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“Alarming And Reoccuring Theme: Terrible Service”
Review of Malibu Beach Inn

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Malibu Beach Inn
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Malibu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 September 2008

I can't understand how a hotel can try to pass itself off as 4-5 star caliber on account of the decor and location. First off though, I would like to give the Malibu Inn it's fair share of compliments - the decor was very nice, boxed mints at night, fireplace in the room, and great views of both PCH and the coastline all provided for a wonderful atmosphere. The person who handled the design aspect did a nice job. The rooms were decorated in a homey, but not dated way by many means, and Internet access was up and going without a hitch. There is a private area on the beach with wicker beach chairs that lead straight out to the water on Carbon Beach. The hotel is about 10 minutes each way from Geoffrey's, Nobu, Gladstones, and other good dining.

My issue with the hotel echoes alot of the other reviews here - poor service from the front end and management. I'm not sure what the issue is, but it seems that no one there is really trained on customer service and how to handle a heavy workload. This could be due in part, to the fact that the hotel is understaffed (i.e., I saw the front desk manager also serve drinks, and bus tables in the same afternoon). This would normally be commendable since it shows that everyone picks up the slack, until I saw it happening in off peak hours as well and it really looked more than the employees were being forced to wear just too many hats. We accumulated a laundry list of lackluster service, but the most alarming were:

- Front End Staff: The staff was abrupt and sarcastic. Aside from a couple exceptional employees, the majority were very cold and made us feel uncomfortable when making requests. Housekeeping was actually the best part of the service - always smiling and always nice.
- Inconsistent bartending: We ordered a glass of wine one evening and the next evening were told that they do not serve it at the hotel. Two drink orders did not follow recipe at all.
- Long wait times: Cocktail orders took on average 30 minutes before they were served.
- Poor food quality: Food was generally dry - bread tasted stale. I gave the food a couple chances before making a final decision.
- Dirtiness: We switched cloth napkins three times in one sitting due to the fact that they had crust and stains on them. By this point, we had already grown irritated.

I understand that employees can feel overworked, stressed out, and flustered - however, at a $600-1200 a night hotel, the guest should not feel this as well. I really tried to give this hotel the benefit of the doubt because I like the place itself. I am actually a very patient person, although I realize I am sounding off right now, but this is due in part that I work really hard for my money, so when I want to splurge a little bit, I'd like to get what I pay for.

At the Malibu Inn, I did not get what I paid for.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with friends
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4  Thank mytibt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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469 - 475 of 556 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2008

Get ready for sticker shock... and no internet access at this prime locale property! The rooms are larger than average but the finishes in the rooms are not high end. The concierge staff was clueless about local sights and shops, and the lack of internet access made my stay at this property frustrating as well as pricey. It's all about the location at this Carbon Beach property-- so don't expect the food to be tasty or the parking to be reasonably priced. The decor is lacking... it feels like a poorman's W, which is inexcusable considering the rack rate.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled solo
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3  Thank HighCamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2008

Having just returned from a trip to California,we stayed 3 nights at this hotel.We originally booked partial ocean view at 460.00 a night.The ocean front rooms were 685.00 a night,then the weekend before we were to arrive,I was on their website and saw the ocean front rooms were now only 485.00 a night.So I called them and changed to the better rooms.Glad I did,as the only thing going for this hotel,is the view of the pounding surf,from your balcony.The room is small but nicely set up,I loved the fireplace,which we lit every evening.Never was bothered by noise,as with the glass sliders open, the roar of the surf was the only thing you heard,,,and that put me to sleep every night.Very nice!Their dining room was way overpriced,but we did have breakfast there all 3 mornings.The prices of the breakfast items were not that bad,but they do charge 6.00 for the cup of coffee,,and that always made the bill expensive.That is a rip off! But the view from the outdoor dining area made up for the cost.It was wonderful to just sit and enjoy the meal.Also the waiters were very nice,as was the Front Desk attendants.Never met a rude person at the hotel at all,,all were very nice.Our card key was tempermental,didnt always let us into the room,and the valet gave our car away to some stranger,by mistake...that didnt go over very well with us.The car was returned and they lifted the parking charges(23.00 a day) from our bill.So it was not too big a deal.My one problem with this place was that it was located on very little property space.There was no where to go,just a front parking area and in the rear was a skinny beach...at high tide you didnt have much beach at all.No real lobby, no pool ,no gardens to stroll.But all in all it was a pleasent experience,and if you really wish to feel that you are on the water,then book this place and get an Ocean View Room.Hopefully you will be able to get it at the price I paid,as anything higher is overpriced.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank TommyCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2008

Our stay last week was SO BAD at this property, that I am writing a review for the first time. We planned a special weekend for our children and their two friends. We booked a $1,200/night suite and asked if we could check in early, which we were told we could. We ended up waiting three hours to get our room after being repeatedly snubbed by a surly front desk attendant. I cannot begin to tell you how rude this guy was. The GM was not much better - terribly condescending. When we finally got our room, the floor was filthy - covered with pot buds, drops of blood on the bathroom floor and bed cover, ashes in the bathroom (of a non-smoking hotel), toenail clippings and hair had not been vacuumed up! The housekeeping staff did, in fairness, come right in and clean up and they were (along with the valet) the loveliest people at the hotel.

The service at this hotel was so bad, it was almost comical. The overpriced food was terrible. The people in charge of the restaurant really did try to make things right, but that didn't change the fact that the food was overpriced and bad.

I didn't mind the cubical sized suite and once our room was cleaned, I was fine with that. I did mind the rude front desk staff, the poor service, the unpleasant GM, and the patio noise. Did I mention that our suite overlooked the dining patio where we heard every word of every conversation going on below us? If I walked past our oceanview window, there were always several people looking up right into our room! We had to shut our blinds (and block out our $1,200/night beachfront ocen view) just to have privacy We spent two really unpleasant nights at a very overrated Inn which is essentially a motel. Shame on the magazines that have promoted this place obviously without even trying it. Shame on the GM for not making our lousy experience right or even bothering to apologize for essentially ruining what was supposed to be a wonderful weekend for our children and their friends. We could have stayed anywhere at that price - and we sadly chose the Malibu Beach Inn. Please don't make the same mistake that we did. I should have looked here first!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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17  Thank MissHen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2008

We stayed at this property four nights last week when we had to leave the hotel at Pepperdine which was sold out for a conference. The room was very expensive but we decided to stay there for its beach location and availability. We were vacationing for a beach holiday. What a mistake. From the moment the keys didn't work and the front desk person left us standing at the door, waiting for her (she never did come back and we ended up having to go to the front desk to see what the heck had happened to her) we should have known the stay would be awful. The front desk people have terrible hotel training, if any, and they barely speak English. There was one American front desk person (female) who was wonderful but it didn't make up for the rest who were lacking in customer service and acted as if you were bothering them to ask them a question. The food was priced outrageously and portions and quality were a joke. My son had a plain cheese pizza at the beach for almost $15 and it was basically a microwaved single serving sized pizza. My $18 salad was lame. I mean, if you are going to pay $18 for a salad, have a salad as nice as the half portion salad at the Coogies Restaurant by the Ralph's which was $11. Cut out the fancy amenities like the TINY individual boxed chocolates for turndown (what a waste of a little cardboard box each night). As an afterthought, they tell you there is complimentary coffee and tea in the morning from 5 til 7 (huh? who gets up that early on vacation?) I mean, have the coffee out all day and it will encourage people to come into the restaurant. Or have it in the room. They advertise such an elegant mini bar but who eats a snack bag of potato chips for $3? The bottles of FIJI water in the room cost over $6 each. Huh? The Valet guys were very nice and friendly (Valet is an extra $20 something charge a night) and so how are you supposed to know whether to tip the guys or not? You feel cheap if you don't but my gosh, how much money can they suck out of you at this hotel? At least the Valet guys left a couple of bottles of water in your car each day. We pleasantly complained to the General Manager by phone and received a box of chocolates. That was nice, but hopefully he will make some changes and not just shut the guests up with chocolates. There are a lot of real people out there (not celebrities with money to throw down the toilet) who don't mind spending money on quality if the bang is worth the buck. It isn't here. THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE -- we received a wake up call at 5 a.m. which we hadn't requested. 5 a.m.! The response when we went to the desk later to say, "What the heck was up with that wake up call?" was something lame like the person who had requested it had changed rooms. But we had been in the same room three nights prior. Barely an apology. Wouldn't you think the night before someone would have called the room to double check that we really wanted a 5 a.m. wake up call? Save for the location right on the beach, and the sprinkling of celebrity sightings, there was nothing nice about this "upscale" hotel. I would never return, other than to say hello to the valet guys.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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12  Thank momof3boysScottsdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2008

This place is hugely overpriced. We were two people staying for two nights. Check in time is 4 pm and you have to be out by 11 pm check out day. Dinner one night at the hotel, breakfast and the valet parking for one car including hotelnights almost reached $ 2000. If you pay that price it has to be outstanding. This was not.

It was like staying at a regular business place, the staff was nice, but I don't think they were trained at hotelschools or likewise that is need for this pricelevel and what is supposed to be delivered.

Save your money for the real good places than drain your account on this. It was a ripp off!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank Lugageboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2008

The MBI is a beautiful location (albeit on busy PCH), so my husband and I decided to stay here fr a week to escape the heat from our hometown. What a disappointment. First, we booked a partial ocean view for 6 days, and decided to inquire about cost of an upgrade (PS the place was empty during the week so youd think theyd offer an upgrade in the first place). We called from our room, got a rate, thought about it and decided to upgrade. Well, when we finally called to do so they said they had just give us "a general idea" of what the cost would be, and what they quoted was for "new" guests not people like us who booked directly with them 7 months ago. So in effect we were being overcharged for not walking off the street to get a room. And they were very aggressive in their stance, despite the misquote. Maybe I am too used to the Four Seasons but that, to me, is ridiculous. We were qwilling to pay for an upgrade yet they decided to charge us more than quoted becasue the girl at the front desk made a mistake!

Then, every night car alarms would go off from the Budget rental car across the street. For A long time, And they were loud. Additionally, our rooms were never cleaned until very late afternoon, one evening they didnt make it til 5 pm. Furthermore, the staff was all international twenty somethings more or less who seemed to not understand service industry protocol. Finally, the sounds of cars whizzing by PCH makes a partial ocean view room not as desirable as an ocean view.

As I said, maybe I am spoiled by the FOur Seasons but for $600 a night, I really eexpected more. Next time we vacation in LA (which is often) I will stay at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. The town is right there with tons of restaurants to choose from, and even though it isnt on the beach, it is less pricey and you get more service for your money. I just think that, for the price of this place, they should be more attentive and customer service oriented and they are not.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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10  Thank CeeWool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Malibu Beach Inn

Address: 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-5041
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Malibu > Malibu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Malibu
Price Range: £326 - £690 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Malibu Beach Inn 4.5*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Magnificently nestled right on the sands of famed "Billionaire’s Beach," Malibu Beach Inn is a spectacular ocean-front getaway within minutes of LA. Since its inception in 1989, Malibu Beach Inn has become a beloved destination for both leisure and business travelers. After a complete, contemporary multi-million-dollar renovation, Malibu Beach Inn re-opened its doors as the only luxury oceanfront hotel destination between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, offering guests unsurpassed levels of luxury and service on the sands of exclusive Carbon Beach. The Malibu Beach Inn is approximately 22 miles from Los Angeles International Airport. The hotel embraces the serene beauty of the Malibu coastline through its landscaping, architecture and interior design. It also embodies the spirit of one of Southern California's most exclusive communities through the warm hospitality of its multilingual, European-trained staff, its signature beach club, and a unique collection of artwork by contemporary painter Glenn Ness. The Carbon Beach Club features California coastal cuisine with Pacific Rim accents that is complemented by an outstanding and extensive list of hand-selected small-production wines from California's premier wine regions. The dining room offers both indoor and outdoor dining, both of which boast breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the sound of the tumbling surf below.Guest rooms feature private balconies, minibars, coffeemakers, hairdryers, bathrobes, DVD players, safes, complimentary high-speed Internet access, fireplaces (most rooms), and private hot tubs (some rooms). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malibu Beach Hotel Malibu
Beach Inn Malibu
Malibu Beach Bed Breakfast

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