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Inside the soon-to-open Nobu Ryokan Malibu hotel

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Opening April 28

A photo of the interior courtyard.
Photos by Barbara Kraft
Courtesy of Nobu Ryokan Malibu

The Nobu Ryokan Malibu—named one of Forbes’s most anticipated hotel openings of the year—is opening later this month in the former 1950s-era Casa Malibu Inn. A heavy renovation has transformed the motel into a high-end, Japanese-inspired hotel with only 17 rooms. It will open April 28.

Designed by Studio PCH, Inc. with Montalba Architects and TAL Studio, the new hotel is a luxurious take on the ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Rooms will feature elements such as tatami mats, shoji screens, and teak soaking tubs “placed beneath skylights,” all within a stone’s throw of Malibu’s Carbon Beach (also called Billionaire’s Beach).

The two-story, 9,200-square-foot inn holds 12 suites and five oceanfront bungalows. Hotel grounds are exclusive to guests only and will feature in-room eats from a custom menu by Nobu Malibu, which is next to the new hotel.

This is not the first Nobu hotel (there’s one in Las Vegas and one on the way way in Chicago), but it is the first of the Nobu Ryokan brand, owned by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, actor Robert DeNiro, and film producer Meir Teper.

Oracle cofounder and billionaire Larry Ellison bought the Casa Malibu Inn in 2007, paying $20 million. (He already owns a good chunk of the neighborhood’s property.) The motel closed four years ago, and by 2013, there were plans for Ellison to join forces with Chef Nobu to create a new hotel.

Before this latest development, the last we’d heard from the project was two years ago, when signs went up on the exterior.

Rooms at the Nobu Ryokan Malibu are expected to start at $1,100 a night with a two-night minimum. The hotel’s website cautions that during “preferred” times to visit, rooms will start at $2,000 a night.