Las Flores Resort & Surf Club, El Salvador
Even the owners aren’t sure what to call Las Flores Resort & Surf Club. Is it a resort? Is it a surf club? The answer is: it’s both. This casual coastal find offers a first-rate break and all the non-surfing amenities required for a first-rate break. Opened in 2004, this elegant retreat is located in a cove that reliably produces some of the most surfable waves in the region. No wonder it’s become a favorite among surfers who are ready to ditch the dorm room and ramen noodles. However, you don’t have to ever enter the ocean to reap the rewards of a stay at Las Flores.
All 11 suites have chic, modern décor, all the expected amenities and some remarkable original art inspired by the sea. Every suite also has excellent views of the surf—you can literally gauge the waves from bed or your private furnished deck. The best sea views are from #1 and #10 which is the only master suite and includes a huge living room, two private bedrooms (one with two double beds and another with a king size bed), two full bathrooms and large furnished decks.
Surfing, or just hanging out in one of the beach-side hammocks watching surfers, works up an appetite. The restaurant at Las Flores dishes out respectable portions of well-prepared pleasers like burgers, pasta dishes, big salads and fresh seafood including a weekly seafood bbq which includes giant prawns, lobster, local fish and squid served in an outdoor area by the sea with a fire pit. Beware the price of alcoholic beverages, however, which are not included in the all-inclusive rates. I was stunned to be charged $10 for a glass of wine.
Should the waves tempt you to try your hand at surfing, lessons are available as is nanny service ($15 per day) so parents can concentrate on the waves. Fishing trips are also available and yoga lessons al fresco can be arranged (request it when making your reservation).
Surfers and non-surfers appreciate the Las Flores spa. Built on an outcrop above crashing surf, the simple spa has two open-air massage rooms, an outdoor shower and a private lounging and sunning area with (more) awesome ocean views. Massage prices are reasonable enough to include every day. I booked a signature massage ($45 for 60 minutes) and it was wonderfully relaxing thanks to the skills of the local masseuse and the soothing sea sounds and breezes.
But don’t just take my word for it. Stephanie Phelan, owner of Float Luxury Spa in Santa Barbara and a former co-owner of Kelea Surf Spa in Costa Rica, was also a guest when I was at Las Flores Surf Club Resort. She loved both the surfing and the spa--high praise from someone with her background and experience.
Las Flores Resort & Surf Club
Playa Las Flores
Phone: + 503-2684-4444 in El Salvador
Phone: (760) 494-7392 in California
Rates from: $160 per person double occupancy including meals and non-alcoholic beverages
In April of 2006 peripatetic travel writer Karen Catchpole left her job as deputy editor of SHOP Etc. magazine in New York City and embarked on the Trans-Americas Journey, a 200,000+ mile working road trip through North, Central and South America. When she's not writing about luxury hotels, resorts or ranches Karen can be found enjoying the nearest campground.