Nicknamed “the 'Bu” by locals, Malibu was originally inhabited by the Chumash people. Exploration in the area began as early as 1542, although few roads even entered the area prior to 1929. Once the Pacific Coast Highway was built, Malibu became a top destination in Southern California and has long been home to affluent residents living in multimillion-dollar homes.
Today, Malibu is a popular spot for recreational activity, arts and culture, world-class dining, shopping, and filming. Whatever your reasons for visiting this beautiful city, it's essential to find the right hotel that allows you to enjoy everything Malibu has to offer.
Best Time to Visit Malibu, CA
One of the best times to visit Malibu is in the spring when tourist season hasn't yet arrived and the hotel rates are discounted. You'll encounter fewer crowds from March through May and have access to a number of local festivals around Los Angeles, including the California Poppy Festival and the UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival.
Summers in Southern California are sweltering and plagued by heavy fog, but this doesn't deter the tourists who flock to Malibu and LA from June to August. Hotel rates skyrocket during this season, but if you want to experience the surf and sun, you can't go wrong with a summer trip.
Autumn is another shoulder season in Malibu that brings cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and more reasonable hotel rates. Since the average temperatures remain in the high 70s and low 80s, you'll still have a chance for outdoor recreation without having to battle the crowds on the beach. You can also experience Orange Street Fair, the Los Angeles International Tamale Festival, and a number of other fall events in the LA metro area.
Winter is a great time to visit Malibu if you're looking to save money. Although the area experiences a lot of rain from December to February, you can't beat the hotel rates, and the temperatures hover in the upper 60s, making a winter getaway here quite pleasant.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Malibu, CA:
Malibu by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Malibu, CA. You can use these charts to calculate the cheapest time to stay in Malibu during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Malibu, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $198.79
Malibu knows how to do luxury. Malibu Beach Inn on the Pacific Coast Highway is an upscale boutique inn boasting ocean-view rooms with contemporary furnishings, private balconies, an in-room California wine selection, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and optional fireplaces. Suites add separate living areas for additional space. There's a New American restaurant on site with a bar, lounge, and terrace, plus a fitness center and spa. Guests can enjoy all this with the convenience of being within walking distance of the Malibu Pier.
Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village is an idyllic retreat that provides easy access to Malibu, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. Guest rooms are bright and airy with marble bathrooms, garden or mountain views, high ceilings, fine artwork, crystal chandeliers, DVD players, LCD TVs, in-room safes, private bars, twice-daily housekeeping services, and in-bathroom telephones. Guests can also choose from a number of opulent suites, each of which offers its own unique furnishings and amenities. Enjoy high-speed internet access, a 24-hour business center, concierge service, a complimentary overnight shoeshine, an on-site fitness center, and more.
Affordable Hotel Options in Malibu, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $173.44
Since Malibu is a posh destination, it can be difficult to find an affordable hotel, but not impossible if you know where to look.
Good Nite Inn in Calabasas just off US-101 in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is a simple, budget-friendly option less than five miles from the Calabasas Country Club. Guest rooms are straightforward and unpretentious with work desks, free Wi-Fi, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges on request. Guest parking is free, as are morning coffee and tea, and there's an outdoor pool for cooling off.
Quality Inn & Suites in Thousand Oaks is situated within walking distance of The Oaks shopping mall. All guest rooms feature flat-screen televisions, free Wi-Fi internet access, coffee makers, microwaves, and mini-fridges. Some rooms even add whirlpool tubs. This hotel also features an outdoor pool with whirlpool, a fitness room, a meeting room, free parking for large vehicles, a guest laundry facility, and a complimentary hot breakfast.
Best Western Plus Thousand Oaks Inn is a modest three-star hotel less than two miles from the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Guest rooms are low-key with work desks, free Wi-Fi access, balconies, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, and mini-fridges. Some feature pull-out sofas, and suites add whirlpool tubs or separate living rooms. Guest amenities include an on-site Italian restaurant, a furnished courtyard, a heated outdoor pool with hot tub, a business center, a library, multiple meeting spaces, and access to a nearby fitness facility.
2 Star Average Prices: $146.65
Where are the real discounts in Malibu
If you plan your trip carefully, you can take advantage of discounts that save you even more money on your trip to Southern California. Many area hotels, including Residence Inn Los Angeles Westlake Village, offer discounted rates to AAA/CAA members, seniors, government employees, corporate travelers, and military families. Simply book the appropriate rate and show your proof of eligibility at check-in to save as much as 20 percent off the property's best available rates.
Other hotels extend special offers that change seasonally. For instance, Hampton Inn & Suites Agoura Hills offers premium Wi-Fi, double rewards, and weekend getaway packages to help you get even more bang for your buck. You can also take advantage of membership discounts if you're enrolled with your favorite hotel's rewards program, which can also lead to free nights.
Best Value Options in Malibu, CA
Malibu offers many mid-range hotels that give you plenty of value for the money.
The M Malibu is a three-star boutique accommodation featuring an old-school exterior and updated, retro-chic rooms that will surprise you. Guest rooms feature wood floors, ceiling fans, ocean-view balconies, free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen television, mini-fridges, and plush bedding. On-site amenities include free parking, a sundeck with lounge chairs, an ocean-view pool, and multiple dining options within walking distance.
Hyatt Regency Westlake is a Mediterranean-style upscale accommodation that's more affordable than similar properties closer to Malibu, making it a great option if you don't mind staying a bit further out. Its warm, colorful rooms feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, coffee makers, and iPod docks, while suites add separate living areas. Guest amenities include an outdoor pool with waterfalls, two hot tubs, a fitness center, an informal restaurant, a bar, and a convenience store.
Hilton Garden Inn Calabasas places you within walking distance of shopping at the Commons at Calabasas complex. Rooms are contemporary with custom-designed beds, free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, and Keurig coffee makers. Upgraded rooms and suites add additional features, such as separate living areas. Enjoy an on-site American restaurant, a Starbucks, and an outdoor pool with hot tub.
Located off the Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Country Inn is a casual, Cape Cod-style accommodation within walking distance of Zuma Beach. It features unassuming rooms with coffee makers, mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi, plus suites with whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. Guests can also enjoy a relaxed restaurant with rooftop bar, free parking, and a heated outdoor pool.
Must-See Attractions in Malibu, CA
Exploring everything Malibu has to offer is a tall order, but if you plan your itinerary right, you can be sure to hit the high spots. Zuma Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles County thanks to its long, wide sands and exceptional surf. It's the perfect spot to people-watch, observe wildlife, build sandcastles, swim, surf, or sunbathe.
Malibu Country Mart is a unique shopping experience featuring retailers, recreation, and dining options in the heart of Malibu. Shop for designer items, grab a Starbucks coffee, or score the perfect souvenir to take home with you.
If you prefer hiking, head to Solstice Canyon, a park within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Offering solitude and an abundance of natural resources, Solstice Canyon is a favorite among hikers and backpackers looking to get away from the city traffic and smog. It's also a great place to bring the kids or dogs.
Those who love architecture will want to pay a visit to the Adamson House. This Spanish Revival beach home and gardens were built in the 1930s for Rhoda Rindge Adamson and her husband. It now features the Malibu Lagoon Museum and a gift shop, making it the perfect place to experience a guided tour. Admission to the site is just $7 for adults and $2 for children, with paid parking available at the nearby beach lot.
Exploring everything Malibu has to offer can seem impossible, but when you're centrally located, you can experience all the top attractions, beaches, and eateries that have put Malibu on the map. Whether you're looking for an upscale boutique accommodation or a more affordable lodging a little further out, you'll find the perfect hotel in Malibu to meet your needs and budget.