Designed for Zen, the Nobu Ryokan Malibu Takes Japanese Sophistication to the Next Level

Sand & sushi.

Driving south on PCH, we nearly missed our destination. With just a number attached to a large wooden driveway gate, the address could easily be mistaken for a private beachfront home. But no sooner had we pulled up to the entrance than the gate gave way, and we pulled into a small parking lot attended by three of our hosts.

As the car was whisked away, the general manager gave us a warm welcome, while another staff member offered us each a cool towel to refresh. If there were other guests at the Nobu Ryokan Malibu, it sure didn’t matter. From those early moments, it felt like we arrived at our own personal piece of paradise.

Part of world-renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s global hospitality network, the Nobu Ryokan is an intimate, 16-room retreat just steps from his famed restaurant. Inspired by traditional Japanese inns, the hotel offers a subdued experience overlooking the Pacific.

Architecturally, it’s stunning to behold—a gorgeous medley of warm woods surrounding a lush garden and tranquil water features. Inside, our spacious suite opened to a small beach and waves crashing below. We could have sat on the deck for hours … and we did. How did it take so long to discover this gem?

The interiors feature the pristine minimalism of traditional Japanese design, including elements such as tatami mats and covetable teak soaking tubs. The aesthetic of each suite also pays tribute to the cool and refined spirit of California, with expansive sandy-colored limestone walls and sleek finishes, designed in collaboration with Tal Design, Studio PCH, Montalba Architects and C.W. Eisner. As is common with Nobu properties, the rooms boast high-tech capabilities, from the toilet to the guest tablet.

Though it may be hard to peel yourself away from your suite, there are options for guests outside the hotel. CURE spa is available to guests either for in-room treatments or at their facility across the street via the house car. If tennis is your game, head over to the Malibu Racquet Club—a private, members-only club featuring eight fully lighted outdoor hard courts, locker rooms with saunas and steam showers, and a fitness facility.

And let’s not forget the sushi. As guests of the Nobu Ryokan, you enjoy priority reservations when you book through the property. That means bold cocktails and unbeatable Japanese-fusion specialties just a few minutes from your front door. Book your table at the coveted sunset hour or take a bottle of wine back to your private patio and soak in the splendor solo. There are no bad choices here, only delight.

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