Celebs Looking To Disappear Head To Nobu Ryokan Malibu (Don't Tell Anyone)

17 May 2019
Nobu Ryokan Malibu, Los Angeles
Barbara Kraft
One of the most uniquely subtle hotel experiences in Los Angeles

Running from Malibu Pier to Carbon Canyon Road, Carbon Beach is an exclusive stretch of sand that runs just shy of 2km. A famous spot that crashes headfirst into the Pacific, if you’re a local there’s a good chance you’ll know it by another name, too: Billionaire’s Beach.

But while this luxury enclave is known for being exclusive to the A-list, it’s also where you’ll find one of the most uniquely subtle hotel experiences around: Nobu Ryokan Malibu.

Full disclosure: if you’re looking for super-attentive service, then pulling up at 22752 Pacific Coast Highway may not quite be for you. Here the emphasis is firmly on privacy and seclusion – which is why you’re likely to see anybody from a Grammy-winner to a Silicon Valley CEO wandering the pathways. But, save for the reception and 24-hour concierge, the service here is stripped back. It’s just the way they like it.

A two-storey build with 16 guest rooms, some open at the water’s edge, others are set a little further back. All are beautifully crafted with natural materials and thoughtful minimalist Japanese design – from the tatami mats and shoji screens to the yukata robes. It matters little that there are no restaurants or bar here, chances are you won’t want to leave your room anyway. You’ll be too busy soaking in the teak-sculpted bath or sitting in front of the real fire that lights up at the push of a button.

That lack of a restaurant? Well Nobu Malibu is a couple of doors down – the Soho House-owned Little Beach House Malibu is in-between – and you’ll get preferential treatment as a Ryokan guest. If you really can’t bring yourself to move, then you can also order direct to your room. Breakfast, meanwhile, comes courtesy of healthy little packages delivered to your door.

If you do venture out, you can take a little time on the sundeck or wander around the gardens – you’ll find California fan palms and cup of gold vines and paths that meander around the building.

Make no mistake, this isn’t the Chateau Marmont. People don’t come to Nobu Ryokan Malibu to party, they come to be invisible. You won’t find a telephone number or reservations desk, this is basically a luxury hideaway. But as disappearing acts go, it’s pretty much how any right-minded soul should want to go out.