In the millennia since the first ancient Polynesians stood up on driftwood while riding a wave, surfing has become a global phenomenon, endowing the world with such cultural gifts as the bikini, the Beach Boys, and the word “tubular.” These days, the sport is bigger than ever, and guests increasingly visit our hotels in search of surf. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a rundown of eight fantastic Design Hotels member properties located at some of the world’s best surf spots.
Hotel Escondido, Mexico
Here in the tiny coastal town of Puerto Escondido, a top-ten surfing destination, the duo behind Grupo Habita have transformed a pristine stretch of Oaxacan coastline into a private paradise for beach bums and thrill seekers alike. The hotel organizes surf lessons at the nearby Zicatela Beach, a year-round mecca for serious surfers that sees some of the biggest waves in the world.
Neighboring a nature reserve, Kenoa – Exclusive Beach Spa & Resort takes pride in being located on the phenomenal, sunny beach of Barra de São Miguel, great for experienced and beginner surfers. Kenoa itself offers surf lessons, and each of its 23 beachfront villas and suites is in harmony with the hotel’s stunning ecological surroundings without compromising the highest level of comfort and sophistication.
Memmo Baleeira, Portugal
The west coast of Portugal’s Algarve region has gained a reputation as one of Europe’s best surfing destinations, with Sagres as its big-wave capital. Amid this wild and pure landscape lies the Memmo Baleeira, the brainchild of Portuguese hotelier and surfer Rodrigo Machaz. As well as being in a prime surf location, the remarkable, minimalist hotel has its own surf school, offering lessons and equipment rental.
The Surin Phuket, Thailand
Amidst coconut palms and gently rolling slopes, The Surin Phuket elegantly punctuates the tropical landscape along the white sand beach at Pansea Bay. The Surin is set in a truly remarkable location, offering the ultimate in Southeast Asian seaside serenity. Bang Tao Beach, Kalim Beach, Kamala Beach and the surfing paradise of Kata Beach are all within easy reach.
The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel, Indonesia
A refined blend of modern and traditional Balinese design, The Elysian offers a secluded private retreat in the heart of Seminyak. Kuta Beach, with its big, powerful waves, is also a short drive away, offering endless surfing opportunities.
Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar, Germany
Munich’s 16-room The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar gets its name from the glorious fields surrounding both it and the scenic Isar river. And thanks to a raging section of the Isar’s sidearm, the Eisbach, Munich is also home to some of the most adventurous surfing you’ll ever see. Surfers have been flocking here since the 1970s, but riding the wave was illegal until 2010. Today, a sign next to the river warns that “Due to the forceful current, the wave is suitable for skilled and experienced surfers only.”
The Old Clare Hotel, Australia
Housed in a former brewery in Sydney’s upcoming neighborhood of Chippendale, The Old Clare has become a stylish neighborhood cultural hub. Even better, nearby Bondi Beach and Shark Island, with its dangerous reef break, are perfect for beginner and expert surfers, respectively.