In Malibu, if you’ve got silly amounts of cash to spare, stay at the Malibu Beach Inn (22878 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310/456-6444, www.malibubeachinn.com, $350). This oceanside villa offers all the very best furnishings and amenities. Every room has a view of the ocean, and the boutique hotel sits on “Billionaire’s Beach,” a private and exclusive stretch of sand you can’t access unless you’re a guest of one of its properties.
Your guest room will be done in rare woods, gleaming stone, and the most stylish modern linens and accents. A plasma TV, plush robes, and comfy beds tempt some visitors to stay inside, but equally tempting are the balconies with their own entertainment in the form of endless surf, glorious sunsets, and balmy breezes. The more affordable rooms are a bit small but just as attractively turned out as the over-the-top suites. When lunch and dinner-time come, go downstairs to the airy, elegant, on-site Carbon Beach Club to enjoy delicious cuisine in an upscale beach atmosphere.
One of the best-known resort hotels in the L.A. beach community has long been Shutters on the Beach (1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310/458-0030, www.shuttersonthebeach.com, $475). Make no mistake: You’ll pay handsomely for the privilege of laying your head on one of Shutters’ hallowed pillows. On the other hand, the gorgeous airy rooms will make you feel like you’re home, or at least staying at the home you’d have if you could hire a famous designer to decorate for you.
Even the most modest guest rooms have not only the comfortable beds, white linens, plasma TVs, and oversized bathtubs of a luxury hotel, you’ll also find a comfortable clutter of pretty ornaments on tables and shelves. If you can pry yourself out of your private space, head down to the famed lobby for a drink and a people-watching session. Get a reservation for the elegant white-tablecloth One Pico or grab a more casual sandwich or salad at beachside Coast.
The impressive multi-level resort edifice sits right on the beach, so there’s no need to find a premium parking spot to enjoy a day in the sand. If you long for more formal relaxation, book a massage at the ONE Spa. Art lovers can spend hours just wandering the halls of the hotel, examining the works of many famous modern photographers and painters.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition