The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing—the world’s largest surf competition—is taking place this week in Huntington Beach, California. Watch a few clips of wave riding pros and you’ll get the surf itch. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned waterman, surfing is one of the best excuses to by a plane ticket and go off in search of beautiful beaches and empty waves. Here are 5 hotels that will help you live out your Kelly Slater fantasies.
Photo of Playa Guiones by Jen Murphy
The Harmony Hotel, Nosara, Costa Rica
The break: Playa Guiones
Who’s it for: Beginners can play in the white wash; seasoned toes-on-nose longboarders can show off on the outer breaks.
The Surf Draw: The Harmony is just a two-minute walk down a jungle path to Guiones Beach, which offers consistent year-round waves.
The Perks: The hotel’s juice bar concocts the ideal post-surf recovery drink. A healing center and open-air yoga pavilion offer relief for sore muscles after a day of paddling.
Photo courtesy of Nomads Hotel
Nomads Hotel, San Clemente, California
The breaks: Trestles, Lowers, Uppers, T-Street, San Onofre, Cottons
Who’s it for: Globetrotting surfers looking to meet and mingle with locals and surf the legendary break Trestles.
The Surf Draw: Each of the seven rooms is themed after a different international surf locale and adorned with photos from part owner and former ASP tour photographer, Sean Rowland. Surf packages include dawn patrol breakfast, two guided surf sessions per day, and free board and wet suit rentals.
The Perks: The upstairs Canteen restaurant has 33 beers on drafts, insanely delicious poke bowls, and a big screen showing the latest surf flicks.
Photo courtesy of Surfers Lodge Peniche
Surfers Lodge Peniche, Peniche, Portugal
The breaks: Gentle beach breaks for beginners; the famed Supertubos for the ambitious
Who’s it for: Wannabe and experienced surfers with an eye for style and an appreciation for good food.
The Surf Draw: Former Swedish national surf champ John Malmqvist is the brainchild behind this hip surf lodge. Malmqvist will personally tailor surf safaris to breaks from Ericeira all the way to Nazaré (the spot where Garret McNamara rode the world’s biggest wave). The hotel’s Surf Academy limits lessons to six people. All lessons are filmed on a GoPro and analyzed post-surf to improve your skills.
The Perks: Malmqvist has melded surfer and Scandi style at this surf lodge. Hangout areas include a living room with a fireplace and a terrace with a Jacuzzi. The food is local and organic. Wellness offerings range from massages and yoga classes to full on surf-specific circuit training.
Nihiwatu, Sumba Island, Indonesia
The break: Occy’s Left (aka God’s Left) is directly in front of the resort.
Who’s it for: Diehard surfers chasing endless summer and an empty surf break.
The Surf Draw: Occy’s Left is reserved for just ten surfers each day to assure a crowd-free surf session. Lessons are available for all levels, though experienced surfers can work to improve snaps and barrel riding with experienced instructors.
The Perks: If the waves aren’t breaking there are plenty of other adventures, from waterfall hikes to market tours. Guests can visit local communities and observe or participate in work the hotel’s Sumba Foundation carries out in local communities.
Photo courtesy of Markus Gortz
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Maldives
The break: Kuda Hurra Lagoon for newbies; six uncrowded breaks within a stone’s throw for seasoned riders; secret spots in the outer atolls
Who’s it for: Surfers with a taste for luxury and a preference for exotic locales and warm waters; Those who love the thrill of surfing reef breaks and hunting for waves by boat.
The Surf Draw: The Four Seasons offers a 10-step learn to surf clinic created by Tropicsurf. A seaplane safari allows you to scout hidden breaks on the outer atolls. For the ultimate splurge, the Four Seasons Explorer takes guests on a seven-day live-aboard surf adventure to rarely surfed waves.
The Perks: The Four Seasons makes dreams come true. From cooking classes to Robinson Crusoe-inspired seaplane adventures, they’ve thought of it all.
Want more? For more surf inspiration see our list of ultimate surf adventures.