The Surfrider Malibu is much more than a hotel. Originally built in 1953, it was recently transformed by its current owners. When it went on the market, Matthew Goodwin—a design architect who grew up in Malibu but was living in New York at that time—realized it was the perfect opportunity to create a new hospitality experience and capture the soul of a place that was dear to his heart. With his spouse and creative director Emma Crowther, and his business partner Alessandro Zampedri, Goodwin imagined a new concept.
“With The Surfrider, we took a 360-degree approach to hospitality, from the design vision, architecture and interiors, all the way through to guest experience,” Goodwin says. “Our internal brief was to celebrate its iconic past while still honoring the future, and to deliver it all in a design-forward boutique hotel.
The opportunity to be able to do this—to create a local experience in a design conscious way—is the reason why The Surfrider stuck with me from my childhood and was love at first sight for Alessandro and Emma. It was an opportunity to epitomize the California dream once again.”
The intention was to create an environment where visitors would immediately feel good and alive, and where they would be inspired and relaxed. At The Surfrider Malibu, “Make yourself at home” is not just something guests might hear in passing, it’s the hotel’s motto.
“The Surfrider has been designed to feel like your very own Californian beach house complete with staff, complimentary surf boards, stand-up paddleboards and a guest-only roof deck bar and restaurant which overlooks one of the most iconic waves in the world,” says co-owner Emma Goodwin. “It’s been amazing to see how many L.A. locals have been using it as just that—their own beach house. We have guests from as close as the Pacific Palisades or further east who have standing reservations once a month!”
Facing the Pacific Ocean and iconic Surfrider Beach, made famous in the classic movie The Endless Summer, the hotel invites visitors closer to nature, to admire the endless horizon, combine relaxation and adventure, and to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, healthy food, good wine, music and some fun. Complementing the locale is the hotel’s décor.
Natural materials such as reclaimed wood, stone, ceramic tiles and linen combine with soft tones in the public areas and inside of the 18 rooms and suites—all of which feature private terraces. Books and photographs complement the charming atmosphere. The hotel’s common area is also home to a library. Here, life is simply better.
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF M.K SADLER AND NICOLE FRANZEN
In an era where technology is ubiquitous and time spent in front of screens is dramatically increasing, a movement is growing. Creating an opportunity to cultivate more personal connections via a face-to-face conversation between like-minded individuals, Habitas aims to awaken creativity and inspire new ideas from its central location in Venice Beach.
Founded by Oliver Ripley, Kfir Levy and Eduardo Castillo, Habitas is “an experience-led global hospitality group, a platform for a global, social movement in the places we live, work and travel to,” according to the trio. In addition to a flagship hotel in Tulum, Mexico, the brand recently opened its first two urban clubhouses for members on the East and West Coasts, with one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.
Located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Habitas Venice Beach occupies a renovated beach house originally built in the 1940s. The structure sits beside a mural by Portuguese street artist Vhils. Open to all Habitas members, the elegant yet relaxed clubhouse features original, charming elements such as detailing on its facade and redwood and antique windows that reflect a classic feel accentuated by furnishings mostly sourced from estate sales and artisans markets around the world. Some pieces were custom-built for the space; artworks by local L.A. artists add a contemporary twist to the cozy atmosphere.
The ground floor comprises a sun room with a built-in nook, classic 1970’s-era wood-on-glass table, green chaise lounge and Hollywood Regency-style lighting. A parlor—with chairs draped in sheepskin and a glass table—leads to a small courtyard. Adorned with a stone fireplace, green safari chairs, a yellow couch and a hidden bookcase, the living room is the main communal space.
In the kitchen, healthy takeaway and complimentary items are available. Among other amenities, Habitas Venice Beach provides surfboards and beach cruisers, also complimentary, as well as a concierge available by text, WhatsApp or email for questions and bookings. Upstairs, a loft is home to three seating areas with low-bearing furniture, double stacked pillows and tatami mats.
Outside, the backyard—which hosts an outdoor rain shower—also features eclectic pieces such as custom-built benches painted high-gloss black with floral Indochina-style cushions. The nearby garage, meanwhile, was transformed into a space dedicated to yoga and meditation.
Designed like a home environment, inviting members to share memories and ideas through a program of events focusing on wellness, music, art, food and adventure, Habitas Venice Beach fosters a sense of community influenced by a cosmopolitan lifestyle and global culture.