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“It Only Gets Better!”
Review of Surf Simply

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Surf Simply
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“It Only Gets Better!”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Just back from my second time at Surf Simply. I feel a little conflicted writing this review - on the one hand I feel it would be very wrong not to share how amazing the camp, the people, the accommodations, the food and Playa Guiones are. On the other, I don't want too many people to know how great it is so I don't have any trouble booking my next stay (which I definitely plan on doing)! I have to begin by saying that my coach, Francela Gonzalez, is the best teacher I've had - of course she's an outstanding surfer, but her ability to break down technical knowledge to an admittedly non-techy person, was superb. That said, my favorite thing about Francela is her enthusiasm - she is genuinely excited to see the progress of her students and she absolutely gave me the confidence to take my surfing to the next level. It is a testament to Ru Hill and the Surf Simply team, including the top notch coaching staff, property staff and of course the great food prepared by chef Sarah Tilhou, that the resort is often booked solid 6 months in advance, and that the rate of returning guests currently hovers near 40%!

I have only one caveat - be prepared to have a mind and body altering experience - your knowledge and your skill level when it comes to surfing will never be the same, and I can pretty much guarantee you'll want to go back again!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank lspin625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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  • English first
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English first
Belfast, Maine
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

This is my second trip to Surf Simply. Although I didn't think it was possible, the place is even better than 4 years ago when I wrote my first glowing report. My daughter and I try to go on a surf trip to Costa Rica every 6 months and this is by far the best bet if you want to really improve your surfing. The coaching is just fantastic. Clear and effective, while always keeping it fun.
The rooms spotless, the food delicious and the overall style relaxed luxury. It feels like you are staying with very generous friends. From start to finish there was nothing that wasn't done to perfection. By all means go and experience it for yourself.

Room Tip: There is no room that isn't excellent.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MAC01201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We have just spent a truly memorable 2 weeks with Surf Simply, our fourth visit and we now consider ourselves lucky to call Ru and his incredible team friends.

The coaching has once again been second to none, over the 4 visits we have been systematically improving, not through luck, but through detailed analytical feedback and training. We have progressed a great deal and our confidence in our surfing and with the feedback received means that you continue to grow as a surfer long after you have left the resort.

We believe that experienced/ advanced surfers would get a great deal of value out spending time here, as well as those less advanced......we can all learn more! There is no better place to do it.

So once again, thank you Surf Simply and Nosara, you treat us like kings and you deserve every ounce of success.

Room Tip: Any room is a good room!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PetenDi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 7 July 2014

As a somewhat experienced (but def still beginner) surfer, I was nervous to take on a full week surf camp like Surf Simply. I was worried that I would either be stuck working with true beginners or left flailing in the back with people much better than myself. Immediately on arrival to Surf Simply, these fears were alleviated. The 12 of us had an even mix of all surfing levels and after a single session in the water, the coaches were able to accurately place us into our appropriate small groups. Within the groups, the workouts and theory sessions were tailored to our individual needs and skill levels. And if a particular drill was not working or wasn't appropriate for the quality of the waves, the coaches had the ability to alter the workout plan as needed. The individual attention combined with the high-quality of the coaching staff allowed me to improve my surfing more than any other lesson or coaching I've had.

As for the non-surfing portion of Surf Simply, it also ranks as one of my best vacations to date. The goal at Surf Simply is to only have to think about your surfing from the minute you arrive, and this is easily achieved as every detail (from the schedule to the sunscreen) has already been carefully thought out by Ru and the staff. The villas and rancho are extremely relaxing with ample space to stretch out. The kitchen is always stocked with delicious snacks, amazing muffins by Lulu, and beverages of all kinds. The meals by Sarah are some of the tastiest (and healthiest), and full of the protein that you need after double surf sessions. And while the luxuries are on par with any resort (clean refreshing pool, spa sessions, etc), the general feel of the place is that of a home-- that you get to share with your new surfing family!

I enjoyed every minute of my time at Surf Simply and can easily say it is the best way to spend a vacation and improve your surfing. I am already planning my next trip!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Deirdre K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed 2 July 2014

My trip to Surf Simply was one of the best trips I have been on. It has the right mixture of relaxation, that everyone wants while on vacation, and surfing. As a beginner going into the week, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or what to expect at all. The coaches are incredibly thorough when they teach, and are awesome people too! My Coach, Ross, and I, genuinely bonded throughout the week. It was a pleasure to be surfing with him every day. The other part of the trip I found different but very enjoyable was the fact that it was a small resort and you did everything with the other 11-12 people there. Everyone was fun to be around and there were no sour apples in our group. It was a fantastic week and as soon as I left I wanted to go back for many more weeks.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Frugapalooza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Topsail Beach, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 June 2014

I wanted to preface this review by mentioning that I have never posted anything to the internet before this, yet as the title of my review implies we had such a phenomenal time during our week at Surf Simply I sort of felt compelled to share my thoughts (my wife and I stayed June 7-14, 2014 as FYI).

I wanted to highlight a couple of things that really stood out to me that made the Surf Simply experience so unique.

1. Coaching, coaching, coaching. The individualized instruction, the method developed by Ru and the team, and the tools (including in particular the video analysis) all helped me to understand the principles of surfing better and how to apply it to my surfing. Since we returned from Costa Rica when I describe it to friends I keep comparing the Surf Simply coaching experience in terms of tools and method to the very top instruction in other sports, A special shout out to my coach Oli, I really think I made a breakthrough in my surfing last week and it was because of the coaching that made this happen.

2. Watching my wife catch head high waves. Unbelievable, before the week she wanted to just stand up and by the end of the week I watched her catch 3 head high waves on the outside. Having her now feel the passion I feel for surfing is fantastic.

3. The whole vibe of the place is great. It was probably the combination of facility, location, and coaching but each day I woke up feeling like a kid again, eager to go surf and learn more. I mentioned to Ru that you can just see the quality of the organization he leads in virtually every aspect of the experience.

One additional side note on the vibe - one thing I didn't realize prior to the week was how much I would enjoy interacting with the other surfers at the resort. When we all paddled out together along with the instructors it was fantastic, everyone cheering each other on in the line up and you felt a very cool sense of community.

OK, given that this is my first review (ever) hopefully this review helps. We are already planning our next trip now...

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Just returned from a week that went by way too quickly at Surf Simply. I actually tried to stay another week, but they were all booked…and for good reason! First I’ll start by saying I’ve been to other surf camps where, while they were great for true beginners, I never received the individual attention I was seeking to take my surfing to the next level as an intermediate surfer. Surf Simply was, hands down, the best surf coaching experience I’ve ever had. From the get- go, they assess your skill level, goals, any bad habits you need to break, and formulate a specific plan to achieve real progress during the time you are there. Above all, they are all about maximizing your fun, because, hey, surfing and surf trips are all about fun!
I found out about Surf Simply over a year ago, and have been watching their podcasts on YouTube for quite a while. These are short, easy to follow, instructional snippets that the owner, Ru, has put together to break down the mechanics of surfing and specific maneuvers; for example, angled takeoffs, paddling to spot X, carving turns, etc. I highly recommend checking these out.
As far as the coaching, this was without a doubt the best surf instruction I’ve ever received. The whole team is really professional, meaning they truly care about their students’ goals, and go the extra mile to see that you can achieve as much as possible while you are there. This is done with a perfect combination of expertise, patience, and motivation. There are a variety of tools set in place to accelerate the learning curve. The theory classes and video analysis were extremely helpful, as well as the drills we did in the water, and time we spent out the back working on other things. I particularly appreciated that I was assigned one coach for the entire week so that he could hone in on specifics from day to day. For me, being intimidated by overhead high waves was holding me back previously. My coach, Ross, gave me the encouragement I needed to help overcome my fear, and showed me that I had what it takes to be out in bigger waves, but just needed to tweak a few things technically, and above all, have more confidence. I went home with a very clear list of the things I’m going to remember to focus on moving forward. I came to Surf Simply to prepare for an upcoming surf trip to Indonesia, and this week was exactly what I needed. Ross was a top notch instructor, and I felt lucky to have him coaching me. I also was able to interact with the other coaches, and observe them with their students in the water. They all appeared to be phenomenal instructors well.
In addition, the setting and accommodations were beautiful and tranquil. It was a perfect place to unwind in between surf sessions and in the evenings. The food was superb. Although we went out to dinner a few times, I could have eaten at the camp every single meal. It was that good! The selections were fresh, healthy, and full of variety; absolutely delicious. I also had a massage a couple of times, which was first rate. The entire staff were extremely warm and welcoming, and always happy to help if I had a request. From start to finish, it was an outstanding week, and the only downside was that I couldn’t stay longer.
If you are looking for a surf holiday where you can have excellent personalized coaching in a fun and all-inclusive setting, I can honestly say this is the place for you. Surf Simply has everything you’ll want…..and so much more! Already planning my return trip.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank zb-inCR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surf Simply

Property: Surf Simply
Address: Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Nosara
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf Simply has broken the surf camp mold by providing coaching of a standard one would usually expect to receive in more mainstream sports. The makes of the Surf Simply podcast (available on iTunes) offer all inclusive package from their beautiful boutique surf coaching resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. You stay incorporates not only - video analysis, theory sessions on everything from board design to surf forecasting, pool training and in water coaching during your two fun surf session each day; but also transfers, accommodation, yoga classes, massage, fresh home cooked food and a variety of destinations in the evening from beach BBQs to stunning cliff top restaurants. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Surf Simply Costa Rica/Nosara

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