Do Malibu in Style With the Native Hotel, a Rejuvenated Hollywood Favorite

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By Alison Sinkewicz
Bob Dylan, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe are just a few of the superstar guests who have stayed at the midcentury property.

Originally built in 1947, the Malibu Riviera Hotel was a popular jaunt for celebrities of the 1950s and '60s—in fact, Bob Dylan wrote the album Blood on the Tracks in room 13. Today, the property has been given new life as Malibu's Native Hotel, located right off the Pacific Coast Highway and close to picturesque Zuma Beach and Point Dume. 

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Designed by Los Angeles-based creative agency Folklor in partnership with SKG Investments, Native retains the previous motel’s charm with original features like the stone fireplace and concrete aggregate floors. Check-in features design-conscious updates, such as a Jerry Johnson sling rocker and chair and a wood bar sofa from Early Work. 

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The rooms were designed to echo the region’s bungalow-style homes with simple midcentury elements. Each of the 13 rooms feature exposed white wood beams and offer private patios with handmade hammocks. Bed frames by Design Within Reach host Casper mattresses where guests can rest their heads after a long day of surf and sun.

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Early 20th-century accessories such as Italian desk stools and ice boxes keep the feel retro-chic, while custom robes made from African fabric and Native’s own all-natural toiletries add idiosyncratic touches.

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On property, Chef Ludo Lefebvre of L.A.’s outstanding Petit Trois serves up Coffee & Waffles in the hotel’s charming 1947 Airstream trailer. The spot offers locally-roasted coffee and specialty waffles—try the ham and gruyère waffle, or the coconut and dried shrimp. 

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The hotel has also collaborated with Brooklyn designer Jill Lindsey for a curated retail shop at check-in with objects and clothing by local and international designers. 

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As if you needed another excuse to visit Malibu, Native beckons as a stylish getaway with a storied past. Rooms start at $400 a night.