Credit: Catherine Dzilenski

I Spent a Weekend at Malibu’s Calamigos Guest Ranch—Here Are the Highlights

Set on 200 Acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, This Rural Retreat Is a Little Slice of Heaven

If Malibu were to have a middle name, it would surely be “seclusion.” But venture into the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains and you’ll discover a place where seclusion is warmly embraced by rustic charm and hospitality. This is Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club: a Malibu resort that expertly marries luxury with legacy, surrounded by the breezes and sun-dappled wooden walkways that create an almost treehouse-like journey through the expansive property.

Credit: Catherine Dzilenski

The drive to Calamigos Guest Ranch is a journey that winds approximately eight miles up a canyon from Pacific Coast Highway. Leaving behind the sound of crashing waves, the air grows quieter the further you ascend into the embrace of the mountains, transitioning you from the lively oceanic backdrop to the tranquil, secluded ranch.

Here, luxury isn’t just about things that sparkle and shine—it’s about feeling a connection to the land and its history. At Calamigos Guest Ranch, opulence is conveyed through thoughtful experiences and a harmony with the natural environment.


The Accommodations

Accommodations at this Malibu resort offer a masterclass in crafting a welcoming atmosphere without the stiff formalities often associated with luxury. Whether it’s the sprawling Estate Rooms, the cozy bungalows or the secluded Premium Private Cottages, each offers a unique haven of peace. My own cottage was a private sanctuary, featuring an outdoor shower under a massive tree and a private courtyard with a tub where I could bathe under the stars, complete with provided bath salts. The living spaces included a bedroom, two master baths, a living room with an electric fireplace and complimentary snacks and drinks.


The Food + Drink

Dining at Calamigos Guest Ranch reflects the rich, diverse flavors of the land. The Ranch Club, exclusive to members and guests, served as our daily dining venue, offering exquisite dishes like Wagyu-Black Truffle Rolls, a delectable charcuterie board, and inventive tempura market vegetables and shrimp. Breakfast could be enjoyed via room service or in the serene setting of the Ranch Club, while lunches were a poolside affair featuring light, flavorful dishes like Feta Watermelon, steak skewers and spicy tuna rolls. The Saloon Coffee Shop, open to both guests and the public, features a spot to enjoy a coffee on a tree-lined patio, further enhancing the ranch’s idyllic charm.


The Beach Club

Credit: Catherine Dzilenski

For relaxation and leisure, this resort in Malibu extends its luxury to the beach with its exclusive Beach Club. Located just a scenic, 12-minute drive from the main ranch, the Beach Club sits on a pristine stretch of Malibu coastline and is exclusively open to ranch guests. Here, the staff is ready to set up your beach chair and umbrella, escort you to your spot on the sand, and ensure that every need is met—whether it’s a fresh towel or a tropical drink to sip as you listen to the waves. The Beach Club also features a beautiful pool area, where guests can lounge in the sun or enjoy a refreshing dip, all while enjoying an unparalleled view of the Pacific Ocean.

In the landscape of California’s luxury retreats, Calamigos Guest Ranch stands out with its deep roots and open arms. It’s a place where history is not just respected but celebrated, where guests are not merely visitors but friends and where each stay feels like a return home—assuming your home is scattered with ancient oaks, sprawling vineyards and the gentle footprints of history.


Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club
327 Latigo Canyon Rd
Malibu, CA 90265

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Erik Hale is the visionary and publisher behind LOCALE Magazine. He launched the magazine in 2010, wanting to give the community of OC a premiere lifestyle magazine that knew all the native knowledge behind OC. “Six years ago Ashley and I sat at a table scratching the name LOCALE (among some other names) onto a sheet of paper,” says Erik, “coming up with story ideas and basically dreaming. Everything we imagined has happened and we have been blessed with so much more. I am so grateful as we start another year for my family, my two wonderful children, my health, our amazing writers, designers and photographers, our advertising partners and you.”




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