Having stayed in all kinds of surf accommodation imaginable, from spending the night slumming it in a sleeping bag to feeling like campsite royalty in a new mobile home – I can guarantee that choosing the right surf camp accommodation is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your surf adventure.
With that in mind, I’d like to share this guide on:
👉 What to expect when booking your surf camp holiday.
👉 The different types of surf camp accommodation available.
👉 Which type may suit you best.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the five main accommodation types!
Let’s begin with the pinnacle of surf camp accommodation – the deluxe tipi tent. This is a more gourmet option you won’t find at every camp. Deluxe tipi tents usually include all the benefits of deluxe bell tents, with the addition of an outside deck area, wooden flooring, higher ceilings and a raised base to keep you off the forest floor.
This tent royalty is usually only available for glamping in deluxe surf camps, and a great option for couples, the slightly more affluent adventurer and everyone who prioritises comfort and a good night’s sleep.
Traditionally, we’ve struggled to find a tipi tent which perfectly fits the niche industry of surf camping. We spent a long time searching for quality tent designs that were both luxurious and long-lasting. But, guess what? There was nothing out there! Nada. Zero. So, we thought to ourselves, wait a minute! Why don’t we design our own? And that’s exactly what we did! We’re super excited that they will available in our deluxe camp in France and our surf camp in Oyambre for the first time this season.
👉 The most comfortable and stylish tents available
👉 Usually located in the best spots on the campsite
👉 The deck is a great storage space if you’ve brought your own boards
👎 Not the best option for traveller’s on a tight budget
The king of surf camp accommodation! This option is generally not available at most surf camps, and is best suited to small groups of travellers who want a little more privacy and comfort. While mobile homes often come in different sizes, they usually cater for groups between 3 – 8 people.
This is a great option for anyone who wants to cook their own food, have their own bathroom or power up the laptop for a little work – making this a particularly convenient option for any digital nomads seeking to enjoy the surf camp atmosphere without completely clocking out. Having a large shaded decking area to retreat to once the midday sun emerges is also a huge bonus!
New to our Moliets Surf & Yoga Camp this summer are two mobile homes. Both are bookable for a minimum of 3 people and sleep a maximum of 5 guests each. With two bedrooms each, one couple (double bed) and one twin (two single beds) plus a sofa bed (for one) in the living area, they are the perfect surf camp home for families or larger groups. If you’re travelling with a group of more than 5, we’ll happily reserve the nearest tents to your mobile home for you, so you can all stay close together.
While the layout of mobile homes will vary across different campsites, ours come with a fully equipped kitchenette, cutlery and crockery, a fridge, a private shower room and a toilet plus your very own terrace with rain shelter. Bedding is also provided.
👉 Perfect for digital nomads
👉 Unrivalled comfort and privacy
👉 Cook your own food
👎 Need to be with a group
👎 Not the most budget-friendly option
The second most popular option you’ll find at most big campsites are the deluxe bell tents. While often identical in size and appearance from the outside, it’s the magic that happens inside these tents which set them apart.
The first big difference is electricity. For anyone who breaks into a cold sweat at the thought of beginning each day with a half charged phone battery – this is probably the option for you. Deluxe bell tents usually come with internal lighting and extension cords to power all your electronics – which quickly becomes a godsend if you plan to stay longer than a week.
The second big difference is in the additional home comforts provided (think rugs, storage space, wooden bed frames and decorations). This varies across different camps, with some even offering a full glamping experience. This option is usually a favourite with couples, as there is often the option to exchange the standard two single beds for a double.
The deluxe tents often occupy a quieter, calmer spot within the main camp, or are located in a separate deluxe campsite located beside the main camp. Here at Star Surf Camps, you can choose whether to book a Deluxe bell tent within the main campsite, or the deluxe camp located just a few mins walk away. When weighing up this decision, it’s important to note that there are often other advantages to booking into the Deluxe campsite such as upgraded meals or additional surf or yoga lessons. We’ve also got deluxe tents in our surf camp in Oyambre.
👉 Great for couples
👉 Electricity, lighting and home comforts
👉 Located in a quieter area of the camp
👎 Higher rates than the standard bell tent
👎 Not as luxurious as some of the new options
Most surf camps worth their salt will be offering the trusted bell tent as your standard surf camp accommodation, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are they spacious (with most designed to sleep up to 8 people), they also radiate an air of elegant sophistication that just can’t be found with your average camping tent.
All great bell tents have a centre pole, an interior mesh zip curtain behind the door curtains and come with mash windows at the base for better ventilation. These tents should be tall enough to stand a surfboard in and wide enough for some morning yoga stretches.
Each surf camp will have their own options for how many people can bunk together in a single tent, and although they can technically sleep eight, I’d recommend sharing these tents with no more than two other people as it can quickly get cramped…especially with everyone’s luggage.
A good night’s sleep is key when spending your days outside in the sun and in the water, and while it’s often possible to simply book a place for your sleeping bag, I’d recommend spending a little extra and booking a tent with a mattress and bedding. Trust me, for the price of a few extra beers, these mattresses make all the difference when it’s time to conk out.
At the risk of a shameless plug, that’s why we now offer high quality memory foam mattresses as standard in each bell tent, with optional bedding if you’d prefer not to bring your own!
While the classic bell tent is the default option for most surf camps, it should be noted that this is still camping – not glamping. Most standard bell tent accommodation doesn’t come with electricity (a big annoyance when there’s phones to be charged), and does not include any home comforts.
Essentially this is a great option for anyone looking to make friends by bunking up with fellow travellers, fully experiencing the campsite atmosphere and getting a good night’s sleep – all without breaking the bank. However if you’re prioritizing a little extra comfort or are planning a longer stay, the deluxe bell tents may be a better option.
👉 Great for solo travellers
👉 Often located in the busiest parts of camp to soak up the atmosphere
👉 High quality accommodation at a great price
👎 Lack of electricity and lighting
👎 No home comforts like mats or furniture
👎 Not ideal for couples seeking a glamping experience
While the bell tent is now the go-to accommodation for most surf camps, you will often have the option to book a standard tent. These usually occupy a smaller portion of the campsite and have limited numbers.
The size and composition of these tents vary across different surf camps, but it’s usually a no frills option which doesn’t include bedding or electricity. At Star Surf, we offer large two-room tents with a separate sleeping and living compartment. Designed to sleep 4 people, you’re sharing our Back2Basic tent with a maximum of 2 other surf camp guests. These two-room tents are roughly 10 sqm in size and 2 m in height. They have mesh windows in both compartments for better ventilation and to limit condensation, plus a mesh/ mosquito net on the tent door.
Our Back2Basic tents are a great option for everyone on a budget, as a one-week surf holiday to Moliets – incl. food, use of all surf camp facilities and accommodation in a Back2Basic tent for 3 people – starts from just 219€ per person or a single occupancy from only 269€ per surf camp week. It is worth noting however that you will have to bring your own sleeping mat and sleeping bag.
👉 Very budget friendly
👉 Experience good old fashioned tent camping
👎 Doesn’t have electricity or lighting
👎 Doesn’t come with a mattress or bedding
👎 Usually located in louder areas of the camp