When you come to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, we want you to have life-changing experiences, make new friends, and make the most of your time in Tamarindo.
We know our staff and service plays a big role in that. So, we wanted to open up our Talk Story to some of the familiar faces who have been on the team at Witch’s Rock for a while.
Today, we chat with Alison Avellan, a manager’s assistant in our food and beverage department. She has been with our team for three years, working as a server, cashier and bartender before moving into a manager’s role.
Tell us about your experience at WRSC.
My start at Witch’s Rock has been the best thing to happen in my life. I started off as a server at Eat @ Joe’s. Everyone in the hotel and restaurant helped in training me, but it is not a secret that it was a tough start, being one of the busiest places in Tamarindo. My fellow co-workers taught me right off the start to stick together and help each other out.
They are more than my coworkers, we all feel like family.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I have a million favorites in my position, but to start, I don’t see my duties and responsibilities as a “job.” I see it more as a hobby. It is so fun to be here every day.
I love getting to meet guests from all over the world, learn new cultures, practice my English and learn new English sayings. I also love making our guests feel like they are part of our family, and in return, they always make me feel like I am part of theirs.
What’s a memorable time that you have taken care of a guest?
A couple came for their surf vacation and the wife ended up getting really sick. She had to stay in their room and rest while her husband went out to surf.
I felt so bad knowing that she wanted to be better to get out and surf as well, so I decided to bring her breakfast to her room with little motivational notes. I wrote, “get better” and “you are a wonderful person,” and “we are rooting for you to get out of bed and into the surf.”
When is the last time you laughed with a guest?
I am one of the happiest people in the world, so I end up laughing all of the time with each person. But recently a family came back to Witch’s Rock and asked me how I was doing in my surfing progress. They know that I’ve just started, but I told them that I would sign an autograph for them.
They were looking at future surf legend Alison Avellan!
What is the craziest story you have heard about a guest experience?
We had a couple who were guests and they were in their 70’s. I was telling them they had to do something different and unexpected here—something they would not normally do. The next day they came back for breakfast, and to my surprise, they had gone on the zip lines and had photos to prove it.
They hadn’t thought it was appropriate for their age, but they had a blast. I was so proud of them!
What has been an experience in your job that you will never forget?
Last year, we had the biggest storm in history. Tamarindo was without power for a couple days but our managers made sure to rent generators and make sure that our restaurant stayed open. Our hotels were full and everything else in Tamarindo was closed.
I thought the guests would be frustrated that their vacation was rainy and they didn’t have electricity. On the contrary, everyone was so patient and relieved that we all worked together to make sure they were cared for.
We all bonded and shared stories on how the storm affected each of us personally. It was a great energy between staff and guests, and I don’t think anyone who was here will ever forget it.
What meal do you recommend after a surfing session?
I always recommend the classic pinto, the typical Costa Rican breakfast. It’s a mixture of rice and beans, cilantro and other yummy seasonings, our world-famous salsa lizano, fried plantains, bacon and eggs to your liking.
We eat this every morning!
Why should someone visit Witch’s Rock?
There are a million reasons to come and visit our little piece of paradise. From the moment you wake up, you can look out your window at the ocean, feel the breeze, and listen to the birds sing their morning songs.
You will find relaxation here. Plus, it is a chance to try something different, surf with the local Costa Ricans, and learn our culture and language.
You may even get a chance to learn surf history from Robert August!
You can find Alison at one our beachfront bars of restaurants. At Eat @ Joe’s, guests can enjoy the family atmosphere, sports bar style menu and sushi with our Filipino chefs. At Volcano Brewing Company, guests try out all of our tica beers, some made right onsite and some from other breweries in Costa Rica. You can also take a brewery. At Vaquero Brewpub, guests can enjoy live music every day.