gave us a very detailed packet with restaurants and activities to do in the area. They introduced us to Lis, which is probably the most important part of our trip. Lis, our concierge, helped us get acquainted with our location and helped us plan and book every excursion we went on. She set up a private ranch and boat tour, booked horseback and zip lining for us and managed to save us a few dollars in the process. Lis also arranged transportation with Walter, a local taxi driver who doubled as a tour guide. Walter speaks English and we highly recommend him if you do not plan to rent a vehicle. These six individuals made our vacation perfect!
The condo itself was perfect! The master bedroom had floor to ceiling windows at the foot of the bed. This was perfect for waking up in the morning and watching/listening to Costa Rica’s very diverse wildlife. The kitchen was fully stocked with everything needed to cook with a washer and dryer located right off the kitchen. Stef Surf is a literal 3-minute walk from, what is quite possibly the most beautiful beach we have ever experienced. As advertised, it is nearly deserted! Be aware you may see herds of cattle roaming freely down the street and even some iguanas! However, neither the cattle or iguanas will top the calls of the howler monkeys you wake up to daily.
All of your needs from grocery stores, to restaurants, to a newly opened brewery and within walking distance and virtually everyone in this quaint neighborhood are extremely welcoming and very friendly. We could not recommend Stef Surf more! As I am typing this I could say so much but I am trying not to write a novel lol. .
Seriously, this place and people are amazing! Check out Google Reviews & YouTube for our pictures and videos!
The "condo", which I would call a townhouse, was wonderful and met our expectations from the previous outstanding reviews. The landscaping and pool were beautiful and made me feel like I was in a a tropical paradise. The townhouse itself was immaculate --modern, spacious and nicely furnished and everything (the TV's, the internet, the kitchen appliances) worked!! It was very nice to just hang out there even though one is not on the ocean itself. Greg and Gladys were also wonderful as advertised. They were warm and friendly and all of their tips were accurate and helpful. This part of Costa Rica is also very interesting and fun to visit. Lots of secluded, almost empty, beaches down dirt roads --not very built up but a sufficient number of activities and restaurants to keep one entertained. I think having a car is a must---preferably one with high clearance and perhaps 4 wheel drive capability although one can probably do ok without a car---just will not be very convenient. For a quiet, laid back beach vacation--I would go back!
I can think of no better place to call home while visiting Costa Rica, comfortable, luxurious and affordable, this place had it all. Francisco and Marling did an excellent job of making us feel welcome and safe our whole stay here. The gardens and pool were gorgeous and the location was so close to numerous restaurants and shops that you would want for nothing. Even though we had some issues with AC and a stubborn fridge, Greg was lightening quick to rectify the situation and we barely noticed any interruption to our stay. A brief walk to Playa Portrero beach was a twice daily ritual as well as the well stocked Super Wendy up the road for beer or snacks. Don't let the dirt roads and backwoods surroundings fool you, this place is definitely a luxury stay by any means. My only complaint is that we did not spend enough time sitting with a drink on one of the many outdoor balconies to watch the fireflies and listen to the surf