Steve Orens, president of Plaza Travel in Los Angeles, stays close to home and loves every minute of it.
So many times we don’t see the pearl right in front of our eyes. I would always drive past the Malibu Beach Inn on the way home from Santa Monica or when heading to Los Angeles International airport. I’ve had lunch there a few times and always thought the food and setting were great. But so many times we only think about that next great destination as being halfway around the world, not 20 minutes from home. As COVID-19 has closed so many resorts and destinations around the world, I was looking for a great summer retreat. Living in Southern California, we have so many wonderful resorts along the coast, and all within a few hours’ drive, so I really do have a lot of options. But what I had in mind this year was sitting at the beach, hearing the waves from my room and sitting on the balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Next stop, the Malibu Beach Inn, the perfect choice.
Having driven by more times than I can count, I knew exactly where to go. Right next to the Malibu Pier, where I would go so often and enjoy one of the two restaurants, and a five-minute walk from the world famous Nobu restaurant, unlike any other Nobu you’ve been to. It’s a five-minute drive from the Malibu Country Mart, where there are a number of retail stores and some great eating spots (sit down, as well as to-go). Our room was second floor, ocean front, right above the breaking waves with a patio overlooking the ocean…I was all set! My three-day staycation was exactly what I wanted.
The staycation was great, almost like my own private retreat. While reducing the number of available rooms to comply with state requirements and social distancing, we had plenty of room—even more than we needed. While inside dining is currently closed, and with fewer people in the hotel, there is plenty of room outside. Additionally, only hotel guests can dine in the restaurant. The food was as wonderful as I remember. Even with a reduced menu, there was plenty to enjoy for every meal. I was even able to repeat a few favorites and not feel guilty for not trying something else. With fewer guests it goes without saying that there are also less staff. This was the case for my stay, as well, but the service was really friendly and great. The only way you knew there was less staff is that you kept seeing the same people each day. This worked so well because they got to know you and your needs much sooner. You felt at home right away.
Aside from sitting on the balcony overlooking the water, you can get chairs set up in the sand right at the water’s edge (paying attention to the changing tides, of course). The walk on the sand down the Malibu shoreline is beautiful. It is uncrowded and you’re able to see some amazing beachfront properties.
This is exactly what the perfect vacation or staycation should be like—great hotel, great views, great service, great food. While this was the first time I’ve stayed at the Malibu Beach Inn, it won’t be the last.