When it comes to traveling these days, more and more people are seeking out ways to stay like a local—but that craving is now going far beyond accommodations. In fact, many adventure seekers are looking for experiences that will immerse them into the local culture. Well, for those looking to temporarily join a tight-knit surf community, Surfhouse in Encinitas, California, is a dream come true.
Driving up California’s historic Highway 101 offers picturesque views of the surreal coastline and sun-soaked beach towns, especially while passing through San Diego and its various communities. After entering Leucadia in Encinitas, you’re welcomed with a large colorful wall mural that sits adjacent to a small boutique hotel that beckons modern design lovers and surfers alike.
Made up of eight rooms that are each named after local surf breaks, Surfhouse is a new modern hotel that fits in perfectly with the area’s laid-back and welcoming atmosphere—and offers all-inclusive, week-long surf camp trips for those who really want to get a taste of the real thing.
It was founded by Nikki and Sander Harth, two brothers who grew up in Encinitas who wanted to figure out a way to welcome visitors into the local surf community. After setting their eyes on an old eight-room motel-turned-convalescent home that was built in 1972 that had been run down over the years, they set out on a journey to renovate the space with the help of their family, friends, and Jan Solomon of Solomon Interior Design.
The renovation included taking the interior down to the studs and completely rebuilding the inside. Besides updating the exterior with a plan envisioned by Solomon, they added upper and lower decks for guests to use as outdoor hangout zones. The interior renovation and design was inspired by the brothers’ Scandinavian roots and came together through a group effort that involved their family and friends—including Jan Solomon, Elisabet Harth, Amy Chinn (Nikki's girlfriend), Karolina Harth (Sander's wife), and Annika Walden (their friend and Business Development Manager).
Specifically, selecting and curating the decor was a family affair and incorporates iconic elements of the Encinitas beach culture. The brothers explain, "We tried to keep everything local including the artwork and photography. Even the rooms are named after our favorite local surf breaks."
The rooms, which start at $145 per night, can conveniently be booked through Airbnb. But if you’re looking for the full experience, take a look at what the Surf Camp Package will get you:
-What it costs: $1,145 per person
-Where you’ll stay: Room that fits four people in a pair of bunk beds
-What you’ll get: Seven nights, seven breakfasts, five dinners out to local hotspots, five surf lessons, provided equipment (boards and wetsuits—which you won’t need in the summer), transportation to surf spots, two sunset yoga classes
You can also get a similar experience in a double room (accommodates two people) for $1,545 per person.