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“Sad to leave!”
Review of Swell Surf Camp

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Swell Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 May 2014

My trip to Swell Surf Camp was one of the most amazing, memorable trips I've been on. There is no way to put into words how great this place is. From the minute I walked through the doors I felt like I had a new Dominican family. Haudy and the staff at Swell were phenomenal! Haudy is the biggest sweetheart ever...always making sure you are enjoying your stay and making arrangements so you make the most of your trip. Sam, Jack, and Neno are awesome surf instructors, always giving precise tips on how to improve and what you're doing right. I was catching waves with my first lesson. The meals at Swell are delicious...I wish I could say the same for the Mama-Juana. Rooms are clean and the air conditioning is worth the $8/night. I stayed in a premium room and my belongings were always treated with respect. There is free wifi in the common areas and sometimes it worked in my room. The pool is great and perfect for a quick dip to cool off a bit. Yoga sessions twice a week were just what I needed after paddling my arms off.

Swell is the perfect place to meet like-minded travellers from all over the world. I was so sad to leave but know I'll be back soon and hopefully for longer than just a week!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank jamher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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72 - 78 of 241 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

Swell Surf Camp in Cabarete was AMAZING! The people, from Haudy the manager, to Sam, Jack, and Neno (the instructors) - everyone at Swell was amazing!

Every single part of this trip was great, from surfing, to family-style dinners, yoga in the afternoons, and just hanging around camp. The people there were a cool mix of young people, families, and experienced surfers - everyone was amazing!

I will definitely visit Swell again and will recommend to ALL of my friends to visit! Thanks for an amazing trip!

Room Tip: We chose a private room just in case we had bad roommates, but this was not a problem - chose whiche...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Suzie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Just wanted to let you know that we had a great time at the camp last week. Weather was great, surfing was fun and overall it was a fantastic vacation. Haudy and the team at Swell treated us very nicely.

We are looking forward to planning another vacation with you.

Thanks so much.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I was on the verge of booking to stay somewhere else but then I came across Swell's professional website and got a good feeling that I'd feel comfortable there as a solo traveller, and be with like-minded people of a similar age (i.e. 30-40, rather than gap year/early 20s). It was the best decision I could have made. Everything, from the booking process to the airport transfer to the food preparation, surf instruction and organising of trips, is done with great energy and smiles by all the wonderful staff and it takes no time at all to relax into the vibe. The rooms are beautiful and it's clear that so much care and attention has gone into the design of the whole camp; the owners have clearly looked at where all the gaps lie in other surf holidays and have created the perfect experience where guests want for nothing. The other guests on my trip were a mixture of solo travellers and small groups from the US, Canada and UK and were a fantastic bunch of fun, friendly, ego-less people; we all quickly bonded and on the nights where dinner wasn't cooked at Swell, we all went out together and had brilliant times.

Massive thanks in particular to:
Haudy, Swell's manager, who is an angel and makes sure you have everything you need. She knows everyone in Cabarete and everything about the area, and even organised a special trip for me to a nearby ranch so that I could go on a 3 hour horse ride on the beach.
Adan, Sam and Neno, Swell's surf instructors, who have a passion for what they do and help you with your surfing, whatever your level. Adan also takes amazing photos and I'd recommend getting the photo package so you have some surf photo memories to take away!
Michel & Antonio the drivers, and the lovely ladies who made us such delicious food for breakfast and dinner.

Usually, I don't like to go back to the same place twice on holiday as there are so many places in the world I'd like to explore. I'll be making an exception for Swell.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are beautiful so whichever one you're in, you won't be disappointed. If you...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Kirsty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

SWELL got to be the first stop of my arrival. I had had a terrible flight experience and my luggage and surfboard were lost, I couldn't know where i'm going and I was preparing myself to struggle a bit more with no food and sleep, but instead I was sooo happy to have booked SWELL for the beginning of my whole trip. Antonio - the driver was very punctual meeting me from the bus I was coming with at Sosua CaribeTours stop, he brought me to the Swell hostel and there was this amazing wonder-lady Haudy - she organised the breakfast made for me, gave me room, sent me to sleep over the jetlag and promised to figure out my luggage...in few hours I woke up reborn and had my luggage coming! This was my first impression with the service and hospitality! In fact I had worked in surf camps myself and so I could judge the attitude and services from both prospective: as being a staff member and a client. I must say SWELL works on very high standarts. The place is amazing, beautiful and clean; equipped with everything you may wish to find for your entertainment on holiday: ping pong table, table soccer (I was very happy with), work-out and yoga equipment, chill-out area with FATBOY pillows, big screen and surf-videos on.
Food is smth to talk apart! AMAZING! it will respond all your possible expectations or demands: gluten-free, fat free, fat full, low-sugar, high-sugar, protein, carbs - seriously, all you want! I've never had such a great food in the surf-accommodation before. Big thanks to all the kitchen staff!

I never had lessons with swell but of course I saw how the lesson goes at the beach or the theory lesson back in the camp. The guys are very responsible and always looking to find an individual approach to every client. Surfing is possibly one of the most difficult kind of sports and it is very important to start it with an experiences and caring instructor who will teach you not only stand up on this board in the water, but also to read the water, the ocean, to see it, to feel your connection. The guys are trying to involve and create the true interest to the subject with every coming student and that's why I saw people picking-up so quickly and surfing on the first or second day already.
Every activity camp is a great experience of meeting new people and making new friends but the big impact is the service, the staff and the owners who create the impression by communication.
It was a really pleasant stay. Thank you, the SWELL TEAM!

Room Tip: I stayed in the dorm. Clean, fresh, and quite. with hot water, shampoos and conditioning!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Anastasia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013

This is one of the best trips you'll ever take and it's because of the incredible culture that owners Clare and Jim have created, as well as the care and enthusiasm of the instructors and the staff who bring the Swell Surf Camp vision to life. Within a day, I already knew that I would return again in the spring, and also, to soak up every minute because I was going to miss it dearly when I left a week later.

Swell Surf Camp:
During my week at Swell, the other visitors also arrived solo from across the globe: Greece, Switzerland, Montreal, NYC, Portland, and more. Since everyone there essentially decided to stay at Swell for many of the same reasons, and through somewhat similar processes, it's inevitable that whoever attends during your week, you will become immediate and long-lasting friends.

Owners:
I don't know how Jim and Clare do it, but they are incredible in their ability to create a magical place. Not only was registering made simple by Clare, but they also check in on you during your stay to make sure you're having a great time. It's not just business to them. That level of care only comes from people who are truly and sincerely invested.

Surf Instructors:
The people who work at Swell are amazing. Adan, Sam, Neno (surf instructors) so obviously love surfing, and teaching others to love what they do. They immediately assess and work with your level of surfing so that everyone maximizes their surf session each morning. No matter where you begin, you will leave improved in your ability! Also, get the photo package. Totally worth it.

Staff:
The people who support Swell - Anna, Esmpirala, Spria., Michel, Franklin, Wrani, Ramone, Victor - make everything run smoothly and make you feel as if their home is your home. Haudie will be your #1 person who will make you feel as if you haven't a worry in the world because she knows the answers to everything! Not to mention everyone in Cabarete seems to know and love her, for good reason.

Other:
After surfing in the morning, you can choose to relax or an outdoor activity. I highly recommend cliff diving/rappelling with Kayak River Adventures (Helmut, Matthew, Paolo, Alberto, Marisol) absolutely kill it...and horseback riding through villages and rivers with Rancho Luisa y Tommy. Yoga, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, massages, everything is there. Just get to Swell, open one of their many adventures books, and pick whatever makes you happy!

The food is incredible. Cabarete is beautiful, alive, and filled with locals and ex-pats who share your level of enthusiasm and joy to be around the ocean, nature, and happiness. Put it this way, even the street dogs/puppies and random other animals you'll see everywhere are smiling and happy with well-fed little tummies!

Kudos to the entire Swell Surf Camp team. Amazing people with amazing hearts.

Room Tip: Every room is great. Pick whatever fits your budget and style from the website. Rooms look exactly...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank China K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

You can't find a better place to spend your holidays in! Amazing place, amazing people, great food, incredible staff, you can seriously not find better than this haven! You meet great people at the camp and instantly become a close gang that have fun all the time.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Sandra K
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

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 51 Speciality Lodging in Cabarete
Price Range: £29 - £72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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