The Surf


2022 Shortlisted NSW Architecture Awards Commercial Category

2022 Shortlisted Australian Interior Design Awards

2022 Australian Good Design Award Winner


The site for “The Surf”, overlooking Yamba’s beautiful Main Beach was occupied in the 1920’s by the deco inspired Ritz Cafe and remained in use in much altered form as the “Surf Hotel” until 2019. Today “The Surf”  echoing some of the original curved forms of the Ritz, provides 12 beautifully appointed hotel rooms and related facilities with access to the beach and wonderful views up and down this most dramatic NSW coastline.

DKC were approached in early 2012 to help develop and take full advantage of this exceptional site. With the great foresight the client recognised that Yamba would not remain a sleepy holiday town forever and that with new road infrastructure being completed and regional airports close by, Yamba was well situated to become a real holiday destination in the years ahead. DKC’s approach was to design the hotel with a new client base in mind and in turn create the first “boutique hotel” in the area.

Key to the success of this development was the fully integrated design approach, where the guest experience would be seamless from arrival to check out. An experience where the architecture, interior, furniture and decorative elements were all woven together to create a seamless and relaxed sense of luxury appropriate to this type of travel experience. Rooms that felt private, carefully furnished and appointed with bespoke items, yet were practical and allowed guest to relax with sunlight and natural ventilation. A key move was the use of the rooftop area as an additional space for the guests of the hotel to enjoy. This intimate 12 room hotel boasts a stunning rooftop pool and sun deck with wonderful views up the Northern NSW coastline. On the southern end of the building is a shared “clubroom” with relaxed terrace with lounges and rooftop garden from which to enjoy the truly breathtaking uninterrupted ocean views, more intimate views of Pippi Beach and views to the Yuraygir National Park to the South with its 65 km’s of undeveloped coastline running all the way to Coffs Harbour.

The Surf Hotel has a slightly nostalgic air, designed with a hint of a streamlined moderne style with nautical references to the classic ocean liners of the 30’s. One gets the feeling of being docked in a coastal town before setting off across the horizon. DKC’s engagement with the romantic notion of travel shows with hints of the Almalfi or Mediterranean Coast with the use of traditional striped awnings and deck furniture, classic terrazzo flooring, shuttered door openings and unusually for the NSW Coast, proper use of the roof terrace.  DKC were in the  privileged position of being responsible for not only the architectural design, but also all the interior design, furnishings, fixtures and product selections for the hotel. Creating a great case for a cohesive design aesthetic throughout the entire experience of the Hotel. See more of the interiors of the surf here.


Architectural Team

Jon King

Olaf Bruins

Interiors Team

Sinead Spence

Alice Dalloz

Katie King


Mechanical/Electrical – Clarence Consulting

Hydraulic – Partridge

Structural – Partridge

Lighting – Special Lights


Sprinklers and Fire Services- RG Fire Consultancy

Quantity Surveyor- Mitchell Brandtman

Landscape – Andrew Pawsey

Pool Engineering- Newport Consulting Engineers


Brett Boardman

Elise Hassey