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Hotels We Love: Surfhouse In Encinitas (CA) Is A Beach Lover’s Dream

If you’ve ever dreamed about living out the (budget-friendly) authentic California lifestyle — sandy beaches, surfable waves, endless sunshine, saltwater hair, laidback attitudes, huge burritos… — it’s hard to think of a better property to do it at than Surfhouse. Located on the historic Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas, California, one of the most renowned surf towns in a state full of surf towns, the property is basically a physical representation of “SoCal summer vibes” (as someone who grew up in Los Angeles, I’d say I’m a pretty good judge of this). And while turning a mood into a hotel can often feel cheesy, it comes together here thanks to the design, recreation options, and location.

If you’re ready to hit the waves, live like a local, and soak in all the sunshine California has to offer, it might be time to book your stay at Surfhouse. For a more in-depth review of the property and why it’s worth a visit, check out my full rundown below!

WHY IT’S AWESOME:

Surfhouse Hotel Encinitas
Chloe Caldwell

As the name hints, Surfhouse is centered around all things surf culture, from the room decor to the amenities. The property is a refurbished motel or motorlodge, meaning you drive right up to your room — adding to the retro-cruisy aesthetic of it all. And the Encinitas location means you’ll get all of the beach culture without nearby San Diego’s issues with parking and crowds.

Whereas many boutique hotels that rely on surf culture to inspire their design feel generic, Surfhouse has a true sense of place. The hotel founders are Encinitas-natives and worked hard to show the best the town has to offer. The property partners with a variety of Encinitas businesses — from restaurants to artists to tour companies — to give a truly local, small-town feel to everything.

NEARBY FOOD & DRINK:

You can’t go to Southern California without eating and drinking the essentials — a California burrito bigger than your head, bomb seafood, and craft beers to wash it down. Fortunately, you don’t need to go far (like, at all) when you stay at Surfhouse. The property is literally within steps of delicious restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, as well as art galleries and shops.

I went to Kai Olda Sushi, a locally-owned sushi spot influenced by Japanese and Hawaiian roots. The Black Cod appetizer was pricey, but I let out an audible “mmm” when I tasted it, so… splurge. You also can’t go wrong with the specialty “Sunset” roll, made with spicy tuna, tempura shrimp, cucumber, avocado, seared scallops, ponzu, and truffle oil. It’s a seafood flavor explosion in your mouth.

I also loved the local, hipster-ish coffee shop across the street, Coffee Coffee, where I started every morning of my stay with an oat milk latte. Take a walk both ways down the street and you’ll come across a ton of cool spots for dining and drinking, such as Solterra Winery & Kitchen and Saint Archer Brewing Co.

AMENITIES:

Surfhouse Hotel Review
Chloe Caldwell
  • Complimentary beach cruiser bikes
  • Surfboard and surf gear rentals
  • Surf lessons (additional cost)
  • Access to local adventures like stand-up paddleboarding, yoga classes, kayaking, or local beer tours
  • Guest discount rates for local businesses
  • Nearby beach access
  • Outdoor cabana
  • Outdoor shower
  • Free WiFi

ROOM TYPES:

Surfhouse Hotel Review Encinitas
Chloe Caldwell

The cool thing about Surfhouse’s accommodations is that every room is slightly unique. With eight rooms total on the property, each one is carefully crafted to represent local surf breaks and beaches. What’s more, every room is decorated using artwork designed by local artists, artisans, and craftspeople.

Six out of the eight rooms offer a queen bed, while the “Seaside” room includes two extra-long twin beds. If you’re on a couples vacation or traveling with a group of friends, the “Pipes” room is a great option (although it’s best for close-knit friends, considering it’s a bit cozy). It sleeps four in custom extra large twin bunk beds.

Click here for everything you need to know about each of the one-of-a-kind rooms.

THE BEST THING TO DO WITHIN A 10-MINUTE WALK:

Surfhouse Hotel Review 2022
Chloe Caldwell

This one is kind of a no-brainer. The best thing to do while staying at Surfhouse is, of course, hitting the beach. It’s less than a five-minute walk to Leucadia State Beach where you’ll find a gorgeous cliffside view (a great spot to watch the sunset!), a long stretch of golden sand, and a slew of local groms reaping the benefits of their hometown.

Whether you decide to surf, partake in watersports, or spend the day tanning and enjoying the chilly Pacific Ocean from afar, Leucadia is worth visiting at least once every day of your stay.

THE BEST THING TO DO WITHIN A 10-MINUTE DRIVE:

If you’ve had enough of the beach, take a short drive to the Downtown Shopping District. The historic district is more than 100 years old and full of sidewalk cafés, trendy clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, and locally-owned restaurants. It’s also a great spot to check out the local art scene — the murals and street art throughout the area are sure to catch your eye (and, who are we kidding, your camera lens) while you shop.

BED GAME:

Surfhouse Hotel
Chloe Caldwell

If you like to spread out, definitely book one of the queen rooms for your stay. I’m a 5’2″ woman and was perfectly comfortable and cozy in my extra-long twin bed, but I can’t imagine that being the best option for someone with a larger overall frame. With that being said, the actual mattress, pillows, and comforter were like a gentle cloud at the end of a long day in the sun.

It was hard not to pass out as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I slept like a baby every night.

Rating: 7/10

SEXINESS RATING:

Surfhouse Hotel
Chloe Caldwell

Beachside sunset views are the epitome of romance. Not to mention, there’s something about doing fun and adventurous activities together — surfing, biking, exploring the local hotspots — that makes you want to head straight back to the hotel room as soon as the sun goes down.

Rating: 7/10

THE VIEWS AND PHOTO SPOTS:

You’re next to the beach in California. Does it really get better than that when it comes to snapping an artsy palm tree photo or posting that thirst-trap of a bikini pic? Not only does the beach backdrop make for Insta-worthy photos, but the hotel property itself offers a plethora of worthy photo opportunities.

Between the blue hues of the building and rooms, the outdoor shower and wooden, palm tree-lined deck, and the giant mutual painted on the backside of the hotel, it’s safe to say you’ll find plenty of places to strike a pose.

Rating: 10/10

BEST SEASON TO VISIT:

Encinitas Surfhouse Hotel
Chloe Caldwell

Being that Southern California is sunny pretty much year-round, there’s really not a bad time to go. However, if you want to make the most out of your time at the beach and leave 10 shades tanner than when you arrived, then you’ll want to book your stay during summer. The UV index during June and July will do wonders for your bronze. Fortunately, the icy chill of the Pacific Ocean will cool you off when you get too hot lounging in the sand.

IF I HAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ONE THING:

Surfhouse Boutique Hotel
Chloe Caldwell

There’s not much to complain about at Surfhouse, but I’d say that the property could use more rental bikes. I loved riding the streets of Encinitas and exploring the nearby neighborhoods. However, there were only a few bikes available, which means I had to wake up early and snag my ride before other guests got to them first.

BOOK HERE:

Surfhouse offers eight thoughtfully designed rooms, each one uniquely inspired by a different legendary surf break or beach. Expect to pay around $195 to $250 per night depending on your room choice. Of course, prices range on the higher side during weekends.

Click here to check availability.

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