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“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.”
Review of Malibu Beach Inn

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Malibu Beach Inn
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Malibu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 September 2008

If you have cash to burn and have some odd reason to stay in Malibu (an overrated place that sees its overly fair share of natural disasters each month) than this hotel is for you. When service is seamless and genuine, you understand that the money you are spending was invested in locating individuals with talent in the hospitality market; when service is flat out non existent as it is in this hotel, you can only think that:

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

The renovation was a dismal attempt at justifying high rates with lousy non english speaking staff.

If you are in Los Angeles, the ONLY luxury hotel that I can recommend is the Peninsula Beverly Hills. DO NOT let any of those Santa Monica Hotels trick you into staying their either. Stay in luxury and drive to the beach if water is what you really are interested in seeing. Skip the coastal experience.... it stinks!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
9  Thank luxuryspotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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459 - 465 of 545 reviews

Reviewed 9 September 2008

My wife and I stayed for three nights in a Queen Ocean View room and it was perfect. Room was very well designed and furnished with a view to die for. We ate two meals in the Carbon Beach Restaurant which were very good together with wonderful relaxed breakfasts. Nice touch was a faxed copy of a London paper outside our door every morning. The lack of a pool is made up for by the perfect beach setting with great loungers and beach side drinks and food service, even the sea is warmish. Location could not be better, staff super friendly, pricey yes but definitely worth it!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mikedjackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2008

I have been to this hotel before in July 08, loved the room, the view, the staff, the attention we received on the private beach and decided to spend my birthday weekend there, the Labor day weekend. My second visit we had the complete opposite impression. The room and view are still lovely. The housekeeping and valet staff are efficient but the rest of the hotel staff (many through no fault of their own) is a joke.
I arrived Friday afternoon and decided to visit the outside restaurant before I unpacked. After waiting 10 mins. I went to unpack and came back down and waited 15 minutes and still no service. After complaining the manager made me a drink. (The funny thing about this hotel is they have no bartender-every waiter makes the drinks and they all make it the way they want so you never get the same drink twice. We even had to argue with a "bartender" who said he made a certain drink I've had several times and instead we had a drink I have never had in my life.) On Saturday, the weather was sunny and I am looking forward to going to the beach. There were no beach attendants (seems they fired them all the week before this Labor day holiday weekend). No iced towels, no iced fruit, no service at all. I had to wave to the restaurant for water and then a waitress had to bring me the water, neglecting her other duties. That afternoon they ran out of orange juice. I was paying $900.00 a night (3 night minimum) and this hotel runs out of Orange juice? Management is non compliant ( Will and Peggy are efficient but can only do so much with no other competent back-up, though a new restaurant manger just started) and most of the time non existent.
Until they get their act together I suggest everyone stay away from the "luxory" property. The only thing luxory about it is the price. I wonder if the owner, David Geffen, knows about all the negative comments this hotel is receiving.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled solo
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6  Thank TommyBLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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: £351 - £688 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Malibu Beach Inn 3.5*
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
Malibu Beach Bed Breakfast
Beach Inn Malibu

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