Wednesday, 21 August 2013 9:34 AM
A new hotel dedicated to surfing and yoga is to open in the little-known resort of Varkala in Kerala, India.
Soul & Surf, the region’s first surf and yoga hotel and India’s second, was the brainchild of British couple Ed Templeton and Sofie Radecki.
Several years ago they decided to abandon successful careers and set off on a round the world adventure. They soon found themselves ‘stuck’ in Varkala, immersing themselves in the Southern Indian way of life, introducing the local community to their passion of surfing, a sport completely new to the area despite the near perfect conditions of the wave rich Keralan coast.
After setting up and running a lower key operation for the last few years, 2013 sees Soul & Surf expand to its cliff top home overlooking Golden Beach to offer 15 rooms, the new Soul Food Café, as well as a surfing school with ISA qualified instructors (India’s first and only), a daily yoga programme, as well as a whole host of other activities for guests looking for a laid back holiday.
The hotel itself is located in a heritage Keralan house with most accommodation located in the grounds within a more contemporary building with simple and tasteful rooms spread across three levels. These range from the basic en-suite rooms for the more budget conscious, good sized rooms with balconies with optional AC to larger, more stylish rooms with AC.
The hotel has a relaxed ethos where guests take part in as many or as little activities as they choose, with the option of guided morning surf safaris or group lessons for those who are still learning, before spending the rest of the day on the beach with a sunset yoga lesson, or retreating to enjoy the sociable Soul & Surf vibe or a good book in a hammock.
The Soul Food Café opens from lunch through to dinner serving local Keralan dishes with a twist, drawing influences from around Asia to North Africa. There are also many excellent local restaurants and bars within walking distance of the hotel.
Soul & Surf prices are available from £185 per week per person and include accommodation, breakfast, daily surf guiding, mineral water and use of yoga mats. Daily yoga and surf lessons are available from £130 per person per week or can be booked on a daily basis. The hotel is one hour drive from Trivandrum airport and transfers are available from £15. Another option is to fly to Cochin International airport which is about four hours to the hotel.
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