Locals and tourists do not always think alike, but surely we can agree on this: Malibu is a magical place. Cruising the undulating roadway that leads to the coastal enclave can be a transformative process on its own. As I drive, thoughts of coffee meetings and unanswered emails are drowned out by beauty — the silhouettes of surfers gliding toward the sand, pelicans swimming in the sun. Believe it or not, the destination got even better this year with the opening of Native Hotel, a revamp of the 1947-built Malibu Riviera Motel. Each of the property's 13 bungalows is simple but chic, thanks to the curatorial efforts of L.A.-based creative agency Folklor. Exposed white beams, brass bathroom fixtures and a Dutch door leading to a private patio are just a few of the details I found myself wanting to replicate at home. Guests can add a touch of luxury to their trip by booking a massage, among other treatments, in the wellness center. Very soon, Ludo Lefebvre will lure foodies from all over with waffles and coffee served from a trailer parked on-site. Combine the above amenities with the property's proximity to Zuma Beach, Point Dume and multiple state parks, and it's a wonder people manage to return their room keys.
Credit: Chelsee Lowe