More about Hotel RipJack Inn
We loved the Ripjack Inn. It is named after the original owners dogs, Ripley and Jack. Ripley is no longer alive but Jack and two other friends and a cat come and go from the restaurant upstairs. Annie (the owner) picked us up at Bula Bula after we caught the boat from Tamarindo to Playa Grande and drove us the 5 minutes to Ripjacks. The room is wonderfully decorated and cool. The bathroom could be a little bigger but over all it was a delightful place at $75 a night. It was possible to walk the "block" to sign up for and wait for the opportunity to see the Leatherback Turtles lay their eggs. I was very fortunate to be able to see one even though we were in the last week of the season. Annie is simply a joy to be around and Gregory is an absolute delight! We would go back just to see them. We loved the food. The lasgane for one was fabulous and their pinto gallo was wonderful. We did not have a bad meal here and the prices were reasonable for Playa Grande. Annie, Dave and Greogory have some big plans for the next two years. They will be adding a pool area to laz around outside, more rooms and a mediation/yoga building. Thanks guys for a wonderful time!
RipJack Inn Rocks!
Spent 10 days touring around Costa Rica and the RipJack Inn was one of the highlights of my trip. The rooms are basic and clean and the beach is a few yards away. It is the perfect beach getaway. We took surfing lessons, saw giant leatherback turtles laying eggs and took walks on unspoiled beachs to black lava beaches.
The food is fantastic and the drinks mixed by Shirley are the greatest. You have to drop by for a yoga class in the am and stay up late (10pm is late in playa grande) with other guests and locals. Gregory, the manager, can help you with anything you need and can help make reservations for tours and dinners.
Other trip highlights included: Seeing and hearing the Arenal Volcano erupt, ziplining in Monteverde, waterfall and rainforest hikes in Arenal/Monteverde, hanging bridges, estuary boat tour in playa grande (saw monkeys, alligators, etc.) and those turtles!
Home away from home we love RipJack Inn
My friend actually did the research and found RipJack Inn based on her culinary experience and the reviews from this website. I trusted her and was up for whatever. It was us three girls, traveling to Costa Rica. What an adventure! We had email communication with Annie, Dave and Gregory before our visit and help to place us at ease regarding how we were going to get from Liberia to RipJack Inn. We had a friendly guide pick us up from the airport and take us to RipJack Inn. We arrived in the afternoon and we were welcomed by Annie who offered us complimentary beers! We were also shown to our room which they were kind enough to offer us an extra bed as well! Us 3 girls wanted our own beds...Even with 3 beds in the room, we were very comfortable! We headed straight for the beach after dropping off our bags. We did eat at a few other locations during our 8 day stay in Playa Grande, but RipJack was THE BEST BY FAR. My favorites were the Hot Garlic Shrimp and the Grilled Dorado. The staff is amazing and they really do make you feel like home. We did take a one day tour that was also arranged by Gregory and it was worth the $$$. We also rented some surf boards and boogie boards from Ian and when we needed to switch out to a smaller surf board, Ian dropped one off in the morning before we even awoke. I truely was very sad to leave RipJack Inn on our final day. EVERYONE at RipJack Inn was awesome.. Truely original and kind. Johnny, Lindsay, Alyssa, Gregory, Dave, Annie (who is a rockstar when it comes to Yoga!!) , and the rest of the staff are wonderful people and I cannot wait for my return trip with my son at the end of March. I wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else. Even the local residents were fun to chill with... A great vacation for us single girls...It is really a land of simplicity and peace..
Rip Jack was Perfect
We stayed at the Rip Jack Inn, Christmas Week, 2006. Playa Grande is about 2 hours by car from the LIberia Airport. Forecast was for clouds and showers, but we had nothing but sun. Hotel has a few rooms on the first floor and a terrific restaurant/bar on the 2nd floor, with a view to the ocean. You walk about 50 yards through greenery to the 3-mile long Playa Grande beach, exactly at the best surfing break on the beach. From the beach itself, you see no buildings, except a wooden shack. Even the Rip Jack itself is hidden. A terrific sense of nature. Dave and Annie, and the manager Gregory, run a great place. Clean and pretty. The meals are gourmet. Seven available entrees, and we loved them all. Ian rented us surf boards and boogi eboards, and gave our two sons a lesson. We highly recommend the Rip Jack Inn. We hope to go back.
The best ambiance in Costa Rica
We just returned from 3.5 weeks in Costa Rica and spent the last 4 nights at the Rip Jack Inn. Gregory and the staff made this place incredibly comfortable and relaxing. They are laid back, play great music, and have a fun happy hour. RIp Jack was exactly what we needed. My two teens loved it. Even though it is very isolated and there is no technology, my 15 year old daughter said it was her favorite place in Costa Rica.
I was so happy with the food! After 3 weeks in Costa Rica, I was shocked to get served big inventive salads, hummus, blackened fish sandwiches and even bagel breakfast sandwiches. It is all fresh and creative. We ate every meal there.
The rooms are pretty basic and there is not a pool, but I understand that there are plans to expand in the near future. The AC worked very well and the housekeeping was attentive.
We stayed at many beaches in Costa Rica but the beach at Playa Grande is the most beautiful we ever saw (it reminded me of Pt Reyes in California).
R & R at its best!
My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon which included a 5 night stay at the Rip Jack Inn. From the moment I booked the hotel the day before we left for Costa Rica I knew we were in good hands. Annie let us know that for a small charge we could have a large flower arrangement in the room which was a nice touch for us honeymooners.
Although the roads aren’t the greatest they are no worse than the other roads in Costa Rica. Upon arrival everything went smooth. We were greeted by name, even though they had never seen us before, and escorted to our room. Since we had a rental car they showed us our parking space right in front of the room so we didn’t have to worry.
The hotel itself is intimate with only 7 rooms. This just means more personalized attention for each and every guest. Any help you need is available from the wonderful staff. They book everything for you and gave excellent driving directions (if you are driving) for each trip. The restaurant/bar is upstairs and offers an ocean view. The food was the best we had in Costa Rica. Amazing! Brett and his staff do an excellent job for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The prices are very reasonable for the gourmet food such as swordfish, jumbo shrimp, ahi, dorado, and the list goes on. For the guests, the bar has an excellent happy hour that allows for a complimentary drink as you watch the sunset.
The location of the Rip Jack Inn is perfect if you are looking for a getaway from all the hustle and bustle of everywhere else. It is quite and located just off the beach (about a 30 second walk). There is hardly any development on the beach because it is the nesting ground for Leatherback Turtles. The beach itself is spectacular, perfect for surfing, relaxing, and collecting shells. The hotel provides beach towels at no charge. The hotel also offers on-site surf board rentals for those of you who don't want to haul your surfboard through the country. My husband had a great time surfing the many breaks located along Playa Grande. I enjoyed relaxing on the sand.
The Rip Jack is an excellent place to stay if you are looking for a relaxed environment. The hotel pets make you feel welcome and help put you at ease. The hammocks are a great place for an afternoon snooze. We had no problems with the security at the hotel and were happy to store our valuables in the office safe. There is a night security guard to further put you at ease. Our room was always nice and clean each day. Overall, I don’t think there is a nicer place in Playa Grande to stay. I was very happy with our choice.
We just returned from 8 days at the Rip Jack Inn and I have to say that it was the best vacation we've ever had.
First, I have to rave about the staff. From the moment we got there they were courteous and helpful. By the time we left we felt like family. We even got Marlon and Shirley to go with us to Tamarindo for a night out on the town. Anything you want they are happy to provide it for you with a smile. From airport transfers to rent cars to canopy tours they handled everything. It was like having a personal concierge. I got into the habit of leaving my board outside my room and was relieved to find a note on my door one day from Tim that he locked it up for me.
The rooms are simple but clean. A/C worked good but I don't think we ever figured out how the remote worked. No tv's, clocks or phones which was fine with me. If I needed the phone, which I did on a few occasions, I just went up to the bar. I had a friend in Tamarindo that called me a few times and I thought it was funny when Gregory would show up at my door with the phone in his hand. Between me, my wife and 4 kids ranging in ages from 18 to 7 they put us up in 2 rooms. Since there are only 8 rooms we took up 1/4 of the hotel. We also had the only rooms that aren't under the restaraunt so I can't comment on the noise during yoga. However, yoga is only on Tuesday and Friday and it starts at 8am. I could never sleep that late anyway. My wife and kids are all animal lovers so the resident pets were a bonus for us. Jack Brown is a character.
For a surfer the location couldn't be any better. I was literally about a 30 second walk to the main peak at Playa Grande. I had always heard that the main peak was in front of Las Tortugas but I think I couldn't have been any closer. Up at dawn, quick stroll down the path, surf for a couple hours (the surf was good every day that I was there) and I was back in time to have breakfast with my family.
About the food, everything that has been said on this board is true. The food is outstanding. Truly gourmet. Brett does a superb job and has trained his staff well. We never ate lunch there because we usually had breakfast between 9 and 10 and then were off on an excursion. But we ate every breakfast and either full dinners or appetizers every night. The Ahi is a must have.
I have to respond to the 1 negative review on this board. First of all, the walk to Tamarindo is 25 minutes. We timed it, and that was walking with a 7 year old. He must have walked along the road instead of the jungle trail that everyone else takes. There may not have been a safe in the room but there is one in the office. We just left our valuables with Annie and she put them in a safe. My friend that was staying at Capitan Suizo in Tamarindo did get ripped off. While he was at the pool just a few feet away somebody went into his room and stole his camera and expensive carry-on bag. That was at one of the nicer hotels in Tamarindo. As far as the roads to Playa Grande, I don't think the Rip Jack Inn has much control over that. However, I did drive to Avellenas one day and the roads there were just as bad.
I could go on but I think you catch my drift. If you are looking for an inexpensive & relaxing surf vacation, this is the place. If you're looking for luxury and lots of night life go to Tamarindo. I'll take the Rip Jack Inn any day. We will definately be back. Many thanks to Dave, Annie, Brett, Gregory, Alyssa, Marlon, Shirley, Tim and all the rest.
Great way to end Costa Rican vacation
My mother, stepdad, a freind and I stayed at the Rip Jack Inn for four nights back in early June and absolutely loved it. The atmosphere presented by the Rip Jack Inn and surrounding Playa Grade area influenced my parents to persue their dreams of moving to Costa Rica and they are now avidly searching for land near Rip Jack to make the move within the next year or so.
The inn was very easy to find once we got into Playa Grande. The drive there was hell, the roads were absolutely horrible, but that's expected in Costa Rica, but on the way out, apparently road crews had came through and completely paved the road to Liberia. (I recommend flying into Liberia rather than San Jose)
First impression was great. We walked up to the restaurant/bar/recpetion area upstairs and were greated by the owner Annie and staff. THEY GREETED US BY NAME!!! how inviting is that?? We were immediately showed to our rooms. We had the two rooms detatched from the main building which was nice. We immediately went to the beach. The beach is right across the street, about a 30 second walk.(The Inn is not right on the beach becuase the beach is preserved as the main nesting site of the leather back turtles. )
We ate every meal at the hotel restaurant. Our trip throughout Costa Rica was an adventure and tiresome, and this was a great place to unwind and simply relax.
The staff was great. We felt like we had made great friends in all of the friendly staff by the end of the week. The inn is also filled with great people. It was fun mingling with all of the other patrons every night in the bar.
The owners, Annie and Dave, are a young couple from San Francisco who drove to Costa Rica for their honeymoon and never went back. They have taken the small inn, made it larger and better, and turned it into the "place to be" in Playa Grande.
The best thing about Rip Jack was the FOOD. I LOOVE seafood and there was plenty of fresh seafood everyday. The menu changed nightly, and the decision on what to eat was difficult because it all looked sooo good, as it was.
Lunch was great too, as was breakfast. The salads and hamburgers were great for lunch favs, and breakfast offered up everything from fresh fruit and yogurt, to classic eggs and bacon. The banana pancakes were to die for.
The chef is some young hotshot from somewhere in the southern US. He has trained his staff of ladies to cook just like him, but he is there for most nights. The bar was a great place to hang out and enjoy drinks with friends. The chef even took shots of guaca one night while preparing dinner, it was funny. There was a great sunset happy hour everynight. It was soo much fun hanging out in the bar having drinks and chilling with fellow travelers and staff. The staff was very friendly and down to earth. They hung out with us and other guest just as if they were guests themselves. It helped us to feel very much at home and relaxed. I've never stayed at a hotel where it was hard to distinguish geusts from staff until i stayed at Rip Jack. It was great. You could tell they truly had a passion for this place and helping guests to feel welcome and at home. We had fun drinking beer, chatting and getting to know everyone up in the treetop bar/restaurant. That area was without a doubt the best place in Playa Grande.
The staff was very familiar with the area and set up all of our day trips for us. We went deep sea fishing one day and the captain they set us up with was great. We caught multiple mahi mahi, and a sailfish. We had to let the sailfish go but the boat captain prepared and bagged the mahi mahi right on the boat, fresh out of the water. The fishing trip was great. We saw a lot of dolphins and even leatherback turtles.
The greatest thing was the fact that when we got back in the evening from our trip, we gave the mahi mahi to the chef at Rip Jack and he prepared it for the restaurant for dinner. He served it up several different ways, even sushi style. can you say fresh seafood???
The rooms were simple but comfortable. The shower was nice, and the rooms were well airconditioned. This place is definatley a surfers paradise. Some of the greatest waves in costa rica are right outside your door, and atmosphere at the hotel definately has a younger, laid back, chilled vibe.
Overall the stay was amazing. They gave such a great impression of life in Playa Grande that my parents are moving there, I think that says enough
Great Place, with Great People, and Unbelievable Food!
My wife and I spent five (5) nights at the Rip Jack from June 21-June 26, 2006. We are both mid-twenties and went for a fun anniversary trip. We had a great time both at the hotel and at the beach. Here is a list of great things about the Rip Jack Inn:
1. The Food: the chef at the Restaurant Pan is a Cordon Blue chef who got tired of the grind at a pricey hotel in the states. He and his staff cook up great food, with great presentation, and it is truly a bargain. We ate all our meals here and loved it. Expect to pay around $5-10 for lunch and $8-15 for dinner.
2. The People: the atmosphere created by the owners, staff, and guest (if you are lucky) is kind, relaxed, and genuine. We enjoyed the opportunity to meet people and share meals with our new friends.
3. The Pets: Jack Brown, a dog cool enough to have half a hotel named after him; The Guy, a cat that looks like it is straight out of the rain forest; and more. All of these cool pets are very friendly, roaming the grounds and adding to the chill atmosphere.
4. The Beach: Playa Grande which sits 150 feet from the hotel is absolutely beautiful. The waves are great. I took a surf lesson while there and the instruction led to the best rides of my life. The hotel does not sit directly on the beach, buut there are no buildings between it and the beach. They are unable to build there because it is a famous nesting ground for Leatherback Turtles.
5. The Shells: If you like to collect sea shells then you will find a ton here, including cone shaped shells that seem to be specific to Playa Grande.
6. The Park: The National Park to the north contians some truly beautiful places. We took one afternoon to hike to Playa Negra (a black sand beach) and love the experience. It was an easy hike up the beach and Playa Negra had okay snorkeling. When we went the visibility was poor, but we did see a eel and a eagle ray.
The not so great:
1. The rooms are some what loud, but they only do Yoga on Tuesday and Friday, so it is not really that big of a deal. We were able to sleep as much as we wanted.
2. No pool...but hey, you got a great beach with an ocean so you have to make do. When the Rip Jack gets a pool, which I think is being planned, then a great place will be even better; but I will still just head for the ocean.
3. The roads are bad from the airport to Playa Grande, BUT they were also terrible to a hotel we stayed at outside Tamarindo that cost over $300 per night. It has nothing to do with the hotels, if you can't handle bad road, DO NOT go to Costa Rica.
Rip Jack was the perfect spot.
We stayed at the Rip Jack from Nov. 24-30. We couldn't have asked for a better place for us. The rooms are basic but comfortable, spacious, clean, and complete with A/C for a comfortable night's sleep. That's all you need if you're there to experience Costa Rica - who wants to hang out in the room? When we didn't feel like being active, we'd sit in chairs upstairs and read and drink coffee - not exactly a rough life.
The best part of the Rip Jack is the people - what a fabulous group! Our "cruise director" the whole time we were there was Gregory, who is fantastic. He kept on top of everything and dealt with our indecisiveness and tendency towards chaos with a smile. All of the bar and wait staff were great too - super friendly and helpful, especially Johnny, who served us most nights. We loved Johnny! We were sad to go - it was like leaving a group of friends. (I personally loved the menagerie of dogs and cats that came and went - it helped me miss my own dogs a bit less!)
As many of the reviews stated, the food is fantastic, and a great price for what you get. We ate most of our meals there (they have the world's best granola for breakfast). We figured that for dinner with 1 app, 2 mains and a glass of wine for me, the meal was around $30-35 USD. And when I'm talking "mains," I'm talking high-quality food of good portion size and 2 sides. That's a meal that would easily cost us $50-60 where we live. They also have amazing calamari - you have to try it!
My only heads-up is for those who need a dark room for sleeping, like I do - take an eye mask. There is a bright light above each door that is on all night, and the curtains on the (huge!) windows are thin, so it makes the room pretty light. We got extra blankets from the staff and hung them over the windows, and I used a bandana as an eye mask. Between that and how tired I was from doing stuff, I slept fine through the week, but had a rough time of it the first night.
Overall, the Rip Jack is fantastic. There are so many places in the world I want to go, but I do hope to get back there again.
Budget Hotels in Playa Grande?
I am looking for cheap places to stay in Playa Grande. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Budget Hotels in Playa Grande?
Here are some cheap places you can try. Check them out. Our friends stayed at Rip Jack Inn and it was OK. Nothing fancy, but clean rooms and good location.
I hope this helps!
1. Playa Grande Surf Camp ($25 per night per person for a room with A/C; $15 per night per person for a room with no A/C): http://www.playagrandesurfcamp.com/
2. Rip Jack Inn: http://www.ripjackinn.com/
3. Hotel Las Tortugas: http://www.lastortugashotel.com/
4. Hotel Villa Baula: http://www.hotelvillabaula.com/