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“Best Vacation Spot” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shaka Beach Retreat

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Shaka Beach Retreat
Ranked #7 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Certificate of Excellence
Aspen, Colorado
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Best Vacation Spot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2014

This trip to Costa Rica couldn't have been more perfect. I've been to Shaka before, so I knew what I was in store for. However, I was blown away by all of the improvements they've made.

Since I was there last they have hired a new chef (the food was gourmet, 5 star restaurant quality), re-vamped the dining experience with candles, flowers, cloth napkins, place mats, etc., and they have laundry service that was super easy and inexpensive. More than that, they have a photo package where I was able to purchase pics of myself surfing and doing yoga...something I've never had before because my husband/friends are always in the water with me...not taking pictures.

Everything was amazing and I can't wait to go back. Already booking a trip at the end of July!

Room Tip: I've stayed in every room and they are all really good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicole L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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201 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

Shaka was great. I went with my brother for the purpose of learning to surf and to experience somewhere different. The surf instructors were all very patient, as I have never done anything like that before. They made it fun and allowed me to learn at my pace, yet still challenged me. The yoga class was one of the best I have had. The instructor was great and the yoga studio could not have been better. The location of Shaka was perfect. It was remote and quiet but still within walking distance of several places to eat, one of the most breathtaking beaches I have ever seen and a small market. The volunteers and staff went above and beyond to make sure we felt welcome and to show us a good time. Jerry, a surf instructor, was awesome. Gave us a few tours and took us on a hike to a waterfall. I can not say enough about the housekeeper, Maria. She was so sweet and I cried when I had to say goodbye. The volunteer, Adrian, was a huge help as well in entertaining and encouraging both my brother and I. This trip challenged me in so many ways to be braver than I previously was, to let go of expectations and enjoy the unexpected and to stop thinking so much. I made so many new friends, both guests and staff, that I hope to keep in touch with and I fell in love with Costa Rica. Oh, and there are monkeys!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rebecky7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
58 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2014

I read all of the positive reviews of Shaka on Trip Advisor and was really excited to take my family there. I would agree with all of the positives - a truly incredible beach a short walk away, very friendly staff at Shaka, and our weather was perfect. However, there are a few things these folks should work on and a few things you should know just to set your expectations correctly: 1) The quality of the cottages is best described as "a nice college dorm room". So, if you're 25 and used to sleeping in dorm rooms and hostels, they are awesome. If you're 45 (like me) and used to sleeping in resort-like accomodations, they're very basic. Also, when we checked in the first night, we had no toilet paper and the light fixture in our bathroom didn't work. 2) The quality of the food is best described as "very good cafeteria food". Again, if you're 25 and used to eating at your college cafeteria, it's fantastic. If you're 45 and used to eating in resort-like restaurants, it's pretty basic. We (and all of the other guests we met) went out to local restaurants a lot for dinner. 3) Surf classes were very good, surf board quality was good, and the beach/waves are absolutely world class. We had two instructors for six students most of the week. We all improved our surfing skills, although I had thought we'd make more progress surfing every day for a week. 4) The yoga instruction was very good. The instruction was very good, the accomodations were very good, and you looked out at a jungle scene (with lizards and monkeys) during the sessions.

Set your expectations according to the above, and you'll have a really fantastic vacation at Shaka.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Marathoner2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shakasurf, Owner at Shaka Beach Retreat, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thank you so much for your review, we appreciate all feedback from our guests, especially the stuff that shows what we need to work on. Unfortunately we have had some issues with the kitchen staff and are currently searching for a new chef. Our hope is to have our kitchen back up to speed but it has been tough finding the right chef. Thank you again and have an amazing day.

Frank Bauer, Owner, Shaka Beach Retreat
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

Shaka is an incredible place -- two minute walk to the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica (Playa Hermosa); short drive to Santa Teresa for restaurants, shopping & entertainment; clean, comfy & friendly accommodations (take a nap in one of the many hammocks!); peaceful, serene & still maintaining such natural beauty (no big resorts anywhere around!). But what makes this place truly special is the people -- Brent, Megan, Mo'e & the whole Shaka family provide their guests with an unforgettable (and affordable!) Costa Rican experience. I highly recommend for anyone interested in learning to surf & practice yoga or simply enjoying a healthy & relaxing vacation filled with good food, great people & beautiful scenery.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Patrick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redding, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2014

My wife treated me to a trip to CR for my 40th birthday. She handled everything and on arrival she informed me that I had a surf lesson booked with Mo'e a local surf instructor. I was so impressed with the first I booked daily lessons for the rest of my stay. It was challenging but I enjoyed every minute and would finish each lesson with a grin ear to ear. I had so much fun I returned 2-months later with a friend and stayed at Shaka. The vibe is relaxed, the rooms are comfortable, and the food was fresh and healthy. Meals are surfed at the Rancho and this is also the gathering place to hang out and talk with other guests and new friends. I came home with the bug and have been surfing ever since. It is an amazing how my life has changed for the better since that first lesson. That was just over 3-years ago. I've returned yearly and it's apparent my experience isn't exclusive as all the guests have that same ear to ear smile:)

Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Jason T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chico, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2014

I have never been in a more caring, loving, and such peaceful environment in my life. The amount of support and guidance you receive from everyone at camp is overwhelming. Coming from a small town in Northern California, i was incredibly intimidated by the idea of coming down to Shaka. But once i got situated and introduced to everyone at shaka, i knew that everything was going to be just fine. The camp itself is absolutely beautiful. The cabina's that you will stay in are incredibly comfortable that give you a lot of space. The camp has air conditioning which is incredibly important for the jungle environment. The food is delicious and so authentic. The beach that is walking distance from camp is the most beautiful place I have ever set foot on and the surf is pumping the majority of the day. Please consider the idea of going down to the most peaceful place you will ever travel to! You wont regret the time you spend at shaka! Get down there and experience life within the jungle! Pura Vida everyone!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Quinn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kentwood, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2014

We were at Shaka in November for a week of adaptive surfing We were treated like family from the moment we were there. The beach is beautiful and never crowded. The water is beautiful. Waking up to the sound of monkeys is something I never dreamed of. We got to snorkel, zipline and ride quads. Cannot give a higher recommendation for Shaka. Just go and have the trip of a lifetime.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sandy b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shaka Beach Retreat

Property: Shaka Beach Retreat
Address: Norte de Escuela 200 M | Village of Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
#7 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#11 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 5 minutes North of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, is the highly desirable upscale neighborhood of "Playa Hermosa." Shaka Beach Retreat is a private haven offering an alluring example of modern tropical architecture, nestled in the tropical jungle surroundings, home to monkeys, birds, and fruit trees. A short walk leads to one of the most beautiful quiet beaches the country has to offer. Perfect for swimming, relaxing on the sand, and all levels of surfers. Join us for our popular Surf and Yoga Retreats, offered year round. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shaka Beach Retreat Hotel Santa Teresa
Shaka Surf Camp Hotel
Shaka Surf Camp Santa Teresa
Shaka Beach Retreat Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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