By: Madeline Weinfield
Styled after a roadside motel of a bygone era when surf lodges and seafood shacks were ubiquitous along the Pacific Coast Highway, the Malibu Beach Inn is a hideaway in plain sight. Perched directly over the water on a stretch of sand known as Carbon Beach, the Malibu Beach Inn embodies the philosophy of barefoot luxury to its core. As a “leading hotel of the world” it has all the markings of a superior boutique property—unparalleled service, gorgeous furnishing, an impeccable restaurant and bar, and rooms with views worth quite literally, just about a billion dollars. Yet the Malibu Beach Inn goes further, capturing the spirit of Malibu’s relaxed allure. Here is a place to take in one of the last stretches of unobstructed wildness along the southern California coast. And as the Malibu Beach Inn has you know, you’re welcome—barefoot, billionaire, or some combination of the two.
With just 47 rooms, this is truly a boutique hotel. Each room faces the sea and stretches out over Carbon Beach with a balcony hovering directly above the water. Stylish attention has been given to the design of the rooms which are furnished in the beachy, relaxed style Malibu has come to be known for. Neutral-toned furnishings, a fireplace, coffee table books on some of the world’s greatest beach towns, nespresso machines, a well-stocked bar, and a bathroom with Japanese toilets will make you never want to leave. Any place where you can listen to the ocean while falling asleep by a fireplace is a place worth hiding in.
Dinning with a View
The Inn’s restaurant, Carbon Beach Club, is known for breakfast—and especially brunch—far beyond just the hotel’s guests. Served right on the water and on a the terrace overlooking the ocean and Malibu Pier, the California-inspired menu is complete with avocado or berry mascarpone toast, grain and egg bowls, fresh juices and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
Seafood is the star of the dinner menu with everything from local cioppino, to Baja shrimp, to whole Maine lobster. Start with the unusually and deliciously grilled avocado and end with the affogato.
A small bar with its own menu of light bites is on offer as well as an extensive wine list of California and further afield wines, but the cocktails are the true stars here. Expect a mix of beachy concoctions such as the Farmerita, a tequila margarita, and twists on classics like the Sun & Sand, based on the ‘Blood & Sand’ cocktail designed for the premier of the 1922 bullfighting movie by the same name, and a Clear & Dirty Martini borrowed from the Hemingway bar in Paris.
The Veronica Skin & Body Center offers body treatments and massages with a view of the Pacific. Yoga classes are held every morning at 8 am on the sands of the inn’s private stretch of Carbon Beach
Life Beyond the Inn
The Malibu Pier is just a few steps away and is a go-to for wondering, fishing, or dinning. Malibu Farms on the Pier serves the best of California cuisine, with produce that tastes like it was just picked that morning. A nearby drive up and down the Pacific Coast Highway you’ll find the Getty Villa, a museum housing an impressive collection of ancient art, and the Adamson House, one of the first homes of Malibu and now a house museum showcasing the property’s rich history as the site of the famed and now defunct Malibu Tile Company. Hikes and surf breaks are too numerous to count, but for something close, head to Point Dume for a short walk up the cliffs. Go at sunset and watch surfers paddling out to catch the day’s last waves.
How Do I Get There?
There’s no getting around needing a car in southern California. Pick something up at LAX and try to relax into the traffic. Once you’re in Malibu limit yourself to driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) and into the canyons.
About the author: Madeline Weinfield is the community editor of The Culture-ist. Follow her adventures on Instagram @madolionw.