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“Couldn't be better”
Review of Soul & Surf

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Soul & Surf
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Couldn't be better”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

If you like stunning scenery, comfortable rooms, perfect waves, yoga and most importantly an awesome bunch of people, you will love soul&surf. We couldn't have had a better time here, it's was everything we hoped for and then some. It was so good, a little bit of me doesn't want to tell anyone, but it wouldn't be fair to keep it a secret! We weren't the first to extend our stay, and we won't be the last....

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Bert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Undoubtedly one of the best holidays I've ever had. I had originally planned to stay for 5 days, but on the first day there, I couldn't but ask to extend my stay for the rest of my time in India. The location on a cliff top overlooking the vast Indian Ocean is pretty perfect.

The guests, from all over the world, and the staff were all very friendly and interesting. The rooms were simple and clean - a spot-on formula for complete relaxation.

I surfed a couple of days in the stretch of sea opposite the property, and did yoga every day on the roof top terrace. I couldn't recommend this place more highly.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Smugly2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We loved this cliff top garden based idyll...we didnt surf and came with out grown up kids who did and all of us felt welcomed and just feasted our eyes on the design and natural beauty. We would really recommend this place to people who want to relax and enjoy amazing sea and views and a calm beautiful space. The focus on the body with the yoga and the extra classes was fab and we left feeling glorious...Ed and Sophie have created a great place and they have a great team working for them - Rachel, Raffi, Josh and Sabrina, the guys in the cafe and the two Ollies...we miss you all!

Room Tip: go for the best room on the third floor facing the sea - great balcony!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank HardieKravitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Soul & Surf gave my girlfriend and I an unforgettable experience. Attention to detail, friendliness, cultured and caring - Ed & Sofie offer a unique and inspiring holiday. The yoga is top notch and the perfect antidote for aching surfers. Practicing yoga in amazing tropical garden with the sounds of birds and temples filtering through the trees is a magical experience in itself. When the surf turns on it can get really good, though don't expect it too big. Breakfast was always tasty and always satisfied even the biggest surfer's appetite. We spent a week at Soul & Surf then found a hotel nearby and rented a scooter. Wouldn't have felt comfortable doing this without our week with Ed & Sofie looking after us. A great base to venture into the back waters or a national park. I will be returning sometime soon without doubt!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank zasuma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Had a really awesome time at soul and surf. Spent 5 days there after extending a business trip and couldn't have been happier. Met lots of great people and felt really welcomed by both staff and other guests. Fantastic breakfasts every morning, good, simple and really clean rooms and some great little surf spots.

Hope to go back some day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Anthony_N81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Kerala is a beautiful location, out of the way in the south-west of the Indian continent and I chose this destination because it offered the kind of outdoor activity I wanted to pursue in an environment and among people I really wanted to join for a solo expedition away from work and twenty-first century issues in the UK. Everything promised by the website of Soul and Surf was fulfilled and I experienced such a thrill at finding this relaxed location.
Soul and Surf too had made me feel welcome before I even departed the UK, chatting online and making preparations for my arrival that gave me a sense of comfort and assurance on setting out on a cold, dark, night in November. Soul and Surf give care and attention to their visitors and while there is nothing lavish nor remotely resembling your average hotel operations, the welcome and comfort of the rooms and the relaxed atmosphere as travellers come and go is just right for getting away from it all. Here I befriended a global community of travellers of every kind, age and fitness on the beautiful shoreline of Varkala. The yoga and surf classes are geared to the ability of those who can as well as those who can’t but want to have a bash.
One surf spot is located right in the middle of a working community of local fisherman and one of the outstanding pleasures for me was connecting with the locals, always fascinated by the shenanigans of surfers and visitors on the lovely stretch of golden sand, red cliffs and warm, warm sea. Surf and muesli for breakfast if you want, or a hammock to rest your travelling bones. There are trips out on the backwaters, chilling on the beach, Ayurvedic treatments, massages, or you can take a rickshaw or walk to the local shops and markets. Meals are outdoor and delicious with enough variety to keep everyone’s appetite fresh.
My advice to anyone thinking of taking a trip is to make provision for extending your stay or prepare yourself to go once again.

Georgia UK

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank GeorgiaWood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Stayed here as a non-surfer with a friend who did surf.
This place is in a fabulous location, a garden on a cliff top overlooking the beach. The rooms are lovely, as is the decor and general feel of the place. No surprise that the owners Ed and Sophie are from Brighton. They helped us organise a cooking course and the hotel info - all written in the style of an innocent smoothie bottle - contains all you need to know about stuff to do nearby.

I thought as a surf place it would be totally dominated by surf talk, but it wasn't at all and it was all very relaxed. The communal breakfasts are a nice chance to meet people - and the breakfasts are gorgeous. It seemed v. British clientele and odd to be in Kerala talking about what stop on the central line people live ;). Josh, the main surf teacher is lovely and I hear v. good instructor. Rachel (the yoga teacher, who also does massage and posture alignment) is not only fantastically lovely but a really great teacher. Yoga on the rooftop was great and suited to all levels. They really went out of their way to help us out, including letting us hang around a bit after we'd checked out.

We didn't have AC for a couple of nights - these things happen, but they soon fixed it and gave us £5 off a night. The only but, and I feel a bit mean saying it, is that it is really expensive for the area if you are a non-surfer, particularly because there are lovely homestays which are much cheaper. I think as a surfer there aren't any comparable places and it is definitely worth it.
Overall an amazing stay, and great people.

Room Tip: Rooms at the top have a lovely view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Exbackpacker78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edward039, Owner at Soul & Surf, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Thanks for a great review and for your honesty throughout. We know we can't compete with locally run and owned Homestay's & B&B's in terms of price, but then we offer a very different service to our local competition. Many of the things you commend us on in the review come at western rents, western prices and western salaries and with two western 'eyes' at the helm (not to mention buying our surf eqpt at UK prices and shipping it here and paying extortionate import duty on it). Some of our local costs are pretty cheap though, which is why we can offer the quality of accommodation and service we do at the price of a dorm-room surf camp anywhere else in the world. I don't want to seem picky but I thought it was worth explaining our prices a little because we try to keep ourselves as reasonable as possible compared with our main competition in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Morocco and Costa Rica
Cheers,
Ed & Sofie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soul & Surf

Property: Soul & Surf
Address: South Cliff | Janardhanapuram, Varkala, India
Location: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 98 Specialty Lodging in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Join us at our new cliff-top, sea-gazing venue in Varkala, Kerala where our team will make you as welcome and comfortable as possible. Come alone, with friends or make it a romantic getaway as a couple. We welcome guests from all over the world to surf and practice yoga in India.We love the combination of surfing and yoga, they compliment one another on both a physical and mental level which is why we try to do both every day, so we’ll drive you to the surf, give you surf lessons if you want, teach you yoga, advise you on how best to experience this wonderful part of the world and organise a few special evenings during your stay. It's really much more than your usual surf camp holiday! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Soul & Surf Varkala, Kerala

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