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Reviewed 3 April 2017

I was really looking forward to my trip to Swell with some girlfriends. Unfortunately the trip did not go as planned - one of our group members had to cancel due to work and a week later I also had to cancel due to my doctor's advisement. Clare, the owner, was fine with my friend switching her dates for a future trip to Swell but would not extend the same courtesy to me. I'm not sure why a business owner would treat 2 clients from the same group differently, but the manner in which she responded via email was truly appalling. Clare could not have been more unkind, rude and unsympathetic. I understand that there is a no refund policy, but I assumed that if she would let one of our group members move her dates she would allow the same for me. Instead she is just keeping my 80% deposit and told me not to contact her again. I am incredibly disappointed with the overall "feel" that she left me with. This is not the way anyone should treat another person, but I am especially shocked that a business owner would treat a client this way. This business does not deserve your hard earned cash. I would definitely suggest avoiding Clare and finding another surf camp to spend your vacation time at.

Date of stay: March 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Service
3  Thank NYC725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GoGapSport, Owner at Swell Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2017

This guest booked in a group of 5. Our shared rooms normally only sleep 4. An extra bed was added, on the group's request, so they could share one room.

When one of the group asked very politely to change her dates, 3 weeks before her visit to Swell, because this bed was an 'extra' added to a room that we could not use for any other booking, we agreed to a credit for a future stay. The girl who changed her dates is now coming for a longer stay with her husband in July this year.

Despite knowing our cancellation policy (mentioning it again herself in her demand to cancel her stay only 4 days before her arrival date), this reviewer wanted a complete refund of her deposit.

I explained very politely why she could not have her deposit refunded. All guests who book with Swell, including this reviewer, are made well aware of our cancellation policy before they pay their deposit. That this has resulted in such a venomous review of Swell and myself, I make no apologies whatsoever. I think it is a grave shame that Trip Advisor allows a review like this from someone who never actually made it to Swell.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2017

Amazing experience! This was my first solo vacation, and I was a little hesitant booking the trip when I had never surfed, didn't know any one else, and was staying in the dorm room.

My initial concerns vanished upon arriving at Swell, and I'm so glad I just booked it. I met a variety of fantastic people and miss them already! The camp is set up in a way that is naturally very social and relaxing, with great communal areas. The dorms are clean and comfortable and the food is delicious. I felt safe the entire time and it was nice having transportation taken care of.

The surfing instructors were fantastic, knowledgeable and provided 1:1 coaching. I was standing on the board within the first few days and loved watching the sun rise in the early sessions. As others mentioned, the schedule is fantastic with two surf sessions and a home cooked breakfast in the morning, followed by optional activities and time to relax by the pool in the afternoon. The yoga was a perfect post-surf activity. We went out for several meals in Cabarete and I enjoyed the company and beach-side dining.

I hope to return one day and highly recommend Swell!

Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Kayla R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2017

Swell is such a lovely place - Cabarete is a really fun town to stay in so coupled with the tranquility of Swell it is a fantastic balance and has something for everyone. The food was amazing and the staff were really helpful, friendly and very very funny.

The surf instruction accounted for all levels so no one struggled and everyone had a great time - I cannot recommend it enough!

Date of stay: January 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank emilycW8335ZP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2017

I just got back from Swell last night and I wish I didn't have to leave. It was an amazing trip. Haudy, who runs the place day to day is amazing. Everything is so organized and you are treated so well. She has Swell running like clockwork. It's like being part of a small family when you are there. The instructors, Dan, Scott and Nano were great and definitely knew what they were doing. They were great guys. The meals that were made for us 4 nights a week at the hotel were phenomenal. I had a private room which was very nice and comfortable. There was no TV which was great. If you wanted access to wifi it was available in the common area, which is where you really gathered most of the time when you weren't surfing or out at the beach, eating, getting a message or shopping. The area is safe and the property is extremely safe. I can't recommend Swell enough!!!! My only regret was not being able to stay longer.

Date of stay: January 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Service
1  Thank Eric C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2017

Perfect for beginners, casual surfers and pros alike. You get to meet amazing people that you will probably be friends with for life. The camp is clean, safe, competitively priced and just downright super chill. Cabarete has beautiful beaches and amazing surfing without the busyness/seediness of a bigger city. You can also book different activities through the camp, I recommend doing Canyoning for the more adventurous types. The staff were great, from the mechanic, the cooks, cleaners and even the quiet security guard that comes by at night. Hauli, the manager, is super sweet and will take care of whatever needs you have. And the surf instructors (Dan, Scott and Neno) are super chill and very encouraging! I've surfed in a bunch of camps before and this is the best yet. I Highly Recommend it!

Date of stay: January 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Genesis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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