Take a trip on Los Angeles’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway, past Santa Monica’s busy pier and surfers in the waves at all hours of the day, and you hit Malibu—well-known for its less hurried, quintessential California coastal experience. Here, at newcomer The Hotel June, it’s even easier to spend some quality time in the area. I did just that on a recent road trip up the coast, fueled by my desire to escape the traffic congested streets of Los Angeles for the serenity of the ocean.
Hotel June debuted in late May this year, but its historic roots span all the way back to 1949, when it stood as Malibu Riviera Hotel—a later haven for artists like Bob Dylan, who wrote his “Blood on the Tracks” album in one of the bungalows.
Today, the property honors its storied past with a minimalist design aesthetic that pays homage to the spirit of Malibu in the 1960s, including a restored mixed stone fireplace and black-and-white photos of the area by former owner and photographer Wayne Wilcox in each room.
The hotel lobby features oak wood accents and a stone countertop where you can order seasonal sandwiches, salads, and muffins to enjoy at one of wooden tables in the spacious courtyard patio (or inside your room).
I settled on a filling kale salad with manchego cheese, apples, and almonds. The atmosphere at the 13-room Hotel June reflects the vibe of its surrounding beachside community: easygoing without the fuss or crowds common in larger properties. I often popped into the lobby to chat with someone working behind the counter or found a quiet corner on the patio to work without a single interruption—making it a great place for remote working.
Each of the bungalow-style rooms includes its own garden patio—some with hammocks—to chill out as traffic zips by in the distance on the PCH. The room design is pared down to essentials like a king-size Casper bed, desk, minibar, TV, and Tivoli radio for entertainment. Beyond a pathway sprouting with cacti and other indigenous plants, I sat at a shaded lounger before a dip in the pool.
Hotel June is only minutes from winding hiking trails and Malibu’s famous waves, as well as a number of restaurants offering fresh, locally sourced fare like Malibu Farm and Broadstreet Oyster Company. It’s a place I’d easily return to when I want to break up a road trip along the coast with a low-key overnight stay.
Kristin Braswell Kristin Braswell is a travel journalist and founder of Crush Global Travel. She has penned pieces for Vogue, CNN, USA Today, Essence, NPR, Architectural Digest, Ebony, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Her perfect day includes soca music, rum, and the ocean.