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“Good Times All Around”

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Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort
Ranked #23 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Kelowna, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good Times All Around”
Reviewed 24 January 2014

I stayed at the Surf Ranch for 10 days a few weeks ago. I had an amazing time. It was my first time in a 3rd world country and I wasn't to sure what to expect. A few hours after checking into the ranch and then meeting the owners ( Travis & Luke ) I felt extremely comfortable with where I was staying. The service was very good from the bar to the receptionist and the shuttle drivers no complaints. I even missed the shuttle one day and Travis gave me a ride to the beach himself! We stayed in one of the villas at the ranch which was perfect if your traveling with a friend as you both have a private room which was nice some days. The location is a little ways out of the downtown area lets say a 5 - 7 minute drive but with the shuttles running every so often its easy to get back and forth, if its later at night its only a 4 dollar cab ride. No other place in San Juan has what the ranch has to offer from the skatepark to the rock climbing wall, yoga, swimming pool and paintball. You could literally spend your whole vacation at the ranch and keep entertained. Take my advice and stay at the Surf Ranch if you ever plan to stay in San Juan I promise you won't be disappointed, I can't wait to visit again good times all around!!

Room Tip: Villa 4 is where the magic happens
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Evan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 25 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us. I am glad to hear you had a great time and enjoyed your vacation.

We hope to see you back again soon.

Thank you.

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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288 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Value
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
Reviewed 24 January 2014

First off, I loved my time at Surf Ranch, the staff was awesome, the place was relaxed, quite and far enough away from the city to get away from it all, but close enough for a quick trip for dinner and drinks. Stayed in a condo with cold showers and no AC but neither were needed, and I knew that making the reservation so it wasn't a surprise. It's cool enough at night, the beds were comfy and waking up to a calm patio with fresh coffee (which was delicious) was perfect. Only a few comments to be made, one that the cleaning staff , while very pleasant, could do a better job on the floors as they were pretty gnarly at points, and that the food service was slow. Found this to be a problem if you want to take the 830 surfing shuttle and food doesn't come out in time to eat before leaving!! Also if you get an all inclusive package you don't get options of food, which is fine because the food was GOOD but it's good to know in advance. Also the staff needs to have more change for when you pay extra for food and or drinks or want to pay cash for activities.

Still, love this place, plan on coming back. I know it's their first year and they are doing great!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Christina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 25 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us at the Surf Ranch Resort, and it is great to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Yes, we are in our 1st year and kinks are being sorted out as we enter the second year. We are introducing a 1 month training course and the maids will get more thorough training, the kitchen will be revamped (faster food), and the change situation will be sorted out.

I agree with you on those 3 points, and they are on the top of our list to fix, and it will be sorted out today.

I appreciate your review and for also coming to stay with us here in Nicaragua.

We hope to see you back again soon.

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Worst experience ever.

This place just cares about making money not about their guests comfort or enjoyment. It is horribly run. I would not recommend it to anyone. Even after talking to a few investors, who were staying there, nothing changed and no one was willing to help us have a better experience.

The employees are rude and will argue over everything. After asking for the included juice with breakfast they tried to argue we don't get that and wouldn't give it to us until we went to the front desk and complained.

We booked through The Clymb. Having taken trips with them before we were very excited for another amazing trip. Wrong. We bought the 4 night all inclusive trip.

After reading all that they claimed was included we figured it was going to be a great deal. Let me explain what all inclusive means to surf ranch:
-You will eat when they say and you will not get a choice of food options.
-You will still be hungry after because you only get one small plate of food
-Everyday is the same thing rice, beans, eggs for breakfast; beef or chicken fajitas for lunch and dinner (we did have a treat of fish one night woohoo)
-Only one glass of juice is included with breakfast at no point can you get juice any other time without being charged and we had to fight for that glass employees would not give it to us at first
- Rum and beer is included but they claim to use the national rum of Flor de Cana, they don't they use bottom shelf crap. I'm no rum expert I just want to get what I'm paying for. Beer in a bottle will cost you but beer in a cup is included. Even after asking about that they still tried to charge me.
- The only rum mixers available are Pepsi, 7Up, and soda water. Would have been nice to have fresh juices to mix.
- The "free" shuttles only leave at weird times if you want to leave at another time it will cost you $5 per way.
- The rooms do not have hot water or A/C. Not such a big deal but I paid a lot for the room it should include some kind of comforts. Also we were given 2 single beds instead of the agreed upon one double bed
- My boyfriend doesn't drink so he asked to just have soda. The employees stated that soda was not included. After 2 days of him only having water we went and read the paperwork of what we can get soda is in fact included but only Pepsi and 7Up. One small victory.
- The airbag is free to guests. But good luck getting them to inflate it for you.
- There is a volleyball court, volleyballs are not included.

If you do go don't get all inclusive. It is cheaper and less stressful to pay per drink/meal.

We were miserable the whole time, even after talking to management nothing was done to help us. The Surf Ranch is only there to make money. Not to provide an enjoyable experience for anyone. Avoid at all costs.

Room Tip: Try to get an upstairs room they stay cooler with the breeze at night.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hannah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 21 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us at the Surf Ranch Resort. When we talked in person, you were saying you had a great time with no complaints. I am surprised by this review. Next time, please tell me any issues that have arisen, and I will fix them right away.

Some issues you mentioned are in our policies, and some may have been exaggerated, so please let me explain. Also keep in mind, that we are doing a 1 month revamp and training of our practices and staff. We know there are some rocky paths, but we are almost there, in becoming one of the best run resorts in Nicaragua.

1. For the all inclusive through theclymb.com and even the daily breakfast included in the room rate, you will receive the breakfast, plus a coffee and orange juice for free. Anything after that must be paid for.

2. The all inclusive meals do include a similar breakfast, however for lunch and dinner they switch it up with either chicken, fish or steak. I will talk with them on how we can make the portions larger.

3. Rum and Beer is included. Since you are all inclusive, we pour the beer in a glass, as it is from the larger bottles. If you want your own personal beer, then no problem, they are only $1. The all inclusive is from a bottle, poured into a glass, however it is free & unlimited. We also need to pour the beer in a hard plastic glass as we need to be careful of beer bottles poolside.

4. Mixers - The only rum mixers available for all inclusive are pepsi, 7up, fresca, and soda water. However we do have fresh juices and other mixers available for purchase. This is also stated in theclymb package when being purchased.

5. Yes, our shuttle times are going back and forth all day. If you need to go at different times, you can book a shuttle for $5 total (1 way). If there are 5 people in the shuttle, that is $1 each. The $5 is not per person.

6. Yes, the room you purchased through our all inclusive package include the standard rooms which have a ceiling fan and 2 ground fans, which keeps the room nice and chilly. There is no hot water in those rooms at this point. However, our deluxe units have hot water and air conditioning, which you can upgrade to at the reception.

7. Upon making your reservation, we only had 1 room left which included 2 single beds, as you were coming during a time that has already been booked out 6 months ago. Before you came, we stated to you in an email that there would only be 2 single beds if you wanted to come at this date. You agreed and said it is fine. Otherwise, we would been more than happy to accommodate you in a room with a queen bed at a different date.

8. Yes, just soda is included in the all inclusive. I have just made sure all bar tenders know this.

9. The airbag is free for everyone. If you go to the reception, you just need to ask them to inflate it, and they will. I just made sure they know that they can inflate it at anytime.

10. The volleyball court has 2 volleyballs sitting in the court. If they are not there, simply ask the bar, and they will provide them to you. The bar also has a pump for the volleyballs in case they go flat.

When we talked, I was glad to hear that you had a great time in the pool, with the activities we offer, and with the staff. However I understand that a few small incidents can ruin a vacation, and we will be implementing any changes needed.

I invite you back to the Surf Ranch, and I will personally take care of your next stay.

Thank you, and we hope to see you back soon.

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these San Juan del Sur hotels

Calgary, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 18 January 2014

I was in San Juan Del Sur over the holidays and stayed at the Surf Ranch, had an amazing time. The facilities were good, I would recommend getting a room with air conditioning. The pool was always refreshing and the drinks were cold. For all the partying that went on over the holidays it was still quiet at night. Safety was never a concern for me as they have 24hr security. They had a huge pool party on New Year's Day, one of the best I have been too. All the beaches were close within a short shuttle ride. Went fishing twice and I had luck both times, it was great. Check it out you wont be disappointed everyone is friendly, will be coming back for sure.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kyle s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 19 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us over the holidays, and I am glad to hear that you had an amazing time. We hope to see you again in 2014.

Thank you.

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Surf Ranch have a number of options too choose from . I met plenty of travelers that came through there that booked through the clymb.com. The all inclusive package seems very reasonable for $50 a day.
Travis and Lucas came up with a genius Idea with the action sport theme, and I appreciate the fact Locals are welcome to use the facilities and also with the Sunday family day.
Surf Ranch is great if you are looking to stay outside of the town for a more relaxed feel, and having the free shuttle running to town often and $8-$10 can ride home at night.
Ruben Marjorie Carlos x 2 and Micheal really do a great job. People need to realize that this is not a fast paced culture so when things dont come out in 10 min like you are use to in your driven society then maybe you shouldn't travel to Central America. I will definitely be visiting the surf ranch again in my future travels. Thanks for a memorable 12 days in paradise

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank LindsayDuP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us at the Surf Ranch Resort, and it was great to meet you. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your 12 day vacation with us. Safe travels and we hope to see you back again soon.

Kind Regards

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

My hubby, daughter, and I went there yesterday with a friend and his daughter. A neat place. Definitely caters to the 20 something ish crowd but did not feel out of place. Unfortunately the rock wall was closed and it was to windy for the drop zone. However, lesson learned I will just email for the next time to make sure these facilities will be available. Food was good, service friendly. Some people say slow but hey relax and enjoy. One suggestion along with selling T shirts you should sell beer cozy's cause got to admit you have a pretty cool logo. Oh and maybe because families are starting to come for the day kids helmets with the board rentals...gotta say though great concept.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Sollosy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
Dear Guest

It was great to meet you and your family yesterday and show you around the property. Yes, as we discussed, the rock wall is always open, and same as the airbag, they are never closed. But yes, I had to make an executive decision on not blowing up the airbag as it was too windy and people could get hurt.

Yes! Beer Koozies are coming soon! Yes, we do have helmets for children at the reception, for both the rock wall and skateboard park. Again, thank you for coming out, and as requested in person, I will send you the investment packages for investing in the 2nd Surf Ranch Resort in Popoyo.

Safe Travels,

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

I went to the Surf Ranch Action Sports Resort in San Juan Del Sur over the holidays and had an incredible time. The rooms were clean, the employees were courteous and the place overall is pretty amazing. This is a great spot to come and meet interesting people from all around the world. I would most likely not stay here if I had children, but seeing as my friends are I are all young and single, this resort hit the spot. The Deluxe Penthouse I was staying in didn't have any of the plumbing issues I have read about in previous reviews and I feel like everyone I met there was totally happy with their room as well. In terms of proximity to beautiful beaches combined with affordability, I challenge you to find a better option in Central America. Throw in the extreme sports aspect and you have a totally unique combination of things to do on your holiday...the pictures you take will blow your friends away! Everyone has been asking me where we stayed after I posted the photos on facebook. I strongly recommend Surf Ranch to anyone looking for a unique getaway experience.

Room Tip: Deluxe Penthouse Condos are the best value in my opinion...definitely worth the extra $ for added co...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ckhoosier9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lukeboychuk, Owner at Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying with us at the Surf Ranch Resort, and we are glad to hear that you had an incredible time. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the new deluxe condos with A/C, and hot water, an upgrade that people have come to love. I hope you had a safe trip back and we invite you to return in the near future.

Sincerely,

Luke Boychuk
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort

Property: Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort
Address: Empalme de El Valle, 991.5 m al Este, San Juan del Sur 47008, Nicaragua (Formerly Surf Ranch Action Sports Resort)
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 27 Hotels in San Juan del Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Surf Ranch in San Juan Del Sur, features Nicaragua's largest skateboard park, rock climbing wall, private gym, jungle paintball, volleyball court, world class restaurant & bar, swimming pool & swim up bar, poolside cabanas, standard rooms, villas, and deluxe condos. The Surf Ranch offers many extreme sports and activities such as surfing, skateboarding, paintball, sailing, fishing, yoga, rock climbing and more. ... more   less 
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