Balsa Surf Camp is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are lusciously-planted and well-maintained and our room (#4) was like living in a beautiful, hardwood treehouse with a lovely balcony with two hammocks and a decent view of the ocean. The breakfast (included in your stay) was delicious--a choice of five various combinations of fruit, eggs, and other sides--and usually lasted us until dinner time. The rooms are clean and equipped with a ceiling fan, which was enough circulation and cooling to keep us comfortable. The hotel is just across a little dirt lane from the beach and very easy to get back and forth (though you might just sink into your hammock and stay there instead). It's an easy walk along the beach into town during the day and a $1.50 or so taxi ride back at night.
My main problem here was with infrastructure. We had several brief power outages, which weren't a big deal at all. However, we were repeatedly without water in the sink, toilet, or shower, including the better part of one night. I will say that because it was sporadic and happened at inconvenient times (late at night, in the morning when we were rushing to catch our bus back to Guayaquil), we didn't really bring it up with Julie as we should have, and I feel confident she would've addressed our concerns as the customer service was generally helpful and responsive, if not entirely warm. I know they are very environmentally-aware and I appreciate that, but there are apparently still some things to be ironed out.
Also of note, the location (decently far outside town but still an easy walk along the beach into the heart of things) is quiet for Montanita, but not actually quiet. You'll still hear music most of the day from the beachfront hotel next door which is somewhat loud in the evening--heck, even the garbage trucks in Montanita broadcast music. It didn't bother me personally, but if you want true quiet, Montanita might not be the place for it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover our BALSA SURF CAMP in Montanita, Ecuador, made by and for surfers! The perfect place to discover a country and its waves, its culture and the wonderful art of balsa wood boards shaped by César Moreira, owner of the camp. It is a reconciliation, a union with nature. Imagine! Surfing a tree! Discover our beautiful style of Ecological bungalows only 30 meters from the surf! There are handcraft built by local carpenters using bamboo and wood. In a friendly environment you will enjoy the Montanita surf! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balsa Surf Camp Hotel Montanita