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  • Writer's pictureDaniel and Jinny

Malibu Beach Inn

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Perched atop Carbon Beach on PCH is the acclaimed Malibu Beach Inn; we must have passed by this place hundreds of times and we finally paid a visit!

The long and short of it is, despite the dreamy view and enjoying the overall experience, we probably won’t be back until the kids are a bit older. We would, however, highly recommend the resort for an adults-only (i.e. a girls’ weekend, romantic getaway, special occasion, babymoon) or a getaway with older children (junior high and up).

Our stay was for one night only and although check-in was 4pm, we arrived early to hang out and enjoy the amenities. Our first order of business was a stroll to Malibu Pier, another destination we’ve passed too many times without visiting. The pier is a short five-minute walk away; it provides additional views of the Pacific Ocean as well as a bird’s eye view of beachgoers. It’s charming, but like most piers, unless you’re there to dine or go pier fishing, there is not too much to do. Malibu Farm looked like a nice little spot, so we definitely plan to go back for either brunch or dinner.

A key point to consider when booking your stay at Malibu Beach Inn is the timing of low tide/high tide (you can check tide times here). As indicated above, Malibu Beach Inn sits directly on top of Carbon Beach, just a flight of stairs down and you’re there! However, the strip of beach is pretty narrow, so when it’s high tide, the entire area is almost completely submerged in water. During low tide, the resort provides chair/towel/drink service, which is LOVELY! What we should have done first was head downstairs to enjoy the beach as long as possible - high tide was coming in the early afternoon that day (darn – our rookie mistake)! By the time we arrived back from the pier we were only able to hang out at the beach for a short while, then the lounge chairs (and drink service) were sadly cleared away by noon. The area does not have tide pools, but there are several large rocks and you can spy a variety of marine life; we saw crabs, rocks covered in anemones, and a seal swimming off in the distance. 😍

We contemplated going to the other public beach areas, which would have been fine when there is no COVID-19, but it was already too crowded by that time. There are some fun activities offered from Malibu Surf Shack (just across the street), including renting paddle boards or kayaks; you rent it at the shop, then pick up the rented items from underneath the pier. We thought a kayak might be fun but while one kid wanted to, the other was scared. When the kids get a little older (they are currently 7 and 9), this is definitely something we will need to do together!

We ended up having both lunch and dinner at the Inn’s restaurant, the Carbon Beach Club. Currently during the pandemic, food is served on the outdoor terrace only and only for hotel guests, which is a win all the way around – you have guaranteed seating on the terrace with gorgeous views of the ocean and there are no waits or crowds! Note that there is a limited menu due to COVID-19 and there is no kids’ menu. However, we enjoyed what they had (even the kids), including the Caesar salad, Bolognese, steak and frites, salmon, calamari, and the burger. We also ordered this brownie and pistachio gelato concoction for dessert, and the kids must have eaten it up in ten seconds flat (can I get a bite though?!). We pretty much had to stop them from licking the plate (can’t take them anywhere)! 😆

We opted for a beachfront room and I’m SO GLAD we did; I don’t think the pier view would have been the same at all. Luckily, we were able to get our room several hours before the check-in time, otherwise, given high tide, I don’t think we would’ve had a place to go! The view definitely added to the experience as we relaxed in the room and balcony in the afternoon. In the day, they are endless, refreshing views of the Pacific Ocean; at night, the Inn lights up the beach which provides a dark, mysterious, romantic ocean view. Gotta love the ocean’s different moods. 😎 We had a glass of wine overlooking the evening beachfront, we had coffee in the morning overlooking the morning beachfront– now if only we could figure out a way to live beachfront every day! One tip, we were on the 2nd floor directly above the restaurant’s dining terrace; it doesn’t impede the view, but a different space would have afforded a bit more privacy (as we took selfies or pictures of our morning coffee… 🤣). If you do book a beachfront room, we’d recommend asking for a room that is not directly above the restaurant.

I also loved the thoughtful little details, i.e. the hose at the bottom of the stairwell so you can rinse off your feet/legs before you go back to the hotel. Inside the room there were curated items to help you enjoy the best parts of the Inn: a lantern for nighttime exploring on the beach or just to light up your balcony, LED candles in beautiful candle holders for some extra romance, and a tray (perhaps to take a nightcap on the balcony). And let me just say, the bar is stacked! Numerous wine choices and all the important spirits in larger-than-normal sizes. Since we were only staying one night and didn’t get our room turned over, staff actually came by in the evening and brought us water and chocolates, which was such a nice surprise!

Being next to ocean and seeing its vastness definitely leaves you feeling some kind of way. A refreshment of the soul! We were grateful that we could enjoy a relaxing stay like this. We will definitely be back when the kids are older AND when tide times are working in our favor....or maybe either an adults-only trip to celebrate a special occasion (Nobu is only five minutes away) or a girls weekend when the spa opens back up!

Peace and Love,

Daniel & Jinny


- Stunning view

- Thoughtful details

- Friendly staff

- COVID-19 measures


- No pool

- No kids menu (this could be a pro or con)

- If the tide times are not working out (i.e. high tide throughout the day), there is not too much to do with younger children


- Book your stay based on tide-times (low tide during late morning/early afternoon would be ideal) to maximize your time on Carbon Beach.

- We would highly recommend a beachfront room to take full advantage of the view!

- If you book a beachfront room, ask for a room that is not directly over the restaurant’s dining terrace.

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