Contributing Gear Editor

Summer is the perfect time to set out on a surf safari. The United States has some amazing surf on offer, with top picks in California and Hawaii. If you’re planning a summertime trip, you’ll want somewhere to lay your head between sessions. These seven hotels are located just a stone’s throw from some of the best surf break in the world and offer barefoot luxury accomodations. Time to get packing.

Surf hotels in Malibu

Photo: Courtesy of the Malibu Surfrider

The Surfrider

Malibu, CA

Surf Break: First Point Malibu

Located on the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, The Surfrider is a 20-room California beach house located directly across the street from iconic Surfrider Beach in Malibu, California – home to the world famous First Point Malibu. The Surfline camera even lives on the roof of the property, unofficially designating it with the most epic (and only) birds eye view of the iconic spot. The former 1953 motel was converted into a boutique hotel that captures the essence of California’s beach life, featuring effortlessly chic interiors and a laid back yet luxurious spirit that uniquely celebrates Malibu. Guests can enjoy the Roof Deck Bar & Restaurant with sweeping views and a menu of post-surf smoothies and sips, an outdoor shower, surfboard storage, complimentary surfboards and stand up paddle boards for rent, wetsuits, beach baskets, chairs, umbrellas and more to make for the most ideal surf day. Beginners can even book a lesson with local legend and friend of The Surfrider, Malibu Pete, as he makes way for you in the lineup.

Surf hotels in Laguna Beach

Photo: Courtesy of Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Dana Point, CA

Surf Break: Doheny State Beach

Perched high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa is a picturesque Victorian-style resort on  the California coastline and Dana Point Harbor. The iconic red-roofed coastal retreat is just walking distance from Doheny State Beach – the iconic break called out in The Beach Boys’ hit song ‘Surfin’ USA.’ Surf-obsessed guests can bring their boards along and take a quick walk down to the beach, rent surfboards from the hotel or allow the concierge to sign you up for a lesson with a nearby surf school. The Doheny Surf & Art Festival is even happening from June 24 – 25 – celebrating the historic surf culture and coastal beauty of the iconic beach, making it the perfect time to visit for a surf-inspired stay.

Surf hotels in Encinitas

Photo: Courtesy of Alilia Marea Beach Resort

Alila Marea Beach Resort

Encinitas, CA

Surf Break: Ponto Beach

Perched atop a picturesque ocean bluff overlooking Ponto Beach in the quintessential SoCal surf town of Encinitas, Alila Marea Beach Resort is a world-class destination delivering authentic and bespoke experiences that connect guests to the local landscape and culture. Defining barefoot luxury, the property has become a haven for surf lovers complete with an array of thoughtfully curated surf programming and amenities including a quiver of complimentary surfboards, an in-depth introduction to the Encinitas surf scene and lessons through a partnership with Fulcrum Surf, an artist-in-residence program with internationally acclaimed photographer Aaron Chang (one of the first photographers to join surfers in the ocean), and a resident Surfboard Butler who is equipped to provide guests with up-to-date knowledge on all things surf such as current swell conditions, tide times, board recommendations for the surf forecast, where the best waves are coming each day and a full arsenal of waxes and sunscreen.

Surf hotels in Waikiki

Photo: Prince Waikiki

Prince Waikiki

Honolulu, HI

Surf Break: Ala Moana Bowls, Rockpiles, Threes

Located at the gateway to Waikiki sits Prince Waikiki — an upscale, ocean view resort that brings the allure of idyllic island bliss in a uniquely urban atmosphere.  Boasting 563 all ocean view guestrooms/suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, award winning dining including 100 Sails Restaurant and Bar, an adult infinity pool and more, Prince Waikiki is a no-brainer when it comes to the place for surf lovers to stay when visiting Oahu, especially given its location right near the world-famous Waikiki breaks.

Surf hotels in New York

Photo: The Reform Club

The Reform Club

Amagansett, New York

Surf Break: Ditch Plains

Set upon five idyllic acres, Amagansett’s Reform Club feels like a well-manicured family estate rather than a hotel: boasting seven suites and three cottages that dot the grounds and for larger groups, a private four-bedroom home, called 21 House. All guestrooms are white and airy yet welcoming year-round, while spread-out privacy does not come at the expense of location: Reform Club is mere minutes from Amagansett town. Guests can expect a stellar art collection adorning the walls, complimentary beach cruisers, in-room spa appointments, and a dedicated concierge offering insight and arrangements for the best restaurants, shops and things to do in the area – including surfing.

Surf hotels in Florida

Photo: Courtesy of the Ritz Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Amelia Island, Florida

Surf Break: American Beach

Property: Set among pristine white sand beaches and unspoilt beauty of the barrier islands, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is the crown jewel of Florida’s northeast coast and ideal for a secluded beach getaway. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy therapeutic ocean healing with access to over 13 miles of expansive, private beaches with accessible surfing at American Beach. With spacious accommodations, stand-out dining venues including the rated AAA Five-Diamond Salt Restaurant, and a 25,000 square foot spa with signature treatments such as the Heaven in a Hammock massage or fully customizable wellness retreat experiences, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is a dreamy beach escape to be enjoyed by the whole family. New to the resort, enjoy thrilling activities fit for all ages including small-group Ecology Field Trips led by the on-property naturalist to connect and educate curious guests on the local area and wildlife in neighboring State Parks and nature preserves.

Surf hotels in Santa Monica

Photo: Courtesy Oceana Santa Monica

Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Santa Monica, CA

Surf Spot: Santa Monica Pier

Where the best of California coastal living is brought to life – Steps from the Santa Monica Pier yet tucked into an exclusive enclave within the city’s most coveted neighborhood, Oceana Santa Monica provides a retreat for discerning travelers with the elevated comforts of a dream beach home. Oceana is an intimate 70-suite coastal oasis which connects to each guest with a curated lens into the Santa Monica design, wellness and lifestyle scene – offering bespoke surf lessons for the groms at heart. Surrounded by lush greenery and blooms from landscape architecture firm Perry Guillot of the Hamptons, Oceana’s extraordinary veranda offers a comforting yet stylish daytime lounge for sunbathing, and an elegant evening escape for al fresco dining.


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