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Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Malibu Beach Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Perfectly located for a classic Malibu beach experience, this luxury hotel knows how to serve even the most discerning guest."
Best Budget: The M Malibu – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Puts guests right next to renowned hiking and wine tasting experiences."
Best Glamping: Glampotel Ocean Vista – See Rates at glampotelmalibu.com
"The location is perfect during wildflower season, as it is nestled in blooms."
Best Boutique: Malibu Country Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"This down-to-earth and quaint inn has only 16 rooms, but the suites are where it’s at."
Best Private Rental: Malibu Estate by Jet Luxury Resorts – See Rates at jetluxuryresorts.com
"This crash pad is basically one massive estate house on over an acre of oceanfront property."
Best for Surfers: The Surfrider – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Just across the street from the world-famous Surfrider Beach, this hotel is a beach house with a surfing clientele in mind."
Best for Foodies: Nobu Ryokan Malibu – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"An ultra-private oceanfront Japanese hideaway that doubles as a surfside refuge, with the legendary food of Nobu Malibu."
Best Nature Retreat: Calamigos Guest Ranch – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Choose a lovely 450 square foot private cottage tucked into rows of Cabernet and Viognier grapevines."
"The hotel's mission is 'to reinvigorate body and soul,' and they seem to take their mission seriously."
Best Overall: Malibu Beach Inn
This hotel has been named a Leading Hotel of the World for a reason. Perfectly located for a classic Malibu beach experience (oceanfront with a private strip of land on Carbon Beach and just a 5-minute walk from the Malibu Pier), this luxury hotel knows how to serve even the most discerning guest while never losing its laid-back California beach vibe.
The 45 guestrooms mix beachy and Danish modern styles, with wood floors, vaulted wood-beamed ceilings, gas fireplaces and balconies with full glass doors giving unobstructed views of the beach and pier from almost anywhere in the room. Guests can dine above the waters at the Ocean Terrace or get cozy fireside under a woolly blanket at night.
The award-winning Carbon Beach Club sources ingredients from One Gun Ranch and nearby farmers' markets, and it goes without saying that the wine menu delivers with a selection of amazing California varietals. For active guests, there is kiteboarding, paddleboarding, ocean kayaking, and surfing, and the nearby Santa Monica mountains are for hiking.
The spa staff does morning yoga sessions on the beach. Other services offered include a limousine service, a personal shopper, a grocery shopping service and a personal trainer.
Best Budget: The M Malibu
While in no way fancy, guests on a budget could not ask for a better location at this price point. It’s located right on the Pacific Coast Highway, about 400 feet from Surfrider beach and near the Malibu Pier. It also puts guests close to renowned hiking and nearby wine tasting experiences.
This retro-style motel is very chill – what the rooms lack in amenities the staff makes up for in surf-culture warm hospitality. Standard rooms come with air conditioning, partial beach views and complimentary beach towels to use. For guests with mobility issues, there are two accessible rooms available on the ground floor next to the office, with accessible parking spaces right by the rooms.
There are also easy and large pathways to access amenities on the property including the pool and sun deck. An express check-out makes getting back on the road easy, and wifi is complimentary throughout the motel.
Best Glamping: Glampotel Ocean Vista
At Glampotel Ocean Vista, located up in the Malibu mountains but just 15 minutes from the Malibu Pier, there is the chance for guests to sleep inside a large canvas tent on a private 20-acre ranch with incredible Pacific Ocean views.
Each comes equipped with hotel-like amenities such as comfortable beds (with real mattresses, not air mattresses), hardwood floors, furniture, solar-powered lighting, and a private ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower, flushing toilet, and sink with hot and cold running water.
There’s even a gas burner to quickly and easily be able to make a steaming cup of morning coffee. The location is perfect during wildflower season, as it is nestled in blooms.
Yoga is available outside on the infinity platform, and some of the very best hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains are just around the corner at Solstice Canyon.
Best Boutique: Malibu Country Inn
This down-to-earth and quaint inn has only 16 rooms, each with a refrigerator, coffee maker, cable television and telephones – but the suites are where it’s at. Suites are considerably larger and have a fireplace and a jacuzzi bathtub, perfect for a cozy getaway close to the beach.
The Mountain View Suite is the most in-demand, as it offers commanding views of the surrounding Santa Monica mountains and has a skylight and a luxurious rain shower, in addition to a large patio with lounge chairs for complete relaxation.
There is a heated pool on-site, free parking, and gourmet coffee available. The hotel does have a restaurant, Ocean Blue, but it is currently undergoing renovations so travelers who wish for on-site dining should be sure to check the inn’s website before booking to see if the restaurant has reopened.
Best Private Rental: Malibu Estate by Jet Luxury Resorts
For travelers with cash to spend and who want the utmost in location and privacy, this luxury estate is available for rent through Jet Luxury Resorts. In the Pt. Dume Rivera part of Malibu, on Westward Beach adjacent to Zuma Beach, this crash pad is basically one massive estate house with two additional guesthouses (7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms total) on over an acre of oceanfront property.
All of the furnishings are top of the line – down to the Viking stove in the spacious kitchen. There’s a lit tennis and basketball court, a wine cellar, two heated outdoor showers, and a pool and 12-person spa with waterfalls that overlooks the ocean and has a direct staircase to the sand below.
This house is fully equipped – so for guests who might want to boogieboard or to kayak, its already been thought of. Knowing that security is very important to its guests, Jet Luxury ensures that the house and location are fully secured and gated.
Best for Surfers: The Surfrider
Right on the Pacific Coast Highway and just across the street from the world-famous Surfrider Beach, this hotel is a beach house with 20 rooms built with a surfing clientele in mind. There is storage on-site for your surfboard and wetsuit (you can rent this equipment through Local Shaper Wax Surf Company), as well as heated outdoor showers.
While they do arrange Surfing Safaris, for travelers who want to mix it up they also organize hiking adventures in the nearby mountains. For guests who arrive by car, there is ample free parking and even electric car charging stations – and for those without a vehicle, complimentary Mini Coopers available to use, subject to availability.
The Malibu Suite is a 500-square-foot two-room suite with vaulted ceilings and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu Pier, and Santa Monica Bay. It has a very comfortable Queen bed, spa rain shower and a private double-sized outdoor terrace with hammocks and outdoor eating space ideal for keeping an eye on the surf and the sunset.
Best for Foodies: Nobu Ryokan Malibu
This five-star hotel is rather pricey, but for their money guests get an ultra-private oceanfront Japanese hideaway that doubles as a surfside refuge, with the legendary food of Nobu Malibu next door available for room service.
Think Malibu Takumi burgers, spicy seafood inaniwa noodles and wild salmon with teriyaki glaze all from the comfort of bed – but guests who want to go to the restaurant and dine at a table should ask the Ryokan at the hotel to confirm a table – “regular” people have to book months in advance.
Most guests come here to completely hole up and unwind, and with that in mind, breakfast of Bento boxes, scrambled egg tacos or coconut French toast is delivered bedside. In impeccable Japanese-style, the interiors are minimalist with stark, clean lines and textures from silk, linen, sisal and polished teak.
There is a Japanese garden on-site perfect for a meditative rest, and for further lounging, a sundeck has loungers, umbrellas and mini bottles of sun cream. The hotel has 16 rooms and all of them have incredible ocean views, but black-out blinds ensure a solid night’s sleep.
A romantic fireplace ignites simply by the touch of an iPad. Guests can end the evening with a glass of wine and a long soak in a bathtub sculpted entirely from teak.
Best Nature Retreat: Calamigos Guest Ranch
Calamigos is a Chumash Indian word that means “Come as My Brother, Come as My Friend”. From lovely 450-square-foot private cottages tucked into rows of Cabernet and Viognier grapevines to a massive 1,200-square-foot lakefront Estate suite with its own private pool and two-story rock waterfall, this is the place for guests who are looking to deeply connect with nature and unwind in peace.
Guests here do not have to decide between the beach or the mountains – the resort offers the best of both worlds by having a private 250-acre ranch in the Malibu Wine Country as a base but an exclusive beachfront Beach Club as well, accessible a complimentary 12-minute shuttle.
Guided hikes, horseback riding, and local wine tasting tours are located right on the property, and paddle boarding can be arranged by the beach team. The spa is notable, and Estate Suite guests receive a complimentary 50-minute Calamigos Massage or Calamigos Facial with their reservation. The Chakra stone massage is often done outdoors in the fresh air.
Leo’s Lobby Bar and the Malibu Café are open for quick bites at the ranch, and the Calamigos Beach Club offers full dining and beach bar service with incredible views of the Malibu Coastline from every window.
Best Spa: Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
Providing the impeccable service that the Four Seasons brand is known for, this gorgeously landscaped hotel located up in the Santa Monica mountains is about 20 minutes from Malibu proper but feels a world away. Its mission is “to reinvigorate body and soul”, and they seem to take their mission seriously. It has sumptuously large guestrooms – the one-bedroom suite is over a thousand square feet and can sleep five.
There is every kind of dining available, from fine dining at The Art Gallery to an outdoor lounge that serves up lighter fare, to a large wine selection at The Tasting Room, but all of the food on the grounds is a feast for the senses. There is an indoor pool and an outdoor adults-only serenity pool.
But where the hotel shines is its award-winning spa and on-site wellness facility, the California Health & Longevity Institute. It has bamboo floors, onyx-accented ceilings, and even a Chinese footbridge that connects lounges.
The Four Seasons Signature Retreat is for guests who want to take their wellbeing seriously. It is a program of four days complete with organic meals, lifestyle workshops, mindfulness, yoga and health assessments – and of course a range of spa treatments such as massages and an indulgent facial can be worked into the mix.
Guests can toast to their vibrant health by taking a private picnic in the picturesque wine region (reached by a personal driver).