7 Top-Rated Resorts in Malibu
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The beachside enclave of Malibu, which has long been synonymous with luxury, is one of the most prestigious addresses in the Los Angeles area and has some unique, resort-style properties in stunning locales.
A place where the canyons tumble down to the sea, the small town of Malibu doesn't have any large resorts, but it does host some ultra exclusive boutique properties that cater to all styles of traveler, whether you are on a romantic getaway or a family vacation.
In Malibu, you can stay at a resort-like property owned by Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa or one that sits where the crashing deep blue Pacific Ocean meets a white-sand beach. There is even an option to stay at a resort on a ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, where many a movie has been filmed. Here we list our favorite resorts in Malibu.
1. Nobu Ryokan Malibu
Accommodation: Nobu Ryokan Malibu
Malibu's most exclusive hotel is the 16-room Nobu Ryokan Malibu, which has resort-like amenities. Owned by the famous Iron Chef Nobu Matsushia, the property is just five years old and just off Carbon Beach by the Malibu Pier.
The 5-star hotel caters to an exclusive clientele, including many A-listers and global movers and shakers who value privacy. It's set inside a totally transformed circa 1950s beach motel. You enter via a courtyard that faces the ocean and leads to a gorgeously maintained garden. A path leads to a wooden deck with views of the beach and pier.
Each of the 11 suites and five oceanfront bungalows is individually decorated. The vibe is that of a traditional Japanese inn with shoji screens and tatami mats. Limestone, naturally stained teak, and bronze are also used in abundance.
Rooms have either garden or ocean views. Garden suites come with al fresco green space, while ocean suites are located on the building's second floor. The top suite has an outdoor Japanese soaking tub that is perfect for a romantic getaway. Expect super comfy beds in both with high-end Italian linens. Other in-room perks include bath amenities by Mauro Spina, Nespresso machines and linen yukata robes.
There is no on-site restaurant, but guests can order room service from Nobu Malibu, which is just a two-minute walk away. You will also have first dibs on reservations should you wish to dine there. A number of other dining options are located within walking distance as well.
Nobu guests can also book in-room massages and have access to the private Malibu Racquet Club nearby.
2. The Surfrider Hotel, Malibu
Accommodation: The Surfrider Hotel, Malibu
The Surfrider Malibu is just across the street from Surfrider Beach and a quick two-minute walk from the Malibu Pier, home to a number of shops and restaurants. Set inside what was once a 1950s-era motel, today the 20-room property has been converted into a luxe boutique hotel.
There is a contemporary California beach house vibe throughout this design-forward hotel owned by a California-born architect.
Expect lots of light throughout. And from the vaulted lobby to the intimate upstairs library, staying here really feels akin to being a guest in a friend's home. The 18 rooms and two suites are low-key glam, with custom-designed, locally made furnishings and art. Each room has a slightly different look, although the style throughout features lots of white and soft gray hues paired with varying colors and types of wood. Beds are comfy with designer linens.
The Surfrider Suite is our favorite room. It comes with a hammock, sun-loungers, and an outdoor dining space on its private terrace. It also boasts a kitchenette and a fabulous spa rain shower in the bathroom.
Amenities here are that of a small resort. They include custom surfboards for guests to borrow. And if you want to spend the day at the beach, you can text a food order to the staff and have it delivered to your beach towel on the sand.
If you'd rather eat at a proper restaurant, head to the rooftop deck, where you'll find lots of cozy seating areas, awesome Pacific Ocean views, and a full menu of locally sourced and healthy dishes.
3. Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club
Accommodation: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club
Set on 200 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club is a unique luxury property that has been used as the backdrop for more than one movie shoot.
Note that Calamigos is not right on the beach, but it does run a shuttle service for guests to its sprawling private beach club 12 minutes away.
There is a fee to visit the club, but once paid, you'll be able to eat and drink as much as you like, take paddleboard lessons, go snorkeling, and just lounge on the sand in a chair beneath an umbrella.
Rooms come in a number of shapes and sizes. The estate rooms come with private pools, while many of the cottages have outdoor showers and terraces with king beds. The two-bedroom bungalows are great for families and kids stay free here. The resort is also pet friendly.
There is much to do on the main estate as well. Horseback riding can be arranged, as can guided nature walks. There are multiple swimming pools on the grounds, two huge and well-equipped fitness centers, and a spa with a full range of treatments.
Breakfast is include in your rate. There are also a few different dining options on the grounds. The Country Kitchen and Bar is where to go for Sunday brunch and live entertainment.
4. Malibu Beach Inn
Accommodation: Malibu Beach Inn
The oceanfront Malibu Beach Inn is just steps from the sand. The hotel is family friendly but also attracts its fair share of couples and has resort-like amenities. The 4-star property has a California meets Japan meets Scandinavian look about it, and exudes barefoot, luxe elegance.
The 47 rooms and suites have a minimalist vibe that does not detract from Carbon Beach's million-dollar views found off private patios in every room. The sheets are very soft and the beds extra comfy. Falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean is another perk. The third-floor rooms have the absolute best views.
The restaurant has an oceanfront terrace and serves local California fare. You can also order room service and dine on your patio. The sunsets here are almost always stunning.
If you'd prefer to dine off property, the hotel is not far from Nobu, Soho House, and Malibu Farms, which is a top breakfast and lunch pick.
The resort has one spa suite where you can book body treatments, massages, and facials by Cure Spa Malibu. There is also a hot tub, sun loungers for guests on the beach, and babysitting services can be arranged.
5. Hotel June
Accommodation: Hotel June
On iconic Point Dume, the latest incarnation of Hotel June opened in late 2021 and is set on four landscaped acres just off the Pacific Coast Highway.
Like many other Malibu properties, Hotel June began its life as a motel that opened in 1949. During its original heyday it hosted a steady flow of writers and artists, including Bob Dylan, who wrote his studio album Blood on the Tracks while staying here.
The lobby area here pays homage to its yesteryear glory days and maintains the original mixed stone fireplace and redwood ceiling beams. A custom stone and oak counter has been added. There is a large patio off the lobby with more custom chairs that encourage mingling with other guests.
Hotel June has a collection of mid-century modern bungalows that are light and airy. They feature polished concrete floors, timber ceilings, and vintage-inspired decor. There are just 13 bungalows, and each has an individual style about it, with framed photographs and other curated art on walls. Room 13 is where Dylan wrote his album.
Families will like the Bunk Bed Bungalow, which comes with bunks for the kids. If you are traveling with a pup, one dog is allowed per room for a one-time fee.
Hotel June is one of just a few Malibu hotels to have a pool. It is heated and set on a lovely tiled deck with comfy sun loungers and umbrellas surrounding it. There is also a Cal-Mex inspired restaurant on the grounds.
6. The Ranch Malibu
Accommodation: The Ranch Malibu
If you are looking for a results-focused, fitness and wellness holiday then consider The Ranch Malibu.
It isn't a relaxing vacation by any means, but instead, the all-inclusive stay is designed to help recalibrate your mind and body through intense daily workouts, a vegan meal plan, yoga, hikes, and weight training sessions. They claim guests shed unwanted pounds, improve mental functioning, and detox their bodies.
The ranch has just 19 cottages. Each is designed to continue with enhancing the property's goal of calming the mind and returning to nature. As such, you'll find rustic chic interiors that are free of clutter. Note that a stay here requires you to participate in the full program, which is quite intense.
Days begin around 5:30am with morning stretches, followed by breakfast, and then perhaps a five-hour hike up into the Santa Monica Mountains. You'll then have lunch and time for a nap before an afternoon training session in the gym, yoga, and dinner. A daily massage is also included.
7. Malibu Country Inn
Accommodation: Malibu Country Inn
Right on the beachfront, Malibu Country Inn is a newly renovated 3-star option. The antique-filled inn has 16 ocean-, mountain-, and garden-view rooms and suites. All have unique decor and different features.
The two ocean-view suites boast king beds in a large open space setting, with a living area featuring a fireplace and sleeper sofa. The bathroom comes with a Jacuzzi tub, rain shower, and skylight. There is a shared patio with lounge chairs for relaxing.
The king garden-view rooms with Jacuzzis (ask for rooms 12 or 20) are another favorite option. These are less expensive, and come with stocked mini fridges and private patios.
On-site amenities included a heated outdoor swimming pool and a nice courtyard area that is popular for wedding receptions. The hotel's restaurant, Ocean Blue, is currently closed for renovations, but there are a number of dining options within a 10-minute walk from the inn.
The location by famous Zuma Beach is another perk.