Templeton and Radecki’s ‘Soul & Surf’ hotel to open in Kerala

Soul & Surf, the new surfing and yoga hotel created by the British couple Ed Templeton and Sofie Radecki, is set to open in the beach resort of Varkala in Kerala, India.

Soul & Surf is India’s second, and the South Indian region’s first hotel, dedicated to surfing and yoga.

Templeton and Radecki, the British couple behind the project, left careers in their homeland several years ago to undertake a world tour. Passionate about surfing, they were particularly impressed when they landed on the wave rich Kerala coast of Varkala.

The couple, who subsequently settled on the South Indian coast, have been running a lower key operation for the last few years, introducing the local community to surfing, a sport that is totally new to the area.

This year, Soul & Surf is expanding to its cliff top home overlooking Golden Beach. The new hotel will have 15 rooms, the new Soul Food Cafe, a surfing school with ISA qualified instructors, a daily yoga programme, as well as a range of other activities for guests looking for a holiday. The surfing school is claimed to be India’s first and only one of its kind.

The hotel is located in a heritage Kerala-style house. Most of the rooms are on the ground floor within a more contemporary building spread across three levels. The accommodation on offer ranges from basic en-suite rooms for the more budget conscious, which are good sized rooms with balconies and optional AC, to larger, more stylish rooms with AC.

The hotel claims to have a relaxed ambience where guests can participate in any activity of their choice. They are offered the opportunity of guided morning surf safaris or group lessons for those who are still learning. They are also offered sunset yoga lesson, or can retreat to enjoy the sociable Soul & Surf vibe.

Open from lunch until dinner, the Soul Food Cafe serves local Kerala delicacies, adding flavours from other parts of Asia and the world. Soul & Surf hotel charges start from GBP185 per person, per week, which includes accommodation, breakfast, daily surf guiding, mineral water and use of yoga mats. Daily yoga and surf lessons are available from GBP130 per person per week, or can be booked on a daily basis.

Soul & Surf is one-hour drive from Trivandrum airport, the other option being flying to Cochin International airport, with a transfer to the hotel of about four hours.


KTM to be held in September

The Kerala Travel Mart, an annual travel event showcasing the tourism potential of the South Indian state of Kerala, is to be held in September.

The seventh edition of the Kerala Travel Mart is to be held from September 27 to 30. The event has attracted much attention from international as well as domestic buyers and service providers. So far, about 460 international buyers and 1,245 domestic buyers have registered for the event, which is double the response by the same time last year.

The KTM Society has 599 members in the state and includes various businesses such as airlines, ayurveda centres, farm-stays, home-stays, hotels, speciality hospitals, resorts, travel agents, adventure tour operators etc.

The event is basically a buyer-seller meeting that is being organised under the banner of private-public-partnership. Participants will have the opportunity to directly assess the services being offered and use them to their benefit. The event is also planning to provide buyers from certain South American and East European countries with some financial assistance, as these economies are under financial pressure at the moment.

Already hotels have set aside 800 rooms, free of charge, to accommodate guests. A post-mart tour will be arranged for buyers and they will also be provided with free transport.

An official organising the event said, ‘For the first time, we have decided to give bar-coded identity cards to all the invitees, and this will enable us to find out how much time each buyer spends with the sellers. Besides, before the mart starts each buyer and seller will know how many appointments they have because we will have an online appointment facility.’