Luxury Surf EscapesFancy ramping-up the luxury on your next surf trip? Check out i-escape’s luxury surf hideaways. View i-escape’s full Surf Collection at: www.i-escape.com/surf
If you haven’t heard of i-escape, you’ve been missing out on its handpicked collection of unforgettable places to stay across more than 50 destinations.
With a team of passionate travellers at the helm, i-escape will help you find and book boutique hotels, stylish guesthouses, eco-retreats, safari lodges, stunning beach huts and chic villa rentals – all in some of the world’s most stunning and fascinating locations. Every property has been personally visited by one of the team, and their reviews tell it like it is – the highs, the lows, and everything in between. You’ll pay the same, or sometimes less, as going direct to the accommodation owners, and you might even be treated to extra perks when you arrive.
Here are 10 i-escape retreats in some of the world’s finest surf locations.
To find out more, see www.i-escape.com
The Harmony Hotel
Nosara Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
This tropical paradise eco-hotel is a stone’s throw from Playa Guicones – one of the most stunning surf beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula. The wood and wicker furniture, palm trees, freshwater pool and open-plan layout give the hotel the feel of a 1950’s Hawaiian resort. You won’t find plasma TVs or high-tech gadgets, instead luxury comes in the form of a healing centre, organic food and sunrise yoga on the beach. The rooms’ private patios, hammocks and outdoor showers make the most of the tropical garden setting; look out for howler monkeys, hummingbirds and iguanas, and keep the windows open to let the sound of the waves lull you to sleep.
Camps Bay Cape Town, South Africa
With the majestic backdrop of the Twelve Apostles, Camps Bay is one of Cape Town’s highlights. The palm-fringed beach is known for dramatic sunsets – and for some of the city’s hippest bars and restaurants. A short walk from all the action, these apartments are sleek and modern with private terraces and plunge pools – but the real stars of the show are the breath-taking ocean views. Stay here and you can take advantage of South Africa’s world-class surfing then return to your apartment for a soak in a sea-view tub and a well-deserved beer. Each sleeps 2-6; self catering.
Bali Luxury Private Villa
Seseh Canggu, Indonesia
This blissful villa-for-12 has it all – chic, tropical décor, garden bathrooms, an infinity pool and an unbeatable location. Set in exotic gardens, it is hidden away at the edge of an unspoilt fishing village, with views of swaying rice and palm-fringed surf. Happily, it is just 40 minutes from Denpasar airport. The atmosphere is exclusive, private, laid-back and utterly luxurious. A team of delightful staff intuitively second guess your every need; the only decision you need concern yourself with is whether you can fit in a massage before sunset cocktails and canapés.
Taru Villas – 906
Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka
This mellow bungalow, hugging Hikkaduwa’s golden shores, is blissfully unpretentious. Check the surf every morning from the veranda and enjoy a pre-breakfast swim in your pool. Hikkaduwa’s buzzy surf scene is a short walk away, with some of the best surf breaks in southwest Sri Lanka – though the incredible home-cooked food and the nothing-is-too-much-attitude of the staff make it hard to leave the tranquillity of the villa. Hikkaduwa is also a popular diving location; highlights include the Hikkaduwa Gala caves, rocky-bottomed Kiragala and some fascinating wrecks. Sleeps 2-6.
Villas de Trancoso
Trancoso Bahia, Brazil
Just a couple of hundred yards from the beach in the surf-haven of Bahia, you’ll find this stylish collection of villas and suites. After you’ve sampled the plethora of beach and reef breaks, unwind in your private villa, laze around the pool, or head to the main cabana for a refreshing cocktail. The elegant villas are made from Brazilian wood and palm thatch, and are decked with fine white linen, romantically-draped mosquito nets and colourful rugs – conjuring up a proper luxury beach vibe. Salvador da Bahia has a sandy coastline that covers hundreds of kilometres – perfect for finding surf spots for all levels.
Pacific Coast Mexico
This romantic jungle retreat with a private beach and laid-back vibe is just 10 minutes’ from the surfy town of Sayulita; yet the hidden jungle setting and the sound of waves and birdsong will make you feel miles away from civilisation. Days pass blissfully; there are 29 colourful rooms and casitas but you’d never know it thanks to the acres of space, and the giant fern and palm tree camouflage of the beautiful shoreline. If you have your fill of surfing, go humpback whale watching or simply swing in a hammock, sipping margaritas and watching pelicans out at sea.
South Sands Boutique Hotel
Salcombe Devon, United Kingdom
There aren’t many stylish UK hotels that are literally right on the beach. Here, there’s nothing between you and golden sands – and once here, there’s no need for a car. This is a watersports paradise, with surfing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, boating and waterskiing on your doorstep. And once you’ve worked up an appetite, the light and airy restaurant, serving delicious, fresh seafood, has wonderful views across the Salcombe estuary.
The hotel’s beautifully styled, peaceful rooms flaunt New England décor, seascape colours and plantation shutters. Families will love the self-catering Beach Suite apartments and the sailing school next door.
Yallingup Margaret River, Australia
Windmills Break hotel is named after the stunning local surf beach. The Margaret River estuary is one of Australia’s best surfing regions and its annual Classic Surfing Championships are held in November. The hotel has 10 acres of gorgeous gardens, and an infinity pool with loungers and a hot tub. The rooms are dressed in warm chocolates, creams and beiges, with striking landscape photographs on the walls. Yallingup, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay beaches are all close by, as are the vineyards and wineries of the Margaret River region.
Hossegor Gascony, France
The Landes region of southwest France boasts some of Europe’s largest pine and cork forests, highest sand dunes and world-class surf breaks. This boutique B&B is a real hidden-gem with just four gorgeous bedrooms and cool designer touches, from vintage surfboards to Le Corbusier chaise longues. Decor is beachside-industrial chic: sun-bleached kilims on polished cement floors, brilliant Plümacher prints on white walls. Come in early October when the town of Hossegor hosts the Quiksilver Pro France competition. Respite from the Atlantic breakers comes in the form of strolls through the pine forests or loungers by the hotel’s heated pool.
This quirky, cosy riad is hidden deep within Essaouira’s medina – right at the hub of things, yet only two minutes’ from the beach. Its three apartment suites are arranged around a central colonnaded courtyard, and are amazing value. All have kitchens, sitting areas and exquisitely comfortable king-size beds – but if you’re feeling lazy, there are plenty of restaurants in the vicinity. Essaouira is a surfers’ paradise in winter and perfect for kite surfing in summer. When you’re not in the ocean, you can go camel riding, quad biking or pony trekking along the coast to the sand dunes at Sidi Kaouki. Or follow the coastal highway south towards Agadir to see goats climbing trees in the Argan forest.