It is a rural, no frills sliver of magic on the edge of the jungle...
Dear Michael (World Surfaris),
It is with great pleasure that I send this note. My friends and I just returned from a 19 night stay at your resort in South Sumatra. I felt it was important that I communicate directly with you, as opposed to simply posting a blind review online. Also, I am writing this as a seasoned surf traveller. My review is based on comparable 40+ years of experience in surf camps, including Costa Rica, Fiji, New Zealand, Spain, France, Mexico, Canada and Bali. To be clear, I am not comparing your “surf resort” to the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton. Those are not comparable for many reasons. Specifically, South Sumatra is not a high end, limitless budget destination. It is a rural, no frills sliver of magic on the edge of the jungle.
First off, the facilities are top notch for a surf camp. Our bungalows were kept clean and well-maintained for the duration of our visit. I had no unexpected hangups that might come with an oceanfront stay. The young women whose job it was to clean up our rooms were professional and courteous. Their smiles were infectious, even as they folded my laundry. The guys were always polite, always helpful and a joy to hang out with. You are blessed with a great crew.
Second, the business side of the operation was exceptional. Mel and Raymond were always sure to meet our needs. Mel was my daily ray of sunshine, eclipsed only by the unreal surf we had the entire time. She is the type of employee you should never let go. In my decades of travel I don’t know that I have ever been so enamored with the personality of the ‘front desk.’ This includes Raymond. He is a true ambassador for your operation. From our 3am arrival to our 3am departure 20 days later, he was awesome. He exudes confidence and surety in every aspect of the job. At no point did I feel I could not ask for his help, advice and perspective. We felt completely secure in knowing that Raymond and his team were there for us. Paired with Mel, I hope you do what it takes to keep them in the fold. They are irreplaceable. If I return to your resort and they are not a part of it, I will feel at a loss.
Finally, the food. I can’t say enough about the kitchen. A serious concern of mine when traveling is the food. Due to my ongoing battle with leukemia I am aways leery of my diet. Not once did I experience an upset stomach or queasiness. I consistently experience such things even when I prepare my own meals at home. Aside from that, the food was 5-star. Every dish had exceptional flavor and flair. As I personally told the women in the kitchen, I can tell they cook with love in their hearts because I can taste it in the food they serve.
In closing, without sounding hyperbolic, what you have in South Sumatra is special. I hope you do what it takes to maintain the positive vibe my friends and I have been expressing to everyone since our return to Hawaii.
Sincerely & with great Aloha,
Scott J Gruzinsky
Ps. One recommendation- AC.