Mention surfing and the words typically associated with it are hostel, hippie and budget. Recently though, its lexicon has expanded with the addition of the word “luxury”.
Just as upscale ski resorts have the option of ski-in/ski-out, a collection of luxury resorts have opened along beaches in the Asia Pacific, fringed by crashing waves so you can “surf-in and surf-out” all day long.
In the evening, when the sun sets, retreat into your spacious, designer seafront villa furnished with high-thread-count bedsheets and spacious bathrooms, complete with a tub to soak off all the aches and pains.
“Luxury surfing developed in response to the demand from surfers who have become older, more affluent and want to enjoy the sport again at a level of luxury.”
Jennifer Edwards, the Luxury Travel Manager at Tropicsurf
A stone’s throw away are an array of dining options that will satisfy any foodie. Activities such as wellness classes, spa treatments, other water sports and nature-related walks are perfect for those moments in between surfing.
There are also boats that you can charter for surfaris, equipped with a plethora of high-end facilities and amenities.
“Luxury surfing developed in response to the demand from surfers who have become older, more affluent and want to enjoy the sport again at a level of luxury that they and their family would also enjoy,” says Jennifer Edwards, the Luxury Travel Manager of luxury surfing travel operator Tropicsurf.
Here, we present a range of accommodation that tick all the boxes for that ultimate luxury surfing (and more) holiday.
Opening in 2018 at a secluded bay on Fiji’s Malolo Island, this resort has sustainability at its core. With solar as the sole energy source, as well as tree and coral reforestation, you can stay and surf with minimal carbon footprint. The star attraction is Cloudbreak, located 15 minutes away by boat, and consistently rated one of the most challenging waves in the world. For the less adventurous, there are year-round waves accessible from the beach, suitable for beginners.
Bali attracts many surfers; a 50-minute flight away is its lesser known cousin, Sumba Island, where you will find the stunning 33-villa Nihi Sumba Island. Situated on the west coast, the resort is exposed to the swell created by the storms lashing the Southern Oceans. These run thousands of kilometres across the Indian Ocean to meet the reefs and shoreline of the island, making it a surfer’s paradise.
Central to Nihi’s story is Occy’s Left, a rare left-hand barrel wave – one of the top in the world – that can rise more than 15ft high. The resort has also identified six other surfari spots that cater to different skill levels, including Kerrawei that is suitable for kids and beginners.
Live aboard the elegant and comfortable Silolona, a replica of a traditional schooner with only five exclusive cabins. The boat will take you to secret surf spots in Eastern Indonesia known only to a few. According to the Tropicsurf website, “…you’ll discover a range of quality breaks in a region where local villagers rarely see surfers… This trip is all amongst unchartered surf territories”. Enough said.
Remote and uncrowded, the experience is unparalleled, mirroring the spirit of the surfer lifestyle of freedom at its most uninhibited.
The ultra-luxurious Four Seasons Explorer is a three-deck catamaran that offers seven- and 10-night surfari cruises from July to August. While navigating the Indian Ocean’s string of pearls that is the Maldives, the boat can sail to the rarely-visited surf breaks in the Outer Atolls. Remote and uncrowded, the experience is unparalleled, mirroring the spirit of the surfer lifestyle of freedom at its most uninhibited. For those who prefer to stay on board, there are a whole range of other activities to indulge in, including kayaking, water skiing and stand up paddle boarding.
Further afield is this resort in Sri Lanka – a destination not typically associated with surfing. The property is built into a 42-acre coconut plantation and fringed with golden sands lapped at by the Indian Ocean, comprising some 152 villas and rooms designed with ancient Sri Lankan influences. Its surf centre is permanently staffed by an expert who can offer lessons and point you in the right direction of the nearest wave. Easy to find beaches nearby have a right pointbreak, a rippable left pointbreak, hollow and peaky beachbreaks. The biggest swells can be experienced between April and October, while the remainder of the year, the seas are calmer but still ideal for water sport.