The Best Boutique Hotels in Malibu, California

The 12 Best Boutique Hotels in Malibu, California

When it comes to bucket list California attractions, Malibu tends to be toward the top of the list. Touted as “21 miles of scenic beauty,” there’s a reason this coastal city has long been the playground for Hollywood’s rich and famous.

Visitors flock here year-round to surf at Surfrider Beach, spot celebrities on Carbon Beach (aka “Billionaires Beach”), and dine on fresh seafood dishes at the iconic and historic Neptune’s Net. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that Malibu is teeming with little hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. 

With so much to see and do, you’ll want a nice hotel room to come back to at the end of each action-packed day. Luckily Malibu is dotted with all sorts of seaside resorts and retro boutique hotels. There are so many tempting options in and around Malibu that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect hotel. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels in Malibu to help you plan your perfect getaway!

Where to Stay in Malibu

Where to Stay in Malibu, California: Best Boutique Hotels

You find some of the best Malibu hotels lining the PCH near Carbon Beach. Located in Eastern Malibu, this is the most coveted stretch of sand in Malibu and home to quite a few celebrities. This is also where you’ll find top attractions like the Malibu Pier, Surfrider Beach, and Nobu Ryokan Malibu, so expect hotels in this area to come with a high price tag.

Head up the coast to Zuma Beach (Western Malibu), and you’ll find a few low-key hotels and B&Bs sprinkled around this popular part of town. It’s worth noting that much of Malibu proper is residential, which is why many visitors opt to stay in the areas around Malibu and simply make the 15-20-minute drive into Malibu for the day.

Located just 12 miles south of Carbon Beach and the Malibu Pier, Santa Monica is the most popular place to stay near Malibu. Santa Monica is brimming with cool boutique hotels, and with its beautiful beach, bustling pier, and famed farm-to-table dining scene, it’s a destination in its own right. 

Set 17 miles inland of Zuma Beach, Westlake Village also offers easy access to the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu. You’ll find quite a few luxury hotels and spas in this upscale neighborhood. Alternately, Calabasas is a 30-minute drive from Carbon Beach and also offers high-end hotels and quick access to the Santa Monica Mountains.

In this list, we’ve included options in Malibu, as well as the best boutique options in Santa Monica, Westlake Village, and Calabasas. That way, you’ll know all of your options!


The 12 Best Hotels in Malibu, CA

1. Malibu Beach Inn

Unique Hotels in Malibu, California: Malibu Beach Inn
Photo: Malibu Beach Inn

Malibu Beach Inn is easily one of the coolest boutique hotels in Malibu, and if you’re looking to stay in style, it doesn’t get much better than this. 

Malibu Beach Inn is located right on the world-famous Carbon Beach. Not only will you get private beach access, but the Malibu Pier is just a few sandy footsteps away from your room. You can choose from a variety of rooms and suites, but no matter which you choose, you’ll love taking in the ocean views from your private balcony.

For the best views, opt for the King Premier Ocean Front room. You can spend your days sipping your freshly-brewed Nespresso coffee on the ocean-facing balcony, warming up around the fireplace, and getting cozy with the custom robes and fine Italian bedding.

When you’re not relaxing in your luxury room, head down to the hotel’s oceanfront CURE Daily Spa for a relaxing treatment before enjoying a locally sourced dinner at the exclusive oceanfront Carbon Beach Club. This is the place to be at sunset!

Check Prices & Availability on Booking.com


2. The Surfrider Malibu

Best Malibu Hotels: The Surfrider Malibu
Photo: The Surfrider Malibu

Another one of the best hotels in Malibu, The Surfrider Malibu is the true embodiment of this unique California city. This revamped motel is about as stylish and cool as it gets while still exuding those laid-back California vibes.

This award-winning boutique hotel refers to itself as a “Californian Beach House.” From the personalized customer service to the loaner wetsuits and surfboards from McTavish Surfboards, you’ll feel right at home the second you check-in.

The Surfrider Malibu boasts 20 boutique rooms and suites, and while not all of them are the same, they are all impeccably decorated and feature a custom teak bed with Bellino linens, a spa-like rain shower with Grown Alchemist amenities and Parachute robes, and a private balcony or terrace. 

One of the things that makes this one of the best Malibu hotels is the rooftop bar and restaurant, which is open to guests only. Whether you want to fuel up with a big breakfast before a surf session or sip sundowners at the end of the day, this is one of the most exclusive spots in Malibu!

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3. Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Best Hotels in Malibu, California: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club
Photo: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

If you’re looking for a truly rejuvenating and relaxing retreat, Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club might just be the perfect pick. Tucked away on 200 acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains, this boutique resort has every amenity you could possibly need. 

You can spend your entire vacation getting facials and massages at Spa Calamigos, splashing around in the outdoor pool and hot tub, or embarking on hikes or horseback riding excursions in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. 

Or, if it’s beach time you’re after, hop on the free shuttle and make your way to the exclusive Calamigos Beach Club, which is open to guests only. Here you can set up shop on a chaise lounge and work on your tan before sipping handcrafted cocktails and dining on locally sourced fare at the restaurant. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can paddle out with a staff member for a SUP lesson!

However you decide to spend your days, you’ll love relaxing in your luxury guest room in the evenings. You can choose from one of the Cottages, Bungalows, or Estate Rooms. Whichever you choose, expect “ranch-chic” decor and unique amenities that range from lush terraces with outdoor showers to massive soaking tubs in the spa-like bath.


4. Hotel June Malibu

Best Malibu Hotels: Hotel June Malibu
Photo: Hotel June Malibu

Hotel June Malibu is a chic little oasis tucked away on four acres of land in Point Dume. Easily one of the coolest boutique hotels in Malibu, this mid-century modern gem boasts 13 beautifully renovated bungalows and all sorts of unique amenities. 

The size and layout of the bungalows varies. But no matter which you choose, you’ll love all of the thoughtful touches. From the Casper beds, Tivoli radios, and curated minibars to the private patios, yoga mats, and custom Deadstock African fabric robes, there’s a lot to love about Hotel June Malibu.

When you’re not resting up in your room, you can soak up the sun on one of the lounge chairs before cooling off in the swimming pool (a rarity among Malibu hotels). Or, if you prefer to get out and explore, the hotel offers guests complimentary use of their Linus bikes.

While there is no on-site restaurant, the staff are always happy to give you insider tips on where to find the best food in town. Plus, you’ll find a range of restaurants leading the way from Hotel June Malibu to nearby Zuma Beach.


5. The M Malibu

Best Hotels in Malibu California: The M Malibu
Photo: The M Malibu

The M Malibu first opened its doors as the Sea Esta Lodge in 1947. The entire motel was completely remodeled in 2016 in a way that keeps its mid-century style alive. If you’re looking for budget-friendly hotels in Malibu, you’ll find this boutique retreat tucked away just off the PCH near Carbon Beach and just a mile from the Malibu Pier.

You’ll love the simple, retro-style rooms, which feature comfy beds, Nespresso coffee makers, vintage-style mini-fridges, and private balconies (many with ocean views). You’ll also get complimentary boxed water, which is a thoughtful and eco-friendly extra touch. 

You’ll be a short stroll from the sandy shores of Malibu, but if you want to take a dip, the M has a small pool surrounded by lounge chairs. While there is no hotel restaurant, the popular Nicolas Eatery is right down the road and serves up excellent soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch and dinner.

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6. Malibu Country Inn

Unique Malibu Hotels: Malibu Country Inn
Photo: Malibu Country Inn

If you’re looking for affordable boutique hotels in Malibu, Malibu Country Inn might be just what you’re looking for. You’ll find this homey hotel just up the road from Zuma Beach, so it’s a great option if you prefer to be based in this part of town.

This boutique inn houses only 16 guest rooms, so expect a quiet and relaxing retreat. Opt for the King Room with Jacuzzi, and you’ll get a massive private terrace complete with a hot tub! Alternately, choose the Ocean View Suite, and you’ll get a living area, a bathroom with a jetted tub, and a shared terrace with beautiful ocean views.

Either guest room you choose, you’ll love all of the thoughtful freebies, including parking, Wi-Fi, Intelligent Blend coffee in the lobby, and Malibu Times Weekly newspapers. You’ll also get use of the heated outdoor pool. 

If you don’t feel like going far for food, you can dine at the hotel’s Ocean Blue restaurant. Better yet, walk down the road to Spruzzo Restaurant & Bar, where you can dine on specialty pizza or lobster ravioli while gazing at the Pacific.

Check Prices on Hotels.com


7. Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

Cool Hotels in Malibu, California: Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
Photo: Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

With its coveted location at the base of the rolling Santa Monica Mountains, it makes sense that there are relatively few hotels located in Malibu proper. If you have your own wheels and you don’t mind the 20-minute drive, Westlake Village is one of the best places to stay near Malibu.

For something truly indulgent, consider the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. From luxury rooms to every amenity you could ever want, you’ll never have to step foot outside of this resort if you don’t want to!

You can spend your days splashing around in the indoor or outdoor pool, playing games at the activity lawn and arcade, taking group wellness classes at the fitness center, or getting pampered at the spa and salon. Once you work up an appetite, dine on locally sourced dishes at Coin & Candor, enjoy modern Japanese fare at Onyx Restaurant, or simply throw on your bathrobe and order room service.

And then there are the rooms, which range from standard rooms to lavish one- and two-bedroom suites. No matter which you choose, expect nothing but the best. After all, this is the Four Seasons!


8. Westlake Village Inn

Photo: Westlake Village Inn

Another gem in Westlake Village, a stay at Westlake Village Inn will make you feel like you’re worlds away from everyday life. Set on 17 acres of land, Westlake Village Inn boasts a vineyard, cobblestone paths, manicured gardens, a lake, and so much more. 

You can choose from 156 guest rooms, which all feature natural materials, warm color palettes, and beds dressed in fine Italianate bedding. For a special celebration, it’s well worth splurging on the Spa Suite. You’ll absolutely love relaxing by the fireplace in the living room, soaking in the master’s deep soaking tub, and enjoying coffee and wine on one of the two balconies.

Westlake Village Inn also hosts three excellent restaurants. Stonehaus is a coffee house in the morning before transforming into a European-style winery in the afternoon. You can also enjoy cocktails and light bites at Vista Terrace before dining on fine Mediterranean fare at Mediterraneo in the evening.

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9. Santa Monica Proper Hotel

Photo: Santa Monica Proper Hotel

Located 11 miles down the PCH from the Malibu Pier, Santa Monica is definitely one of the most popular places to stay near Malibu. Not only will you get all of the bars, restaurants, and attractions that Santa Monica is famous for, but Malibu is just a short drive up the coast. Plus, Santa Monica is brimming with cool boutique hotels!

If you want to stay in the best boutique hotel in the area, look no further than the Santa Monica Proper Hotel. This is the sister property of Hotel June Malibu (see above), so expect magazine-worthy rooms and top-notch customer service and amenities. 

One of the coolest things about staying at Santa Monica Proper is that it boasts the only rooftop pool on the Westside of town. Calabra Rooftop is the place to while away the days while floating in the pool, sipping creative cocktails, and munching on Mediterranean and California cuisine. 

Or, if you prefer something a bit more active and adventurous, you can also borrow a paddleboard, surfboard, or bike from the hotel and explore the area on your own. Once you’re ready to retire to your room, you’ll absolutely love the mid-century modern furniture, floor-to-ceiling windows, and marble baths. And if you’re willing to splurge on a suite, you won’t be disappointed! 


10. Palihouse Santa Monica

Photo: Palihouse Santa Monica

Palihouse Santa Monica is yet another incredible boutique hotel in Santa Monica. Not only will you be within walking distance of the bustling 3rd Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier, but the Malibu Pier is a 15-minute drive up the coast.

You can spend your days surfing in Malibu and dining on fresh seafood at Neptune’s Net before heading back to hang out in Santa Monica in the evenings. Hop on one of the hotel’s complimentary Linus bikes to sample a local restaurant for dinner. The staff will even offer a curated neighborhood guide complete with restaurant recommendations. 

Once you’re ready to call it a night, you’ll love relaxing in your boutique room. You can choose from 38 guest rooms, studios with large living areas, and suites with extra bedrooms and fully outfitted kitchens. Depending on which you choose, you’ll get cool amenities like SMEG fridges stocked with gourmet snacks and private courtyards where you can socialize over coffee or wine.

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11. Shutters on the Beach

Where to Stay in Malibu, California: Shutters on the Beach
Photo: Shutters on the Beach

Shutters on the Beach is an incredible hotel near Malibu, perfect if you plan on living like a Hollywood celebrity during your stay! This incredible boutique hotel is set right on Santa Monica Beach and just steps from the Santa Monica Pier. This place is fondly known as “Hollywood’s Beach House,” so don’t be shocked if you see a celebrity or two during your stay.

When you’re not adventuring around Malibu or Santa Monica, you’ll be spoiled for choice with things to do at Shutters on the Beach. Spend the morning relaxing in one of the luxurious poolside cabanas before getting a hot stone massage at One Spa and sipping fine wines with the help of the hotel’s personal sommelier.

If you prefer to dine at the hotel, options range from afternoon tea with ocean views at the Living Room and Terrace to beachfront meals at Coast and romantic dinners at 1 Pico. If that’s not enough, you’ll love the boutique rooms, which all feature casual beach-themed decor, handcrafted beds, and spa-like baths.

If you want to take full advantage of the hotel’s prime location, it’s well worth booking one of the Ocean Front King Rooms, where you can take in unobstructed Pacific views from your private terrace.


12. The Anza Hotel Calabasas

Best Malibu Hotels: The Anza Hotel Calabasas
Photo: The Anza Hotel Calabasas

Located 15 miles inland from the Malibu Pier, Calabasas is another one of the most popular places to stay near Malibu. If you’re looking for a boutique hotel near Malibu, The Anza has everything you need – no matter if you’re in town for work or play.

One of the best things about staying at The Anza is that you can expect amenity-packed accommodation. Even the standard rooms boast 55-inch smart TVs, complimentary high-speed internet, a bathroom with a rainfall shower and luxury toiletries, and a nook with a mini-fridge, microwave, and Keurig coffeemaker.

If wellness is a priority, you can opt for one of the SoCal Fit Rooms, which offers 470 square feet of space, as well as a Peloton bike and yoga accessories. Alternatively, you can always use the hotel’s state-of-the-art gym and outdoor pool to fit in your workouts.

In the mornings, grab coffee and breakfast at Graze Bistro & Bar. Return in the evenings, and you’ll find that the same space has transformed into an upscale bar where you can sip local wine and beer and graze on paninis, salads, and flatbreads.

That completes our list of the 12 best Malibu hotels! Did we miss any? Comment below so we can add them to the list!


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About the Author:

  • Justine Lopez

    Justine is a writer and editor who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust!

    In 2013, she left her hometown in California and set off on a yearlong round-the-world journey with her now-husband – they never looked back. Since then, she’s lived the expat life in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Mexico, and now Dubai. Along the way, she's written and edited for magazines, newspapers, and websites in Asia and beyond.

    When she's not stoking her wanderlust by working on travel articles for Wandering Wheatleys, Justine is busy caring for her many foster cats in Dubai, seeking out all the delicious vegetarian food, and taking every chance she gets to explore a new corner of the world!

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