Jeannie Odza TX
Roey, the owner, and Simon, his business partner were extremely gracious, and very accommodating.
It was a week packed full of activities - yoga, surf lessons, bike riding...
Basically anything you wanted to do Roey was up for it.
The food was spectacular, everything was made from scratch; it was to die for. Especially for those of you familiar with typical coastal Ecuadorian food, you will definitely appreciate the meals.
Room was spacious, well appointed, and clean. He has A/C and wifi included, both of which were a necessity for me
I highly recommend this retreat if you are seeking a great guide, an introduction to Ecuadorian culture, and an activity based vacation
Kyala Surrey USA Washington DC
I came to Olon after months of a ton of stress, just needing some time in a new place with new people and new experiences, which is exactly what I got. With great food, great surf, and great yoga, I got a chance to just forget about everything else, and just have fun. I definitely recommend Vikaralifestyle for anyone that just needs a break and a reset. You'll meet some awesome and friendly people, and experience a beautiful small town.
Daniel and Andrea
We really appreciated not only the flow of this retreat, but the town as well. First off, Olon is an amazing small beach town filled with wonderful people, a great beach to learn how to surf, and the perfect level of "sleepiness" for this trip. Quiet overall, but enough things around to do. When it comes to surfing, Roey is a great teacher. If you are a beginner like me (never been on a surfboard before this retreat, but grew up snowboarding) I was able to catch my second wave and was able to progress to taller waves and going further in than I ever expected before the trip. He was there by our sides helping us catch bigger and better waves and giving us tips and hints that really helped. The yoga part of the retreat was also great because we got to practice a few different styles of yoga which I enjoyed, as I had never done much ashtanga yoga in the USA. Roey really listens to you on this retreat, and provides a space where you get to choose how the pace of your retreat goes. The first few days we were feeling awesome - we were surfing two long sessions a day with a yoga class in the evening and Roey leading some ashtanga in the morning. I felt amazing and powerful and loved how much the yoga helped and complimented the surfing, even for someone as inflexible as I am. When after the first few days of really pushing it, we slowed the pace and got to relax by taking it a bit easier. We went on a great hike to natural swimming pools in Dos Mangas and explored a few other beaches with point breaks where we got to try our hand at different style of waves. All in all this trips is what you make of it with La Casa Rosa and Roey there to help facilitate it all smoothly.
What a wonderfull stay I had in Roy s place, Vikaralifestyle! It was exactly what I was expecting, surf, yoga, good food, nice place, and nice talkings! Everything is there for reconnecting with yourself, with your body, your mind and of course nature. Roy is there for u 24/24 and will follow your flow, your rythme, will do whatever you want to be peace and enjoying the present like it always should be. I met a lot of wonderfull and beautifull people in olòn and made my departure even harder. There is an atmosphere there in olòn that u can t find somewhere else. I enjoyed every second, and one day I will come back for sure, but for this time way longer. I m so gratefull to Roy. I came whit an intention and he helped me to go throw it. Trust is the key for love, and love for trust, just embrace it. Roy has been a perfect host and real became a friend.
I recommend this retraet million times!!
Jen Roach United States
I had done a bit of traveling internationally but rarely by myself, and I wanted to experience the challenge of embarking on a solo adventure while taking time to reflect where I was at in my life regarding personal and career goals. Being near the ocean was very important to me as well.
I loved that this retreat was offered as very customisable, where you chose how much or how little your days were structured. I wanted to do activities I love, like yoga and surfing, but also have time to relax by myself and just rest, meditate or think.
I found being on my own and having to make all of the decisions about what I felt like doing and where I wanted to go (without a travel partner to consider or compromise with) was very liberating. Roey, the host and owner of La Casa Rosa, was ready with suggestions, like mountain biking, guided meditation, surfing lessons, but made it clear each day's agenda was totally up to me and my whims. I worked on exercising my decision making abilities and listening to my inner voice and instincts.
I met a lot of wonderful people from all over the world during my short stay. There are lots of people who live in the village of Olon either permanently or for extended periods who are from other places (Canada, Australia, Sweden, the UK, the States) and who are friendly and speak English. They really made the trip special, just chatting with them over coffee or sharing a meal or going on a group surfing lesson. If you wish to spend more time alone, plenty of solitude can be found by escaping to the beach or exploring the small village. The private room and bathroom are very simple but comfortable. The host Roey gives you as much attention or space as you wish, and both he and the chef Augustine are incredibly skilled at preparing fresh, healthy food that looks and tastes fantastic. The beach is amazing and the overall atmosphere is relaxing and tranquil. I was only sorry that I booked a five day stay and not longer.
I have just returned home after spending a week in Ecuador in the Vikaralifestyle retreat at La Casa Rosa- Olon. If you're looking for some peaceful and quiet place far from the burden of everyday life, I strongly recommend that you indulge yourself in that pleasant location. The resort is run by Mr. Roey Klein, an outgoing, generous young man. You will find him as a good listener and you may even benefit from his insights about life. In addition, the meals are delicious! A mix of fine culinary art from around the world, cooked with fresh and local ingredients.
The yoga classes with Stephenie were profound and well taught. I had daily surf lessons with Roey and could surf even stand up on the board, which is a big achievement for me at my age (56). I enjoyed the tour to Isla de la Plata and alos the bike tour to the waterfalls. Met lots of interesting people in the Café and had much insightful conversation
I feel Vikarlifestyle takes you out of your norm and puts you for a while in a whole new world, which can help you see the world in a different perspective. It’s a combination of the environment, the people and the activities that have that effect on you. The whole experience leaves you with serenity and insights for a long time.
Sophie Schmalzer Austria
All started in my early teenage years, when I fall in love with South America. Since then my dream of traveling alone and living the pure adventure grew year by year. Finally the day came when I finished High School and I was free. All my friends knew already what to study at university or what job they want to have, but I just knew -I want to travel in South America by my own on a very low budget and realize my lifetime dream! I did a lot of research of volunteer opportunities but after weeks I got very frustrated because the majority of offers required to be paid. In my opinion that´s absolutely not correct, if you offer all your time and energy to volunteer and learn new things at the same time you should definitely not have to pay for it! During my trip to western Europe one of my Couch surfers recommended me to check out the worldwide volunteering group on the Couch surfing platform, where you can indeed find very good offers.
I remember very good when I saw Roey´s volunteer offer for his holistic program on the coast of Ecuador, because Ecuador was THE dream country of mine. So we made first contact and a day after he invited me to come. A few days after I was checking out the same page and I found a volunteer opportunity for sheep herding on the east coast of Brazil . Everything developed very fast and 3 weeks later I was sitting in the airplane and was on the way to South America ! During the 2 months sheep herding in the middle of nowhere I had time to disconnect and reconnect with myself -which is by far the best experience I´ve ever made so far. After tons of crazy party nights in Rio de Janeiro and gorgeous hikes at the Catartas de Iguazu , I was ready to come to Ecuador. My plan ended in Casa Rosa, after that I had nothing planned nor booked. I just went and see how everything is gonna be.´ Basically, I never make expectations when I go to a new place because everything will surprise me then. When Roey welcomed me very friendly and excited I felt immediately that I am on a good place! Before Casa Rosa I had barely experience with cooking. Within the first two months I learned how to work in a group, how to support each other , cook fresh and how to treat our clients. I fall in love with the concept and idea of Casa Rosa, with healthy eating, yoga and Acroyoga and surfing, enjoying a fresh coconut on the beach, listening to the waves, watching amazing sunsets with friends, enjoying a cold beer at a bonfire and be creative.
So after 3 months I decided to stay and extend my visa for 6 more months -which made me even happier, because I could stay longer in my dream country at my dream place with lots of good friends. The decision to stay was very easy for me, because I just felt so happy and was totally in peace with myself. I learned every day more about a vital lifestyle, cooking, taking care about myself, and explored many passions of mine. I am very grateful for all the lessons I learned, beautiful people that I met and who inspired me a lot on my way, for all the amazing moments at the weekly community dinners, for the trust that I received from Roey to take care about his restaurant and the compliments for my work. Being responsible for a restaurant is also hard work, lots of food to prepare and a lot of things that need to be managed. I learned fast and Roey and I came a better team day by day. He also became my bigger brother with whom I shared a lot of intense moments and experience together, such as volunteering in Canoa after the earthquake, helping on a permaculture farm in Vilcabamba, failed surf lessons, many shared sunsets on the beach, best pizza in Montanita, whale watching and hitchhiking. I grew a lot due to his support and honesty. One of the things that I totally loved about Casa Rosa is that it just feels like if you would sit in the garden of your best friend, where you enjoy a good Cappuchino, have a chat and leave with a huge smile on your face. In Casa Rosa I had my first yoga sessions and had various opportunities to practice different types of yoga, such as Asthanga, Hatha or Acroyoga. I got in the vibes of yoga, and I used it in a way of relaxation and meditation. I loved it to do it by my own after we close the restaurant or on the beach during sunsets -there are no words to describe how yoga feels on the beach when the sun is setting.
The whole concept of Casa Rosa is focused on a fully healthy lifestyle, with freshly prepared food, yoga, surfing and meditation. I loved the amount of travelers that came to Casa Rosa for yoga sessions and their excitement. The Yoga retreat was very satisfying and made me feel in balance and grounded. Furthermore, practicing and learning more about Yoga inspired me a lot for my Art. It is an amazing combination that Vikara Lifestyle offers and I am very grateful to had the change to transform myself. Furthermore, I loved about Casa Rosa, that various travelers came and I could ¨travel¨ even if I am not traveling, because I was having a lot of conversations with people from all over the world about different cultures, traditions, food etc. Olon was very special because it´s a small tranquil village (which feels like home for me) and I could share so many moments with my friends which I found there! It was hard for me to leave, because after almost 10 months in Ecuador I built so many beautiful friendships. They were a huge support and inspiration on my way and they will always be part of my family! (Muchas Gracias Amigos!!) During the months in Ecuador I realized that it´s not gonna be like a 9 months South America trip, no, it´s with an open end, because I prefer to live for real and have time in a country to get to know the REAL (for example) Ecuador. In my opinion that´s the best way to travel and have the real experience. Right now, I am living since November at the Caribbean coast in Colombia and I am enjoying the beautiful mixture of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and white sanded beaches. Who knows how long I am going to travel in South America, but I am very happy and still living my dream.
I think everything really was positive about this retreat. It was nothing that I expected really, but exactly what I needed. The food, the people I met- Vikara Lifestyle employees and friends, feeling like part of a family almost immediately, the yoga, learning to surf, riding a bike for the first time since high school, and first time ever off road, the surf trip up the coast, the personalized and flexible schedule. The accommodations were actually much better than I expected, the room and bathroom were spacious, and air condition was a happy surprise!
I felt an amazing sense of peace and empowerment by the end of this retreat. It was a perfect balance of community and alone time, activity and down time. I tried things I hadn’t tried in years (bike riding, snorkeling), and things I had never tried – surfing, lots of new foods. I had great conversations with people I met, employees of Vikara Lifestyle and people I was introduced to by them. I have been able to maintain that sense of peace since I returned, by recalling my time there. I felt like family at Vikara Lifestyle retreat and miss everyone that I met.
I was able to create my own schedule, and do as much or little as I wanted. I just wish I’d had more time to do even more – Spanish lessons, more surfing, maybe horseback riding.
I feel like I definitely received enough attention, and I also had enough time alone. My expectation for the retreat was for it to be solo – meaning I would spend time doing yoga, walking on the beach, meditating, journaling, reflecting on life….But what it was turned out to be exactly what I needed, a perfect balance of alone time and community with new friends.
The room was really spacious, and I appreciated the fan and the air conditioning. I only had hot water in the shower the first and last day, as I didn’t know it was adjustable. It might have helped to have been shown how it worked the first day. I was comfortable as far as temperature, but you may want to add a light blanket as an option for the bed.
The food was amazing and one of the things I miss the most! Fresh fruit, that I swear is better and sweeter than anything I have had in the US was my favorite, then there was fresh produce, meat and fish. And custom meals, whatever I wanted. I loved the coffee as well! And the attention to detail of my likes and dislikes was really impressive. Making sure there weren’t onions in my food when you noticed I took them out for example, noting and giving me portion sizes that I could finish.
My overall experience was unforgettable, and amazing. People have been asking about it since I got back, since I seem so renewed and refreshed – which is exactly how I feel, and they can tell how much I enjoyed it by me talking about everything I experienced. I am eternally grateful to all of you at Vikara lifestyle. J
Paul and Faith United States
BookYoga Retreats website
We just made our first trip to Ecuador and it was our very good fortune to spend our first week with Roey at La Casa Rosa in Olon. The best way to describe our experience would be to compare it to visiting a good friend who really wants to make sure that you are having a great experience doing the things that you want to be doing. Roey tailored this personal retreat to accommodate our interests and moods on a day to day basis. We felt welcomed and at home. The food was excellent. The room had a comfortable bed and was relatively spacious. The room also felt very private even though it was tucked away behind Roey's cafe. It turned out to be a delightful advantage to be staying next to his cafe because we were invited to be part of the friendly community of ex-pats and visitors who frequent his cafe. This really enhanced our enjoyment of our visit.
We found Roey to be attentive, considerate and authentic in his communication with us and he listened thoughtfully to our concerns and suggestions. If you are looking for daily housekeeping service to make your bed for you and a staff with a "professional" and impersonal manner then this may not be the place for you. But if your interest is in making genuine connections, learning new things and honestly sharing who you are, then it can all happen for you in this quiet beach town at La Casa Rosa.
The idea of reducing our experience down to a numerical value seems kind of strange but we'll give it a 9 out of 10.
Sending a big hug to you Roey,
Thomas United States
Vikara Lifestyle website
I found Vikara Lifestyle online and it catched my interest immediately. I went to Olon for vacation and met Roey and Claudio, two amazing guys, who offer this program. I stayed with them two weeks and had a very relaxed time. Both were welcoming, open minded and very good chefs. In the middle of the Ecuadorian village Olon they have created an green oasis of relaxation, healthy food and chilly vibes.They cooked delicious, mainly vegetarian meals every day than can't hardly be found in any other places. I enjoyed it a lot and loved that place. They started growing there own organic herbs. Beside cooking they did yoga and went surfing every day. I had a yoga session with a local yoga teacher and Roey. The session was excellent. He slowly described every pose which was perfect for me as a beginner and created a warm atmosphere. I went on bicycle tours with Claudio and Roey a couple of times and they showed me interesting places around Olon.Olon is located close to Montaita, a surfer and party town, that is very touristy and loud especially on weekends. To stay in Olon is perfect as it is a friendly, quiet place, good for surfing, Yoga and relaxing. At the end of the stay you might ask yourself if you like to change your own life style. Even if you don't do it right now it is a door opener and time will show how live is gonna change. Overall a had an awesome experience and haven't missed anything of my usual life.Thanks Roey and Claudio, hope to see you again! Good luck for your vision!
Omri Daniel Goren Israel
Vikara Lifestyle website
My name is Omri Daniel Goren. I am originally from Israel, but I have been living in Costa Rica for about eight years now. I came to Ecuador to see an old friend that told me a lot of good things about a place called Olon where he has been living for long time now and I had to come take a look at it for myself.Vikara Lifestyle was not operating yet as a program but Claudio and Roey already had their vision in mind and I was the first one who experienced this change of lifestyle through living with them. I remember the first day I made it to Olon. I went to the beach and played soccer with the local people and I already felt a good vibes from the place.The daily routine was pretty awesome. We would all go swim in the ocean at 6 a.m. every day with our surfboards. After a good three to four hour session, it would be yoga time then breakfast with a big variety of fresh fruits and oatmeal, which is what they call a power breakfast. We then would go to the beach and play beach tennis for another few hours until lunch. All meals were served at the Casa Rosa. In the afternoon, it was time for the second session of surfing for the day. After watching the amazing sunsets, we would go and make sure everything is ready for the opening of the restaurant. I have to mention that I was the waiter in La Casa Rosa as an exchange for staying and eating. It was really a great experience. I have never worked with so many incredible people before in my life and the vibes of the restaurant were really positive.I come from an Argentinian family and I never thought I would survive without eating meat for a week but I ended up not having a problem with it at all. I barely used to eat vegetables, but after my trip at the Casa Rosa, I am now eating much healthier on a regular basis. I came back from Ecuador more fit than ever and my surfing level greatly improved. To summarize the experience I had in Ecuador, Id say that it was a life-changing event for sure!
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