A Guided Tour of the Best New Surf Hotel in Malibu

The One Ocean Beauty team spent some time at the Surfrider Hotel earlier this year while shooting the campaign for the launch of the brand and fell in love with the property. 

Text and photos by Vogue Paris

Owned by Matthew Goodwin, design architect of Spring Studio in New York, Emma Goodwin, designer and world traveler, and Alessandro Zampedri, entrepreneur and co-owner of Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, The Surfrider has just opened its doors in Malibu. The former road-side hotel and favorite spot of 1970s California surfers has been refurbished by the trio into an impeccably designed boutique hotel. A new surf mecca on the Pacific coast for surf fans and holiday makers alike. Meet its owners.

You have just opened the new hotel Surfrider in Malibu; how did that come about?

I’m Australian and had been living in NYC for a decade. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) is from California and grew up surfing Malibu. He was very familiar with Surfrider Beach and the iconic motel across the road. We heard whispers that the owner wanted to sell and so Matt and our business partner Alessandro jumped on the next plane back to California. We spent the next three and a half years turning it from an iconic (but dilapidated) roadside motel to the design-forward boutique hotel that it is now.
Why did you choose Malibu and how did you find this specific area?

Malibu is an iconic international destination, the St Tropez or The Hamptons of California and, at the time, there were very few options of places to stay.

surfrider hotel malibu

What was your inspiration?

Define Surfrider in 3 words

What are the colors and materials of Surfrider?

A neutral palette of beachy whites with raw and real materials – hardwood teak floors,real stone, real linen, pitched ceilings, tongue and groove walls.

How does the place feel – what is its atmosphere like?

It’s personal and intimate. It feels like an extended living room, like your own Californian beach house with a private roof deck and epic view of the most iconic beach break in the world. It makes people feel free, alive, inspired as they sip cocktails in their hammocks on their private ocean facing balconies. There’s a special feeling of nostalgia in the air. A familiarity with The Californian Dream. It’s fun and chilled out!

How is Surfrider the perfect hotel for surfers?

It faces the most famous waves in the world…the waves that Bruce Brown went on to make his cult classic surf film, The Perfect Wave, about! Surfers can check the waves from their bed, their private balcony, their hammock and/or the guest-only roof deck bar and restaurant, which has the best view in Malibu. Once they are done surfing, they can shower in the warm outdoor shower and relax by the fire pit on the roof deck, cocktail in hand. And, for those who travel internationally and don’t have their boards, there’s a wide selection of custom shaped surfboards (inspired by vintage shapes and colors) available for guest use.

surfrider hotel malibu

Who would you most like to welcome for a night at the hotel?

Francoise Hardy!

How did you bring your personal touch to the Surfrider?

As surfers, architects, designers and travellers we designed an experience exactly as we would like to experience if we were travelling to California. Everything from the rooms,to the art, to the custom surfboards to the menu items and cocktails are exactly what we would want in a Californian beach house.

What would be the soundtrack of the Surfrider?

An ode to California in the 60s and 70s with a french twist! Our favorites are Astrud Gilberto's The Girl from Impanema, Francois Hardy's Le temps de l’amour, and we love songs from The Rolling Stones, The Mamas & The Papas, Devendra Banhart, Gypsy Queen and The Doors.

The beauty label you worked with?

Grown Alchemist. A fully sustainable, all organic beauty company out of Australia.

Three addresses we should know about in the neighborhood?

Soho House’s Malibu outpost – “Little Beach House”, Point Dume for a hike and First Point at Surfrider Beach for “the perfect wave”.

What is your next project?

Time will tell!

Jade Simon, translated by Lily Kinnear Griffiths in Vogue Paris on 15 January 2018