California Dreaming at the Surfrider Hotel


It’s hard to imagine a place that embodies sunny beach culture more than the newly remodeled Surfrider Hotel. For one thing, it sits on a fabled Malibu location across from Surfrider Beach (home to “the perfect wave” according to the cult classic film The Endless Summer). For another, it provides surfboards for guest use—enough said.

The original Surfrider was built 1953. Not only can it be spotted in many vintage postcards and photos, it was a familiar haunt of The Doors, Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young. When it came on the market, current owner and architect Matthew Goodwin jumped at the chance to buy it and update it. After all, he grew up in the neighborhood and frequently surfed at Surfrider Beach. He took on the project with his wife, Emma Crowther (who serves the creative director) and partner Alessandro Zampedri.

Crowther describes their goal as creating a boutique hotel that actually feels like a design-savvy California beach house. “The intention was to create a considered environment that doesn’t just look good but encourages people to feel good,” she says.

The new spaces are minimal, but crafted with warm materials and textures. You’ll find crisp, white backgrounds with reclaimed wood accents and beachy linen fabrics. There’s a hyper-local focus, and guests experience everything from coffee roasted in Los Angeles (Canyon Coffee) to robes crafted 20 miles away in Venice (Parachute Home).

Add to that a guest only rooftop restaurant and bar that utilizes local ingredients and is home to what the team calls “perhaps the best view on this part of the coast,” and you see why Crowther describes The Surfrider as “personifying the California dream.”


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