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All reviews in town the owner renting boards place to stay bed was very comfortable owners are great nice garden minute walk rooms are nice highly recommend this place main area fresh fruit yoga classes air conditioning laid back julie surf
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Reviewed 4 May 2018

This is by far one of my favorite hostels in the world! The staff and owners have done a wonderful job of creating a perfect zen environment for travelers to lay back and enjoy life! Our morning started off with amazing included breakfast, followed by 10 am yoga on the grounds, also included. Then off for a surf and beach beers! Our room, was amazing, tons of unique detail, balcony with hammock, ocean breeze! On of the best parts of this place is its distance outside of the main city, 10min walk down the beach, it keeps it quiet and calm while the main streets are loud, busy and blasting music at all times. Plus, after a night out walking home under the stars is a perfect way to relax! I cant say enough about the staff and owners who make you feel like family and welcome you into their home with loving, positive vibes and constant smiles! 100% will return!

Also, the Balsa surf boards, shaped by owner, are beautiful works of art that have to be admired, even if you don't stay in this hostel, do yourself a favor and check out his work. The board shop also hosts local art as well as art created by travelers, beautiful unique pieces!

Room tip: Room 12 is the place to be!
Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JulieCesar M, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello Robert!
Wouah this a amazing review! Thank you so much to share our kind words and help us to grown! It was all our pleasure to meet you and share with you! We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay in our small paradise :) I think you exactly feel like we want to transmit to our visitors! Thanks!!!
I hope we will see you again! Take care! Cheers, Julie

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Reviewed 29 April 2018

Spent a week here. Cozy rooms, nice and quiet, excellent surfing lessons and appreciated the photos they took for us. Nice sized room with comfy hammock. Appreciated the friendly staff, and the fact that I could hear the waves from the beach nearby when laying in bed. Good wifi too.

Date of stay: April 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Kat B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JulieCesar M, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Thanks Kat :) It was a pleasure to have you with us. We are very happy to read your greats comments about surf, pics, rooms, friendly staff, thanks you to share your experience and help us at the same time!
Take care a lot! Blessings, Julie.

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Reviewed 17 April 2018 via mobile

The hotel staff were helpful and kind. The grounds have a very bohemian, relaxing feel with wonderful potential. Breakfast was very good.
Rooms are a good size but quite dirty. They have a musty smell and the bathroom was repulsive with it’s stench of urine. We couldn’t use the pillows on the bed due to their smell. Despite staying in Montañita for 4 nights, we bolted from here after our first night.
The hotel is quite overpriced. It is not on the beach. It is convenient to have the surf shop right there but you can find cheaper board rentals and instruction on the beach.

Date of stay: April 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank obmmes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JulieCesar M, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello Obmmes, I'm Julie from the Balsa, nice to meet you. Thank you for all your compliments about our great atmosphere and esthetic, good breakfasts and the rooms. In other hands, I feel very bad about your description of our cleaning. I understand about the musty smell, here we have like 90% of humidity so it's easy in a cloudy day to have this heavy and humid atmosphere on the beach, but usually we keep it away, I'm sorry if this day not. I'm more sorry about your commentary if the bathroom! I'm shocked about this and for me it's difficult to believe, why you didn't tell us about it to see it and fix it? It's important for us to give solution to our customers in order you don't need to bolt from montanita like you say you did. Usually our customers ask to stay longer and not shorter. About the price of the rooms, don't forget we include 5 options of amazing breakfasts & yoga lesson! Also, the price of the surfboard is maybe a little bit more than in other place, but we have quality balsa surfboard (my husband is the shaper), we include special Lycra shirt, wax & good leash. Also, we have a licence and permits because it's a real and complete service, don't mix it with a surfer who rent some board on the beach for few dollars in an informal way, it's very different. I'm very sorry about your bad experience and I hope in other opportunity to have the pleasure to receive you again and to show you our great potential on a better way, cleaner way :) Thanks and take care! Julie

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Reviewed 4 April 2018

My husband and I booked the "VW Love" package with extra surf lessons and were looking forward to our stay at BSC for weeks - and rightly so. We arrived earlier than the check-in time but were able to store our bags and get beach towels from reception until the room was ready. Jhonny, the young star-receptionist, took care of each and every one of our wishes during our stay.

If you want to make the best of your stay at Balsa and use all of the amenities, keep in mind that there's a Monday-night Pizza Party that looked great and that there's no complimentary yoga on Tuesday when booking your stay. The Pizza Party looked great and had we not been so exhausted on our first day, we would have totally joined. Because of this, I was only able to do yoga once, but that one class was wonderful, enjoyable and very necessary after all the surf.

The romantic dinner included in the package comprised an appetizer to share, then for each of us, a cocktail and main course of choice plus a glass of wine and a brownie - we left full and feeling spoiled for our evening jacuzzi session. This feeling was only topped by the full-body massage each of us got the next day, also part of the "VW Love" package.

After eating there the first day, we didn't really feel like eating out much and relied on the cooks of BSC. The breakfast selection is heavenly - I really wished I had stayed there longer to try each of the options. On our departure day, we had to leave before breakfast but the staff provided us with "lunch boxes": warm cheese-and-ham sandwiches, fruit and water bottles - so nice and too much for our short trip to Guayaquil, actually.

Being located 1,5 km from the center of Montañita, you can't hear the turmoil of the town at Balsa Surf Camp - we got just the rest we needed after our days of surfing and enjoying the beach. If you want to party, however, the cheap taxi-ride can be arranged for you at the reception.
The only noise around was the AC in the Volkswagen, which we turned on for a moment before sleeping, otherwise, it got hot during the night and opening the doors only invited in the insects - we tried. Exactly two cockroaches visited our bathroom during our short stay, but that is typical for the coast unless you're staying in a sterile, hermetic hotel.

The only trouble we ran into was the credit card device. As many other reviewers have mentioned, it didn't work. But we were offered the option to settle our bill through PayPal, which saved us going into town to the ATM - and the fee was 2% cheaper. No reason to complain for us, at all.

We thank the Balsa-team for our wonderful surf-vacation and hope that Tiramisu the cat has returned by now. We'll definitely be coming back!

Room tip: The romantic "La Guapachoza VW"-room is cozy and away from the street (which is quiet anyway) but not isolated.
Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cristina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JulieCesar M, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello Cristina! Thank you so much for all your kind words! We are very glad that you enjoyed your VW surf package and loved so much our place. Thanks you also to take the time to write this comment, it's help us a lot, thank you!
Take care and please visit us soon!

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Reviewed 17 March 2018 via mobile

Breakfast was supposed to be included in the price but the guy insisted that I pay since I missed the cutoff time...which was never mentioned...by a few minutes. The guy at the front desk was rude and sever other guests also had complaints and issues with him. The rooms are nice and the common area is beautiful, but it’s way too expensive for bad customer service.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank AcuSurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JulieCesar M, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hello AcuSurfer, I'm Julie the owner of the Balsa. I'm very sorry for your bad experience with us! Breakfast is included in the price from 8h30 until 11 am, that is a great period of time and when you sign the check in is mentioned. Anyway, usually we accept until 11h25, but then we can't because of the lunch preparation and sale. Johnny on the desk is a beautiful and very kind person and I'm very surprised to read you that he was rude with you, is sometimes shy it's true but rude It's difficult for me to imagine. In other hand I'm happy to see that you loved our rooms and common area, but I feel bad that only for the breakfast time you decide to put us like score only 1/5 in your review. I hope one day you could come back and we could fix this bad experience with a beautiful new one! Take care, all our blessings!

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