The Surfrider hotel in Malibu receives refresh from Matthew Goodwin

Architect and hotelier Matthew Goodwin has aimed to capture the spirit of California at this coastal hotel, which was transformed from a run-down motor lodge into a beach house.

Overlooking the ocean, The Surfrider hotel is a historic property with ties to musicians including The Doors, Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young.

The Surfrider

Built in 1953, the former motor lodge sits on the Pacific Coast Highway in front of Surfrider Beach, which features in 1966 cult movie The Endless Summer.

“The Surfrider is part of the Malibu landscape and at the heart of its culture,” said a statement from the hotel. “It’s an iconic part of Califonian history.”

The Surfrider

Goodwin – who grew up in the area – decided to overhaul the property with wife Emma Crowther, who serves as a creative director, and business partner Alessandro Zampedri.

The team decided to bring the building back to its former glory, so overhauled the tired interiors to create light, fresh spaces across its 18 rooms and two suites, library, guest-only rooftop bar, and restaurant.

The Surfrider

A simple colour and material palette is used throughout, combining white surfaces, pale wood and beige upholstery.

“The Surfrider has been built to last,” the team said. “Solid natural materials have been used throughout: reclaimed wooden floorboards, custom-made teak beds, stone, ceramic tiles, linens.”

The Surfrider

Textured rugs and wicker lampshades add homey touches, along with artwork, books, homeware and plants peppered through the hotel. “It is warmly minimal with a feeling of care and craft throughout,” the team added.

All the bedrooms have access to a sea view balcony, with hammocks included for those on the upper level. The roof terrace features lounge chairs, a fire pit and a sound system for relaxing in the evenings.

The Surfrider

The restaurant serves seasonal local produce, and prepare picnics for guests wishing to get out and explore the area.

“All decisions have been made through the same lens, developed and designed from vision to detail by
the team as owner-operators,” said the team.

The Surfrider

One by one, mid-century motels and motor lodges across the US are being given new lives as boutique accommodation options – from a property in California’s Napa Valley to a mountain retreat in New York’s Catskills.

Malibu’s offering for overnight visitors is also expanding, with recent openings including the Japanese-influenced Nobu Ryokan Malibu hotel.

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