The simple life: inside a Costa Rican surf hotel

Featuring the House of Somos

The Slovakian founder of Costa Rican surf hotel House of Somos explains how he achieved a laid-back existence.

After selling his Tokyo-based design consultancy, Brano Polak ended up in Costa Rica, in the surfers’ haven of Santa Teresa, where he launched his first hospitality project, House of Somos.

The ethos is simple – surf and ride motorcycles all day; hang out with fellow travellers at night. For the project, he teamed up with friends Fabio Pacheco, Forrest Minchinton and Kris Czartoryski, a group of travellers, surfers and dirt-bikers who shared his vision.

At House of Somos, rooms range from $20 to $300 per night. ‘No matter the room you can afford, House of Somos is the place where people align on shared paths,’ Brano says.

Guests can meet other travellers by the pool and eat locally grown, organic dishes made in a custom Airstream kitchen, or rent a dirt bike to cruise the coastlines of the Nicoya peninsula before camping in the jungle. It is, essentially, the sort of life that Brano always wanted.

In 2019, the team also launched a non-profit programme to invest in Santa Teresa’s local infrastructure, education and food safety.