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“SERIOUSLY ... HEAVEN ON EARTH!”

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Shaka Beach Retreat
Ranked #5 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“SERIOUSLY ... HEAVEN ON EARTH!”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

This is our 5th time back to Shaka Beach Retreat and every time we've visited we have had a truly amazing and unforgettable experience. This go around it was just me and my husband but we have also had fun bringing our friends and family with us. I would also note that this is perfect resort for solo travelers - we have met many during our stays.

The location - I love that it is nestled in the small beach community of Playa Hermosa 10min drive away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Teresa/Mal Pais. The community is quaint, quiet and very family oriented family oriented. Playa Hermosa its truly one of the most breathtaking and memorizing beaches I have ever seen - as someone who grew up in Hawaii I feel as though my beach extremely are very high. Each time we have visited we have rented a car either in San Jose or Liberia and drove to the resort but you could very easily get by without renting one - taking a quick cab into town for lunch or dinner or renting a quad for a few days to explore would suffice. There is also a store within walking distant which is really convenient.

The Resort - love the community meals together. We've had the pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful friends from all over the world through our visits to Shaka. The rooms are perfect for sleeping as most of the time there is spent surfing, hanging out on the beach, or in the hammocks. Great for unplugging and relaxing. The monkeys also come right through the resort on a daily basis which is really neat. Each time we've visited the food has been great though this last time there was a new chef who definitely kicked up the culinary experience a notch (Thanks Josue). Light breakfast before surfing (coffee, fruit, cereal) followed by an amazing brunch before yoga every morning (more fruit with yogurt or oatmeal and an egg dish with potatoes or toast -YUM). Dinners were also great - lots of fresh caught fish with veggies and on Friday nights the owners make homemade pizza for everyone - heaven for sure! The owners and the resort staff are also really nice and go above and beyond to tend to any need we've ever had (Thanks Chris, Krista, Maria and Carlos!).

Surf and Yoga - the surf instruction is world class - this go around we had surf lessons with Chris (one of the owners) and all I can say is that he is an awesome instructor. Not only does he have decades of experience but he is also very patient and gives lot of instruction and tips - every time we've visited our surfing has greatly improved and Playa Hermosa is the perfect place for beginners to learn. The yoga was also great - love the new private yoga shala that is now on site (Thanks Megan and Kristen). It literally feels like you are doing yoga in the jungle.

We are already planning our next trip back! Love this place!!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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212 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wantagh, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I traveled with a friend to Shaka a few weeks ago and it was absolutely the trip of a lifetime. The rooms were very clean and comfy and as other mentioned, the AC is a nice bonus. Breakfast and dinner were some of the best meals I've ever had. Every night I felt like I was at a quaint, fun little dinner party where everyone shared some laughs and wine while feasting on the most delectable locally sourced food (tip: they don't serve alcohol, but wine and beer is easily purchased in town and stored in a communal fridge). What truly made it such a memorable experience though was the staff, especially Megan (yoga) and Brent (surfing). Megan's classes suit every experience level and her positive, calming energy is contagious. Brent is patient and informative and had me up on the board on the first day. On top of all this, the ocean is 80 degrees, the sunsets are gorgeous and the ATV-ing is indescribably fun. I hope to make it a yearly trip.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 June 2014 via mobile

I love this place! I've traveled all over Costa Rica and this is definitely my favorite place that I stayed.
Surrounded by beautiful landscaping, the cabinas are comfy, spacious, and very clean with great working A/C.
My husband loved the surf lessons, the instructors are very thorough and big on safety, and the beautiful beach is only a two minute walk from the camp! I really enjoyed the private yoga rancho surrounded by jungle and nature, the instructor was super cool and she totally kicked my butt! This place is totally family friendly (We had our 9 month old with us), the surf and yoga were so much fun, the staff was super friendly, and the food was amazing! We will definitely stay here again!!!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maiulanikoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014

After reading all the reviews for Shaka, I decided this was the place to go for vacation. My husband and I wanted to stay somewhere that was close to the beach, close to town, but far enough away that we could have some R&R. Shaka was it.

We arrived at the airport early in the morning and rented a car from Economy. They picked us up at the airport and took us to their office to get the car. We also could have taken a taxi but we wanted to do some adventuring, so the car was a great option. After picking up the car we set off to Shaka. It took us about and hour and a half to get to the ferry. Once on the ferry, we relaxed, grabbed some lunch and soaked in the culture...and the beautiful scenery. We arrived at the port and drove for another hour and a half...then we were at Shaka!

Upon arrival, we were greeted and shown our room, which was super clan and had cute towel animals on the beds. We put our stuff down and were told dinner would be at 6:30.

Dinner was amazing. Fresh caught tuna, mashed yucca, a beautiful salad...it was definitely gourmet standards. We were tired and had a big week ahead, so we went to bed straight after.

The next day was filled with surfing and yoga. My husband is an amazing surfer, so we ventured out on our own. I took a break from that to go to yoga...which was beautiful. The instructor, Megan was so sweet and gave great instruction. She also came by a could of times to help me adjust my pose and go deeper, which I love! She was a very peaceful person and made the experience even better by adding some meditative suggestions into the practice.

Brunch was delicious and everyone at Shaka welcomed us with a smile. We adventured around town and did some shopping. We grabbed a quick snack at a local place and went back to the beach.

When we came back our room was clean with fresh towels and new towel animals. We had some laundry to be done so we left it for Maria, the housekeeper, and it was clean and folded.

The rest of the week was so amazing. We had a great time and will be back.

Room Tip: Tajalin is where we stayed, it was great!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicole B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakewood,Ca
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

I just love this place. It is right on the beach, in the forest and has such beautiful gardens. The food is wonderful, the rooms fantastic and the staff super friendly and helpful. It is one of my favorite hotels here in Costa Rica. The howler monkeys hang out in the trees, the beach is peaceful and safe, the iguanas crawl across the lawn and up the trees.. a great place to relax!!!
The added Yoga studio puts it over the top , Its all you can ask for and more , planning my trip SOON !

Room Tip: All room are perfect for your stay !
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank larrybenarth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

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.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Stacey Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aspen, Colorado
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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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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:
#4 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 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

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