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San Francisco is an expensive city – but it has a surprisingly wide range of affordable hotels.
The city’s budget-friendly hotels have central locations, desirable amenities, and rates under $200.
We found the best places you can stay when budget is your most important factor.
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San Francisco is home to a world-famous skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, stunning parks, an exciting food and arts scene, and is a major seat of tech. It also happens to be one of the most expensive cities in America.
As such, San Francisco is also, unsurprisingly, home to many expensive hotels. Though don’t let that deter you from visiting. There is an enticing array of cheap properties too. You just need to know where to look.
Some of our top hotel picks in the city effortlessly merge convenience with comfort, clever design details, high-tech touches, and affordable prices.
Browse all the best cheap hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:
Yotel has 203 rooms known as “cabins” with a substantial range of options to suit various budgets. Located on Market Street, the location is fantastic to explore the city.
Located within San Francisco’s famous Grant Building (which survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes), the hotel design takes its cues from air travel, with the idea to keep everything close and convenient, such as airline-style self-service check-in kiosks. All cabins (the guest rooms) have smart TVs so you can connect your own devices and stream content, plus there is ample place for charging devices. We like the ability to customize rooms as guests can create their personal vibe through tailored mood lighting and adjustable memory foam beds. The rainfall showers are also a luxe touch.
The hotel is also home to Yotel’s signature Komyuniti Lounge concept, designed with spaces to co-work and socialize.
Cow Hollow Inn and Suites is a centrally located hotel near San Francisco’s quaint Cow Hollow district, which is just over a mile to Fisherman’s Wharf and only slightly farther to Pier 39.
Comfortable and clean, rooms have a well-lit seating and work area with free internet, both wired and wireless. Covered parking is also complimentary, which is a rarity for this city and packs significant added value.
Travelers love the well-maintained and noticeably large (even surprisingly so) rooms here, with coffee and tea-making facilities and large TVs. The location is also a prime one. Walk to the Palace of Fine Arts in 15 minutes, and easily reach many bars, restaurants, and other tourist-friendly attractions in a short walk.
This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Union Square, situated perfectly for sightseeing and business travel alike, with a highly walkable location. All stays are contactless, with a virtual check-in process and a keyless entry system.
The Inn at Union Square San Francisco has 30 hotel rooms and suites, all with high-quality bedding, comfortable pillow-top mattresses, and dark wood furnishings. The decor is sophisticated, with framed wall hangings and elegantly striped wallpaper. Here, you’ll also get high-speed wireless internet, flat screen TVs, and spa-like robes.
Hotel Zeppelin is a Union Square property that serves as a nod to the city’s spirit of rebellion and counterculture and the whole place embraces an avant-garde look and feel.
Starting at about 200 square feet, standard guest rooms have sleek black headboards, John Boos 36-inch work desks, blackout shades, luxurious bath amenities from ROIL, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. Suites include vinyl on vintage turntables for an atmospheric touch.
Dining and drinking options include Rambler restaurant, offering California fare made with locally sourced ingredients, which is located in the space formerly occupied by Wolfgang Puck’s city institution, Postrio. The Mantel Bar is an intimate lounge near the lobby’s fireplace, just right for gathering with groups or a date. An array of formal meeting spaces are also available, ranging up to 4,000 square feet.
Hotel Del Sol is a member of Joie de Vivre, the boutique line from World of Hyatt. It’s a charming, well-appointed stay from a trusted brand with the chance to earn loyalty points, too, and an easy walk to the buzzy bars, shops, and restaurants of the tourist-friendly Marina District.
Once a midcentury modern motor lodge, this hotel has been transformed to offer boutique amenities and service. Guest rooms are spacious, bright, and airy with orange-painted walls that feel like a California beach house, plush beds, and cheerful decor.
Indeed, we’re a fan of the bright and whimsical, modern concept decor such as palm trees, hammocks, and the colorful lounge furnishings that dot the pool area in the courtyard. The affordable price point also includes Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, and fun guest perks such as milk and cookies that are served each afternoon in the lobby.
The 400-room Stanford Court hotel is meant to meet the needs of the digital-age traveler in a city known for tech innovation. A recent multi-million dollar renovation revamped the lobby, cafe, bar, porte-cochere, and fitness center. Look for a new modern color scheme and cool graphics, with design nods to the building’s history.
There’s a high-tech fitness center with Peloton bikes, Hydrow rowing machines, virtual personal training, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the only intersection of San Francisco’s famous cable car lines.
Other amenities include a tech loaner program, digital art installations featuring artwork by local artists, a Nod Hill sleep menu, a lobby lending library stocked with books on California and San Francisco, and a music room with vinyl from local bands and artists.
Entry-level rooms begin at 220 square feet and have 49-inch HD televisions with HDMI and USB Ports, USB outlets, and a mini-fridge.
The Orchard Garden Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel with LEED and Green Seal certifications for environmentally conscious — and budget-minded — travelers.
Located near the Financial District, Union Square shops, and many museums and attractions, Orchard Garden is well-loved for its central location and reasonable pricing that includes breakfast with all room rates. Service feels personalized, offering friendly details such as flexible check-in times, pending availability. Standard rooms start around 230 square feet, and junior suites have about 374 square feet with a separate sofa.
Roots Restaurant is open for breakfast daily, and also hosts meetings and events. Or hit the hotel’s rooftop terrace for views of the famed San Francisco skyline.
Located in the Tenderloin District, the Phoenix is known for being a fun, lively destination especially popular among creatives. It’s a 10 minutes walk from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and caters to a musical crowd with a distinctly rock-n-roll atmosphere.
There are only 44 rooms so there is also a strong boutique feel with rooms exuding vintage details like retro phones, midcentury modern furniture, and vibrant graphic artworks. Updated modern conveniences also include 42-inch flat-screen TVs with DirecTV and film channels.
Mostly, Phoenix Hotel is known for its pool scene (when San Francisco’s notoriously chilly weather permits), which I’ve frequented many times with friends. There’s even a mural from a local artist in the pool.
Guests also receive complimentary passes to the Kabuki Springs & Spa on weekdays, which is a San Francisco institution and offers an additional boon in value on top of the already cheap price.
Yes, the state of California fully reopened on June 15, 2021.
Where should I stay when visiting San Francisco?
San Francisco is a seven-by-seven-mile region, so you’ll never be too far from any attraction as the crow flies. Sightseers might want to stay around the Embarcadero, Union Square, or along Market Street, highly walkable locations where public transportation is also abundant and frequent.
Areas like Hayes Valley and North Beach are popular for shops and dining. The Castro is especially desirable for LBGTQ travelers, with a historic, trend-setting, and lively gay community and event calendar.
What should I avoid in San Francisco?
San Francisco has a substantial homelessness problem; there are currently about 8,000 unhoused people living in the small geographic area. Some of the associated issues — drug addiction, and yes excrement on the streets — are well known to locals, but may surprise visitors to a city with so much wealth.
Traffic is also a major problem throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and locals take pains to avoid rush-hour traffic patterns and event traffic such as related to ballgames and parades.
How much does it cost to stay at a hotel in San Francisco?
As the seat of much of the country’s tech money, the San Francisco Bay Area and its environs are notoriously expensive across the board, from the cost of living to hotel stays. While there are many pricey hotels in the city — ranging upwards of $1,000 and more — there are plenty of appealing, budget-friendly options on our list in the range of $200 and under.
When’s the best time to visit San Francisco?
Maybe you’ve heard the quote attributed to Mark Twain: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” That is to say, it’s often cool and breezy in San Francisco at any time of year. Be prepared and always bring layers. It may surprise some visitors that the fall months offer some of the warmest temperatures in the city, and crowds are thinner, too.
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With shingled cottages and miles of beaches, Cape Cod is a quintessential New England getaway.
We rounded up the best hotels across the Cape, including Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
From quaint inns and motels to family resorts, our picks have pools, beaches, and ocean views.
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Long a favorite summer retreat for the New England set, Cape Cod attracts millions of visitors to its golden beaches, historic villages, and rolling dunes dotted with gray-shingled cottages.
A great Cape Cod hotel makes it easy to take advantage of all such offerings. Stay in a quaint cottage where you can have toes in the sand next to your front door, or opt for a lavish resort with glittering pools and sprawling lawns sprinkled with hydrangeas.
Browse all the best Cape Cod hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:
With 46 nautically-themed cottages overlooking Nantucket Sound in the Cape Cod town of Yarmouth, accommodations are located around a village green and set just off the beach. Room types include studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom private cottages.
Book by the day or the week for rooms that include Queen-sized beds, TVs, free Wi-Fi, kitchens or small kitchenettes with a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee pot, and a toaster. New linens are available upon request and pets are not allowed.
Rooms are cozy and welcoming, with a homey feel, though, the unbeatable location is the real star. There are five acres on property that include two picnicking areas, and although there’s no restaurant, there are several eateries across the street.
COVID-19 procedures are not available online but include: Deep disinfection performed prior to every arrival, limited housekeeping, wristbands on the beach.
Set among the candy-colored gingerbread houses of Oak Bluffs, this boutique property stands out for its size, housed in a grand 19th-century former hotel overlooking the harbor. It’s also the largest hotel on the island with 95 rooms. True to its name, the interiors are playful, with contemporary furnishings in bold colors and whimsical hanging chairs in the sprawling, open-plan lobby.
There are plenty of nostalgic touches, too, like wood tennis rackets as artwork and a game room off the lobby stocked with vintage board games. Grab a snack from the Camp Canteen and relax on the expansive porch with soothing views of the sailboat-dotted harbor.
While on the small side, rooms are bright and cheerful, with punchy geometric-patterned fabrics in shades of blue, green, and yellow. They feature high-tech amenities such as USB ports, Tivoli Bluetooth radios, and smart TVs. Entry-level Queen rooms measure less than 200 square feet; you’ll need to upgrade for those offering partial water views from the veranda, and rooms with full water views come at a premium.
The hotel is open seasonally, from May through October.
Set in the heart of the oldest town on the Cape, this quaint inn harkens back to its original history as the Patriot headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and later, a tavern and inn that hosted notables such as Henry David Thoreau. Though the historic structure was destroyed by a fire, the current building certainly looks the part with gracious interiors inspired by traditional colonial-style design.
The inn has multiple dining rooms, with the glass-enclosed Conservancy being the loveliest, and the fireside Music room being the coziest, while the Tavern at the Inn is ideal for a drink or casual meal. The property, which includes the main house and several wings, is nestled among beautifully manicured grounds that include a seasonal heated outdoor pool and patio. The hotel also features the Beach Plum Spa, and guests have free access to a state-of-the-art fitness center in town.
Individually decorated rooms are big on colonial charm with canopy and four-poster beds, fireplaces, and balconies. Entry-level Traditional rooms are on the first floor of the Jarvis Wing, adjacent to the main building. For better views and more space, trade up to a Superior room on the second floor of the main inn. A $15 breakfast voucher is included in the rate.
The hotel’s namesake was a wealthy shipowner, who built this three-story red-brick mansion in 1845 in the heart of the island’s whaling town. Today it’s home to this elegant, year-round inn, whose beautifully refurbished interiors — gleaming wood floors, crown molding, marble fireplaces in the lobby/library — are complemented by period-style furnishings and antiques.
The property also includes the white-shingled Daniel Webster House next door, where 13 guest rooms are located, in addition to a flower-filled garden. The hotel’s Nantucket Prime steakhouse features a formal dining room, as well as a more casual bar and patio dining.
Along with a continental breakfast, guests can take advantage of free afternoon coffee and snacks, beach chairs and umbrellas, bicycles, on-site parking, courtesy town car service, as well as access to the spa at the White Elephant, the hotel’s sister property.
Rooms are individually decorated in a traditional style that can mean floral wallpaper, spindle beds, wood floors, and chandeliers. Entry-level rooms include those with double beds in the main house and Queen beds in the Daniel Webster House; both are snug, measuring around 200 square feet. The main house’s King Corner rooms are particularly light and bright.
Surrounded by 1.5 acres of rolling lawns and flowering gardens, this charming 1820 gray-shingled inn is a five-minute walk to Nauset, one of the Cape’s best Atlantic beaches. While the common areas are pleasant, the highlight is its outdoor space, which includes a seasonal pool with a tree-lined deck, a sprawling courtyard patio with a fire pit, and green lawns dotted with hammocks and Adirondack chairs. A buffet-style continental breakfast is included.
Rooms are scattered throughout several buildings and each is uniquely decorated in Cape Cod style with nautical motifs and local art. Some rooms have working fireplaces, private entrances, and distant views of the ocean. Entry-level Petite Queens are indeed petite, measuring 120 to 150 square feet, and are located on the first floor of the North wing with views of the pool or backyard. Slightly larger Deluxe Queens are set in the historic main house and some offer ocean views.
The inn is open seasonally, from mid-April through October.
Departing from the traditional nautical-themed decor found in many a P-town bed and breakfast, this boutique hotel sports a refreshingly modern, bohemian-chic vibe. Bright common areas highlight natural materials with light-wood floors, straw light fixtures, and macramé-style pillows scattered atop bentwood chairs. Big picture windows frame the verdant tidal marshes just across the street.
Rooms are similarly chic with polished concrete floors, straw lighting, platform beds, comfy built-in sofas, and minimalist black-and-white photos. They are all on the small side with entry-level King and double Queen rooms measuring 235 square feet, but they do feature spacious patios or balconies. Deluxe rooms offer a bit more space at 322 square feet, while the 1,200-square-foot, top-floor Lark Suite has its own rooftop deck, a fireplace, and a full kitchen.
Outdoors, there is a seasonally heated pool, three fire pits, and a sprawling waterfront bar reserved for guests with communal picnic tables atop the sand. While there’s no restaurant, the hotel partnered with local favorite, The Beach Market, to deliver sandwiches and salads.
Note that the hotel is open seasonally, from May through October.
This charming bed and breakfast has an unbeatable location in central P-town’s bustling commercial district, adjacent to the iconic Pilgrim Monument Memorial.
The inn is comprised of four historic buildings dating from the 1800s, surrounded by flower gardens, and threaded with pathways and stone bridges. Multiple sun decks, garden seating, and an outdoor fire pit offer areas to relax. The made-to-order breakfast changes with the seasons and is served either outside on the deck next to the goldfish pond, or in the Great Room with a cozy gas fireplace.
Rooms, named after famous personalities like Jane Goodall, Julia Child, and Virginia Woolf, are scattered throughout four buildings and arranged around a tranquil courtyard. Individually designed, mostly in a classic style, they feature gas fireplaces, kitchenettes, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses.
Layouts vary, with rooms ranging from entry-level Value Rooms (the smallest measures just 163 square feet with a Queen-sized bed) up to an 838-square-foot, top-floor one-bedroom apartment with a King-sized bed, a living room lit by skylights, a full kitchen, a private deck, and a sauna. Many rooms have balconies or decks, and some have spectacular views of the towering Pilgrim Monument.
The very definition of a romantic New England retreat, this 19th-century white-clapboard inn is tucked along the tree-lined brick sidewalks of Edgartown, a former whaling town turned celebrity retreat.
The Gothic Revival building is beautifully appointed with antiques and fine art, and the fireside drawing room is perfectly inviting. But the large wraparound porch and garden-facing sun room are the best spots to relax and enjoy the complimentary afternoon tea with fresh scones. Guests have access to the spa, which includes a fitness center, steam shower, and sauna. A full breakfast is included as well.
The 17 individually designed rooms and suites come in a variety of layouts and sizes. All have a colonial theme with patterned wallpaper, antique furnishings, coastal artwork, and floral headboards on King-sized beds. Entry-level standard rooms are located on the first and second floors, while top-floor Deluxe rooms feature skylights and kitchenettes and look out over the property’s garden. The hotel is open seasonally, from May through October.
Nantucket is famous for its postcard-perfect downtown comprised of historic cobblestone streets, 19th-century shingled buildings, and steepled churches. A more rugged kind of beauty can be found on its less-developed northeast coast where the five-star Wauwinet sits on a quiet stretch of Nantucket Bay beach.
The Relais & Chateaux property is the definition of classic New England refinement with its stately gray-shingled exterior, broad porches, and pristine green lawn with white wicker chaise lounges. Topper’s restaurant, which specializes in seafood, is a local mainstay and its breezy waterfront terrace is especially popular for lunch.
The original 1875 inn is where most rooms are located. There are also four cottages across from the main house with larger suites. Each is uniquely designed but all feature classic decor in soothing blue, gray, and cream tones. Entry-level rooms come with garden views and are a bit on the cozy side at around 200 square feet. Upgrade to a Superior for more space and a seating area, and know that rooms with bay views come at a premium.
With a magnificent oceanfront location, a quarter-mile of private beach, four restaurants, and a vast array of amenities, this luxurious resort is a top summer destination for well-heeled families.
Built as a hunting lodge in 1914, the main house commands beautiful ocean views from its expansive veranda. There is a huge heated waterfront pool, kiddie pool, and hot tub, plus Har-Tru tennis courts, croquet, and volleyball areas. A seasonal complimentary daily boat shuttle offers access to the Cape Cod National Seashore’s North Beach Island just across the cove. Or for a fee, you can charter a boat from the hotel’s fleet. Save time for a round on the adjacent nine-hole golf course, or use the spa’s seasonal outdoor pool, hot tub, steam rooms, and saunas.
Complementing the main inn’s original wood-beamed ceilings and hardwood floors are traditional antiques, period-style furnishings, and handcrafted ship models. Relax in the expansive lobby or fireside lounge, and when the weather is fine, head to the sprawling patios at The Veranda or the oceanfront Beach House Grill for a cocktail or casual meal. The signature Stars restaurant is an upscale affair, serving farm-to-table dishes in a formal dining room with panoramic water views.
Main house guest room have their own balcony or deck. Entry-level Deluxe rooms, with Queen-sized beds and neutral-toned modern furnishings, overlook the back of the inn, while pricier Ocean View rooms offer water views. There are also cottages, some with gas fireplaces, as well as adults-only spa suites with hydrotherapy tubs, steam showers, and fireplaces.
Open year-round, the property is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, which means members can receive exclusive discounts and upgrades.
Nestled on the “elbow” of the Cape, this five-star oceanfront property attracts an upscale crowd and is particularly popular with families thanks to spacious accommodations and an abundance of amenities.
Some 22 historic buildings make up the 27-acre resort, which counts two beaches — including the particularly lovely Pleasant Bay beach — two outdoor pools (one an adults-only lap pool), a fitness center, and Har-Tru tennis courts. Guests have access to the adjacent members-only Cape Cod National Golf Club and the nearby Cape Cod Rail Trail offers 36 miles of flat paved bike paths.
Five restaurants and bars include a refined spot for seafood; a clubby, tavern-style fireside restaurant; and a seasonal beachfront bar.
Rooms are done up in soft blue and taupe hues that reflect the surrounding water and feature a blend of modern and traditional furnishings. All offer a private deck or patio and most have water views. Entry-level Garden View rooms measure 360 square feet with patios facing the gardens. There are also Cape Cod-style cottages scattered throughout the property, and family-sized rooms, range from 400 to 505 square feet with seating areas, fireplaces, and large decks directly overlooking the water.
The resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is open seasonally, from April to mid-December.
Cape Cod is a roughly 70-mile-long, crescent-shaped peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic in Massachusetts. It includes two islands, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and is divided into four regions, each with its own distinct personality and rich history.
What is the best area to stay in Cape Cod?
Closest to the mainland, the Upper Cape is home to some of the oldest towns in America including Sandwich, which dates back to 1639. Mid Cape is considered the urban hub with the biggest population and largest city, Hyannis; this is also where most people catch ferries to the islands.
Once you reach the “elbow,” or the Lower Cape, you’ve entered quaint towns such as Chatham, Orleans, Harwich, which are home to some of the region’s finest beaches, including Nauset Beach.
The Outer Cape also includes miles of pristine beaches, seagrasses, and sand dunes, plus the 43,000-acre Cape Cod National Seashore, and has a wilder, more remote feel. That is, until you reach the easternmost tip and Provincetown (commonly referred to as P-town), which is a bustling LGBTQ enclave known for its artsy vibe and eclectic nightlife.
Finally, there are the islands: Nantucket, with its picture-perfect cobblestoned historic district, and the showier Martha’s Vineyard, which regularly lures celebrities, former presidents, and royalty.
When is the best time to visit Cape Cod?
There’s nothing quite like summer on Cape Cod. Long sunny days spent at the beach followed by grilling out with fresh seafood as warm evening breezes lap by. There’s fresh seafood and ice cream to eat, and when the tide slinks out far on the bay, there’s nothing quite like walking out as far as the eye can see.
But while the warmer months are certainly a draw, the shoulder and off-season periods present a rare opportunity to savor the Cape too, sans crowds, with cheaper hotel prices, to boot. The beaches are still lovely to stroll and there’s a calmer, more local vibe to savor. Just know that many businesses shutter in winter, so some dining and shopping may be limited.
What kind of hotels are on Cape Cod?
On Cape Cod, you’ll find hotels of all sorts, from beachy motels and cottages to luxe five-star hotels with chic spas and a posh crowd.
For this list in particular, we also included several B&Bs or inns, as we believe they offer strong value in terms of price, location, and room type. Many hotels in Cape Cod are expensive, and these alternate lodgings offer an accessible way to visit that won’t cost a fortune. They also tend to be more personable and exude character. However, because most inns are located in smaller, historic properties, they may seem dated or show signs of wear and tear.
Additionally, many properties are seasonal and close for the winter.
What is there to do in Cape Cod?
The beach, of course. The Atlantic side of the cape enjoys wide stretches of beach framed by dramatic cliffs with large rolling waves. Keep your eyes peeled for passing friendly seals, as well as sharks.
On the bay side, the calm still waters are great for families with small children, and at low tide, the water draws back for miles, leaving the sandy bay floor to explore and take long walks.
Rustic seafood shacks serve local catches, while the signature Cape Codder, a mix of vodka and cranberry juice, is ubiquitous in local bars and taverns.
There are also many great trails for running, walking, biking, and beautiful state parks for exploring or camping.
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Lake Tahoe mixes year-round outdoor activities with lively casinos and dining.
Boutique lodges and full-service hotels attract families, couples, and adventurers.
Hotels start in price from $100 to $399 per night, depending on the time of year.
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The largest Alpine Lake in the United States, Lake Tahoe defers only to the five Great Lakes in terms of size. This scenic, enduring spot located on the border of California and Nevada has been popular since the turn of the 20th century, with a global reputation sealed when nearby Squaw Valley staged the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Since then, this natural wonder has evolved as a tourist hotspot. It is most well known today for its ski resorts, crystal clear lake waters, and hiking trails, but motorcycling, golfing, hunting, and gambling also make up a sizable chunk of its allure.
I’ve been visiting the region for many years and have witnessed the development of the region as a tourist destination, and with it, some of the best hotels in the country, whether you seek a rustic base to hit trails or a luxury lodge to indulge in pampering spa treatments.
Browse all the best Lake Tahoe hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:
This unpretentious, family-friendly lodge has a sense of the old-fashioned about it, but in this case, that feeling adds to the appeal rather than making it feel dated. The entry-level rooms are atmospheric and chalet-like. With two Queen beds and plenty of room for a small family to spread out, there’s great value to be found here.
Set just outside Tahoe City, the location is tranquil and scenic. Easy access to the nearby ski slopes and the lake itself is a particular selling point. The on-site, riverside restaurant has become a destination in itself, and apres-ski lovers and fans of New American fine dining flock here year-round.
Arguably the best value hotel in the region, this affordable property veers towards a hipper, younger crowd. The ironic modern art of kitsch woodland scenes evokes a trendy city hotel, while the comforts of plump leather sofas and fire pits mean that you’ll feel at home in the mountains.
The in-room decor is whimsical, with camping lanterns and railroad ties for clothing racks that are all part of a playful approach to ski resort life. The location is central and the property is just a short walk from Lakeside beach.
For visitors on a budget, it’s a stylish, well-loved property with more than a little character. The hotel also offers a solid range of amenities (ski kit storage, restaurant, picnic area, and small private beach) for a budget-conscious hotel.
The thoughtful interior design helps this larger chain property retain a sense of place with stone fireplaces and wooden beams that conjure up a classic alpine ambiance.
The modern units are well-suited to couples and families that prefer a more residential style of stay, with living spaces and handy kitchenettes.
The real draw here, though, is the facilities and location. A large spa and heated outdoor pool make for a blissful retreat and the hotel is conveniently situated next to the Heavenly Gondola, with the peaks of the Heavenly Mountain Resort within easy striking distance.
Complete your stay by taking part in the numerous activities offered such as hikes, yoga, and kids’ camps.
This bijoux, 22-room lodge has been a popular fixture for over 50 years, and it takes great care to maintain its original high standards and levels of comfort. Overlooking the south shore of the lake on Ski Run Boulevard, the lodge is just a hop and a step from the Heavenly ski resort and the dining options of South Lake Tahoe.
Stylish contemporary interiors in brown and cream earth tones are complemented by stone fireplaces and evocative wooden exteriors. The guest suites come with kitchenettes for easy self-catering for those who prefer to dine in. It’s the ease of access to the skiing, though, that most guests return for, and slope aficionados can be at Monument Peak or East Peak within minutes by shuttle.
This eco-conscious modern lodge has been constructed with an impressive amount of reclaimed or recycled materials, resulting in a high-end, European-style alpine hotel. Chic minimalism is the order of the day in the rooms, with luxury details such as leather-framed platform beds and heated floors in the bathrooms — a real boon in winter.
The property is well-placed for downtown Truckee but surrounded by some of the lake’s best scenery and outdoor pursuits. Activities like skiing and cycling can be arranged with the in-house concierge.
The healthy on-site dining at Stella, with its menu of farm-to-table veggie dishes and more, is an equally exquisite experience.
A private beach area on the north shore of the lake awaits at this elegant outpost of the Hyatt Regency brand. The location, in Incline Village, neighbors the Diamond Peak Ski Resort, giving the hotel some seriously attractive outdoor options year-round. And with a casino attached, there’s also a fair amount of choice for fans of the indoors.
Mountain views abound from the contemporary chalet-style rooms that deliver impressively luxurious accommodations even at entry-level. Guests with a special occasion or looking for standalone accommodations may want to splurge for the lakeside cottages that come with kitchenettes and unbeatable scenery.
The hotel also just announced a new menu of outdoor activities ranging from morning meditation sessions to guided hikes, plus a ‘dry land boot camp’ to help guests prepare for the winter sports season.
This cute boutique property dates back to 1960 when the Winter Olympics were held at Squaw Valley and around North Lake Tahoe. Thanks to its high levels of design, the hotel has a timeless and elegant aesthetic, allowing the hotel to easily compete with luxe newcomers.
The rooms are inarguably contemporary, with iPod docks, Keurig coffee machines, and anti-allergen room filtration elevating them beyond the rustic. The hotel itself basks in lovely mountain views and offers a cozy, pampering apres-ski scene with its fireplaces and fire pits.
The location is as central as it gets, with very easy access to all those world-class ski slopes.
Technically, this wonderful property is a bed and breakfast as opposed to a full-service hotel, but its standards and standing are so high that it’s a natural fit for the best places to stay in the Lake Tahoe region.
The interiors are evocative, beginning with a three-story stone fireplace replete with mounted elk’s head lording over the striking lobby space. Nine units are split between lodge rooms in the main building and four cabins spread across the scenic grounds. Couples seeking a romantic retreat may want to consider their more luxurious cabins, decked out with leather armchairs and roaring fireplaces.
All of the accommodations present an elevated rustic-chic vibe and the location in South Lake Tahoe is an alluring one that’s just a short drive to the lake itself.
There’s been a hospitality industry here for over a century, and this Tahoe City inn is a chance to experience some authentic old-school charm without sacrificing comfort. The cottages date back to 1938, and the pine walls and stone fireplaces retain that timeless sense of style.
The amenities, including the bathrooms, are modern, though, and there’s fast Wi-Fi. Guests can also enjoy the property’s private beach after a complimentary country breakfast. There are even Adirondack chairs for relaxing beneath the canopy of pine trees, and Squaw Peak and Twin Peaks ski resorts are close by for a more active day out.
Regular guests of the Ritz-Carlton brand know that there’s a reliable consistency to the level of service and comfort. This gorgeous, tree-framed property in Truckee is no exception.
The hotel comes with its own mountain concierge and offers the only ski-in, ski-out access in Lake Tahoe, which some will find well worth the higher price. The indulgent slopeside spa and exceptional dining options are among the most sophisticated in the region, and with lake access and two outdoor pools, it’s a property that scales the heights of relaxation. In-room gas fireplaces and marble bathrooms complete the posh picture.
Lake Tahoe is especially popular in the prime summer and winter months. Late November through early May especially sees an uptick in visitors as skiers and snowboarders of all levels flock to the region.
For the cheapest prices, look in shoulder seasons like fall.
What is the best place to stay in Lake Tahoe?
Given its size, there are a number of choices in terms of towns to stay in. South Lake Tahoe (the largest town) and Tahoe City top the list, with historic Truckee, Tahoe Vista, Homewood, and Incline Village also offering a number of accommodation options.
Is it safe to travel?
Of course, during these times of COVID-19, Lake Tahoe is subject to the same potential restrictions and safety precautions as the rest of the country and you should check for any local changes in regard to mandatory policies or quarantine periods.
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Las Vegas hotels are lavish, large, and also much cheaper than you might expect.
Many top hotels start in the double digits and are located on or near the Strip.
The best cheap Vegas hotels in 2021 are based on our reviews and ratings from trusted travel sites.
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Las Vegas is filled with eye-popping entertainment, attractions, and plenty of ways to drop a lot of cash – but that doesn’t have to extend to your hotel.
There are so many cheap hotels in Las Vegas that the price may seem like a typo. And in Sin City, cheap doesn’t mean dismal. Many of Las Vegas’ best hotels start well under $100, and in many cases, under $50 in low season.
As an LA resident who covers travel and entertainment in Vegas regularly, I’ve certainly taken advantage of those deals. And now, as travelers emerge from COVID lockdowns, I’m highlighting the best cheap hotels in Las Vegas. And if you find yourself with cash to spare, we rounded up the best Las Vegas luxury hotels, too.
Browse all the best cheap Las Vegas hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:
After a stint as the SLS Las Vegas, this property has returned to the building’s original roots as the Sahara Las Vegas. As part of the rebrand, the property underwent a $150 million revamp, including an updated casino, renovated hotel rooms and corridors, an upgraded spa, and a new hotel lobby.
We found the entry-level rooms to generally be well-appointed, sleek, and super cheap. It’s also one of the most convenient places to stay if you have business in or near the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is one of the oldest hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, but thanks to a recent renovation to tower guest rooms, it feels new again.
The hotel is part of Caesars Entertainment and is one of the most affordable hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. We stayed in and reviewed a King Resort room while attending one of the busiest trade shows of the year and were impressed by the generous size, comfort, and cleanliness, as well as the access to an on-site monorail station.
With nice, basic rooms available squarely in the two-figure range, Planet Hollywood over-delivers on value. We also enjoy staying here for the electric energy and casino floor, which always feels lively. There is top-tier dining from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, and designer stores at the Miracle Mile Shops, all on-site.
Planet Hollywood is also a great spot to just chill out. The Spa by Mandara is excellent and the pool boasts dozens of cabanas and is the only Vegas pool with a wave machine.
As the name implies, rooms at Paris Las Vegas feel European-inspired, with a fashionable color palette, Versailles-inspired fixtures, and chic marble detailing. Plus, there’s plenty to do on-property that makes staying here especially exciting, including dining at Gordon Ramsay Steak, or 110 feet above the Strip in the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
We suggest relaxing by the Soleil Las Vegas pool to enjoy a view of the tower, or get pampered at the full-service Voie spa and salon.
Palms Casino Resort recently completed a massive property-wide $690 million renovation with newly revamped rooms and suites available at shockingly low prices.
When we stayed here, we felt downright pampered in our guest room, which came with a striped marble bathroom, deep soaking tub, and 65-inch TVs. The Palms is also home to a restaurant from famed chef Bobby Flay, and a new spa that sprawls over three stories. Plus, the buffet is only $17, a fraction of what it costs elsewhere.
COVID-19 status and policies: Palms Casino Resort is temporarily closed, and does not currently have an expected reopening date.
The Signature is an all-suite hotel set back from the MGM Grand’s main resort and casino but is still easily accessible to it by indoor walkways. There’s no casino on-site, which means the crowd is less rowdy, and the hotel feels peaceful. There are fewer amenities too, though all of the restaurants, entertainment, and wellness found at MGM Grand are just steps away.
We once used the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book here and scored extra perks such as free upgrade, late checkout, and complimentary food and beverage credit. Spacious suites are quiet and include spa baths, flat-screen TVs, separate sitting areas, balconies, and kitchenettes for an apartment-like experience. It’s a great fit for a family or someone in town for business on an extended stay.
Another central, non-gaming option, Vdara is adjacent to Aria at CityCenter and is a totally smoke-free and casino-free property. This makes it a great option for those who prefer to focus on work, relaxing, or traveling with kids in tow.
The all-suite property has amenities like kitchenettes with microwaves, stove tops, fridges, and cookware. Add an additional $50 per night and bring your pup along, too. We stayed here and recommend it as a solid option when you want to be near CityCenter in spacious rooms, but without the casino bustle.
Caesars is one of the Strip’s older properties, but it’s always iconic and attracts bold-faced names and ventures. Recently, that included Lisa Vanderpump’s Vanderpump Cocktail Garden restaurant, as well as celebrity chef spots from Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Guy Savoy, and Nobu Matsuhisa. There’s also the 4,100-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace theater which hosted a Mariah Carey residency.
There are 4,000 guest rooms in six towers, many of which have been smartly renovated with marble bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, which we reviewed to highlight how they’ve adapted to COVID. Pro-tip: upgrades here cost just dollars and can make a huge difference.
Among our favorite features — although not always the best thing for a budget-minded trip — is the attached Forum Shops mall, as well as the glam pool deck.
Located on the Las Vegas Strip within the CityCenter complex, Aria is a glittering curvilinear property with a 150,000-square-foot casino, 16 restaurants, and more than 4,000 rooms. Opened just a decade ago, rooms still feel brand new with fully tricked-out tech. A one-touch room control system operates features like lighting and climate control, and I’ve felt pretty pampered by making those changes without even having to move around the room.
Plus, Hakkasan Group’s Jewel nightclub is located here, as is a huge spa with 62 treatment rooms, and three pools including the Liquid pool club for grown folks.
This five-star Las Vegas Strip resort can go well above $100 in busier seasons, but if you travel midweek or in winter, you might find a rate right around $100 (before the daily fee, of course).
The high-end hotel has 80 restaurants — including Thomas Keller’s Bouchon — a glittering casino, the Grand Canal Shoppes, and a pool deck that covers 1.2 acres, and every room is a suite, and huge, starting at 650 square feet.
We’ve stayed here often for work, as the Venetian connects to the Sands Expo & Convention Center, and enjoyed luxuriating in a suite with a sunken sitting area, dining table, and two high-def TVs. Each also has a luxurious bathroom with an oversized soaking tub, separate glass-enclosed shower, and marble counters. Guests are also granted access to the Canyon Ranch Spa Club gym.
Las Vegas draws all kinds of travelers: gamblers, groups of friends, couples, ticket holders to big-name entertainment, hotel enthusiasts, families, business travelers, and first-timers eager to see Sin City.
And with prices starting well under $50 per night, there’s plenty of choices to go around too. But cheap doesn’t have to mean low quality. In addition to the criteria noted above, our picks for top cheap hotels in Las Vegas all factored in the following:
Price: Of course, when compiling the best budget hotels, price is a top point of consideration. All the hotels we chose start under $120 per night in low season, which most often means midweek during peak summer or winter.
Rooms: We don’t want a case of ‘you get what you pay for,’ and so all the properties in our list of the best cheap Las Vegas hotels include rooms that were recently renovated. They might not be as fancy as other Las Vegas hotels, but they’re also not as expensive.
Location: We only considered hotels on or very near to the Las Vegas Strip.
Experience: Our team of writers visited and personally stayed at every hotel on this list. Most have reviews for you to read and consider, too.
Ratings: We also consulted past reviews and ratings from others on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor, Booking.com, and others.
Safety and cleanliness: We only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with new COVID cleaning policies.
FAQs: Cheap Las Vegas hotels
Where is Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is located in the southern tip of the state of Nevada, near the borders of both California and Arizona.
What is the best time of year to visit Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is located in a desert climate, so you can expect hot, hot summers and cool winters. No matter when you visit, it’s likely to be chilly at night. Early winter and spring, however, offer the nicest, mildest weather when it will be the most comfortable to stroll the Las Vegas Strip or lounge at the pool.
Though, if you’re planning to spend most of your time indoors on the casino or convention floor, the weather likely won’t be a big factor when considering the time of year to visit.
What are the cheapest and most expensive times of year to visit Las Vegas?
You’ll often find the cheap deals on hotels in Las Vegas midweek in summer, or in the winter, after New Year’s Day, through early spring. Once the temperatures turn milder, expect prices to rise and stay high through the end of the year.
Of course, much of Las Vegas tourism revolves around a robust convention calendar, which can also drive up hotel prices. Holidays too, see an influx of crowds.
Why are Las Vegas hotels cheap?
Because Vegas resort operators make a huge chunk of their profits down on the casino floor, where the house always has the advantage, cheap room rates are offered to attract guests who will then spend their money on slots and tables.
Beware when booking though, as a resort fee could inflate hotel prices much higher. I’ve seen rooms for $50 per night with an $80 daily resort fee. Of course, in high season or during big events, all rates are subject to change, and starting price points can soar.
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Mexico is packed with desirable vacation destinations, many of which are well known to travelers.
Comparatively, Mexico’s lesser-traveled resort areas offer fewer crowds and unspoiled environs.
Our top places include hotels in destinations like Punta Mita, Mayakoba, Oaxaca, and Careyes.
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I’m a professional travel writer who has visited Mexico many times for work and leisure, both with and without kids. So, I’m often the go-to resource for those looking for recommendations on places to stay in the country.
Even prior to the pandemic, I preferred to avoid heavily trafficked tourist regions in favor of more under-the-radar destinations (often nearby and easily accessible from those busier spots) that offered comparatively quieter beaches and peaceful resorts.
My favorite is Punta Mita, less than three hours by direct flight from L.A., and a short car ride from Puerto Vallarta. And it’s hardly an outlier – areas like Mayakoba, Oaxaca, and Careyes are regions that may be well known among frequent travelers to Mexico, but less so with first-time or casual travelers.
Here, we rounded up several Mexican destinations that might not yet be on your radar but should be.
Browse all the best hotels below, or jump to a specific area.
These are the best hotels in Mexico that aren’t in tourist hot spots, sorted by region and price.
Punta Mita is located along Mexico’s Pacific coast on the north end of Banderas Bay in the state of Nayarit. It’s about 20 miles from Puerto Vallarta, accessed via a short car ride. The destination is actually a 1,500-acre private peninsula, a gated area that is home to the Four Seasons Punta Mita, St. Regis Punta Mita, and other posh properties.
Easily accessed from the Puerto Vallarta airport (which is itself served by many airlines, including low-cost carriers with direct flights), the Four Seasons Punta Mita feels like another world.
There are two secluded beaches at this paradise, separated by a dramatic clifftop perch that makes an unforgettable private dinner destination for a special occasion. There’s an adults-only pool and an infinity-edge all-ages pool, plus a serene lazy river that almost feels like it meanders naturally through a jungle.
There are multiple dining options including the sprawling Dos Catrinas restaurant that anchors the center of the resort. Bahia by Richard Sandoval is right on the sand, and Aramara serves upscale Asian fare.
Newly renovated rooms are out of this world with entry-level lodgings that come in at a sprawling 645 square feet of indoor-outdoor space with room for three adults or two adults and two kids, sophisticated beachy decor, and marble bathrooms.
As a parent traveling with young children, I can’t say enough good things about the kids club here. It’s like a luxurious summer camp that kids will never want to leave and comes included with the room rate, which makes for an outstanding value if you use it to its fullest.
Overall, this property is one of my favorites in the world for family travel and the place we’ve chosen for many major occasions and milestones.
Just about 30 miles from Cancun is the 500-acre development of Mayakoba (technically in Playa del Carmen, though far more peaceful and remote).
Mayakoba encompasses 620 acres of lagoons, jungles, and beaches along Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The private gated community is home to an array of full-service resorts, all designed with the goal of preserving and enhancing the native landscape. In addition to the Fairmont and Banyan Tree properties that made our list, other attractive options include Andaz, Viceroy, and Rosewood, which also come highly recommended.
This 45-acre property is an enormous full-service resort offering 401 rooms and suites, including 34 suites with an array of beach and lagoon casitas. Standard guest rooms are generously sized at 436 to 480 square feet, with abundant natural light, a private terrace or balcony, and large spa-like bathrooms with marble accents and soaking tubs.
Book the property as an all-inclusive — or not as you prefer. Activities include nature trails, biking, kayaks, catamarans, tennis, golfing on the renowned El Camaleon golf course (host to the only official PGA Tour event in Mexico), and scenic boat tours through the canals.
Of course, lounging waterside is the main draw, with white sand beaches and several pools on property. The Willow Stream Spa offers signature Mayan treatments and the hotel is pet friendly and family friendly, with the Discovery Kids Club and a water slide at the main pool.
Dining options are so plentiful and woven throughout all the Mayakoba resorts. Take a complimentary town car ride to any of the other hotels where you can dine and still charge your meal to your room.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba bills itself as the most sustainable five-star resort in a region known for them. It recently underwent a $50 million expansion, debuting 34 private beachfront pool suites and the new Sands Beach Club, which has an infinity oceanfront pool, all-day dining restaurant and raw bar, beachfront lounge, a larger interactive Rangers Club for kids, and ocean view massage rooms operated by the Banyan Tree Spa.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers 120 villas, which all come with indulgent private pools and terraces. It’s the only all-pool villa resort in the Riviera Maya. Even the smallest rooms among them clocks in around 1,700 square feet with high design and thoughtfully curated details such as included bicycles at each. While the resort is lavish and inviting, it’s easy to spend your entire trip within your room, swimming in your own pool and spreading out on the various living spaces, with every need tended to by a butler.
Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico steeped in historic architecture and indigenous culture. Its capital city of the same name is dotted with charming colonial buildings often made of green volcanic stone. The baroque Catedral de Oaxaca stands in the main square, El Zócalo.
Parador De Alcala is a boutique hotel located in the heart of the historic center between the Santo Domingo de Guzmán Ex-convent and the Zocalo.
Here, 21 rooms and suites take over a restored and converted eighteenth-century mansion. The lodgings are distributed over three levels with high ceilings and most have access from a stunning colonial courtyard. All rooms have marble flooring, Egyptian cotton sheets, and a soft color palette highlighted by natural light.
El Patio restaurant is located in one of the hotel’s central atrium spaces, offering full traditional Oaxacan breakfast. A terrace, garden, and chaises lounges surround the pool deck, which offers 360-degree views of the city.
NaNa Vida Hotel Oaxaca is situated right in the center of Oaxaca City, about 1,500 feet from Santo Domingo Convent, and steps from restaurants and bars for easy and relaxed sightseeing. The San Pablo Cultural Centre and Macedonio Alcalá Theater are just blocks away.
Rooms are unique, artful, and stylishly outfitted, with colorful bedding and intricately patterned bathroom tiling. Many elements of the decor are made by local artisans.
You will not find a pool in this boutique property, but you can relax in the sunny courtyard and enjoy full breakfast on weekends (or pastries and coffee during the week). At a soap bar, guests can select their own scents for bespoke soaps, using 100 percent natural and vegan ingredients, for use during their stay.
Costalegre is a 150-mile long stretch of the Mexican coast on the Pacific within the state of Jalisco, between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. It features an array of beaches, capes, and bays, plus charming seaside towns and villages.
Careyes is the place you go when you are in the cognoscenti … or at least you’ll certainly look like you are when you visit. Founded by Gian Franco Brignone in 1968, this unique resort has been continuously family-owned and operated since then, exuding a vibe that combines a sultry Mediterranean feel with the ultra-saturated colors and unique architecture of Mexico. Think eccentric, arty, and focused on wellness and the natural environment.
El Careyes has infinity pools, lighted tennis courts, restaurant dining, and a private access beach club. The resort is comprised of bungalows, casitas, villas, and so-called “Ocean Castles,” which are opulent, dreamy lodgings. Entry-level accommodations are brilliantly colored bungalows located directly on the sand overlooking the Careyes Bay just steps from the sea and beach club.
The property spans over 35,000 acres including the biosphere reserve. The so-called “Careyes Wonders” on-site include spiritual-feeling spaces that guests can visit (or book for events), including La Copa del Sol, an 88-foot diameter cup-like structure that is acoustically and visually arresting, and definitely sets this place apart.
Careyes also has a lively event calendar, including the chicer-than-Burning-Man, Ondalinda Festival.
This town is located in the western state of Jalisco. It’s famous for — of course — the production of the famous Mexican spirit. Located near the Tequila Volcano, its outskirts are awash in fields of the main ingredient in the spirit: blue agave. An array of local distilleries and haciendas offer tours of the production (and tastings too, of course).
Casa Salles Hotel Boutique opened in Tequila in 2020. The site that had been used for Salles family celebrations over the past 60 years is now a destination with 25 intimate guest rooms. Located within walking distance of the town square and other tourist landmarks, Casa Salles Hotel Boutique is an ideal launchpad.
Guest rooms are thoughtfully appointed with built-in furnishings, private bars, seating areas, smart TVs, and rainfall showers. Large Master Family Suites have room for seven adults, with sliding glass doors that open to private balconies overlooking a picturesque mango grove and gardens.
The hotel also offers a lively restaurant, Mango Cocina de Origen, serving regional Mexican cuisine. There’s also a pool, banquet facility, and spa, and the La Guarreña Distillery, producer of El Tequileño tequila, is located adjacent to the hotel.
This is the lively capital of the Yucatán, the peninsula state that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea, and is also home to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.
Rich in Maya and colonial history, the city’s centerpiece is the Plaza de la Independencia, bordered by the colonial-era churches Mérida Cathedral and Iglesia de la Tercera Orden, both built with relics from ancient Mayan temples.
The hip, stylish Diplomat is well situated in the city’s historic center, within easy walking distance of many historic monuments, cathedrals, and parks, plus tons of eateries and shops. The hotel boasts colonial architecture and a beautiful pool.
Entry-level suites are high on style and comfort with colonial tiles, smart TVs, sound docks, included high-speed Wi-Fi, Nespresso machine, fans, premium linens, and air conditioning.
Snacks and fresh cocktails are served on arrival, and an ever-changing vegetarian breakfast is also included and served daily. Guests have access to a tea and coffee bar with fresh juices and champagne in the morning, as well.
The weather differs by region across the country, but generally, September through May is a good time to visit Mexico.
Mexico gets much of its rain throughout the summer, but these may be quick and isolated showers that won’t derail a trip.
The Gulf of Mexico area sees hurricanes from late July through early November. It’s hottest in April and May, and the busiest seasons are during the Christmas holiday and spring break periods.
What is the best Mexico hotel on the beach to avoid crowds?
Secluded beaches dot the country’s coastline. The island of Holbox is a small 26-mile island within the protected YUM Balam nature reserve and offers pristine, crowd-free beaches, enjoyed by hotels like Villas Flamingos or the Mystique Holbox by Royalton.
Elsewhere, Four Seasons Punta Mita has the advantage of being located a short drive from Puerto Vallarta airport, but boasts a pair of very quiet beaches all to itself.
Can I drink the water in Mexico?
It’s generally not a good idea to drink water from the tap in Mexico. Opt instead for bottled water, even while brushing your teeth. Be mindful of ice and avoid getting it in your drinks unless you can confirm it’s made from safe water.
What are the best Mexico hotels for couples or families?
As a parent of young children, I’ll always pick a Four Seasons anywhere in the world for top-notch service that accommodates families indulgently and seamlessly, with included kids clubs and incredible all-seasons programming. So, the Four Seasons Punta Mita is my go-to pick in Mexico for families.
And while many of Mexico’s most well-known adults-only resorts for couples are located in popular destinations like Cancun, couples seeking romance might find it a treat to visit a hotel like Casa Salles in less-frequently visited Tequila, where spirits tasting makes for memorable, grown-folks-only fun.
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Travel is back just in time for summer and there’s nothing quite like a beach vacation.
We found the best beach hotels for families in the U.S. for travel with little ones or a reunion.
The best beach hotels for families have great amenities, affordable prices, and beautiful locales.
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After a long pandemic, and with vaccinations widely available, many Americans are ready to travel. For families this summer, that likely means a beach trip. They’re outdoors, accessible, and a whole lot of fun.
In many cases, beach vacations are a short drive – or a short flight – away and make for easy re-entry to traveling, as they require less pressure to see sights, tour indoor cultural arenas, or dine inside.
To that end, we compiled the best family beach hotels and resorts in the U.S. that cater to every member you want to bring along, from toddlers to teenagers to the grandparents you haven’t seen in two years. And we even found the spots that welcome the dog you adopted for company during the pandemic.
Browse all the best beach hotels for families below, or jump to a specific area.
For lovers of historic properties and quiet family trips, The Beachmere Inn is ideal. Established in the late 1880s, the inn is owned by the third generation of a family with deep Maine roots. It shows in everything from weekly lobster bakes to rooms with balconies and patios that showcase magnificent coastline views.
Throughout the decades, the original Victorian building was joined by four others. Amenities in each vary from fireplaces to balconies or terraces and kitchenettes. For families, Beachmere South and Beachmere West have modern suites, while Heathstone Cottage has four bedrooms.
To get to the beach, which is both sandy and rocky the way Maine beaches are, you’ll navigate the 1.25-mile Marginal Way ocean footpath from the expansive green lawn. Other activities include sunbathing, holiday events, and snowshoe tromping, and the Bistro serves three squares per day, but you can always also walk to nearby Perkins Cove or the center of Ogunquit for more.
If you judge how family-friendly a resort is by the water features for children, then welcome to Sea Crest Beach Hotel. Here, there’s a beach with towels, umbrellas, and chairs, plus on-site water sport rentals. Pools are saline, not chlorine, and are both indoors and outside. There’s also a Jacuzzi and baby pool. In short, there’s a way for every member of the family to get their swimsuit wet, from infant to great-grandpa.
Out of the 253 Cape Cod-style guest rooms and suites, oceanfront rooms have west-facing balconies, patios, or decks to enjoy the sunrise and sunsets, and come with crisp linens and green accents (including plants). Others have gas fireplaces or views of Buzzard’s Bay, but all have mini-refrigerators, work desks, and efficient, free Wi-Fi.
All kids’ activities — and there is a generous amount of programming to choose from — are supervised, so you can feel safe leaving little ones to play beach games while you do downward dog nearby. And speaking of dogs, you can bring yours, although you do have to crate canines when they’re left in the room.
This beachfront family-style resort sits directly on the white sands of Pensacola Beach and features the area’s largest lazy river (in addition to another pool). That river, complete with waterfalls, bridges, and islands, also hosts daily pirate shows and mermaids who swim alongside hotel guests like manatees.
The 206 guest rooms overlook the Santa Rosa Sound, but not all have a balcony. It’s definitely worth the upgrade to score a private patio overlooking the sugary beach and for capturing Instagram-worthy images of the Gulf of Mexico sunsets. Rooms include a mini-fridge and microwave. Request family rooms for bunk beds and a gaming console, although they may not need it if they’re entranced by the on-site arcade.
There’s even more entertainment outside, starting with nightly “dive-in” movies shown on an inflatable screen at the pool. Or, head to nearby Quietwater Beach Boardwalk where you can arrange for fishing charters, lessons, tours, or equipment for paddle-boarding, kayaking, and biking. A miniature golf course and another arcade are within walking distance, along with restaurants.
Reinvented and reinvigorated, San Diego Mission Bay Resort is a colorful and family-friendly place to enjoy the beach and waterfront pools, including a wading pool for the littles. And there’s more to just playing in the sand and water. At night, free activities like bonfires and s’mores nights and Friday night movies are on offer.
For even more engagement with the surroundings, the resort arranges water sport rentals for everything from paddleboards to pontoons. Families can also rent surrey bikes or beach cruisers to ride around the city. Or rent a fully-equipped cabana for the day and chill.
The resort features games around the property like giant chess, checkers, scavenger hunts, and more so kiddos can’t get bored. Meanwhile, after you’ve lounged, adults can indulge in the spa or get the adrenaline going at the fitness center. And everyone can swing a racket, toss some foul shots, or practice their serve on the tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts.
Recently renovated, the oceanfront Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes is an oasis of classy comfort in north Myrtle Beach. Close to the championship golf courses at Grand Dunes and great family entertainment at Barefoot Landing and Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, this tropically designed paradise welcomes you with generous rooms and amenities.
Guest rooms are soothing, done in white and natural hues with a wave-patterned rug. They feature balconies or floor-to-ceiling window views, which either face the ocean or resort. Make sure to upgrade if you desire a balcony overlooking the Atlantic.
For families, the ocean and outdoor pool are a toss-up. You can spend all day playing in either, but the pool waterslide may eventually win out. With the fitness center and spa, parents and grandparents can maintain their wellness routines and even take like-minded kids with them, where the spa has services for little ones as well.
Long Branch, a popular beach destination for families from the New York and New Jersey area, receives some elevation with this beautifully designed resort. Located in the Pier Village section of town, this recently debuted beachside hotel is sufficiently entertaining for families by itself. Yet it’s also surrounded by shops and restaurants, making it even more enticing.
Sophisticated, modern rooms boast walls of framed black-and-white photos, globe reading lamps hovering over dark wood headboards, and a polished sitting area that leads out to terraces. Take advantage of the terrycloth robes and slippers while sipping a Nespresso after spending a day surfing the waves, which are right outside the door.
There is also a spa, salon, and fitness center, plus a playroom with gaming systems and bike rentals. As a family, enjoy the high-end beach and pool options, all with concierge service, and dine on-site at any of the chef-managed venues before taking part in the resort-sponsored festivities, often tied in with the surrounding Pier Village venues.
This resort is perched on a bluff, overlooking the windswept coastline. Take the steps down to walk it, surf it, run your dog on it, or beach comb with your kids. It’s hard to tire of this kind of beauty.
But when you do, you have the spacious and modern Hallmark Resort Newport to retire to. Owned by and run for families, the resort is filled with plush furniture and varied amenities. Relax in the indoor saline pool or sauna, perk up with a workout in the fitness room, or indulge in a couples’ massage while the kids hit the playground.
Rooms and suites vary, but all feature stunning oceanfront views and have either balconies or patios, microwaves, and mini-fridges. And for those cool summer evenings or colder shoulder season days, many rooms offer gas fireplaces to snuggle up next to with a good book.
With the widest stretch of beach and the longest waterslide in Waikiki, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has a lot going for it. If you can’t get your kids out of the water, this is the place to bring them, where the five pools include a 10,000-square-foot Super Pool and the multi-layered Paradise Pool with thrilling waterfalls.
Colorful and lively, the resort is designed with contemporary tropical Hawaiian influences. Choose from the newly renovated Tapa Collection rooms to Village Towers with balconies or lanais. When they call this place a village, they’re not kidding; there are at least four different sections.
And while this village may not raise your children, it’ll certainly keep them occupied with everything from lei-making to hula lessons. Meanwhile, you can do Tai Chi or yoga before the whole family indulges in a Starlight Luau on the Great Lawn.
Who says beaches have to be all about the ocean? For a non-traditional waterfront vacation that involves less sun worship and more water time, check out Mirror Lake Resort & Spa, where the private beachfront comes with complimentary watercraft usage. Lake Placid lives up to its name in terms of beauty, but also provides thrills for anglers, boaters, and more.
Inside, the resort is designed with plenty of natural wood, and family rooms have bunk beds or pull-out couches, marble bathrooms, and more than one bedroom in some cases. Many have fireplaces next to floor-to-ceiling windows or balconies that frame lake and mountain views.
The Adirondacks is a super place for an active family, and the resort has hiking and mountain biking trails next door. For less adventurous folks, the gardens provide a soothing stroll, and the European spa is a must. Dining at The View, a highly awarded restaurant, is also a prerequisite, although younger children might prefer the more casual Cottage Café or the restaurants on Main Street, just a brief walk away.
Completely transformed in 2021, the Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa takes over where the Delray Beach Marriott, and before that the Seacrest Hotel, left off. Located at the intersection of ultimate beach relaxation and busy cafe society, the renovated property is now a landmark resort that combines laid-back, Caribbean-influenced design with contemporary urban conveniences.
Only steps from the ocean at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and A1A, the resort features a number of accommodations, ranging from standard rooms with a variety of views to spacious suites and luxury villas with kitchens. While all standard rooms are decorated in clean maritime hues and have coffee makers and mini-refrigerators, upgrade to an oceanfront view with a balcony at the very least.
While the beach is not private, the resort has teamed up exclusively with Waves Surf Academy to provide guests with board rentals, surf lessons, and more. Among other activities, the kids’ club and a seasonal youth surf academy keep the young ones busy while parents can stretch out at the pool or take advantage of spa offerings. Dine on campus or head out at night into the lively scene that is downtown Delray Beach.
As the only beachfront hotel in town, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa takes its responsibilities seriously. Not only does it cherish its 1,000 feet of natural shoreline, but it also makes sure you do the same with beach services galore that include food, beverage, chairs, umbrellas, water sports rentals, fishing charters, and more. Or, if you’re more into lounging under native shade, hammocks sway invitingly in the sea breezes and there is also an oceanfront pool.
At night, family-friendly movies are shown and you may also revisit the beach with a local expert for a Sea Turtle Walk to spot nests.
Room decor harkens back to a British Colonial kind of tropical vibe, with mahogany wood and warm rusts, browns, and golds dominating the color scheme. Textiles range from rugs to floor-sweeping drapes to bed bolsters. They’re the kind of accommodations where, after a full day of sun and a seafood dinner at Sinclairs Ocean Grill, you want to blast the air-conditioning and tuck everyone in for the night so you can start over again in the morning.
With nautically inspired architecture and a premier, beachfront location, The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale is all about its natural surroundings. Ocean (or Intracoastal) views from rooms and balconies contribute to the feeling of beachy paradise, and for spa-lovers, the treatments incorporate minerals, salts, and other elements from outside the door.
When kids tire of the beach — where towel and chair service starts at 9 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m. — the heated infinity pool on the elevated, 29,000-square-foot tropical pool deck is a worthy draw. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset. If you prefer to see it set while working out, the fitness center also faces the ocean.
On the other side of the hotel, however, is a completely different scene. The street is lined with restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and you can arrange for fishing charters and tours at nearby marinas or take the water taxi to other parts of the city.
Perched on 500 feet of Laguna Beach’s famous shoreline, the Surf & Sand Resort dedicates itself to making families of all shapes and sizes welcome. Seasonal kids’ programming includes ice cream happy hours and pop-ups on the pool deck, Little Picassos art classes, kids camp with crafts, and pizza parties.
For the family, dive-in movies, barbecues, and s’mores and hot chocolate all vie for attention, and older kids and adults will certainly appreciate the variety of daily fitness classes on the beach, not to mention the menus at both the spa and the restaurants. If these pale after a few days, the town of Laguna is a brief walk away, filled with art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and more. Hiking trails, which run through both canyons and coastal bluffs, are also nearby.
The hotel offers 167 beachfront rooms and suites decorated with original art, accented by fine linens, and stocked with a mini-bar. The difference between the ocean view and oceanfront rooms is not the view but a balcony and a soaking tub in the marble bathrooms, which only come with the latter. Otherwise, the generously sized rooms, starting at 400 square feet, are designed with a California cosmopolitan mindset, and the effect is very much like staying in a friend’s well-appointed apartment that just happens to overlook the Pacific.
Comprising four different sections, or “neighborhoods,” The Victorian (the original building), The Cabanas (with terraces), The Views (new since 2021), and Beach Village (cottages), the grand, 130-year-old Hotel del Coronado is one of the best family resorts in Southern California. But it’s not only the accommodations that make it so.
Want to learn to surf? Book one-on-one instruction, and don’t worry, the water sports rentals have everything from boards to wetsuits. Entertainment ranges from movie nights to museum tours to live music. While there’s plenty for kids, including an activity center, there’s also a lot of fun for parents, grandparents, and guardians, with fitness classes that include mermaid tails in the pool and spin bikes on the sand.
Dining and shopping, with some of the latter being renovated for reopening in fall 2021, are also absorbing, with numerous options. The Spa & Salon also offers abundant indulgences for self-care when the magic of the sun, sand, and surf wear off a little. If they ever do, that is.
Located in Cape Elizabeth, just seven miles north of Portland, Maine, the ecologically friendly Inn by the Sea commands a mile of sand on Crescent Beach that guests access by strolling through lush nature. The entire 61-room and suite property, which is also landscaped with indigenous flowers and bushes, attracts native birds and butterflies and is an Instagram lover’s dream.
Because Crescent Beach is spacious and the property limited, the beach never gets crowded, though there is also a pool. On cooler evenings, it’s also extremely pleasant to sit on the expansive patios and balconies that rim the rooms and suites, which are decorated with a variety of lush textiles, metallic accents, and marble countertops.
A spa provides ocean-inspired treatments that use seaweed, salts, oils, and marine peptides. Dinner at Sea Glass, one of the best restaurants in the area, is an inventive adventure in seafood, especially if you order the tasting menu. The chef also is a whiz with vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free dishes.
Whether you want to catch crabs and fish from the bracing Pacific or simply enjoy them by the fire at the signature restaurant, Meridien, Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa is delighted to oblige.
As the name indicates, you really couldn’t get closer to the water than here, where the Nestucca River meets the Oregon coastline.
Choose from one of the 33 King or Double Queen rooms, all of which has 440 square feet (or more, if you request a corner room) and poetic views of Cape Kiwanda’s waves and Haystack Rock through picture windows. With luxe rustic furnishings, cast-iron tubs, gas fireplaces, and amenities that range from a Bonavita brewing system to a Bluetooth lantern speaker, there’s no need to upgrade to a two- or three-bedroom cottage unless traveling with a group.
While Tidepools Spa, which has an outdoor hot tub, and the restaurant are sophisticated, everything here is about the natural world, the adventures to be had in it, and the relationship with the small, unpretentious Pacific City community.
This lavish Hollywood resort is located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, bridging the land between the beach and the Intracoastal, so it’s essentially surrounded by water.
After a $100 million renovation that was completed in 2017, the hotel emerged with 1,000 rooms and suites, most of which have views of the waves. Rooms have either a sunrise or sunset color scheme, depending on which side of the resort they face. The lobby is dramatic, with floor-to-ceiling windows at the back where the indoor-outdoor wraparound Hotel Bar is located. That lobby also contains eight noteworthy restaurant concepts that range from Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal to the Diplomat Prime Steak House.
While the beach offers jet skiing, ocean kayaking, and paddleboard rentals, younger family members also appreciate the Dip + Slide water park with a lagoon pool. There, parents can keep sight of the kids while enjoying the poolside spa and lunch service.
The kids’ club, Ocean Ambassadors, relieves parents of duty so that they can enjoy The Diplomat Golf Club and The Diplomat Tennis Center, too.
With a bowling alley, an ice-skating rink, and a nightclub all in the lowest level alone, this hotel practically screams fun. But that doesn’t mean it lacks luxury. The tropical greenery and sleek modern decor stuns from the moment you walk into the posh lobby.
Custom and exclusive are two words that guide you through the EDITION experience, from the La Labo bath products to a fragrance crafted just for the hotel. Sip creative cocktails and trendy bites at Matador Bar or outdoors at Tropicale. Follow with a dip in the serene pool to soak up Miami’s Art Deco feels and beach breezes. Finish with an exquisite pan-Latin meal at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room.
Standard rooms, larger than average for Miami Beach, are tastefully decorated in driftwood and white with marble bathrooms, wood paneling, and a variety of natural textures. Feather mattresses with pillow tops and duvets ensure an excellent night’s sleep.
What are the best states for family beaches in the US?
While everyone’s definition of what constitutes a family beach differs, most people with babies and small children agree that coastal states where the water is warm and gentle, like Florida, are ideal. And states that offer waves to surf, such as Hawaii, Oregon, and California, are attractive for teens and young adults.
On the East Coast, families fill beaches from Maine to the Carolinas. Depending on what your family lifestyle is like, you might prefer to visit well-known prestige spots like Kiawah Island, Newport Rhode Island, Hilton Head, or The Hamptons for family tennis and golf after a few days of sunbathing. Or, you might opt for easygoing destinations like the Jersey Shore or Myrtle Beach with boardwalk fun in addition to the ocean.
How much does a family beach vacation cost?
Family beach vacations can run the gamut from budget to luxury depending on where you go and when. Hawaii, California, New York, Rhode Island, and Florida remain some of the most popular, and priciest, states for family beach vacations (depending on the region).
For more wallet-friendly stays, consider states like New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia.
And while there are always deals to be found, consider going on a beach vacation in the shoulder season to somewhere like North or South Carolina, Maine, Oregon, or Massachusetts if savings are your top priority. September or early May still see excellent weather in most beach destinations with far lower prices than during peak summer or winter dates. Additionally, keep in mind that peak weekends and holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July typically see beach hotel prices surge.
Weekday and weekend rates will also change during weekends and holidays. Resort fees range widely but often include bicycle rentals, barre or yoga classes, happy hours, or breakfast.
What should a family beach resort have?
The best family beach resorts and hotels offer beach access, first and foremost, plus programming and activities that address both individuals, ranging from small children to grandparents to the family dog, as well as the family as a whole. These include kids’/teen clubs and rooms, welcome packages, discounts, packages, games, and nightly entertainment.
Make sure to read the fine print, especially where it concerns younger children and family pets. Many hotels say they are friendly to both, but their actions say otherwise. In some cases, small children are prohibited from certain types of accommodations and dogs can’t leave the room, or can’t be left in the room. So know before you go.
Most hotels have reopened following shutdowns due to COVID-19 with new safety procedures in place. While you’re more likely to encounter other people in common spaces and have more interactions with staff, experts say that with added caution, it is safe to stay in a hotel. We also recommend following CDC guidelines and wearing a mask in public, using hand sanitizer, and following social distancing.
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Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have tiny populations, but the sister cities see 10 million visitors each.
All those tourists equal lots of attractive hotels in these eastern Tennessee mountain towns.
Visitors come here for outdoor attractions like the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as theme parks.
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Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Tennessee, the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge can serve two very different purposes for tourists.
For some, the towns are a jumping-off point to explore the nearby mountains, especially the half-million-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, full of hiking and biking trails and scenic drives to take in the views.
For others, the area is a headquarters of Southern culture, full of amusement parks, themed shows, and family-friendly attractions. I’ve visited the area on multiple occasions, both to ride the rollercoasters at the Dollywood theme park and to explore the stunning national forest. The area’s entertainment strips reminded me of Branson, Missouri, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, making this a ripe area for a family vacation.
Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have minuscule populations – under 10,000 between them. But with about 10 million tourists heading to both cities yearly, the area is teeming with hotels. Whether you’re there for the thrill of Dollywood or to reach the summit of Clingmans Dome, Tennessee’s tallest peak, you’ll find a hotel on this list that’ll serve as a base of operations for the adventures to come.
Located just blocks from the main strip, Country Cascades has been a Pigeon Forge attraction in its own right since 2011, with a water park that’s free for guests.
The River Run, a body slide with twists that fall four stories, is the highlight for most who stay here, as well as the headliner of the hotel’s 75,000-gallon water park headliner. For less thrill-seeking visitors, there’s Splashaway Bay, a leisure pool with a beach-style entry. The property also has a glass-enclosed indoor pool for days when the weather turns sour.
Brightly colored rooms are well-suited for families, with microwaves, refrigerators, and coffee machines standard. Rooms in the recently remodeled Country Tower have colorful accent walls that match bright bedspreads and drapes. Rooms in the Summit Tower are equally rainbow-hued and also feature views of either the water park or Mount LeConte.
Large breakfasts also come complimentary with all rooms, adding value.
Even though it’s just steps from the center of Gatlinburg, Greystone feels like a remote vacation spot, thanks to its rushing river out back and aesthetic reminiscent of a Western lodge.
A modest pool area offers a break from hot Tennessee summer days, as does the shallow, quick-moving river just steps below the property. Rooms are modestly decorated in decor some may find dated, with beige tile and carpet and hardwood furniture that looks pre-renovation for other area properties. However, for the price, it’s a nice stay in a good location.
For those here for the attractions, Ripley’s Aquarium is next door and other spots, like the Gatlinburg Space Needle and Anakeesta, are a close trolley ride away.
Call the hotel at 800-451-9202 for the latest COVID-19 protocols.
Black Fox Lodge Pigeon Forge, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
If you want to hit all the top Pigeon Forge attractions, this property is smack in the middle of everything. It’s a five-minute drive from Dollywood, under two miles from the LeConte Center, and less than nine miles from the national park.
The 178 rooms include deluxe rooms with beautiful river and mountain views. The larger suites also include a microwave and refrigerator, making rooms especially attractive for families. The hotel’s exterior has a multicolored craftsman-style motif, and inside you’ll find TV consoles and bedframes with reclaimed-style wood for a sense of place.
The expansive pool is another big draw, with a water slide and splash fountain. Another major perk for families, it gives kids an attraction without any entrance fees.
The rooms here feel like you’ve rented out someone’s tastefully appointed home for the night, with full kitchens, dining areas, and dens.
Landscapes fill the walls of the rooms, which feature deep-cushioned couches, leather armchairs, and stone-surrounded fireplaces.
Downstairs there’s a pool area with a lazy river, complete with waterfalls that cascade from a rock wall. An indoor pool, a luxurious spa, playground, and a fitness center round out the amenities. After enjoying lounging around the property, it’s just a half-mile to Dolly Parton’s Stampede.
No hotel in the area serves up better views than the Park Vista. With its location on a hill overlooking Gatlinburg, the hotel takes in a wide view of the valley and the mountains beyond. Book a Mountain View room with a private balcony to best take advantage of the vistas.
A large though somewhat dated indoor pool area offers activities on inclement weather days. However, hikers will especially enjoy staying here thanks to the fact that you can easily access trails right across the street from the property.
While located outside of the city, the town’s trolley route heads right up to the property to deliver guests to the attractions.
While not located on the Dollywood amusement park property, nothing will make a Pigeon Forge visitor feel more a part of the Dolly Parton experience than this.
Opened in 2016, DreamMore aims to cater to families and couples. A game room and an outdoor pool complete with a splash pond and waterfalls will keep kids plenty occupied. Meanwhile, for the adults, there’s a more serene indoor pool and a full-service spa.
Rooms are among the most stylish in the area, with subtle butterfly and geometric patterned bedspreads and matching throw pillows. For parents with kids, there are rooms with a King bed and bunk beds to sleep the whole crew. There are also cabins and suites with bunks that can sleep as many as six.
The on-site restaurant Song & Hearth serves up the kind of homey Southern cuisine you might expect from the property’s country music namesake.
Guests also get upgraded tickets to Dollywood that includes a TimeSaver Pass plus door-to-door shuttle service.
Sitting at the literal and figurative crossroads in Gatlinburg, Margaritaville is just over a mile from the national park entrance and also steps away from many of the city’s top attractions.
The property’s Jimmy Buffett theme is apparent from the common areas to the rooms, combining a pastel island palette with a reclaimed-wood mountain vibe. Lounge areas are full of palm trees and cushioned swinging couches that look ready for a lazy afternoon, while brightly colored Adirondack chairs surround the outdoor fire pit for chillier evenings or roasting s’mores.
The swimming pool includes a tropical-themed splash pond, and the spa offers everything from indulgent massages to beauty treatments.
If you’re somebody who exudes holiday cheer all year, this is your hotel. As the name suggests, it’s Christmas all year here, with common areas and rooms always decorated for the holidays.
The old-world Bavarian style of the property makes it a destination in its own right, and its worth stopping by here for a look around even if you don’t book a room. The decorations, like the twinkly trees and garland-covered mantle, look ready for a holiday card background. Further adding to the Christmas spirit are performances by a two-story glockenspiel, and Santa makes an appearance five days a week.
Unlike most properties in eastern Tennessee, this one stays busy in the colder months, booking up near Christmas and in the summer, especially corresponding for the Christmas in July celebrations.
Just seven miles separate Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, twin towns on the eastern Tennessee border with North Carolina. Neither city boasts a population above 6,000, but some 10 million visitors descend every year to both towns for their proximity to the Appalachian Mountains and a multitude of family-friendly attractions and theme parks.
Should I stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?
Most hotels in the area are situated on the main tourist strips that run through these two cities along US 321 and US 441.
For those wanting to spend most of the time at the theme parks and attractions, Pigeon Forge may be better suited, while those wanting to be close to the national forest may prefer Gatlinburg.
How much does it cost to stay at a hotel in Pigeon Forge?
Prices vary depending on the time of the year, but it’s relatively affordable to visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, especially compared to other Appalachian destinations like Asheville, North Carolina, or Greenville, South Carolina.
With so much competition among hotels, deals abound, especially in the winter off-season. Even in the peak of summer, a modest hotel can be had for $100 and a resort-style property is often within reach of $250.
When should I visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Summer is peak season here, although spring and fall months also bring in the crowds. Expect extra traffic on mountain roads in the fall during peak leaf-peeping season.
During the holidays, both towns don decorations to bring in those hoping for a white Christmas, although snow is rare and highs in the winter often still reach the 50s.
What is there to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Ask the outdoorsy types and they’ll answer quickly: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With 522,000 acres, the park boasts camping, wildlife viewing, biking, and hiking. Even those not looking to summit a mountain can find activities here, like the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a six-mile drive with stunning mountain views and easily accessible waterfalls.
In town, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer a very different kind of entertainment, with amusement parks, attractions, and entertainment venues crowding the main strip in both cities.
Popular attractions include the Dollywood Theme Park, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Anakeesta Theme Park, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena, Crave Golf Club, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, Ole Red, and Gold Rush Stables.
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The world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott has more than 5,000 properties just in the US.
Travelers can use Marriott Bonvoy points at more than 30 hotel brands, ranging from budget to luxe.
We rounded up some of the best Marriott hotels in the US, whether you plan to earn or use points.
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After a year of depressed travel, hotels are bouncing back – but so are prices, with some hotel rates reaching all-time highs to meet the increased demand. If you’re excited to take advantage of being fully vaccinated but don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on the jaw-dropping rates, you might consider trading in accumulated loyalty or credit card points for a hotel stay at a Marriott property through its Bonvoy program.
The Marriott Bonvoy portfolio consists of a staggering array of hotel brands, with everything from uber-luxe stays like the St. Regis and the Ritz-Carlton, to classic properties such as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, and W, to budget and extended stay properties such as the Towne Place Suites and SpringHill Suites.
Travelers wishing to trade in their Marriott Bonvoy points can choose design-forward properties like AC Hotels, hip hotels like Aloft, social stays like Moxy, or business-travel-friendly spots such as Residence Inn. Thanks to its sheer breadth of offerings, there’s genuinely a hotel for everybody in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. And, of course, if you don’t wish to spend your points but instead to bank them, these are great properties to book even with your cash. (And then you’ll earn points to redeem later!)
As an avid Marriott Bonvoy user, I’ve personally used points to stay at hotels all over the world, ranging from international locations like the Ritz-Carlton Moscow on New Year’s Eve (a category 8 spend!) to excellent value city stays from Dallas to New Jersey.
If you don’t already have a Marriott Bonvoy account, you can sign up for free here to start receiving perks like free Wi-Fi and mobile check-in. For more info on Marriott hotels and the Bonvoy program, jump to the bottom of this page.
These are the best Marriott hotels in the US, sorted from low to high by category and price.
Marriott hotels at the lowest categories are not typically that unique – that’s why they’re only category 1 or 2 stays and priced with points accordingly. However, the amenities at this trendy Aloft are truly standout, making this an exceptional stay for the category.
This hip hotel is equally accommodating to business travelers and to younger crowds in search of a cool but affordable stay in a historic city important to civil rights. Travelers can take a dip in the outdoor pool, lined with white lights and a stone firepit, pick up pre-packaged to-go food at Re:fuel, or grab a cocktail in the surprisingly elegant WXYZ bar. Weekends offer live music and, on occasion, fun food trucks.
Rooms are loft-inspired, with nine-foot-high ceilings, platform beds, and tables that double as workstations or dining tables, as well as offering sofas, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Bathrooms, meanwhile, feature rainfall showers and Bliss bath amenities, with eye-popping design choices like whimsically patterned wallpaper.
Aloft Little Rock is located in the West Little Rock Chenal area, with easy access to Verizon Arena, River Market District, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and Two Rivers Park.
A brand new extended-stay hotel in Dallas’s upscale Plano/Legacy area, this all-suites hotel provides travelers with a higher-end stay than one would expect from a category 1 hotel, and an easy jumping-off point for access to North Dallas’s sprawling suburbs.
Suites are clean and sleek, and all include kitchens with refrigerators, microwaves, toasters, dishwashers, and stovetops. Beds are comfortable, with thick mattresses and duvet covers, and coffee/tea makers are available in-room. Each suite also features a separate sleeping and dining area, as well as a fold-out sofa bed, a work desk, a 43″ flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi.
The hotel’s In a Pinch Market offers beverages and snacks 24 hours a day, while nearby food options include a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.
A newer all-suite hotel next to Fiddlers Green Amphitheater, SpringHills Suites Denver Tech Center features exceedingly stylish, clean, and comfortable rooms. Amenities include an indoor pool, a ’round-the-clock snack market, and business services from printing to overnight delivery.
Suites are sleek and striking, with a modern, upscale vibe that easily feels like a hotel two or three times the price. In fact, all furnishings are from West Elm — a stylish bonus. Each suite offers a kitchen, and all come complete with microwaves, fridges, and coffee/tea makers, as well as iPod docking stations and cable TV including HBO.
The hotel offers a free breakfast buffet, as well as free hot breakfast, plus a sundry store for food and conveniences. It’s also an easy jumping-off point to reach the University of Denver, Coors Field, the Denver Zoo, Pepsi Center, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Red Rock Amphitheater.
Well located in the heart of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Aloft Chattanooga is a brand new hotel from the brand, that opened June 2021. The hotel’s hip, young vibe is evident in its communal spaces, from the bright colors of the WXYZ Bar to the bold design of the hotel’s indoor Splash pool. Other welcome amenities include the outdoor pool, as well as a gym, meeting spaces with AV, and free Wi-Fi.
Like other Aloft properties, rooms are designed with high ceilings and platform beds. Rooms offer 55-inch LCD TVs, large windows, and bathrooms with an exceptional amount of counter space. Travelers will also find Bliss bath amenities, as well as a walk-in rainfall shower.
Guests can also expect occasional live performances from acoustic and up-and-coming bands.
Sheraton Flowood The Refuge Hotel and Conference Center
Close to the airport and about 20 minutes outside Jackson, Mississippi, the brand-new Sheraton Flowood The Refuge Hotel and Conference Center provides an incredible amount of value for a category three stay.
The new resort-style hotel and conference center boasts a full-service spa, 24-hour fitness center, and a large outdoor pool featuring a lazy river. Located next to The Refuge Golf Course, guests can enjoy a round of golf in between meetings before grabbing a drink at the rooftop bar or pool bar. There’s also a stylish eatery, Rebecca’s, featuring American dishes, while travelers in club-level rooms have access to a special business lounge.
As a business-centric hotel — the conference center is 25,000 square feet — rooms feature ergonomic workspaces, while some also feature golf course views. And for those traveling with the whole family in tow, the hotel is close to Trustmark Park, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, and the Outlets of Mississippi, as well as the Mississippi Children’s Museum and Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
For travelers hoping to explore the Windy City, as well as get further afield, the brand-new Renaissance Chicago provides a terrific deal given that its fun decor and upscale amenities wouldn’t feel out of place among a category 4 or 5 hotel.
Located 10 miles away from Evanston and Northwestern University, in the North Shore Glenview suburb on the edge of Kenicott’s Grove Nature Preserve, the all-suites hotel is a TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice property for 2021, a rarity among category 3 properties within Marriott’s portfolio.
Communal spaces are striking, including a giant mural and modern light fixtures in the lobby. Rooms, meanwhile, feature bold, oversized prints above beds, mini-fridges, coffee makers, microwaves, and cable plus internet TV. A Tesla charging station is located right next to the hotel.
Just outside Miami and the trendy Bal Harbour area sits Aventura, with the AC Hotel Miami Aventura an excellent option for guests seeking a sleek South Florida option. The hotel is close to a variety of entertainment options, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Gulfstream Park Racecourse and Casino, upscale Aventura Mall (with shops ranging from Zara to Cartier), and both South Beach and Palm Beach within an easy drive. And, of course, the hotel itself is close to the water, with the beach only a few blocks away.
AC Hotels are known for being exceedingly design-forward, and the Miami Aventura location is no exception, from its sleek pool surrounded by white lounge chairs to its cream-colored lobby filled with sculptures and modern art. For guests who want to hunker down at the hotel, there’s the AC Lounge, with small plate appetizers and craft cocktails.
Travelers who want a bit of authentic Texas ranch will love the recently opened Hotel Drover, a playful Autograph Collection property steps away from the Fort Worth Stockyards. Of course, the Stockyards are a draw, but guests who stay on property will be rewarded, too: there’s live music in the hotel’s “Backyard,” handcrafted cocktails and margaritas at the Lobby Bar, and mouthwatering Tex-Mex at 97 West Kitchen & Bar.
Rooms are picture-perfect, in true Autograph Collection-style, including patterned-tile bathrooms complete with deep soaking tubs, plush robes, walk-in rain showers, and Los Poblanos bath amenities. Decor is colorful and eclectic, with a vintage southwestern theme and locally-made Rio Furniture, plus a curated minibar and Marshall Bluetooth speakers to bring the party inside.
In addition to live music, the hotel’s “Backyard” offers a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, complimentary sunscreen, fire pits, yard games, and cabanas with swing-style hanging daybeds and chandeliers. There’s a Lucchese western gear shop in the lobby, while pint-sized guests are welcome, too, receiving rodeo-themed welcome amenities upon check-in.
Nestled in the center of Atlanta’s tony Buckhead neighborhood, this elegant, newly renovated hotel offers an ample dose of Southern charm. The hotel’s central location, just off Peachtree Road, gives travelers easy access to popular local attractions including Lenox and Phipps Plaza, with downtown and midtown Atlanta close by.
Luxury is in full supply at The Whitley, with 400-thread count Frette linens, oversized bay windows, iPod docking stations, espresso machines, and flat-screen TVs with HBO. Marble bathrooms are opulent, with rainfall showers and backlit mirrors just right for selfies. Club-level rooms are available for an added dose of hospitality, with access to the level’s Whitley Club, a private concierge, cocktails and wine, and treats like caviar tastings.
The hotel offers three dining options, including Trade Root, upscale Southern-inspired cuisine in a whimsical, design-forward setting.
Housed in a Federalist-style mansion calling to mind Hamilton and company, this B&B bustles with refined charm. The 45-room boutique hotel, an Autograph Collection property, is located off King Street in historic Old Town Alexandria, providing easy access to Washington D.C. just across the Potomac, as well as further afield area attractions including National Harbor, The Old Town Alexandria Waterfront, Mount Vernon and the National Science Foundation.
Rooms are chic, with an elegant but eye-popping design. Think preppy blue and white patterns, blue velvet chairs, and marble fireplaces. Each room features a mini-fridge and pull-out sofa, with evening turndown service, a 43″ flat-screen TV, and marble bathrooms with walk-in showers.
For people who want to visit Disney World in style without breaking the bank, there’s the Walt Disney World Swan, a Westin property. Located on the Disney grounds off Lake Buena Vista and close to Hollywood Studios, rooms are fairly standard but include convenient offerings like mini-fridges, coffee makers, and Westin’s famous Heavenly beds.
Amenities are plentiful at the Swan, including five pools, waterslides and grottos, DJs spinning tunes, a waterfall, and rock caves at the three-acre pool complex, while 13 restaurant options range from offerings by Todd English to a steakhouse to sushi. There’s also a full-service spa for pampering after a long day Disneyside (or simply exploring Orlando).
As a major bonus, guests who stay at the resort receive special perks to help make their Disney stay easier, including free shuttles to and from the parks, FastPass+, character dining, and Extra Magic Hours.
There’s more than a hint of Vegas at the crowd-pleasing Gaylord Opryland Nashville, an equally appealing and over-the-top resort on the outskirts of Nashville. The lush, nine-acre, three-atrium resort boasts its own upscale indoor/outdoor water attraction, called SoundWaves, complete with lazy river, multiple pools, waterslides, and other water amenities and delights. At night, one of the atriums comes alive with laser lights, a fountain show, and live music.
Rooms are clean and elegant, many with balconies overlooking the green foliage and hubbub below. They also feature mini-fridges and coffeemakers, with iPod docks, cable (including HBO), a coffee maker, and sumptuous pillowtop mattresses.
Although guests hoping to be in the walkable center of Nashville will be disappointed, Gaylord Opryland has its own claim to fame, as it’s next door to the world-renowned Grand Ole Opry (as well as Opry Mills mall). There’s a daily shuttle into Nashville center while a wide variety of restaurant options —17 in total! — run the gamut from sushi to Mexican to Italian to steak.
Set on 78 breathtaking cliffside acres overlooking the Pacific, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is a sublime getaway that feels more Catalonia than California. As befits its location in a city known as The America Riviera, rooms and public spaces have a Mediterranean flair, with red-tiled roofs, wrought-iron balconies, and alabaster stucco aplenty.
Although it’s tempting to while the day away by relaxing at the resort’s beach or one of its three pools, activities are plentiful. Everything from horseback riding to painting to a 42,000 square-foot spa can be found here.
Rooms are quietly luxurious and extremely spacious, offering plush beds, Frette linens, wooden beam ceilings, and a surprisingly large private balcony or patio, as well as a separate shower and soaking tub. Many rooms have fireplaces and all offer nightly turndown. Guests who check into one of the club level rooms, meanwhile, have access to the private, standalone club lounge villa — one of the only standalone club lounges in the Ritz portfolio — with a dedicated concierge, outdoor terrace, garment pressing, an art exhibition, and a daily rotation of complimentary breakfast, lunch, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and fine wines and spirits.
As befits the area’s status as a major wine region, oenophiles are in good hands here: the resort’s six restaurants include Angel Oak steakhouse, with more than 12,000 bottles of wine, while Santa Barbara’s nearby Funk Zone is known for its myriad of tasting rooms.
Offering rustic luxury, The Cloudveil is a just-opened Autograph Collection property that matches the upscale-but-low-key vibe of its Jackson, Wyoming surroundings. The resort is ideally situated in the center of Jackson’s town square, right at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Highlights are numerous, including a rooftop terrace overlooking Snow King mountain with programming including yoga, stargazing, and wildlife talks, as well as an outdoor pool and a fitness center with Peloton bikes.
Rooms at The Cloudveil are chic but unpretentious, with natural materials and an abundance of light. Amenities in-room include a 55-inch LED TV with Smart Room Integration, Vertuo Nespresso machine, a fireplace, rain shower, double vanities, and mini-fridges. There’s also a communal guest pantry with water, coffee, tea, and locally-sourced snacks.
The hotel’s brasserie restaurant, The Bistro — from renowned local restaurateurs Gavin Fine and Roger Freedman — offers inventive, Instagram-worthy seasonal cuisine, including outdoor dining, a fresh oyster bar, house-made pastries, and an extensive cocktail menu. Guests who wish to explore Yellowstone can create a customized excursion with the hotel’s concierge (known in Cloudveil parlance as a Pathfinder).
Almost unimaginably luxurious, the St. Regis Aspen embodies everything wonderful about the St. Regis brand: it’s a gorgeous property with spectacular service and a keen sense of place. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, it’s within easy strolling distance of most of Aspen’s top nightlife, restaurants, and shops, with a Cadillac Escalade available to chauffeur guests around town.
Rooms are exceedingly luxurious, with all-white marble bathrooms, mountain views, and plush bedding. Rooms also feature deep soaking tubs, Ralph Lauren furniture, sitting areas, a minibar, Illy coffee machine, and toiletries from chic brand Remede.
Like all St. Regis properties, the hotel offers a daily afternoon champagne sabering. Another vaunted St. Regis tradition: the custom Bloody Mary unique to each property. In Aspen, it’s the Downhill Snapper: a version with cornichon, olives, and bacon. There’s also a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, a Remede spa, and, in the winter, a heated outdoor igloo called The Keep.
An impeccable Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond property with the highest attention to detail, founded by John Jacob Astor, the St. Regis New York reopens in late May — and not a moment too soon. The property is sublime. Every guest receives complimentary butler service, with service offered such as packing and unpacking, morning wake-up with shades drawn plus coffee and newspaper, and garment pressing. A Bentley house car is also available for drop-offs within a 10-block radius.
Even the smallest rooms are incredibly opulent, with a crystal chandelier, bold jewel tones, silk wall coverings, and leather trim. Bathrooms boast Italian marble countertops, double sinks, rain showers, terry cloth robes, an in-mirror TV, and Remède bath amenities.
The hotel’s swanky King Cole Bar, with its iconic Old King Cole mural done by Maxwell Parrish, is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. It’s a must for hotel guests — or those lucky enough to snag the hotel’s single bookable table for non-guests, Table 55.
FAQ: Marriott Bonvoy
How many properties does Marriott Bonvoy have?
Marriott Bonvoy provides access to over 7,600 properties around the globe, with more than 5,000 hotels in the United States alone.
With over 30 hotel brands in its portfolio, brands range from Aloft and Moxy to the boutique Autograph Collection to storied luxury options like St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton.
How do you make a reservation using Marriott Bonvoy points?
To make a reservation using Marriott Bonvoy points, travelers can visit the Bonvoy website and then choose either the hotel you are looking to book, or see how many points you have and select options accordingly based on which properties are available in certain categories.
What are the Marriott Bonvoy categories?
Marriott groups its Bonvoy properties into categories from 1 to 8, with 1 being the lowest spend (typically 5000 points during off-peak) and 8 as the most expensive category (up to 100,000 points during peak times such as holidays).
Hotels can also be viewed by specific dates, or through flexible search options for travelers wishing to scope the best deal but who aren’t wedded to a specific date.
Because Marriott separates its Bonvoy spend into standard, peak, and off-peak pricing, you can expect to pay more when visiting, say, Hawaii at Christmas, and less in, for example, Chicago during the dead of winter.
Does Marriott Bonvoy have any deals if you redeem points?
If you redeem points for more than four nights at a Marriott Bonvoy property, you’ll receive a fifth night complimentary, known as their Stay for 5, Pay for 4 program.
There are also three lifetime elite levels, with benefits lasting forever and points never expiring. Lifetime status is based on the total number of years guests have been elite members, plus the collectively earned Marriott Bonvoy number of nights. The tiers are as follows:
What are the best ways to earn and maximize Marriott points?
Guests can also earn points through a participating credit card, such as two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards through Chase, and two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards through American Express. Benefits vary, but each card allows guests to accrue points through dollars spent, and some cards — such as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card — grant complimentary Gold Elite status.
When should I use points and when should I pay for a hotel?
On average, Marriott Bonvoy points are worth 0.7 cents per point each according to Insider’s points and miles valuations. Always pay attention to the math to determine whether the stated points redemption is better than paying for a night.
How else can I use Marriott Bonvoy points?
There are many different ways to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, ranging from flights and car rentals to shopping at outlets like Apple, Bloomingdales, and Best Buy. An unexpected use of points: donating to charities including the Marriott Disaster Relief Fund, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and UNICEF. Donated points are transferred into the equivalent cash value for charitable purposes.
Points can also be redeemed for gift cards, and Bonvoy users are also able to purchase and gift up to 100,000 points per calendar year.
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A pool is often a must-have amenity when planning a vacation and choosing a hotel.
The best hotel pools have stunning scenery, plush lounge chairs, food, and other elevated luxuries.
We rounded up the best hotel pools in the US worth planning an entire trip around.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
A hotel pool is often a must-have amenity when researching a choosing where to stay on vacation, especially now that summer is in full swing.
As travel takes off in a post-vaccine world, nothing beats hanging by calm blue water in comfy lounge chairs on a great hotel pool deck. It’s where you can sit and sun while admiring great scenery and order snacks and drinks while barely lifting a finger – the ultimate in vacation relaxation.
But all hotel pools are not created equal. And while there’s nothing wrong with the standard rectangular pool and diving board combo, we made it our mission to compile the best hotel pools in the US that take going for a dip to the next level and truly impress when it comes to looks, setting, and service.
These are the best hotel pools for the luxury traveler seeking a stunning scene with top-tier amenities, the family in search of a lazy river complex or water slides, or couples who prefer an adults-only option. Though if you prefer to stay in a vacation rental, start with our list of the best Airbnbs with private pools in the US.
Browse all the best hotel pools below, or jump directly to a specific area:
An 11-acre aquatic destination in its own right, Mandalay Bay Beach in Las Vegas is a zero-entry pool with more than 2,700 tons of sand to mimic the feeling of a beach alongside a 1.6 million gallon wave pool. The four-pool complex also included a lagoon pool and lazy river, flanked by cabanas, day beds, and villa-style pool seating, Mandalay Bay is also home to Moorea Beach Club, a top-optional, adults-only pool experience with its own heated pool.
However, be warned that this popular pool can hit capacity quite quickly, so it’s best to snag your chair early in the day or risk having to join the virtual waitlist at the pool entrance. The resort recently launched Las Vegas’s first poolside mobile ordering app with food and beverages delivered directly to guest’s chairs, a welcome perk in the age of a pandemic or not.
Rooms are spacious with spa-like bathrooms, work desks, and extra seating in addition to plush beds, though, the noise bleed between rooms can be significant and the crowd here tends to be the party-going kind.
One of the newest pools in Downtown Las Vegas, often referred to as Old Vegas, is at the very new and adults-only Circa Resort & Casino.
Aptly named Stadium Swim, it is the country’s largest pool destination for sports lovers and features six temperature-controlled pools, two swim-up bars, and a 143-foot diagonal, 14-million-megapixel LED screen, always playing the day’s biggest games and other televised events. Live music, DJ sets, and other special guests are the norm at this pool, which has 30 cabanas, and a super cabana that can host up to 50 guests.
During colder months, Stadium Swim’s pools are heated up to 104 degrees for a hot-tub-like, après-ski experience unmatched by any other pool in Vegas.
Designed for those who need peace of mind when visiting a pool, Stadium Swim also has a high-tech cleaning system, which uses ultraviolet light sanitation, water-recirculation patterns, and real-time chemical monitoring controllers that destroy pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and other icky stuff.
Retro-inspired guest rooms and suites have incredible views of the Las Vegas valley, with large walk-in showers with benches. Premium suites are notable for their size and good value, and range from the handsome Circa Suite, complete with a living space and two TVs, a wet bar, and dining area, to the Bunk Suite, with four sets of bunk beds so you can get the whole crew back together.
While an airport hotel isn’t usually a go-to for recommending a knockout hotel pool, hear us out on this one. Travelers who get stuck at Chicago O’Hare — and many of us have — will find solace during an unplanned overnight stay at the airport when checking into the Marriott Chicago O’Hare. The hotel is home to an incredible sun-filled outdoor pool, which is connected to an indoor pool housed under a large glass atrium. There’s also a whirlpool for relaxing and dealing with flight cancelation or delay stress, and plenty of lounge chairs to distance yourself and enjoy alone time.
This airport hotel has smaller but standard, comfortable rooms that travelers might expect from a Marriott, even if the hotel decor is starting to feel a little dated. As a plus, all of the rooms are sparkling clean, and those who make it a priority to book a Concierge Level room will be surprised by the delightful views over the pool area.
A lobby lounge with a bar, TVs to watch the game, and places to work or chat are a plus, as is the complimentary and quick airport shuttle whisking travelers to check-in.
The friendly, helpful Midwestern hospitality and service is another highlight which makes this potentially overlooked property a standout with guests.
Casual and cute, the Phoenix Hotel will speak to those individuals who appreciate Art Deco and midcentury modern design. Built in 1956 as a motor court lodge, the heated pool at Phoenix is one of two landmark-status pools in the country, and is lined with a Francis Forlenza mural, which lights up at night, and is surrounded by tropical palm trees and red and white striped cabanas and other cozy seating.
Walkable to San Francisco’s Union Square and SOMA neighborhoods, and a quick Uber or bus ride from The Mission, the hotel’s location has long made it a favorite, and it even attracted many luminaries over the years including Neil Young, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Recent renovations brought the Phoenix into modern times with a throwback twist, with all the guest rooms possessing a clean, airy feel despite their smaller footprints. Rooms also feature custom furniture, vintage concert posters, and neon art installations. The overall friendly, relaxed vibe makes the Phoenix an urban oasis, and for a city hotel in one of the US’ most desirable and competitive hotel landscapes, the prices are just right.
A whopping 16,000 square feet of pool space and 313,434 gallons full of water is in store for travelers to this family-friendly hotel located at Universal Orlando Resort.
The massive pool has plenty to keep you and your little ones entertained, including two sand beaches, cascading waterfalls, a 100-foot long water slide, a children’s play area with splash jets, cabana rentals, a hot tub, and fire pits to name a few.
Four and a half feet at its deepest point, the pool also has a zero-entry sand bar that provides the illusion that you’re walking on water. The sand bar also creates a path toward Drhum Club Kantine, the water adjacent spot for food and drinks, which serves fresh seafood, hamburgers, sandwiches, nachos, and plenty of tropical drinks.
After a day by the pool, guest rooms at the Loews Sapphire Falls greet sunkissed travelers with cooling and calming shades of blue, posh textured fabrics and finishes, and comfy cozy beds that will make you want to curl up with a good book or magazine. Some standard room types have lagoon or pool views, and larger suites are ideal for traveling families who need pull out sofas or individual twin beds for young ones.
Rooms at this hotel have idyllic views over a marina, but the draw for visitors and especially couples looking to relax and recharge during Maine’s prime summer months is a floating barge pool securely parked directly into a slip.
In fact, the team from the Yachtsman motors the pool in and out at the beginning and end of the season to its position in the Kennebunk River, and it even has a pretty apt name — SS Sundaze.
The pool’s 360-degree view of the river from the surrounding Flexiteek deck is magical, as are the lounging spaces that fill it, with comfortable bean bag chairs in bright yellow-and-white stripes.
Guest accommodations at the Yachtsman have beds with floral headboards, bright striped rugs, modern marble bathrooms, and large sliding glass doors that lead to an outdoor lawn with Adirondack-style seating overlooking the marina and pool area.
The area nearby, Cape Arundel, is also ideal for bike riding using the hotel’s rentable bikes and is a short walk to the charming town of Kennebunkport.
Texas can be a scorcher in the summer, so keeping cool is not only essential at this centrally located Marriott Marquis property, but also a show of state pride. The hotel pool features a Texas-shaped rooftop lazy river, plus an infinity pool and whirlpool. Submerge to cool off or sip craft cocktails from the adjacent, open-air sports bar with a pool-influenced name, High Dive.
The surrounding 6th-floor Parkview Terrace also hosts seasonal entertainment events including DJ sessions, themed parties, and it’s also home to a rooftop beer garden. Beyond the pool, fire pits and comfortable cabanas make this hotel a Houston favorite.
Standard King and Queen rooms further the appeal, and feel comfortable and contemporary with large windows, some of which overlook the pool. Separate seating areas and a large desk setup are conducive to business trips or Zoom meetings between dips.
If budget allows, opt for a handsome 700-square-foot Hospitality Suite King, Pool view corner room that features floor-to-ceiling windows, a four-poster bed, and a luxe dining area.
The Florida Keys have long been a hot destination for domestic travelers and guests in this part of Florida choose Isla Bella Beach Resort for its location near the picture-worthy Seven Mile Bridge and its wellness offerings. But the 4,500 square foot pool set against, Caribbean-like tropical landscaping is definitely one of its greatest draws.
Luxe pool chaises, halo daybeds, and sectionals are positioned under playful, blue-striped umbrellas at the main freeform-shaped resort pool, with “Martini” side tables to keep your sunscreen and tropical cocktail safe.
There are a whopping five pools total, including a private pool available for rent, and an adults-only pool. Each one offers reserved seating with pool pods and a cooler full of drinks and snacks. Chilled towels, ice popsicles delivered to children, and a Caribbean soundtrack play in the background, with food and drinks available from the nearby Beach Bar.
Guests arrive at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club to escape to a wellness paradise overlooking the stunning Garden of the Gods Park, a vantage point that is at its finest from inside the hotel’s zen-inducing infinity pool.
With an elevation that makes visitors feel like they’re in the clouds, and million-year-old rock formations in full view, couples, daydreamer, and romantic types should certainly earmark this pool.
The 116 rooms and suites are offered in multiple room types, including cottages and casitas, allowing guests the flexibility to pick the room that suits their needs. Perks include private patios with spellbinding views, plus large footprints with room sizes ranging from 550 to 1,650 square feet, plus posh furnishings.
The on-site STRATA Integrated Wellness and Spa has plenty of treatments, as well as other wellness offerings, such as meditation, acupuncture, nutrition, fitness, mindfulness coaching, and more.
A chic pool and terrace on the 4th floor overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean is just one selling point of Asbury Ocean Club Hotel. The other is the hotel’s location in the colorful, eclectic Jersey Shore town of Asbury Park, which has in recent years transformed its boardwalk and revitalized its downtown to much local fanfare.
The pool shell itself was welded from over a dozen individual sections of metal and the interior tile was applied by hand. When relaxing by the pool, enjoy delicious Mediterranean food, cocktails, and juices made from fresh ingredients. A granita cart also drifts around the deck for a sweet treat while sunbathing.
Rooms and suites are trendy and stylish and offered with partial ocean, dune, town, or pool views. Some rooms have ample outdoor terraces, too and are an ideal place to people-watch in what locals simply call “Asbury,” a beach town that has incredible energy in the summer, but is increasingly popular year-round.
Each of the guest room’s chic bathrooms, which are filled with luxurious MiN New York products, spill into the rooms and are a focal point thanks to exposed, glass-enclosed walk-in rain showers. When we stayed with a friend in the room, we simply closed the privacy curtain to keep things G-rated.
Tucked into a corner on 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge’s massive outdoor roof deck, this gorgeous pool offers striking views over the East River and Manhattan’s skyline from 10 stories high. Ideal for guests that are looking to lounge, when you order drinks here, you’ll receive elevated craft cocktails served from Harriet’s, the adjacent rooftop lounge and cocktail bar that boasts a 1920s flair with comfy, rounded red booths made for conversation.
While the pool deck and pool are exclusively for hotel guests, anyone can enjoy the view at Harriet’s, which extends from an up-close-and-personal view of the Brooklyn Bridge over New York Bay and to the Statue of Liberty.
Rooms are crafted from sustainable and repurposed materials for a luxe cabin feel with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame stunning views.
The hotel, a quick ferry ride from Manhattan and easily accessible by subway, is located in a quieter, mostly residential neighborhood that offers visitors a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Brooklyn Bridge Park also is just steps away.
Located in an old pier building originally built in 1914, upon sight alone, visitors to the Sagamore Pendry are instantly introduced to its charms. The trend continues when guests make their way outside to Recreation Pier, where the hotel’s sparkling zero-entry pool is surrounded by a private deck made of alternating offset gray bricks.
Rows of white lounge chairs with red striped pillows, scattered candle lanterns, and an adjacent seasonal bar and grill area can easily keep you here all day in the summer, while the panoramic views of Baltimore’s harbor, marina, and the skyline don’t hurt either.
The pool area also boasts five private cabanas, which are available for full or half-day rentals, and include a $200 drinks and nibbles credit from the hotel’s Belvedere and Bites menu.
Adjacent are Sagamore Pendry’s handsome living spaces, courtyard, and restaurant, Rec Pier Chop House, the latter of which has huge exposed windows out to a lively street in Fell’s Point underneath a brick arch.
Handsome guest accommodations are clad with dark woods, marbles, and maritime details, and the hotel is also a stone’s throw from Duck Duck Goose, a charming restaurant big on hospitality and deliciously grilled proteins. Pro tip: When the weather’s nice, ask to be seated in the courtyard, wedged between two buildings and make sure to request the Croissant Bread Pudding if it’s on the menu for dessert.
The pool of this reimagined, 1950s Art Moderne building originally called The Dilido — a name the hotel pays homage to at its beach club today — was recently fully refurbished but is still located in the same prime spot as the original.
Nowadays, even when the hotel is busier in its prime season, there are plenty of beach chairs for guests, and the pool itself is large enough to keep socially distanced from others. The elevated pool deck, which has comfy lounge chairs and private day beds, is positioned around the pool’s wide, dramatic entries on either side, which gives the pool its cross-like “t” shape. A separate hot tub sits adjacent to the pool, and fruit-infused water and complimentary sunscreen are available.
The pool area serves an elevated menu with spins on classics, like a lobster cobb salad and the guzzle-worthy Daisy Picante, which is a margarita made of Jalapeno-infused tequila, lime, agave and Cointreau). A perfect day can be spent here simply moving back and forth between pool chair and beach chair, where guests can also order to their heart’s desire with toes in the sand.
The hotel has 58 impressive poolside lanai rooms, 41 suites, and 67 Ritz-Carlton Club-level rooms and suites that are as comfortable as they are glam, with Deco details architecture buffs will appreciate. The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach hotel also boasts an indoor/outdoor poolside Latin and Caribbean-influenced restaurant, Fuego y Mar, and a truly special indoor lobby bar, Lapidus, which concentrates on classic cocktails.
Looking over the pool deck at this fashionable Los Angeles-area hotel are large cutouts of the hotel’s English Bulldog mascots, Winston and Churchill, a playful touch that carries throughout the property.
Though the hotel officially opened its doors in 1984, AKA Architecture + Design spearheaded a renovation of the hotel’s rooftop pool deck in 2018, with the refreshed design further enhancing its long celebrated, panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills, while retaining the feeling of an English garden.
The 50,000 gallon rectangular aqua blue pool and surrounding rooftop offers guests dining from the on-site restaurant, Boxwood, and includes light bites, sandwiches, salads, and burgers, as well as desserts including ice cream sundaes, fruit salad and cake.
The hotel will also launch the Poolside Terrace at The London, an al fresco evening dining concept that will debut first to guests, and then to the public as COVID-19 restrictions loosen.
Every room here is a suite, adding value to the price and much more room to spread out than many area hotels of the same caliber.
Surrounded by stunning red rock vistas, Enchantment Resort‘s pool will not disappoint even the most discerning of pool snobs. Heated to 82 degrees year-round, this is the pool for guests who appreciate bath-water temperatures and enjoy night swims under the stars.
Recently revamped, the pool’s patio, which sits at an elevation of 4,350 feet, was doubled in size and elevated to an additional 10 feet to better show off said views, with the aim of blending the popular guest area into the surrounding natural splendor. The water inside the pool is reclaimed from the hotel’s own well, a sustainable detail we admire.
A full bar and restaurant, The Vortex — a play on the Boynton Canyon and its supposed healing energy — is a coveted location for poolside dining, and as a nice perk, guests around the pool are treated to complimentary prickly pear ice pops while they kick up their feet.
The hotel’s stunning views extend to the guest casita-style rooms which feature fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and spacious patios, some with separate living and dining areas. Our favorite room type is the Casita Studio and Pool Suite, which has more elevated southwestern influenced decor compared to the somewhat dated feel of the standard casita guest rooms. But even in those less desirable rooms, the makeup still feels premium in nature and the larger square footage is a plus nonetheless.
More on our methodology for selecting the best hotel pools in the US
In addition to the criteria outlined above, we also considered the following factors:
Expert sources: I am a New York-based travel writer who visits dozens of domestic hotels on a yearly basis.
In order to curate a list that appeals to all — and yes, it was a tough job but someone had to do it — I’ve personally examined almost all of the pools mentioned here by checking in or touring the properties, or speaking directly to someone who did. I consulted with locals on the ground and researched properties I am familiar with through word of mouth.
I also looked at further criteria beyond just amazing pools, prioritizing hotels with other factors like desirable locations, stunning views, great rooms, and other unique amenities.
Price: While there are great hotel pools to be enjoyed at every budget, I chose to feature a variety of price points, with the majority of hotels in the $150 to $350 per night range. No luxury hotel shown here is priced to start at over $500/night.
I also evaluated the value of each hotel against competitors in their respective markets with pools and/or similar amenities.
Amenities: I chose hotels with great pools that offered strong value based on their neighborhoods or locations, room sizes, views and perks like being able to order food and beverage from the comfort of your pool lounge chair. I also looked at properties with amazing communal spaces, luxe bath products, and other attractive on-site offerings.
Location: The US is a large and diverse country, so this curated list represents a range of popular cities and tourist destinations that speak to those different traveler needs and interests. All are accessible to major tourist attractions. Many of said attractions are visitable by car hire or transit, and some are even walkable.
Guests: We chose the best hotel pools that would appeal to families, solo travelers, couples, friend groups, business travelers, and even travelers that find themselves trapped in an airport. This is intended to help you pick the ideal hotel and pool for your trip.
Past reviews: We researched guest reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Tripadvisor, Booking.com, and hotel-operated websites to ensure that the experiences of others were overwhelmingly positive and in line with our guidance.
COVID-19 safety: In a world currently in limbo between an ongoing pandemic and post-pandemic mentality, we only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with strictly enhanced cleaning policies.
Since outdoor activities have generally been advised as some of the safest by the CDC and other health agencies during the pandemic, we prioritized outdoor pools with enough space for social distancing.
FAQ: Hotel pools
What hotel has the biggest swimming pool?
The largest hotel pool featured on this list is located at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, a massive 1.6 million gallon wave pool, plus a lazy river and four other swimming pools on an 11-acre property.
Measuring 150 feet by 225 feet, guests at the luxurious Biltmore Coral Gables outside Miami, FL are technically able to enjoy the largest pool in the continental US. For those visitors to Hawaii, Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue is the proud location of the largest single-level swimming pool, built in a flower shape and featuring lounge chairs on an island at its center.
Which hotel has the most swimming pools in the US?
With an aquarium carved out of natural lava rock, guests visiting the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii not only have access to one of the U.S.’s most unique pools, but the most number of hotel pools, to boot. The resort boasts seven distinct pool areas, which could easily entice guests to take a week-long vacation there.
Can you go to a hotel and use their pool?
Most hotel pools in the US are exclusive for guest use, however, an increasing number of hotel pools in the do offer guest day passes. It’s best to check the hotel’s website, especially as many properties have scaled back this access to better accommodate and prioritize their guests during COVID-19 restrictions. Plan ahead and learn about their policies regardless, as many pools offering day passes do charge for admission. In cases when the hotel you selected does not have a pool, some often allow their guests access to a neighboring or sister hotel property, usually within walking distance or by shuttle.
So in a hotel pool for instance, “other bodies is the main concern,” “If there are other people around, that’s going to increase your risk. And when we swim, sometimes we aspirate a little water so we’re going to cough. [The bigger concern is] the people and proximity in that scenario than [being] worried about the water getting contaminated, because it is a respiratory virus more than a fecal-oral virus in terms of spread.”
Beyond that, he says, “Remember pools, theoretically, are chlorinated, and this is a wimpy virus. So that should be able to deactivate the virus.”
If you’re worried, be sure to socially distance yourself on the pool deck. However, if you’re fully vaccinated, the CDC says domestic travel is safe, so go ahead and relax on a pool chaise.
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With a famous music scene, nightlife, and lip-smacking food, Nashville’s always up for a good time.
The city’s Downtown area is undergoing an exciting boom of mid-range and luxury hotels.
We compiled the best Nashville hotels ranging from $149 to $334 per night in the low season.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Country music might still be Nashville’s top drawcard, but don’t underestimate the range of this ever-growing, cosmopolitan Southern city. The Tennessee capital is undergoing a boom with award-winning dining, world-class cultural attractions (like 2021’s anticipated National Museum of African-American Music), and a stellar hotel scene where a mid-rise boutique or chain property seems to open every other month.
As a hotel and travel expert, I did a deep dive into the majority of Nashville’s top-rated hotels on recent visits and found a slew of unique and worthwhile spots that both locals and travelers alike will enjoy.
Here are the best hotels in Nashville, sorted by price from low to high.
This steepled brick building on a residential street has been converted from a place of worship to a place to rest your head. Behind the gloriously restored stained glass windows is a funky, wallet-friendly accommodation in East Nashville, where 23 individually configured rooms (and a handful of “penthouses”) give travelers a vibrant respite from the city center.
Its standout feature is the airy lobby, adorned in bright colors, chevron tiles, and equipped with a free-to-use podcast room and a photobooth. Above all, it is a hotel with heart, as a hefty portion of proceeds go towards a local homeless charity.
Don’t let the chain brand name fool you: this recently-opened Grand Hyatt is as fabulous as a top-tier boutique hotel half its size. Located on Broadway with The Gulch and Midtown neighborhoods within close reach, the 25-story hotel sports a seductive, sophisticated look from the impressive gold-accented lobby and fifth-floor swimming pool terrace to its hot rooftop bar Lou/Na (Nashville’s highest). There are 591 rooms and 55 suites, each with hardwood floors, top-to-bottom glass windows, contemporary furnishings, and marble bathrooms stocked with Balmain products.
Foodies are well looked after with seven food and beverage venues to choose from, including the “Tennessee-to-table” concept The Nashville Grange, as well as The Continental, a smash hit restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock.
Midcentury design lovers will swoon over Fairlane, a Downtown-based boutique housed in a former modernist-style bank headquarters. From the ’60s-inspired typography and terrazzo flooring in the lobby to the spot-on throwback music played throughout the building, the hotel’s fully committed to giving guests a retro-chic experience. This extends to the colorful rooms and suites, too, with beds with velvety headboards and fold-up cup holders, and other vintage touches throughout.
Beyond the lobby level cheese-and-charcuterie joint (Cheese Gal) and bagel shop is the acclaimed Ellington’s, a gentlemen’s club-style restaurant and bar on Fairlane’s fourth-floor wraparound terrace. Whether you’re ordering a cocktail, seafood, or steak, there’s no better spot to fuel your nostalgia.
More boutique than your average bed & breakfast, Germantown Inn is one of the city’s most charming and intimate spots to check in. The restored historic home’s 10 suites — named mainly after U.S. presidents and a few presidents’ wives such as The Abigail (Adams) and The Eleanor (Roosevelt) — are individually designed, and all come with luxurious Frette linens, hardwood floors, and curtains and rugs with bright blue and pink accents.
Friendly innkeepers help serve breakfast and a wine-and-charcuterie happy hour (both complimentary) in the communal living area, and guests can relax outside in the hotel’s generously sized courtyard or second-floor terrace overlooking the Germantown neighborhood.
If you like libations as much as a boutique stay, Van Dyke in East Nashville’s buzzy Five Points might be your new favorite hotel. There are only eight rooms on the self-check-in premises, all individually designed and themed after a spirit — the Beer room, for instance, has a semi-function locker and an actual punching bag with gloves (which I loved playing around with) located behind their chic bar, which hosts pop-up dining experiences inside and in their courtyard.
You’ll have to leave the minors at home, though: this unique hotel is a 21-and-up-only affair.
Based in Downtown next to the famous Printer’s Alley, Hotel Noelle is a restored historic boutique championing local creative voices. Art defines the contemporary experience: each hallway floor doubles as a private gallery, and inside each stylishly appointed room and suite are portraits of Nashville icons.
The Trade Room — a cavernous bar and lounge hangout brimming with brass details and Tennessee pink granite — is one of the hotel’s many food and beverage options bound to impress (there’s hidden speakeasy as well). Don’t forget to check out Rare Bird, a rooftop lounge where great city and river views and a hip crowd await.
This is Tennessee’s most legendary city hotel address, a Beaux-Arts building that has housed U.S. presidents, royalty, and countless celebrities for more than 110 years. The stately five-star icon sits next to the picturesque state Capitol area, yet is just blocks away from Downtown’s busy streets.
All of the spacious, old-fashioned rooms come with separate marble bathtubs and showers and updated amenities. Though steeped in tradition, exciting changes are afoot: Fall 2021 will see the new opening of a Jean Georges-Vongerichten restaurant/bar in an arched basement venue, next to its longstanding whiskey den Oak Bar.
Hip boutique hotels in Nashville are becoming a dime a dozen; the Summer 2020 arrival of The Joseph has brought back clear-cut luxury to the city’s sleep scene. Located in the SoBro neighborhood, the five-star Marriott Bonvoy member offers a refined respite in the city, with three restaurants and bars run by Michelin award-winner Tony Mantuano (of Spiaggia in Chicago), and more than 1,000 original artworks commissioned or imported by the Pizzuti family, The Joseph hoteliers behind the Pizzuti Collection of Columbus Museum of Art.
Rooms are elegant and understated, though have a business feel about them. The rooftop pool offers a relaxing place to cool off, complete with lounge chairs, cabanas, and a living plant wall.
FAQ: Nashville vacations
What is the best time of year to visit Nashville?
Nashville has a relatively pleasant climate all year and rarely has extremely cold or hot temperatures. Summer is the high season and is often hot, humid, and the busiest for hotel bookings.
Spring and fall months have the best weather (though spring can be a bit rainy) and travelers can find a better hotel room deal than in the summer.
Winter, the cheapest time to visit, can be chilly and below freezing on some evenings. However, winter daytime temps can be warm enough to comfortably explore outdoor spots such as Cumberland Park, which lines the Cumberland River, and the Bicentennial Capitol State Park.
Which is the best area to stay in Nashville?
The Greater Downtown area has the bulk of the city’s main attractions within easy walking or driving distance, including the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame, the famous Lower Broadway strip, the Frist Art Museum, and the new National Museum of African-American Music
For a less touristy area that’s still humming with activity and great nightlife, Midtown is your best bet.
Travelers wanting a more local, eclectic experience should look to sprawling East Nashville, found across the river from Downtown. Here, it’s easy to be close to indie shops, top-rated bars and restaurants, and other places that draw the city’s hip and creative crowd.
What are the cheapest and most expensive times to visit Nashville?
The best deals appear during winter when the tourist count is low and the temperatures are chilly; the hot summer months see a major increase in crowds and accommodation prices.