When we first set up a surf & yoga stay in Kerala, India in 2010, we were terrified of being stuck with a load of meat-heads talking macho surf s%*t all day long, so we tried to put them off by making our website pink and putting soulful stuff at the forefront of what we do. We stand by that today. It’s no accident that we’re called SOUL & Surf. For us it’s more than just being Soul Surfers, it’s the balancing of all things soulful with surfing that defines our attitude. We’re open year round in Varkala, Kerala.
So the yoga, the meditation, the therapy, the music, the food and the people we employ to bring the soul attracts a great bunch of people to come and stay here and gives us all a really well-rounded experience, gently nudging at a few boundaries and hopefully creating a slightly more contented you.
Know too that we set up Soul & Surf with the intention to do something positive, however small. So alongside our aim of giving our guests a dose of health, inspiration and good times, we are committed to giving something back in three different ways – on our doorstep with our surf club for village kids, locally with our support for the charity SISP in Kerala, and globally with our sustainability commitments.
Come and practise yoga, meditate, eat sunshine food, recharge, surf the warm water waves – or just hang out with a load of like-minded inspirational folk from around the world watching the sun set over the Arabian Sea from our beautiful cliff-top. Oh, and you can enjoy getting to know the whole heap of life-affirmingly brilliant people on our team making it happen too.
We surf beautiful beaches, points and jetties in and around Varkala each morning (there’s a surf guide if you’re into that kind of thing…). We put ourselves back together with meditation classes, massage and sunset yoga each evening in our rooftop shala. We have the odd bonfire, some workshops, barbecues-a-plenty and we watch inspiring movies under the stars whilst devouring stone-baked pizza, fresh from our pizza oven. But it’s really the people – both our guests and the families that make up the Soul & Surf team – that make it special. Join us for some soul, surf, yoga and Indian good times.
Come alone, come with friends, bring the family or make it a romantic getaway as a couple. We invite guests from India and the rest of the world to come and re-set, re-energise and work on your serotonin levels.
We’re not a serious, pious yoga & meditation retreat, a macho, strict-regimened activity holiday, or a grotty bunk-bed surf camp. Join us and sample the slow-paced, palm fringed, Keralan coastal life. Do as little or as much as you want to, no pressure – some surf and spend the rest of the day hanging out, having coffees, chats and putting the world to rights; some surf as much as they possibly can; some just come for the yoga, meditation or massage; some are happiest doing nothing – hanging out, eating cake, drinking coolers, sunbathing and enjoying the welcoming community Soul & Surf vibe.
A TYPICAL DAY
Wake up as the sun rises. Stretch your weary limbs, drink coffee, eat a little fruit.
Leave for your surf lesson or surf guide or have a morning yoga class if you prefer
Eat a late, long, delicious, healthy breakfast in the gardens and put the world to rights
Time for you to go out and catch another surf, eat an amazing Thali in a local restaurant, walk down to Varkala’s buzzing beach, visit our own secluded beach, have a massage or an Ayurvedic treatment in our local spa or just hang out in our luscious gardens dozing, grazing from the cafe, listening to music.
Sunset yoga and pranyama sessions
Lounge and eat from our cafe in our spacious gardens (maybe from our wood-fired pizza oven or one of our infamous barbecue nights) and watch the moon shimmer on the Arabian Sea. Listen to the roar of the ocean and be amazed by the incredible number of stars there are in the sky… Is that an upside-down plough? Or go to Varkala cliff for a seafood extravaganza, or into town for an amazing Masala Dosa or…
We’re knackered and want to go to bed but there are a couple of bars on Varkala Cliff open until 1am if you’ve still got the energy…. Zzzzzz
Note: Everything’s flexible. If the surf’s pumping and the wind stays away you can surf some more. If you’d rather do nothing and sunbathe all day that’s entirely up to you, whatever makes you happy.
Instead of all-inclusive packages we take a ‘pick & mix’ approach. This means we’ll simply charge you a flat rate for bed & board (on a per person per night basis) and you add the rest. Check out what’s included, what’s available and prices.
Don’t know your dates yet? Cautious about when you can travel? But want something to look forward to? Get some Soul & Surf credit for future trips for yourself or your loved ones.
The c-word. It has changed the whole world, and forced many of us to re-think habits and routines we wouldn’t think twice about. We have always taken cleanliness and hygiene seriously at our hotels, but in light of Covid-19, we have created our own internal protocol that meets both Indian and international guidelines. Read our Covid-19 page for more info.
Soul & Surf Kerala is housed in an incredible, secluded, cliff-top spot. We have lush gardens with amazing Arabian Sea views, our own steps down to the best and quietest beach in the area, some great hang-out spots and a beautiful, central, heritage Kerala building. We think it’s the best location in the area.
Accommodation is mainly in a modern block at the back of the grounds and is simple and clean with touches of style and our Soul & Surf eye for detail. We also have a few rooms in our 150-year-old traditional Kerala-style building which, whilst smaller, has some real character, a private verandah and your own patch of garden looking out over the ocean.
We provide mod-cons like Wi-Fi, bath towels, fresh linen – all in a hotel decorated with style, care and an attention to detail way beyond the usual ‘surf camp’ or local hotel basics. But we should point out we are not a full-blown ‘X’ star style hotel with 24hr reception, room service etc. If your surfing/yogi friends had a massive, local house in the tropics and invited you to come and stay, it would be a bit like this… we hope.
Check out what’s included, what’s available and prices and click the Read More below for more info about our location.
We’re in India, the most spiritually vibrant place on earth with everything from meditation, ayurvedic treatments to ashrams and temples of all denominations on our doorstep. More specifically we’re in Kerala, the palm-forested south-western state of India. This picturesque tropical coastline is mostly undeveloped and rises eastwards into the equally wild and beautiful Western Ghats mountain range.
India isn’t for the faint-hearted, the towns can be noisy, busy and dirty. Yet equally they are vibrant, exciting, full of life and the people are warm and welcoming. Southern India’s pace is much gentler than Northern India and outside of the towns in the backwater riverways, the empty beaches and the tiny fishing communities of Kerala the way of life is elegantly quiet.
We are walking distance to the tourist focused Varkala Cliff to enjoy westernised amenities and we surf the beaches up and down the cost from here, yet we’re far enough away from most of the hotels to feel like we’re really in India… Oh, and we’re only an hour away from Trivandrum International airport on a good run.
Interested in knowing more about the area? Download our Varkala guide >
We very much welcome families coming to stay with us and do what we can to make it affordable and workable with the kids by adding beds to your room if we can. Contact us before you book to enquire.
We’re not allowed to recommend or offer baby-sitting or childcare as a service because our UK insurers advise us not to as the local lady we know isn’t qualified, registered or insured. But we can introduce you to some local mums that have looked after Ed & Sofie’s baby and our friends’ kids and if you feel comfortable you can arrange child-care with them directly whilst you surf or practice yoga at very reasonable rates.
We love the kids to join in with whatever we can reasonably allow them to do. Surfing is an inherently dangerous activity so we have to have some limitations, check them out on our surf lessons page. Talk to the yoga teacher when you arrive if you’d like your kids to try yoga. It has to be at the yoga teacher’s discretion and not to the detriment of our other yogis’ experience.Read Less