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“Swell Surf Camp lives up to its name!”
Review of Swell Surf Camp

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Swell Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Swell Surf Camp lives up to its name!”
Reviewed 27 February 2013

A hidden gem, Swell Surf Camp is amazing. I never thought I'd want to be up at 6:30am daily on a vacation, but to surf? it's worth it!!

We pile into taxis and head to Encuentro beach daily at 7am and 11am. The teachers, Ash and J were amazing, the Manageress, Haudy was a doll and all of the guests are fairly outgoing and friendly. Even though I went solo, I felt part of a bigger family and was so very sad to leave.

The town is only a 5-minute walk, as is Cabarete beach. I highly suggest to bring Pesos if you can acquire them. Never had tummy problems with food or water both in town or at the camp. The camp is located in a safe area and there are 24-hour surveillance. I felt extremely safe and secure without any worry.

The camp is well equipped with First Aid, the cook is amazing, the groundskeepers are too and the cleaning ladies are adorable. Be prepared for a fun, relaxing vacation in a warm and positive environment!!!


The only headache I had was regarding the process of payment. If you pay by credit card, there is a fee. And then the third party company charges another fee on top of that. One option I should have considered was to pay in cash upon arrival. I wasn't prepared to do so because I wasn't sure I could trust the taxi drivers arranged to pick me up at the POP airport. I discovered the taxi drivers are amazing people and you will feel safe with them. So I encourage you to avoid the headache of fees and pay in cash on arrival!

And enjoy your stay :)

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Soul_Surfette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

This was my second time at Swell (Feb 16-24 2013) and it was as much, if not more fun, than the first time. The surf instructors, Jay and Ash are terrific with beginners like me as well as people much more experienced. Haudy, the general manager, is amazing and awesome and delightful to be around. It is a very social atmosphere at Swell - Jim and Clare the owners, designed it such that you don't really need or want to spend time away in your room. Most of the fun to be had is interacting with the other guests who quickly become friends from all around the world. I continue to be impressed that the staff spends so much time with the guests, well after reasonable working hours have gone by. I would find that exhausting to be "on" as a host all the time but they are all so great and genuine that you can see why they enjoy it so much and it really rubs off on everyone there. great energy, super fun place to learn surfing or enjoy it more.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank dsa157
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
1 review
Reviewed 23 February 2013

I travelled to Swell on Jan. 28th to Feb 4th of 2013. Due to a heavy snowstorm in Toronto my flight got delayed and my whole itenerary got thrown off. Clare was an absolute saviour in the situation. She was emailling back and forth with me all day as I travelled through neumerous airports and finally arrived in Santo Domingo, which was not planned and is 3hrs from Swell. She made sure that Michele (the best taxi driver in Cabarete) was there to pick me up and got me to Swell safe and sound. I was blown away by how easy Clare made my day which could have easily been viewed as a travel disaster. Upon arriving at Swell my expectations were shattered in the best way possible. It is safe to say I found a little piece of heaven on earth. Ash and Jorrin are amazing instructors. They make everyone feel at home and as soon as you arrive at the beach it is apparent that they are going to do everything in their power to get you to the surf level you wish to achieve. Haudy was amazing! She runs the office flawlessly and somehow made my lost lugguage appear when I had been lead to believe at the airport that it might not be making this trip. However I was not the first person and i'm sure not the last to lose luggage and I can tell you there is nothing to worry about because Haudy is a miracle worker. Lourdes, Anna and Wrani are also on hand at Swell most days along with the night guards. All of them are smiling faces that make everything run day to day without a hitch. If you want to have the time of your life don't hesitate to go to Swell, I can guarentee that it is impossible to have anything less than an amazing time there! My time was so amazing that I am returning for 15days in March of this year. Stop reading reviews people... book this trip!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dina I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buda,Tx
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2013

Swell is a sleek, clean, modern design boutique hotel with well manicured gardens and perfect pool. Paradise.The most important thing to understand about Swell is that it is a social destination where you will spend very little time in your room and much time in common area with wonderful people from all over the world that all have a common interest, Surfing. Loved meeting the rotation of guest, eating breakfast and some dinners, going on fantastic excursions, playing pool, and celebrating each day with shots of Mamajauna. The surf instructors Jay and Ash were the best, friendly, fun, easy going, very thorough and patient with all the newbies. You will be surfing in just a matter of days. The entire staff, from owners Jim and Clare, to Haudy, Lourdes, and all the rest were so delightful and helpful that you quickly feel like you're with family. I highly recommend Swell Surf Camp.
Jeff R

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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank jefferybobjah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2013

I'm an experienced surfer, so I did not take lessons. I just wanted a nice place to stay and have easy access to good surf spots. The accommodations are fantastic. I had a private room to myself - it was very clean and well appointed. The common areas are kept in immaculate condition. It's a short walk to lots of food and entertainment.

We went to the same surf spot each day (Encuentro), a series of reef breaks. We got one good swell at the end, but I don't think you'll mistake DR surf from better spots in Central America. That said, the water is warm, and the surf is plenty fun.

Room Tip: Not all rooms have good WiFi access. When making a reservation, you might want to ask for a room abo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GoGapSport, Owner at Swell Surf Camp, responded to this review, 16 February 2013
Hi Jon,

Thanks very much for your kind words about Swell - we're always happy to hear that our guests had a great time at our place with our Team. I did want to make a point about the WiFi - we deliberately took the decision not to make WiFi available within the bedrooms as Jim and I wanted very much to encourage the social vibe at Swell and not have people staying in their rooms online when they are in the Caribbean on a surf or kite vacation- this decision has really paid off in terms of the atmosphere and camaraderie of the camp. Thanks again for writing your review and I hope you make it back to Swell one day :-)

Clare
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 15 February 2013

I was a little nervous to come to Swell all by myself, but I couldn't be happier with my choice. The people there really made my trip. The entire staff is super friendly and fun to be around. The camp was spotless and the food was all delicious.

I chose to stay in a dorm room, which admittedly could have been a disaster if I didn't get along with my roommates. Luckily, my two roommates were amazing. Actually it seems that this camp does draw in interesting, cool people.

The surf instructors really break it down for you. Every beginner I saw was standing up on day 1. They really understand the physics behind surfing and even teach a class on surf theory. Their love for surfing is contagious.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Jayne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
Reviewed 14 February 2013

Great environment, great beach, great instructors, great food, great accommodation,and most importantly great people who make each and everyday a pleasure. I couldn't ask for more.

Overall awesome experience, strongly recommended!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Nurcin E
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

Property: Swell Surf Camp
Address: Calle Las Palmeras, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Region: 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 44 Speciality Lodging in Cabarete
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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