8 of Malibu’s Best Airbnb Rentals, From Beach Houses to an Airstream

Whether you’re looking for a couples getaway or group vacation, we’ve got you covered

March 5, 2024 6:08 am
house on top of a large mountain with sunlight hitting it
No vacation FOMO here — you can book all of these rentals right now.
Agave House Malibu

Known the world over for its beaches, celebrity second homes and crop of billionaire residents, Malibu holds an almost mythic quality in the minds of many. It may then come as a surprise to first-time visitors that the California enclave, at its heart, is a fairly sleepy small town home to only 11,000 people. 

In terms of tourists, some 15 million people visit Malibu each year, whether arriving from nearby Los Angeles or the other side of the world. For those who choose the spend the night, hotel lodging is limited, with Malibu Beach Inn (a medium-sized hotel on Carbon Beach), The Surfrider (a boutique hotel across the street from Malibu Pier) and Nobu Ryokan (an expensive and small luxury spot) being the most noteworthy among a very small handful options. This lack of places to rest one’s head has lead to a booming short-term rental market, with so many listings on Malibu’s Airbnb that searching through them and decreeing which are the best quickly becomes overwhelming. 

Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work and narrowed the multitude of offerings down to the eight Malibu rentals we think you’re most likely to enjoy — from a luxe retreat in the mountains of western Malibu ideal for groups, to a cozy, beachfront apartment perfect for couples.

wooden benches with a tree in between, cabana behind, overlooking water
The Beach Cottage

The Beach Cottage

Located in eastern Malibu, this picturesque cottage is the closest house on this list to L.A., but it feels like a world away. The interior, with its white wood ceilings, is bright, cozy, stylish and boasts three bedrooms (the best of which is the primary suite with its ocean-facing king bed). Outside on the two-tier deck, which wraps around a pine tree, you’ll find places to lounge, a fire pit, an outdoor shower, a hot tub at the ocean’s edge, a BBQ and a glass-enclosed dining area to host memorable meals. From there, there are also stone steps down to the beach, which reveals itself during low tide.

RV on top of a mountain
Iconic Airstream

Iconic Airstream

For some off-the-grid glamping, check out this Airstream in the hills above central Malibu. Although it may appear vintage from the outside, this trailer is a modern 2022 model — specifically, a collaboration between Airstream and Pottery Barn. This means that the interiors are updated and packed with plenty of creature comforts, like a kitchenette, two TVs, solar- and generator-powered heating and AC, and a fully equipped bathroom with shower, toilet and sink. Back outside, there’s a 1,000-square-foot deck with plenty of places to relax, plus views of the ocean (which is about a 10-minute drive down the hill).

A Hidden Malibu Beach Is Opening to the Public After 40 Years
Escondido will no longer be “escondido”

Romantic Beachfront Apartment

Part of the draw of spending the night in Malibu is falling asleep to the sounds of waves, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a bed closer to the water than the one in this rental. Perched above the sand, and mere feet from the Pacific during high tide, this cozy, laid-back apartment is ideally suited for two people looking to hide away. While the inside is well appointed with a small but fully equipped kitchen and a marble-clad bathroom with a spacious shower, this place is all about the deck (three sliding glass doors lead out to the nicely sized and private space). If sitting and staring at the ocean isn’t enough, you’ll also have use of a surfboard and two-person kayak. 

inside of house with bed and open sliding door, view of mountains, chairs
Agave House
Agave House Malibu

Agave House

Take a glance at Agave House and you may think you’ve left SoCal and landed in some foreign desert. This, however, is just the rugged and rocky mountains of remote western Malibu — a sparsely populated region where few non-locals venture. Accessed via a long dirt road (don’t worry, 4WD isn’t required), this magazine-worthy home is great for groups with its four bedroom, four bathrooms and open-concept great room complete with chef’s kitchen, dining area and living area. Outside, more gathering spaces include a fire pit, a meditation/yoga deck, an outdoor kitchen and dining space, and a beautiful teak hot tub. All this is made even more spectacular by the property’s above-the-clouds views, with peeks of the ocean on clear days. 

Escondido Beach Club

Professionally managed by Stay Awhile Villas, which manages several high-end properties in Malibu and Los Angeles, Escondido Beach Club is the closest you’ll get to hotel-level service in a home rental. A stay here comes with access to a nearby members-only gym, the ability to have the home’s fridge pre-stocked with items from Erewhon, and an on-call concierge who can arrange anything from private chef services to surf lessons to car rentals. Even though the house has just two bedrooms, it packs a major punch with its outdoor spaces — which includes a large deck with seating around a fire pit, an alfresco dining table with room for eight, and an unrivaled private area directly on the sand with bed-like loungers.

deck with plants, umbrellas, chairs, tables overlooking water
The Beach House
The Beach House on Malibu

The Beach House on Malibu Road

Once featured on a Netflix travel show about the world’s most noteworthy rental homes, this top-floor unit in a two-story building stands out from Malibu’s other oceanfront apartments on account of its ample outdoor space. On the oversized deck, there are multiple places to stare at the ocean for hours on end, including two swinging chairs, sun loungers and an alfresco dining table. The building also has a private set of stairs down to the sand. Inside, there’s an airy central room which includes a nicely equipped kitchen, plus two bedrooms — making this a good choice for two couples or a small family.

Beachfront Townhouse

As one of Malibu’s slightly more affordable beachfront rentals, it’s no surprise this townhouse is popular (there are close to 300 reviews). Inside, you’ll find three bathrooms plus two private bedrooms and an additional, ocean-view sleeping space in a loft above the living room. Speaking of the living room, this double-height space features a fireplace, large windows looking out to the Pacific, and access to a terrace with enough room to lounge and enjoy your morning coffee. Down at the beach level, this five-unit building shares a recreation space with a ping-pong table, cornhole set, dart board, bar area and outdoor shower. The rental also comes with bikes, which you can use to cruise 10 minutes down Malibu Road and into town. 

The Beach House at Victoria Point

If money’s no object, or you can swing the cost when split with a group, check out this fully-loaded five-bedroom home on a gated street in western Malibu. Inside this four-story abode, you’ll find amenities like a ping-pong table, gym and movie theater with fully stocked candy and spirits bar. Although, as with all homes in Malibu, it’s really about what’s outside. Spread across multiple decks, there’s a hot tub, two fire pits, and several comfortable places to sit and relax with friends and family (including one area with an outdoor TV if looking at the dolphins and surfers begins to bore you). There are also surfboards and bikes on hand, as well as a concierge on-call to arrange any other activity you desire, like a guided hike or in-home massage.


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