faqs

FAQs

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions. If you would like to know anything else, just send us an e-mail.

Covid-19 Update

When are the Surf Spirit Locations opening?

Both locations in Sri Lanka will be opening on 30th August 2020 for weekly Surf & Yoga Packages. The private island Mentawai will start its new season in March 2021. The Villa Andalusia will finish its renovations and open for our guests in Spring 2021.

I have not yet booked my Surf & Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka and am unsure whether I should do so.

You can definitely book your Retreat in our Jungle Villa or Beach Lodge in Sri Lanka now. If you are unable to travel on your booked dates due to the Coronavirus, you will receive a 100% refund of your booking (please check out our updated cancellation policy). Both locations open on 30th August 2020 and we are more than happy to welcome our guests. We have established a safe & secure hygiene concept that ensures all of our guests a safe and healthy stay at our locations. 

What are the cancellation policies if I make a booking now?

We guarantee that there wont be any money lost making your booking with Surf Spirit. We are offering a free cancellation policy upon 14 days prior to arrival for all new bookings made after 1st June 2020 for any travelling period until 30th May 2021. This means you will get your money refunded if your booking is directly affected by the Coronavirus and you can not travel due to border closures in your departure country or Sri Lanka. Surf Spirit is not liable for any flight cancellations or delays. In those cases we will find an individual solution and try our best to accommodate you e.g. through rebooking your week but can not guarantee a refund. Also, general travel warnings of the countries are excluded.

What is the situation in Sri Lanka regarding the coronavirus?

Sri Lanka holds very low numbers of people infected by the Coronavirus. The country reacted very fast to be in lockdown and keep the numbers very low at all times. To give you an impression there are 215 countries listed with infected people due to the Coronavirus. Germany is on #11 with a total of 191.653 cases. Sri Lanka is on #104 with a total of 1.950 cases. (*numbers are based on the status of 22nd June 2020).

Is there a travel warning for Sri Lanka?

Yes, there is currently still a travel warning for Sri Lanka. As the numbers for Sri Lanka are so low, it is expected that this travel warning, as for other countries with low numbers, will be lifted soon. Of course, traveling is possible despite travel warnings and flights are already offered.

What do I need to do to travel to Sri Lanka?

You need to obtain special online tourist visas before arrival. There are currently no “On Arrival” Visas. Also you need to get a PCR Test done within 72 hours prior to landing in Sri Lanka. Keep the negative rest report with you and make sure to carry all documents as print outs with you on your flight so you are able to show all information needed after your arrival in Sri Lanka.

Make sure to carry with you:

A personal safety equipment (enough face masks, sanitisers etc.)     

Valid return air ticket providing proof for tourists’ commitment to stay             minimum of 5 days in the country

Travel itinerary and details of confirmed reservations made at SLTDA             registered and “Safe & Secure” certified establishments 

Details of the airport transportation arranged 

A negative PCR Test report issued by an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to the landing in Sri Lanka

Valid travel insurance with health and hospitalisation coverage for the entire duration of stay

At the airport, make sure to:

Avoid handshaking, hugging or kissing

Get your mandatory on-arrival PCR test (This test is free of charge)

exchange face masks worn during the flight with new masks before entering the airport. Masks can also be purchased at the airport. 

wash your hands and disinfect the footwear before entering the airport

Keep 1.5m distance between two people at all times

Fill out the COVID-19 self-declaration form 


How is Surf Spirit providing a safe & healthy environment?

Surf Spirit is a certified SLTDA hotel following strict rules in term of disinfection & PPE’s as per the directions given by the Health Authorities. We provide a safe transport company to bring you to the hotel and back to the airport. We offer small groups with Yoga and Surf activities optimised to reduce the infection risk. Also we have established a safe & secure hygiene concept that ensures all of our guests a safe and healthy stay at our locations.

Worldwide tourist organisations are still learning on how to cope with the new Covid-19 situation. Regulations are changed on the weekly basis. What Surf Spirit wants to make sure is that you will be safe with us and that you will have the best time of your life staying with us. We are monitoring the world travel and Sri Lanka regulations and will update you when needed.


Why Surf Spirit? What is the difference compared to other camps and retreats?

For us at Surf Spirit it is a matter of the heart to create a place where everyone can immerse themselves for a week in a relaxed lifestyle characterized by lightness, passion and pure joy. In our Jungle Villa we can accommodate a maximum of 18 guests. In our Beach Lodge we can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. In this way we can make everything very personal and create moments together that we will never forget and feel the pure life in the middle of nature, for which we otherwise have so little time in our daily lives.

We believe in the unique combination of Surf & Yoga and its benefits for your body, mind and soul. We are one of only a few retreats that focuses on both aspects equally and offers you a package that already includes everything you need for your week with us. We are very keen to help you get one step further in both areas, no matter at what level you arrive. We will do everything possible to make sure you have a great time in the water, on the mat or by the fire in the evening.

Our All Inclusive Retreat weeks always start and end on Sunday. This rhythm allows us to live up to our high quality standards and to bring together new like-minded people every week to create unforgettable moments and special friendships.

Each of our weeks is very unique and we can't wait to show you our small, hidden jungle paradise and our new, relaxed Beach Lodge right by the sea.

Whats the best time to travel to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is one of the most popular destinations for travellers around the world. Because of the tropical climate, the sea- and air temperature ranges between 27 - 31ºC throughout the year. This makes Sri Lanka the most closest, tropical and surfable destination to Europe, especially during Winter. Our Surf Spirit Retreat is located at the south-west coast of Sri Lanka. We are open all year round for a reason. Over here the main season is between Sep - May though.


Winter Season: Sep - May

This is the Sri Lanka’n dream. The main season offers great waves in warm water. Constant offshore winds are creating ideal surf conditions for all levels. In general the weather is a bit more predictable which means summer vibes in winter time. Of course we are in a tropical area so it can get rainy every now and then, which keeps our jungle nice and juicy. Sri Lanka’s south coast is the ideal place to escape the cold and enjoy a tropical Surf & Yoga holiday.

 

Summer Season:  May - August 

Also the so called low season in Sri Lanka is attracting more and more guests. Though the chances of rain (mostly mornings or evenings) and storms are higher, the are getting waves constantly. We are located in a tropical environment which means there is rain every now and then before the sun is coming out again. The climate is warm all the time anyway.

Our main surf spot is located in a bay which protects the waves of most of the wind angles. If you are a surf beginner or intermediate you can catch a lot of waves in these months. Another positive aspect is having no crowds in the water during this time of the year. If you would like to work on your take off, surf your first green waves or get into turning your board, you can definitely improve in this time of the year as well. During this time of the year we expect the retreat to be a bit more quiet with smaller groups in general, which can be quite pleasant.

If you are a really experienced Surfer, we recommend to surf on the east coast of Sri Lanka for the time between May and August. Over there you will find some powerful right hand point breaks. Due to a lot of competition in the water, we highly recommend to bring some skills to be successful catching waves over there.

Are there any health risks and which immunisations do I need?

On the subject of coronavirus, please refer to the "Covid-19 Update" section.

Otherwise the following applies:

There are no special health risks in Sri Lanka. The south of the island is considered as malaria-free. Though, very rarely there are cases of Dengue-Fever. This is why we recommend to bring a mosquito repellant. Of course, all of our rooms have mosquito nets around the beds.

The Tropical Institut recommends to get the common immunisations which are Rabies, Diphteria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus.

Do I need a Visa to travel to Sri Lanka?

Attention: Due to the Coronavirus there are currently no "On Arrival" visas available. The tourist visa MUST be applied online in advance. You can find more information about the Coronavirus under the point "Covid-19 Update".


Normally the following applies: You have to get a VISA to enter Sri Lanka. If you are staying on Sri Lanka for less than 1 month, you can apply for a tourist visa online (Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) via Sri Lanka’s official site. Your passport needs to have two free pages and must be valid for 6 months after your trip. If you are staying longer, it is best to apply for a 3-month visa from the Sri Lankan embassy in your home country. If you would forget to apply, no worries, you can get a 30-day VISA on arrival as well at the airport.

For which levels are your Surf and Yoga Lessons suitable?

Most important: You do not need any experience in any field coming to Surf Spirit. It's not about how good you are at something, it's about completely surrendering to it and enjoying the process, the joy of creating.

Both locations are suitable for all yoga levels. Our yoga teachers are qualified and experienced, so we will focus on your personal level in the lessons to neither over- nor underchallenge you. 

When it comes to surfing, our Jungle Villa is suitable for surfers of all levels, as we can cater for our beginners as well as for our advanced surfers with our guiding concept. Our qualified surf instructors will assign you to your current surfing level upon arrival and can thus ensure that we will challenge and encourage you during your week with us.

Our Beach Lodge is best suited for complete surf beginners and for beginners with previous surfing experience. When it comes to refining your take off (stand-up technique), surfing the first green waves or making your first turns, you will enjoy a great time surfing in this location right at your surf spot.

Independent surfers who want to go surfing on their own can book the Free Surf & Yoga package at the Beach Lodge and rent our boards for free. If you are interested in surf guiding including transport to the reef spot and coach feedback, we recommend booking at the Jungle Villa. 

Surf and yoga levels will be requested when you book. If you are not sure in advance, don't worry, we will go over everything again upon arrival. 

We also offer a video analysis in both locations, which is very useful for beginners and intermediates. We really do our best to offer all our guests at all levels the necessary instruction to achieve individual goals.

Can I arrive on another day but Sunday to start my Retreat?

Well, you can only book the retreats in the weekly rhythm as this is how we can maintain our high quality standards and make sure all processes are running smoothly. Though, if your flight details do not match our Check In or Check Out times, surely you can arrive later or leave earlier. Unfortunately, we are unable to give any discount for the activities you miss due to arriving late or departing early, but it is possible for you to arrive or leave any day in the week, let us know and we’ll arrange a transfer for that day.

Can I stay shorter or longer than one week?

You can absolutely stay longer than one week. As our retreats are bookable in a weekly rhythm from Sunday - Sunday, you can basically stay however long you like. If you have do depart early due to flight schedules etc. we can not give any discount for the activities you miss but are happy to arrange a transfer for any day you like.

Can I amend my package individually e.g. no surf or yoga lessons?

Yes and no. At our Jungle Villa both surfing and yoga are included in the package. At the Beach Lodge you can book with or without surfing lessons, yoga is always included in the package.

In both locations we offer you an all inclusive package with full board, surf and yoga classes, which in our opinion includes the best services for a special week. Of course we understand that everyone has different ideas and may not want to take part in everything that is offered. This is absolutely fine and everyone should and may do what he/she feels most like at any time.

At the Beach Lodge we also offer a Free Surf & Yoga Package where you can rent our boards for free but you have not booked a surf course. So this package is especially suitable for those of you who would like to go surfing on your own with already existing surfing experience. It is also suitable for those of you who want to concentrate on yoga or relaxation and are not interested in surfing.

Can I join the surf and/or yoga lessons without staying in the Retreat?

Unfortunately not. Only our Retreat Guests can join the services part of the Surf Spirit Package.

Can I also book a single room?

Yes thats a possibility. Please send us an inquiry via mail and we will check our availability.

Alternatively, we have very nice twin rooms in our Jungle Villa and in the Beach Lodge very pleasant triple rooms, which are ideal for single travellers.

I am travelling alone but in my requested week there is no Twin /3 Bedroom available, what can I do?

In this case, please send us an individual inquiry per e-mail. We will try our best to find a solution for you to join your requested week. Alternatively two single women / two single men could share a Double Room upon request. All of our beds are King- Size and the rooms are spacious. In case all of our Twin-Rooms are fully booked, this could be an alternative to attend during your requested week. Please e-mail us and we will check all options again for you.

Whats included in my package and whats not?

Our regular surf and yoga package in both locations includes everything you need during your retreat week. The Free Surf & Yoga Package at the Beach Lodge does not include a surf course. There are no additional costs on site, unless you want to book additional extras. 

If you wish, you can order additional drinks or snacks at our bar for the prices listed on the menu. Other extra services are: additional massages (Jungle Villa), your surf photo package, excursions on your day off, airport transfer, T-shirts, etc. Of course these are all optional extras that can be booked on site. Everything can and nothing must. The payment of all desired extras takes place at the end of your week in the retreat and can be done in cash or by card in Euro or Rupees.

To where shall I fly in?

The international airport on Sri Lanka is COLOMBO (CMB). The cheapest flights are easy to find on Skyscanner.

How do I get to the Retreat?

Due to the Coronavirus, the journey can currently only be made with a shuttle organised in advance. For more infos please check out the "Covid-19 Update."

If you wish, we are happy to arrange an Airport Transfer to the Retreat. The ride takes about 2.5 hours in a car with air condition. It costs 80USD per way and can be shared if there are more passengers travelling. (At the moment max 2 persons). In your booking process we will ask you for some infos e.g. Flight Number and Arrival Time. If you do not have those infos upon booking, you can complete the infos later. Please do not pay the driver, as you will pay with us at Check Out. The Transfer for your way back to the airport can be arranged by our Manager in the Retreat.

Leaving the baggage hall, please check for your driver holding a poster with your name on it. Surely by now, you can sit back and relax.

Can I also travel by train?

Currently not possible through Corona. The arrival is currently only possible with a shuttle organized in advance. For more infos on this topic check out "Corona-19 Update".

Normally applies: Absolutely. If you have a bit more time and are an adventurous kind of person, the train route may be for you. It takes about 3 hours with the train to get to us and it is surely the cheapest way of travelling around. The train leaves Colombo Fort two times a day to Galle (15 min. in Tuk Tuk to us) or Unawatuna (5 min. in Tuk Tuk to us). Departure times can be found online on the site of the Sri Lankan Railways. At the railway station are always tuk tuk drivers waiting for passengers. Please have our address (given in the confirmation e-mail or on Google) ready to show the driver.

When is Check In and Check Out? Due to my flight I arrive earlier / later, what can I do?

Check In is Sundays at 2pm, Check Out the following Sunday 10am. Unfortunately you can not arrive earlier than Sunday, but of course, you can arrive earlier than 2pm e.g. due to your flight arrival time. Waiting for your room to be ready, you can spend the time at the pool (Jungle Villa), in our chill out area or at the beach (Beach Lodge). If you wish, we will organise you a Tuk Tuk that can take you to the beach or town. If you do arrive earlier than Sunday in Sri Lanka, we recommend booking a Hotel in Colombo, Galle (historical old town 15 minutes by Tuk Tuk) or in the near surroundings until you can make your way to us on Sunday noon.

What else to bring?

There are certain things that you need to bring with you due to the coronavirus situation to be able to enter easily. Please refer to "Covid-19 Update" for a detailed list of these things.


Otherwise: We recommend you to bring the following things: Mosquito repellent, Spray against stitches & itching, Sunscreen or Zink, After-Sun, Beach Towel, Surf/Sportbikini + Shorts & if you wish a Lycra (longsleeved top for surfing). Of course, we provide fresh Bathroom Towels and Bed Sheets.

In which language are the lessons taught?

Our coaches are teaching in english and / or german. However, if we have english speaking guests, even if it is just one person, all lessons will be held in english.

Where can I withdraw money?

You can either change money after your arrival at the airport or withdraw money with your credit card at various cash machines, only a few Tuk Tuk minutes from the retreat.

Is the Retreat suitable for Families?

We do accept children from 12 – 18 under parental supervision. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept children under 12 at the retreat, as it is not designed for smaller kids including needed facilities and supervision. Due to the limited number of places and increased attention of the coaches in the lessons, we unfortunately cannot grant a discount for children.

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