Where do I start? In most hotels, the arrival experience is the be-all and end-all. Not this one, from arrival to departure, the Nobu Ryokan made us feel like family throughout our entire stay. A huge and special thanks to Gerard, Jeff, Austin, Trevor, Erick, Eddie, Soony, Allyson and Janelle!
Let me begin by saying, I have done 5 staycations in Malibu since the pandemic began and 4 have been on Carbon Beach, my favorite beach in LA County (I live in LA). As far as location goes, Nobu Ryokan is great, but that is where it begins and ends. We went to Nobu Ryokan for a milestone birthday and I had high expectations. I knew the area well, so was just looking forward to the hotel experience. Our experience started with the staff booking the wrong date (despite the communication being via email), something my girlfriend luckily caught with the confirmation. When selecting rooms I was asked whether I wanted a garden, beach or ocean view room, I selected ocean view. The confirm has a great photo of a 2nd floor room facing directly to the ocean. We check in and the room we had could at best be described as a partial ocean room. I politely requested a room change and even stated I would pay more, but staff could not accommodate. We then enjoyed the beach and the paddle boards (other nice things about hotel). We then ordered lunch. It took over an hour and the portions were absurdly small, finger food would not be accurate, more like pinky food. We then requested to move back our reservation time at Nobu Malibu cause we were so hungry but did not want to order again and wait only to spoil our appetite, once again staff could not accommodate (this is a theme). I have been to Nobu Malibu many times, so I simply requested that Nobu Ryokan book a nice ocean view table outside (not a big request since it is Covid and all dining is al fresco). We arrive at the restaurant and big surprise, we are placed in the only obstructed view table in the entire deck area, this was after the hotel assured me they had personally viewed the table. Later that night we decided we wanted a little snack and we were informed the kitchen closed at 10pm, once again the staff could not accommodate. Great location, nice venue, horrendous service and even more incompetent management. Upon notifying the general manager of all the issues she insulted me! I can honestly say this is not worth $500 a night let alone $2000+. If you want to experience carbon beach, rent a bungalow on Airbnb for much less and you will have a much better experience in Malibu. And if you want great service and to be pampered, go to Calamigos Ranch and beach club.…
We stopped in on a killer afternoon at the perfect time to enjoy a fun sampling of what Nobu has to offer. I was honestly expecting to be underwhelmed when I ordered the first round of food but that was only a matter of minutes before I was soon proven wrong. The sashimi I ordered was some of the best I have ever had, with the Toro being out of this world in quality. The chicken and waffles are fun as are the tacos of any flavor. The yakitori filet was pretty good, with the lobster ceviche being exceptional and one of the highlights on the seafood side. We had so much fun here we just kept ordering food and drinks and soaking up the killer vibes.
Kidding. But expecting all of the utmost seems to be a reasonable expectation when room prices run at these astronomical levels. Too bad , none of the "other" big room renters were visible. Maybe they were enjoying the view 24hours or were dissolving in the outside tub. The beds are very good. Not Japanese, but "Western" quality. Design outstanding, but spending $60.000+ on a 5*Hotel room is standard in the luxury segment of the hostellerie business. Views are spectacular, no kidding. The staff needs reality training, less arrogance, more as if they are doing this job for a long time, and not since yesterday. Tipping is not needed. Staff drives Porsches, I guess. Can guests stay over without a guest-bed? Not just to inhale the panorama. Yes.
Nice place, but overpriced. Excellent marketing, but it is not a "Ryokan" despite its name. The area is fantastic, and the property is high class. And that it is very private (basically empty) is an advantage. However if one is looking for value for money, look elsewhere. As mentioned in another review, which I should have read first, they are "way over-confident in their hotel." Very disapointed on that score.