I stayed with Shaka the week of 5/11/14 for seven days. I purchased surf&yoga package.
First, if you expecting to use the second option list on their website (Shuttle Bus by Montezuma Expeditions), you need to reserve ahead of time. Or else they will not pick you up at the airport. (I called the same day few hours ahead of time.) I was dropped off by the local bus at Santa Teresa at 9 pm the day of arrival. It was dark. Called and emailed the owner multiple times and no response. (He was at Costa Rica at the time, but I was not inform to contact anyone other ways)
The yoga is really disappointing. The instructor maybe not at her best during the low season. Instead of teaching, she chose to spend most of the time talking about herself and her feelings. So if you are not big about a therapy style yoga class, you could just skip the part even if it is free. On top of the whole thing the yoga schedule is not designed to be taken if you are also doing surfing. The maximum class you can take is one class per day most of the times, so you are better off paying for each class ($12 each) And you could also check if she is in the mood of teaching and if you like her style. Either way you are better off without paying for the yoga package.
I agree with the other review the villa is pretty basic. The mattress is hard and the pillow smells funky. It is very clean. (lots of ants at night) The lady cleans the room has the warmest smile. She even wiped my ipad screen one day. Very detailed.
There are LOTS of mosquitoes. They attack you during sleep. I was told there were two people who stayed with Shaka had malaria. (One person is the volunteer of the retreat. The other person identity unknown.) Stay away from the shared cups. I am not sure it's the filter of the water or the cups were not thoroughly washed. I was not sick or anything. Just the cups smell bad and visible foggy things at the bottom of the cup.
The air conditioner was down third day of my staying. The yoga instructor/costumer relationship lady (Megan Panchinin) suggested maybe it's broken because I used it too much. Or I set the temp too low. After she exhaust her speculation she then offered to switch a room for me at night, if the air conditioner was not magically self healing in 12 hours.
I wanted to book Montezuma zipline trip. The yoga instructor/costumer relationship lady booked Mal Pais zipline for me without asking. Later on realized there was a miscommunication, she felt really bad for the taxi driver and urgently called him to apology. I understand there is a business relationship there. But at least fake to care about your customer.
One night after dinner we were talking at the dinning area (myself and two other customers from Colorado) She came in and turned all the lights off and left. Three of us sited in the dark and looked at each other. The moment I felt really hilarious. Maybe she was really environmental friendly a person. It's really not my position to judge but she should not be doing customer relationship.
The surfing instructor was really good. (Chris) The beach is beautiful. I am a supper beginner and also intimidated by the power of ocean in some way. I felt bad that he had to push me into the wave most of the times. I am willing to pay more than what they listed for surfing.
The food standard is not consistent. If there are other important/new customers it might get fancy. If it is just yourself you might end up eating home made spaghetti with not much sauce on it. The portion is up and down too. The portion for brunch is very little. The dinner is more. If you get hungry between 10 am (brunch) to 6 pm, meditation is your only solution because there are no other places around. (one small convenience store. they have lots of chips)
No signals for phone. Wifi is slow. No way you can call internationally beside wifi based apps.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 5 minutes North of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, is the highly desirable neighbourhood of "Playa Hermosa." Shaka Beach Retreat is a jungle haven offering private villas nestled amongst the tropical surroundings. A short walk leads to one of the most beautiful quiet beaches in the heart of Hermosa's "Surf Zone". Perfect for swimming, relaxing on the sand, and surfing of all levels. Join us for our popular Surf and Yoga packages to experience a true piece of paradise! ... 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