8 incredible hotels in Costa Rica, from no frills cheap stays to villas with private plunge pools

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A room at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel in Costa Rica.
Stay perched atop the trees at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel.

  • Costa Rica means rich coast, which is the perfect way to describe the ecologically diverse country.
  • Costa Rica has so much to offer, from cloud forests and rainforests to beaches and hot springs.
  • We found the best Costa Rica hotels, from family-friendly resorts to surfer hotels and eco getaways.

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Costa Rica’s name alone, which means rich coast in Spanish, tells you so much about what you’ll encounter here. Indeed, this small Central American nation that is flanked by vast swaths of Caribbean and Pacific coast is home to 30 national parks, more than 6% of the world’s biodiversity, six active volcanoes, and a warm and welcoming population.

I’ve visited Cosa Rica many times, from the Papagayo Peninsula with its uncrowded beaches and 600 square miles of protected wilderness, to hot springs, cloud forests, and the buzzing capital city of San Jose. And I can attest from a recent trip that the country is actively doing all it can to combat COVID-19 with safety protocols in place.

With so much on offer for tourists, Costa Rica is also home to stunning hotels to make your base. From jungle enclaves to beachfront resorts, these are the best places to stay in Costa Rica.

Browse the best Costa Rica hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best hotels in Costa Rica, sorted by price from low to high.

El Sano Banano Beachside Hotel

A guest room at Sano Banano Beachside Hotel
Sano Banano Beachside Hotel is no frills but offers warm hospitality and a great location.

Book El Sano Banano Beachside Hotel

One of the things that has always struck me in Costa Rica is how everyone here embraces the country’s slogan, “pura vida” (pure life). Similar to the way people in Hawaii say “aloha,” many Ticos — as the locals are called — will greet you by saying “pura vida.” And when you check into the Sano Banano Beachside Hotel, that’s exactly the friendly greeting you’ll receive.

El Sano Banano is set in the center of Montezuma, a bohemian beach town on the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula, an area so healthy that it is home to some of the oldest living people in the world.

Downstairs is a popular local restaurant; upstairs is where you’ll find the rooms. There’s not much to this place. The hotel is simply decorated with colorful bed coverings and monochromatic tan walls and tile floors. There’s no pool, either, but if you’re craving a swim, the property has a reciprocal arrangement with a resort that’s just a 10-minute walk away.

But who wants to stay in the hotel or even use a pool when you’re in a setting like this? A block away from the hotel is a beautiful beach, and there are plenty of things to do in the area, from surfing and snorkeling to biking and ATV tours. If you love hiking, don’t miss the nearby Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica’s first national reserve.

For current COVID-19 policies call +011/506-2642-0638. 

Hotel Banana Azul

The pool at Hotel Banana Azul in Costa Rica.
This adults-only hotel offers a peaceful, rejuvenating vibe.

Book Hotel Banana Azul

For a romantic and affordable location and a relaxing, child-free vacation, Hotel Banana Azul is your place. Everything is focused on quiet serenity. There are no telephones or TVs in the rooms and you’ll instead be lulled to sleep by the rhythm of nearby waves crashing. But if you can’t bear to be completely cut off from the rest of the world, there’s free Wi-Fi.

You’ll find 25 rooms ranging in size from a simple studio to a two-bedroom apartment. Some have a private plunge pool or a hot tub, and only a few have air conditioning; most are cooled by the ocean breezes. All the rooms are decorated with bamboo furniture and local art that references the jungle surroundings.

Spend your days lounging in the hammocks that hang all over the property, have a massage by the beach, or take a dip in the pool. If you’re itching to explore, a tour company located on-site can book canopy tours, river rafting, and hikes to Arenal volcano. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica Curio Collection by Hilton

Gran Hotel Costa Rica Curio Collection by Hilton
Gran Hotel Costa Rica Curio Collection by Hilton is the best place to stay in San José.

Book Gran Hotel Costa Rica Curio Collection by Hilton

When I want to stay in the center of the San José action, my top pick is the Gran Hotel Costa Rica Curio Collection by Hilton, which is conveniently located near major museums and cultural institutions. Using the Gran Hotel as your base, you can easily scope out other San José attractions, from the Braulio Carrillo National Park to the Poás Volcano, one of the largest craters in the world.

The hotel originally opened in 1930 and was later named a national landmark (the only hotel in Costa Rica to have this designation). After taking over the property, Hilton’s Curio Collection gave it a revamp, adding a striking glassed-in upper level with a rooftop piano bar overlooking the National Theatre and a new fusion restaurant, Cultura5, with panoramic views stretching from the city to the surrounding mountains. 

The rooms are just as dazzling, done up in shades of cream with midcentury modern furniture. It’s no wonder Trip Advisor named this one of the “best of the best” in its 2021 Traveler’s Choice Awards.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen

Book Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen

For travelers who want to experience San José, but don’t want to stay right in the urban center, the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen combines the best of all worlds. This property is set on the grounds of a 30-acre historic coffee plantation just a 20-minute drive from central San José, with massive rooms in a sprawling hacienda-style property.

It’s hard to believe the city is so close when you’re staying in this lush paradise of palm trees and gardens, with views of the mountains and valley. But look a little closer and you’ll spot the skyline in the difference. For travelers who want to be close to the San José international airport, it’s just a 10-minute drive away, though you’d never know it when you’re in this quiet oasis.

Whatever your passion, you’ll find it here, from golf to tennis to a spa. Kids love it, too, with a dedicated children’s pool and a playground. There are multiple restaurants serving Peruvian cuisine, sushi, Creole cuisine, and more.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Alta Vista Vacation Rentals

Alta Vista Vacation Rentals

Book Alta Vista Vacation Rentals

Manuel Antonio is where the rainforest meets the beach on the Pacific Coast. On a recent trip, we booked a one-bedroom villa at Alta Vista Vacation Rentals, which is set on a cliff in the Quepos area of Manuel Antonio with spectacular ocean views.

Though technically a rental property with four villas ranging from one to three bedrooms, it operates like a hotel with a concierge to welcome you, full security, daily housekeeping, and breakfast included. 

The only thing missing is a front desk and a lobby — but we didn’t need that at all. The town of Manuel Antonio operates like one, a small grocery store is across the road, and many great restaurants and cute shops are just a few minutes’ stroll away. Plus, the concierge was always available on Whatsapp to answer questions or help organize excursions and services, like a private chef to cook dinner.

We loved rolling out of bed into our private plunge pool every morning and never needed to leave the property. We spotted almost as many animals from our pool as we did in Manuel Antonio National Park, including a baby sloth climbing through the trees, white-faced monkeys, macaws, parrots, and more.

Still, you won’t want to miss the many pleasures of this special destination, from ziplining to hiking in the national park. And about a 10-minute drive from the property is Manuel Antonio’s famous Espadilla Beach, where we took surfing lessons, went on a wave runner, and drank from fresh coconuts cracked right on the sand. 

For current COVID-19 policies call 877/977-7765. 

Hotel Belmar

Hotel Belmar

Book Hotel Belmar

Costa Rica is known as one of the world’s most eco-friendly places and this boutique hotel in a lush cloud forest in the mountains of the Monteverde Reserve is a great example of the strides that this country has made when it comes to protecting the planet and its people.

The hotel is set on nine acres, two-thirds of which are untouched forests that are home to endangered species. There are programs dedicated to preserving the environment (from water management to energy preservation) and supporting the local community. 

The property is simple but beautiful, decorated with wooden furniture that’s hand-carved right on the property. In keeping with the hotel’s eco-minded ethos, there’s no pool and no air conditioning (though as it’s set in the mountains, you won’t need it).

The emphasis here is on experiencing nature, and there’s so much to do, from yoga classes to private hiking trails right on the property. Fun fact: The Cerro Amigos trail leads to the highest mountain in the region.

Nearby, you can visit a coffee farm, go horseback riding, ziplining, or explore a wildlife refuge. The hotel also has immersive programs for farm-to-table dining and garden-to-glass cocktails, where you gather the ingredients yourself and learn how to make your own food and drinks. 

For current COVID-19 policies call +011/506-2645-5201. 

Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

A room at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel in Costa Rica.
Stay perched atop the trees at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel.

Book Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

My husband still complains about the trip he made to Arenal — when he spent several days socked in by fog and rain and never actually saw the area’s famous volcano. So when we recently returned to Costa Rica, he wanted to check out a different volcanic area. We chose Volcan Tenorio National Park, which is home to the Celeste Waterfall, an iconic site that’s one of the most photographed locations in the country.

Walking into the lobby of Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel — a secret getaway in the rainforest just a few minutes’ drive from the volcano and the waterfall — the soaring ceilings, carved wood furniture, and koi pond make you feel like you could be in Bali. But look up in the trees and you’re likely to spot a sloth hanging from the branches, reminding you that you couldn’t be anywhere but Costa Rica. 

Our freestanding villa felt like a honeymoon suite with its romantic canopy bed, open-air rock shower, and spacious day bed, where our daughter slept. The sprawling terrace overlooked the rainforest, and there was nothing more relaxing than listening to the rain falling on the surrounding trees. It rained a lot in the morning and evening, but there were enough breaks in the weather to get out and explore (and actually see the volcano).

We were impressed with the excellent job the hotel did of blending romance, adventure, and a family-friendly vibe, making it appealing to all. There’s a huge pool, multiple hot tubs, plus a swim-up bar where they make cocktails for parents and mocktails for kids. And, of course, you can’t beat the nearby excursions like hiking through the rainforest to the Celeste Waterfall.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

The view of Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo offers dramatic ocean views.

Book Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Costa Rica’s Guanacaste coastline is known for its great weather (it has very little rain and consistent heat from November to April), excellent surfing beaches, and the luxurious Four Seasons resort, which put the area on the map for many luxury travelers when it opened in 2004.

Set right near the Four Seasons on the Papagayo Peninsula is the Andaz, which costs about half the price and has just as much to offer, including three beaches, golf, restaurants, a spa, and more.

When I stayed at the Andaz, what I loved the most was its fun, Instagram-worthy vibe. Setting the tone is a purple VW van parked at the hotel entrance that makes for the perfect photo backdrop. And I still dream about the infinity pool, with its dazzling Pacific ocean views.

Built on the side of the mountain, the resort has a treehouse-like feel and its sleek, modern design is truly something to behold. The food in Costa Rica can be hit or miss, but not here: The hotel has several restaurants serving delicious traditional dishes, from empanadas to sopaipillas.

And not to be missed is a treatment at the Onda Wellness Spa, where the treatment rooms are hidden in the rainforest and most of the products are handmade using ingredients sourced in the surrounding area, from purple corn to brown sugar.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Costa Rica hotels

What is the best area to stay in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is small — roughly the size of West Virginia — but it is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, with 12 different ecosystems. So whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here, including rainforests, beaches, mountains, even a bustling city.

Where you go depends on what you’re looking for on a vacation. If you are an adventurous traveler, consider the Northern Highlands, including Arenal Volcano National Park, Vulcano Tenorio National Park, and Monteverde, where you’ll find ziplining, hanging bridges, river tubing, great hiking, waterfalls, and mineral-rich hot springs.

Sun worshippers and surfers will love the Guanacaste coastline, which is home to a number of beach areas (including the resort-friendly Papagayo Peninsula) and the Nicoya Peninsula (one of the world’s legendary Blue Zones, where people live the longest).

The rainforest meets the beach in Manuel Antonio, a prime place for sloth-spotting. Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is a little quieter and less developed. And then there’s the buzzing city of San José.

What is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica?

Costa Ricans think of the winter season (December through April) as their summer, and this is the most popular time to visit. It is when the weather is at its driest, prices are at their highest, and resort destinations are most crowded.

To find a deal and avoid the crowds, consider the rainy low season, which goes from around May through November. 

Are there travel restrictions in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica does not require a COVID-19 test for entry, however, visitors — regardless of age or vaccination status — must complete a “Health Pass” at least 72 hours before their trip. Those who are inoculated must attach a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card.

Up to now, all travelers have been required to purchase COVID-19 travel insurance, but beginning August 1, travelers who have a COVID-19 vaccine and minors under the age of 18 will no longer be required to purchase travel insurance to enter Costa Rica. You can read more about the requirements here.

And everywhere you go, you’ll find protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike, from mask-wearing requirements to hand-washing stations for patrons to use before they enter a national park or even a roadside food stand. The country is meticulously clean, which adds to the feeling of safety. Costa Rica is also actively working to protect its population of 5 million people against COVID-19, with a goal to vaccinate at least 3.5 million citizens by the end of this year. 

Should I choose a regular hotel or an all-inclusive one?

Whether you choose a regular hotel or an all-inclusive one depends on the kind of traveler you are. Some people prefer to have the freedom to go to local restaurants and explore on their own, while others prefer to stay at a resort where everything is included in one price, including food and activities.

There are also some small eco-friendly hotels in Costa Rica that are all-inclusive due to the fact that there are no restaurants nearby and don’t feel like a typical all-inclusive resort. 

How cheap or expensive is it to plan a trip to Costa Rica?

The cost of a trip to Costa Rica depends on the accommodations that you choose and can range from budget to ultra-luxurious. Unless you eat at an affordable roadside stand called a “soda,” food at restaurants frequented by tourists is generally not cheap. Grocery stores can also be expensive (especially if you want to buy foreign food).

One area where it’s particularly hard to save is with a rental car. Travelers are required to purchase expensive rental insurance, which can be more than the cost of the car rental itself.

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18 of the best beach hotels in the U.S. for families whether you’re traveling with a baby, teen, grandparents, or pets

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A hotel balcony facing the water
  • 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.

These are the best family beach hotels in the US, sorted by price from low to high.

The Beachmere Inn – Ogunquit, Maine

View of The Beachmere Inn
The historic Beachmere Inn is not only picturesque but plenty of old-fashioned fun.

Book The Beachmere Inn

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Sea Crest Beach Hotel – Falmouth, Massachusetts

Front of Sea Crest Beach Hotel
The idyllic Sea Crest Beach Hotel is more extensive and family-oriented than its exterior suggests.

Book Sea Crest Beach Hotel

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front – Pensacola Beach, Florida

View of Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front.
During the day, the lazy river is home to pirates and mermaids who entertain and swim with hotel guests.

Book the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

San Diego Mission Bay Resort – San Diego, California

Pool at San Diego Mission Bay Resort
The renovated San Diego Mission Bay Resort was designed with active families in mind.

Book the San Diego Mission Bay Resort

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Beach view Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort
The oceanfront Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes is an oasis at the north end of Myrtle Beach.

Book the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

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. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Wave Resort – Long Branch, New Jersey

An oceanview suite at Wave Resort
Families will enjoy beach activities and room to spread out at Wave Resort.

Book the Wave Resort

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hallmark Resort Newport – Newport, Oregon

The Hallmark Resort Newport
The Hallmark Resort Newport is so family-oriented it offers something for everyone – even the family dog.

Book the Hallmark Resort Newport

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – Oahu, Hawaii

Beach view of Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
It takes a Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort to entertain your family.

Book the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa – Lake Placid, New York

Lake view at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa
For a non-salty family beach vacation, check out Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa.

Book the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa – Delray Beach, Florida

Sunset pool view at the Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa
The Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa sits at the intersection of beach and busy boulevard – the perfect location for a family that wants it all.

Book the Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa – Jupiter, Florida

The oceanfront pool at Jupiter Resort.
Spend a lazy day at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa.

Book the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The pool at the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale is a family beach resort with a heavy dose of luxury.

Book The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Surf & Sand Resort – Laguna Beach, California

Beach View at Surf & Sand Resort
Nature inspires families to take advantage of its offerings at Laguna Beach’s Surf & Sand Resort

Book the Surf & Sand Resort

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hotel del Coronado – San Diego, California

Front of the Hotel Del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado is the inspiration for the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World.

Book the Hotel del Coronado

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Inn by the Sea – Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Fireplace at Inn by the Sea
Cozy rooms await at the Inn by the Sea.

Book the Inn by the Sea

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa – Pacific City, Oregon

The view from Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa
Tons of activities await guests of all ages.

Book the Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

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. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Diplomat Beach Resort – Hollywood, Florida

Pool and beach of the Diplomat Beach Resort
This lavish hotel equally appeals to adults looking to unwind and kids in search of activities.

Book The Diplomat Beach Resort

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Miami Beach EDITION – Miami, Florida

A guest room at Miami Beach Edition facing the ocean.
Spacious rooms add value at the Edition.

Book The Miami Beach EDITION

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.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Family beach hotels

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.

Are hotels safe right now?

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically.

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.

More of the best beach vacations

The beach in Miami, Florida
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18 of the best Airbnbs on US islands, including lake homes, beach cottages, and resort-style condos

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

The view from this Catalina Island Airbnb.
California or the Mediterranean? It’s hard to tell at this Airbnb on Catalina Island.

  • Island getaways don’t need to be far-flung, there are many stunning isles at home in the U.S.
  • Many of these charming islands are small and remote, and best suited to private vacation rentals.
  • We found top-rated Airbnbs on U.S. islands with all the amenities you need for a tropical getaway.

When you’re really in need of a holiday, there’s no better buffer for the everyday than an island escape.

And although the U.S. is home to tropical islands like Hawaii and Puerto Rico, reaching these beautiful destinations on a whim can be quite pricey. Fortunately, there are many beautiful islands a little closer to home, and not just on the east and west coasts, but also in the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes.

Because these locales tend to be remote (some require a ferry or plane to reach them), and hotels can be limited, we looked for the best island vacation homes and rentals on Airbnb that offer privacy, small-town hospitality, and the utmost seclusion. Discover charming islands with historic downtown areas, protected nature reserves, nautical landmarks, wide-open beaches, and no long-haul flights required.

Browse all the best island Airbnbs below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best island Airbnbs in the U.S., sorted by price from low to high.

Sunflower condo on Amelia Island

The exterior of a sunflower condo on Amelia Island

Book this Florida Airbnb

Amelia Island is located on Florida’s northeastern coast and is famous for its gold-colored sands and charming downtown.

On the Isle of Eight Flags, this cozy home is marked by a colorful sunflower mural on the garage and a bright blue bench. The house is in a quiet neighborhood that is just a short drive or bike ride from the downtown and beach area.

The one-bedroom home is cozy and simple with a King-sized bed, vintage furniture, and a smattering of sunflower decor for added charm. There is a plant-filled entryway with a small writing desk and although there is no kitchen, there is a small kitchenette area with a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker.

The home has a large yard, which is shared with the host.

Beach home on Sanibel Island

The living room of Turtle Tracks West on Sanibel Island

Book this Florida Airbnb

Near the city of Fort Myers and accessible by bridge, Sanibel Island attracts many vacationers looking to enjoy beautiful beach sunsets and the island’s bayous and nature preserves.

This cheery two-bedroom duplex unit near the beach jas bright decor such as seashell-crusted accent pieces, coral pillows with underwater motifs, and turtle-shaped cut-outs in the blinds. 

The kitchen is small but modern with stainless steel appliances and a tiny breakfast nook, but there is also a dining table and seating area on the screened-in balcony. A nice outdoor shower is lovely for rinsing off sand and salt before turning in. There is also a washer and dryer, so you can maintain that fresh and clean feeling throughout your stay.

Custom forest cottage with a hot tub on Whidbey Island

The exterior of the Barred Owl cottage on Whidbey Island

Book this Washington Airbnb

North of Seattle in the Puget Sound, this rugged island is home to a state park with clifftop ocean views and a handful of charming coastal towns. Amid the forest-clad landscape, this cottage was custom-built and handcrafted for extreme coziness. Sitting on 10 acres of private property, the cottage shares a garden with the host’s main house and is just a five-minute drive from the beach and a 15-minute drive from shops and restaurants.

With a hot tub out front, it’s a great spot for seclusion, especially for book-lovers who will fall in love with the built-in bookshelves that flank the Queen-sized bed with a cozy window nook.

The studio-sized apartment has a small beverage bar with a kettle and a French press, plus a dining table for two. There is also a back deck that overlooks a grassy lawn where deer and owls are often spotted. Guests are welcome to explore the large property and are sometimes invited to pick a few tomatoes from the greenhouse when in season.

Beach apartment with a hot tub on Galveston Island

The exterior of the Pelicans getaway on Galveston Island

Book this Texas Airbnb

This bustling Texan island in the Gulf of Mexico is a popular beach spring break spot, connected to the mainland by a bridge.

On the quiet east side of town, this apartment is only two blocks from the beach and a mile away from the Strand, Galveston’s historic dining and shopping district. The home’s interior is sweetly decorated with a white molded wood headboard, matching white linens, beachy wall decor, and dark blue curtains in the bedroom.

Meanwhile, the kitchen is fully furnished with granite countertops and a coffeemaker, plus a small dining table. Past guests also report that the bed is soft and the shower’s water pressure is great.

In the garage, find goodies like a ping pong table and lawn games, and there is also a screened-in patio, hot tub, washer and dryer, and two bicycles for guests to borrow.

Cottage near Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island

The porch on a cabin in Maine
This log cabin-like home is near Acadia National Park.

Book this Maine Airbnb

Mount Desert Island the largest island off the Maine coast and home to Acadia National Park. There are many nooks and crannies to explore and this particular cottage located off a quiet section of Bar Harbor Road is surrounded by rolling meadows and a view of the Jordan River.

There are many ways to stay warm and cozy, from the wood-burning stove in the living room to the outdoor fire pit. Large windows let in lots of light and a small seating area on the front porch is a nice spot to enjoy a morning coffee or watch the sunset. 

Although it has been designed with couples in mind, there’s enough room to host a group of four. The interior is decorated in farmhouse style with sliding barn doors, natural wood, and black iron trimmings, as well as luxe touches like a leather couch and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. 

In the yard, make use of the barbecue, picnic table, and Adirondack chairs.

Hotel-style condo with water views on Mackinac Island

The deck at this Airbnb in Mackinac Island
Enjoy water views right from the deck.

Book this Michigan Airbnb

In the middle of Lake Huron, Mackinac Island has a large state park, a historic fort, and a whole town where there are no cars, just bicycles and buggies. With such a small population, there is a limited supply of Airbnbs but you’ll find the most contemporary decor and furnishings in this hotel-style condo with a King-sized bed and a private deck with views of the Mackinac Straits. The location is two miles from town, but very close to Sunset Rock and the Stonecliffe Inn, known for its social events and a great restaurant, plus the Grand Hotel’s golf course.

This condo has a private entrance, a full bath, and a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.  The decor is modern with a calming natural color scheme, a tufted headboard, and metallic nightstands with crystal lamps.

The wooden deck has a nice view of the waterline just over the treetops and there is enough room for a small colorful table with two chairs. The room is hotel-style, so seating is limited to the deck and a small seating area below the television and a small indoor dining table for two.

Studio with beach gear on Ocracoke Island

The living room in a Studio on Ocracoke Island
Part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island has miles of pristine beaches, a historic village, and a lighthouse.

Book this North Carolina Airbnb

Part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, this barrier island has miles of pristine beaches, a historic village, and a lighthouse. This home is in a great location, just a half-block from the beach and within walking distance to restaurants and shops in Avon.

Inside is cozy and contemporary with a beachy color scheme, a Queen-sized bed, and a kitchenette with a microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and small dining table for two.

There’s also a deck that looks out over the yard and there is also a hot tub and grill. Beach chairs and an umbrella are free to borrow.

Seascape condo on Kiawah Island

The porch at an Airbnb on Kiawah Island
This screened-in porch means you’ll enjoy warm evenings outside free of bugs.

Book this South Carolina Airbnb

Kiawah Island is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina near Charleston and a popular destination among golfers. The island is well-known for its resorts, but there are many beautiful vacation homes like this one-bedroom condo in West Beach.

The screened-in porch has a small seating area that overlooks the forest but won’t let any bugs in, which is a must on balmy summer nights. Enjoy complimentary beach gear, which only needs to be carried a short walk away to the sand. 

There is plenty of room to cook in the modern stainless steel kitchen that includes a wine fridge, and vaulted ceilings make the home feel even larger. Funky furniture like the palette-shaped wood coffee table and plush velvet couch adds a nice touch, while the bedroom is minimalistic with white, gray, and pale sea-green colors. 

Charming guest suite on Block Island

The exterior of the Suite Getaway on Block Island

Book this Rhode Island Airbnb

Directly south of Rhode Island, Block Island is a quiet summer destination home to bike trails, beaches, historic lighthouses, and a small population. To get around, rent a bicycle or moped.

This one-bedroom suite is in a great location if you’re looking for a bit of seclusion, but still want to be close to town to eat out and explore. It has a private entrance, a small living area, a plush couch, and a small kitchenette with a mini-fridge and coffeemaker. The decor is relaxing with dusty blues and deep grays that complement nautical artwork. You’ll also have access to the outdoor patio with a grill and a dining area and nature trails surround the home.

There is a flat screen TV and a big couch when it’s time to unwind, and the hosts provide two beach chairs and towels for a day on the sand.

Sea haven on Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island Getaway - Sea Haven (Unit A)

Book this Jekyll Island, Georgia Airbnb

Thanks to its protected status, Jekyll Island is a haven for beach-lovers who like their shorelines natural instead of lined with high rises. It’s perfect for family getaways, thanks to the plethora of activities available: think hiking in a maritime forest, visiting the U.S. Sea Turtle Center, four award-winning golf courses, and kayaking with dolphins. 

With so much to do, having a central base, and a restful place to crash at the end of a busy day, is key. This sea house is a welcoming retreat with a traditional design and modern, geometric motifs that serve as a nod to the nautical setting.

There’s a comfortable living room, a sparkling clean kitchen, and for the little ones, a bunk bed with a trundle-style pull-out third bed. The amenities are also very thoughtful, down to bikes, beach toys and bags, and coolers available for guests to use. 

While you’ll probably want a car (or at least bikes) to explore, this home is a short drive to dining, the historic district, and the beach, which is only 1,000 feet away.

Studio apartment with private garden on Fire Island

The garden courtyard of this Airbnb on Fire Island
Stay steps from the beach while enjoying a private garden all to yourself.

Book this New York Airbnb

Connected to Long Island by bridge and ferry service, Fire Island is a four-mile-long barrier island with various resort communities, golf courses, as well as Robert Moses State Park. T

his private studio is four houses away from the beach and is a short walk from the ferry dock where you’ll find many shops and restaurants, plus the Whyte Hall Theatre and a grocery store.

There is a private entrance, a kitchen with a microwave and coffeemaker, bar stools, and a basic Full-sized bed framed by colorful green paint. The look is sparse, leaving the focus on the outdoors, best enjoyed on the spacious private deck surrounded by a lush garden with enough room for a grill and an outdoor dining area. Be prepared to disconnect as there is no Wi-Fi.

Woodsy house with incredible views in the San Juan Islands

The view of the water on San Juan Islands from the Airbnb deck.
This waterfront deck makes it easy to take out a kayak or go for a dip.

Book this Washington Airbnb

The San Juan Islands in Washington are home to rocky coastlines and old-growth forests. In the bustling town of Friday Habor, you’ll find this beautiful home covered in wood paneling with unique features like a reading nook (that could double as a child’s bed) built into the living room bookcase. The views surrounding this home are also worth daydreaming about as the custom-built house has a waterfront view of False Bay with 400 surrounding acres of open space. A great outpost for exploration, the hosts provide four kayaks and bikes and a private staircase leads to a deck on the beach.

Inside, the home has an open living space between the kitchen and living room, and is filled with books for those seeking a quiet, literary-minded getaway. Attached to the house is a light-filled sun room with a dining table, another reading nook, and a small deck. The bedroom is small but full of light with long windows on each side and a giant skylight. 

Historic apartment on Martha’s Vineyard

The sleeping loft in this Martha's Vineyard Airbnb
This historic home dates back to the Civil War era.

Book this Massachusetts Airbnb

A classic escape off of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is a lovely summer destination known for its charming harbor towns and lighthouses. This apartment is located in one of the most lively towns on the island in a building that has been designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Historic Property. One of two historic apartments from the Civil War era, this two-floor floor unit has a deck with views over downtown, plus a seating area and a grill to enjoy it all.

The space is small, but huge windows let in lots of light and the traditional design includes warm muted colors on the walls and rugs. There are two modestly-sized bedrooms, one with a Queen bed and one with two single beds, however, it’s the location that should lure you to book here. The apartment is within walking distance of the beach, ferry terminal, and Oak Bluff’s dining and shopping center. 

Oceanview condo with pool access on Catalina Island

The view from this Catalina Island Airbnb.
California or the Mediterranean? It’s hard to tell at this Airbnb on Catalina Island.

Book this California Airbnb

Off the coast of Los Angeles in the Channel Islands, Santa Catalina offers seclusion, nature, and a little bit of Hollywood history. You’ll find most things centered in the town of Avalon, where this large condo offers a terrace with a 180-degree view of the coast and an elegant design with minimalistic retro details and classy wood furnishings and accents.

The home has one bedroom, plus a den with a fireplace and designer couch that can be transformed into a queen-sized bed for extra guests.

Bamboo floors and leather furniture add a touch of luxury to the airy home, and double doors open out to the balcony with seating and a breakfast table.

Part of a larger condominium complex, guests also have access to the pool, hot tub, gym, and tennis courts and the hosts offer guests the option of using their golf cart to get around the island.

Coastal designer condo on Nantucket

The exterior of the Nantucket Airbnb
This posh home is steps to Nantucket’s Main Street and harbor.

Book this Massachusetts Airbnb

One of the smaller inhabited islands off of Cape Cod, Nantucket offers a quaint historic town and sandy dunes.

Following a recent renovation, this one-bedroom home shines with highly curated, posh decor by way of lucite side tables, midcentury chairs, pendant lamps, and an overstuffed crisp white couch. There is also a gleaming kitchen, and a covered deck with picnic-style seating and a small grill. The bedroom features maritime-minded pieces like a bedside lamp crafted from thick rope and a mix of white, gray, and slate blue colors.

The location is a short walk to Main Street and the Nantucket Harbor.

Floating Tiki suite in Key West

coolest airbnbs key west floating tiki suite

Book this Key West Airbnb

Designed to be a glamping experience on the water, you get to this one-of-a-kind floating suite via boat or water shuttle.

The provided paddleboards and snorkel gear make it easy to leap off the front deck and hit the surrounding water. Of course, lounging in the hammock or opening the French doors on all sides to take in the water views from the King bed are also worthy options. 

Brazilian hardwood floors complement the thatched-tiki styling and soaring vaulted ceilings give the living space an airy feel — literally since they also serving as the core component to the self-ventilating design that helps keep this suite cool. While there is a bathroom, there’s no true kitchen here. There is a cooler that can keep food cold for up to nine days, but guests need to bring their own ice and supplies.

Lakefront home in Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu airbnb
This Airbnb is actually on an island within Lake Havasu.

Book this Arizona Airbnb

It doesn’t get much closer to the water than this. Lakefront views are available from almost every window in this impressive home that’s actually located on an island within Lake Havasu City. 

Recently remodeled, there is a Queen-size bedroom and additional pull-out sleeper, a sleek bathroom, a fully-equipped kitchen, high-speed Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Though the real draws are outside where an expansive deck is furnished with a large table, plush couch seating, a grill, and outdoor speakers.

From there, private stairs lead directly down to the water with a buoy to tie a boat in front of the home. Dock rentals are also available for a small fee for 24 foot or smaller boats. 

Your very own private island on Hilton Head

hilton head private island
Old House Cay is in fact made up of three private islands that you’ll have to yourself, accessible only by boat.

Book this Hilton Head Airbnb

This place is a little more expensive than we’d usually go, but how many opportunities do you get to rent your own private island? Old House Cay is in fact made up of three private islands that you’ll have to yourself. They’re accessible only by boat, and the hosts are kind enough to transport you in theirs.

The rental is a beautifully renovated large wooden beach house, with gorgeous reclaimed wood, pillars, exposed beams on high vaulted ceilings, and corrugated iron that comes together to make the place magazine-level photogenic. There are also hardwood floors, wicker furniture, driftwood sculptures, model fish, and even a ship’s figurehead hanging on the wall. It’s fully loaded with home comforts for dining in and entertaining, and with boating or fishing the only real demands on your time, it’s an ideal spot for getting off-grid (though, there is Wi-Fi). Savor the views from the wraparound deck, or hop into the hammock — you’re on island time here.

More of the coolest homes on Airbnb in the US

most romantic airbnbs atlanta georgia treehouse
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Skip summer crowds and book one of these 15 Airbnbs across the US in under the radar beach towns

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Old Rustic Beach Cabin
Stunning views await in this Oregon cabin.

  • The US is full of popular beach locations, but smaller towns have more charm and fewer crowds.
  • Places like Bald Head Island and Cayucos are underrated gems often overlooked by many tourists.
  • For an uncrowded beach break, we found top-rated Airbnbs in hidden gem beaches to book this summer.

The US has 12,383 miles of coastline, though only a relative few of those strips of sand are well-known to tourists. As vaccinations become more widespread and travelers dream of a summer vacation once more, there’s almost nothing more relaxing than a trip to the beach.

As a result, popular beaches in areas like Cape Cod, the Outer Banks, or Los Angeles will likely be flooded with visitors and overbooked for hotels or vacation rentals. However, there are many great under-the-radar beach towns across the U.S. to consider, from Connecticut to Oregon.

And since hotels are fewer in these off-the-beaten-path places, we found top-rated Airbnbs that are close to the beach and offer space to spread out for that long-awaited family trip, friend reunions, or romantic retreat.

We’ve listed some of the best Airbnbs in America’s lesser-known beach towns (at least to those outside the region). On our checklist? Proximity to the beachfront, enhanced cleaning, a minimum rating of 4.7 or higher, and good design. We also wanted to keep things fairly reasonable at under $650 per night, though the more expensive properties are ones a large family or group of (vaccinated!) friends or families could stay in.

Browse all the best Airbnb homes in underrated beach towns here:

Here are the best underrated beach town Airbnbs in the U.S.

A modern home on Guemes Island, Washington

A home in Washington
This home on Guemes Island offers a real nature retreat in a wooded setting.

Book this Anacortes, Washington cabin on Airbnb

Anacortes is known as one of Washington’s great beaches, but an eight-minute ferry from its shores is this gem on Guemes Island, a real nature retreat in a wooded setting. It has 13 miles of roads, and you can easily use a rented bike to wheel around, and the General Store is a must-stop for supplies and is located in a rambling old house. 

This striking modern house blends the design with the outdoors. You can throw open large doors on the side of the house to create a wide passage through to a patio with a picnic table. For guests who love a good shower, the tiled bathroom functions like a wet room using the shower is essentially the entire space.

The bedroom is a light-walled respite with a small balcony off of it and an office has a hideaway double bed. Other details like an indoor wood stove, a pair of bikes and helmets, and good cookware help make this stay stress-free and memorable. And if you want to bring Fido, well-behaved dogs are welcome here. 

Large house with a private pool near the beach in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Luxury 3BR/3BA, Private Heated Pool, Beach
Your hardest decision here will be beach or pool.

Book this Anna Maria Island, Florida condo on Airbnb

This airy, light house is just one and a half blocks away from the sandy, soft Gulf shores of Anna Maria Island, with plenty of space for families and groups.

The beach is a short four-minute stroll away, and there is also a private heated pool, which makes for a refreshing dip on a hot day or after a long day at the beach. With a border of lush green plants, a stone waterfall, and a swim-up tiki table for pool cocktails, it feels like a tropical resort.

Inside is just as well-appointed with an open floor plan with generous living quarters, as well as a modern, fully stocked kitchen, two entertaining spaces including a covered terrace, and a game room to keep kids occupied. There’s a barbecue outside and the bedrooms have configurations including a King bed, a Queen bed, and bunk beds for the kids. 

Best of all, you can skip the cost of renting a car with a stay here. Everything nearby is easily accessed by the island trolley.

Cozy cottage in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

Living room of the The Windsurfer Cottage- by Kailua Beach
Plan a Hawaiian getaway without crowds in this Kailua cottage.

Book this Kailua, Hawaii cabin on Airbnb

Located a 15-minute drive south of Kona International Airport, Kailua is a beach town that ticks all the boxes for an island paradise. Some of Oahu’s most beautiful beaches, best restaurants, gorgeous hiking trails, great surfing, and a wetland that draws birdwatchers. While Kailua is not exactly a secret (President Obama vacationed here, as has Beyonce), it’s still a more low-key beach town than the high-rise-lined beaches found on other islands.  

This cottage channels that sentiment as it’s built in the local tradition for a true Hawaiian experience. The house is designed for the climate with a kitchen that opens up onto a covered lanai to create a large indoor-outdoor room, and keep the breezes flowing.

There is also an artfully weathered door that slides open to reveal a bedroom with a high ceiling and (importantly) a fan for air circulation. Surrounding palms and leafy trees help keep the house cool, too, which is good as there is no AC. 

The cottage isn’t beachfront, but it’s just a two-minute walk from the sandy shores, and nearby restaurants, bars, and shops are all walkable too.

Beach home in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island Getaway - Sea Haven (Unit A)
Jekyll Island is a haven for beach lovers and this is one of the few Airbnb rentals on the island proper.

Book this Jekyll Island, Georgia house on Airbnb

Thanks to its protected status, Jekyll Island is a haven for beach-lovers who like their shorelines natural instead of lined with high rises. It’s perfect for family getaways, thanks to the plethora of activities available: think hiking in a maritime forest, visiting the U.S. Sea Turtle Center, four award-winning golf courses, and kayaking with dolphins. 

With so much to do, having a central base, and a restful place to crash at the end of a busy day, is key. This sea house is a welcoming retreat with a traditional design and modern, geometric motifs that serve as a nod to the nautical setting.

There’s a comfortable living room, a sparkling clean kitchen, and for the little ones, a bunk bed with a trundle-style pull-out third bed. The amenities are also very thoughtful, down to bikes, beach toys and bags, and coolers available for guests to use. 

While you’ll probably want a car (or at least bikes) to explore, this home is a short drive to dining, the historic district, and the beach, which is only 1,000 feet away.

Rustic beach cabin in Bandon, Oregon

Old Rustic Beach Cabin
Stunning views await in this Oregon cabin.

Book this Bandon, Oregon cabin on Airbnb

If you want to dive into the Northwest vibes on your trip to Oregon, Bandon is the perfect place to start (or stay). The southern Oregon city is famous for natural activities, like cycling, hiking, birding, golf, and also happens to be the “Cranberry Capital of Oregon.” 

This 1934 beach cabin makes for a cozy escape for a couple or small family and overlooks what a breathtaking beach. Inside, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace is the focal point of the wood-timbered living room, and a dining alcove gazes out to the rocks and sea. In the bedroom and loft, quilts covered beds are stacked with fluffy pillows and wood paneling sets a rustic tone  disconnect for a bit.

Despite the cabin’s rural location, it’s across the street from one of the top-rated restaurants in town. 

Quaint cottage in Ogunquit, Maine

The exterior of the La Perla Cottage Airbnb n Ogunquit, Maine
This cottage is close to beaches and restaurants and feels quintessentially Maine.

Book this Ogunquit, Maine cottage on Airbnb

A trip to Maine’s coastline can add up to a serious chunk of change, but this adorable cottage with cheery golden shutters and black shingles is one of the more affordable picks in Ogunquit, a place named after the Abenaki tribe’s word for “beautiful place by the sea.” The description holds up: There’s a great cultural scene, a welcoming LGBTQ+ community, and sandy beaches for sunning. 

This cottage is close to beaches and restaurants, and the house is surrounded by lush gardens and a fairy tale brick path. Inside, a bedroom is separated by black-framed glass doors, which open to reveal a beautiful white-quilted bed with pops of sunny yellow and brass. The rest of the house favors a glamorous nautical theme with gold wire barstools against navy counters, black-grouted subway tiles, be-palmed billows, and a gorgeous old low leather chaise. 

The balcony has enough space for a two-chair dining table and the verdant woods provide a natural canopy over the surroundings. Finally, the view overlooks a peaceful and gently winding river.

Cozy riverfront retreat in Old Saybrook, Connecticut

An Airbnb in Old Saybrook, Connecticut
This charming home overlooks a picturesque river.

Book this Old Saybrook, Connecticut cottage on Airbnb

Old Saybrook is typically overlooked by many East Coasters, who rush by on their way to Cape Cod or the Jersey Shore. But in this idyllic waterfront Airbnb, you’ll be right on the water, in this case, the Oyster River, but area beaches and the center of town are all close by.

Inside is a real charmer, with historic interiors decorated in traditional seaside tones with plenty of natural textiles to echo the surroundings. Think rope-framed mirrors, jute rugs, white quilts, relaxed slip covered sofas, and a modern kitchen with a beadboard backsplash.

Plus, if you get a chill coming off the water in the evenings, simply start up the indoor fireplace. 

Historic beach cottage in Capitola, California

62 steps to sand - historic Capitola beach cottage

Book this Capitola, California cabin on Airbnb

 This Airbnb is in the middle of the local village and just 62 steps from the ocean. Although the cottage is full of historic charm (it’s more than 110 years old), it has all the comforts you’d want from a modern Airbnb after its 2019 renovation. 

Decor is airy and light with serene white bedding, sofas from natural fibers, soft gray curtains, and antique-looking metal bed frames. There are King, bunk, and single beds, plus a sofa couch, as well as a large kitchen, and bathrooms stocked with high-end toiletries. Hosts even provide beach towels, beach chairs, a beach tent, sand pails, and shovels. 

While the beach just steps away is tempting enough, everything in town, including shops, restaurants, and bars, are within walking distance.

A designer boathouse in Greenport, New York

Designer's Dream - Charming Boathouse
This shake-shingle Airbnb has an outdoor shower, a porch swing, and other charming features.

Book this Greenport, New York house on Airbnb

Greenport is in the heart of an pretty stretch of East Coast sand on Long Island’s North Fork facing the Long Island Sound. It makes for a great alternative to the Hamptons if you want something a little more chilled-out.

The 19th-century village, where this Airbnb is located, has roots as a whaling port but today boasts great restaurants that heavily feature local food and wine, as well as plenty of peace and quiet (the population is only 2,200). 

This shake-shingle Airbnb was built in the late 1890s and was totally renovated resulting in a look that is very clearly the product of an architect and interior decorator’s shared vision.  The palette is soft and stylish, with warm leather and wood in the living room and ivory, sand, and dove gray in bedrooms. Preserved antique details include original boathouse doors in the kitchen and living room that swing out for a continuous indoor-outdoor space, as well as stunning latticed doorways and windows.

There is also an outdoor shower, a porch swing, a record player and board games, and a brick patio for grilling and outdoor dining. 

While you can certainly rent a car, you can also take the Long Island Rail Road as there’s a stop close by, and the Hampton Jitney bus also goes to Greenport. 

Home with a private pool within walking distance of the beach in Port Aransas, Texas

Enjoy Private Pool & Walk to the Beach from Old Town Cottage
Port Aransas is home to some of Texas’ best beaches and this home makes it easy to discover them all.

Book this Port Aransas, Texas cabin on Airbnb

The only established town on Mustang Island (named for the wild horses who used to roam it), Port Aransas is a favorite for those who want the beach vibes of Corpus Christi without the crowds. It’s a laid-back place where you can have a restaurant cook your own catch of the day, flip-flops are the preferred footwear, and you can choose beaches from around 18 miles of sand. 

Rather than staying in a condo block, this gorgeous house will give you a real Texas escape, with a western-meets-seaside aesthetic. The house has a dash of eclecticism too with a wall of straw hats, jute rugs, and carved wooden furniture sourced from around the world. The common areas are gracious and inviting, with a linen slip covered sofa, woven dining chairs, and a kitchen complete with a stainless steel farmhouse sink and white exposed brick. There’s a washer and dryer and the kitchen even has Starbucks coffee stocked when you arrive. 

The best part however is what’s outside. There’s a screened-in living area with walls for privacy and shade, as well as a cluster of seating for the Smart TV. There’s also a covered patio with a large picnic table, a charcoal grill, and a sound system for barbecue nights. Meanwhile, a pool and set of loungers invites swimmers and sunbathers on hot days, and the outdoor shower is a perfect place to rinse off before and after your dip.

Oceanfront cottage in Cayucos, California

Beautiful Ocean Front Cottage, Cayucos California
This undersung beach town boasts six miles of white sand state beach, some of which is right out front this cottage.

Book this Cayucos, California cottage on Airbnb

The coastline along Highway 101 is legendary for a reason, and one of the most quintessentially California beach towns along the route is Cayucos. This undersung (for those from elsewhere, anyway) beach town boasts six miles of white sand state beach and a huge range of restaurants to keep stomachs satisfied every night of the trip. Fishing, hiking, surfing, and cycling are all big here, so it’s a great spot for active vacationers as well as those who’d prefer to sit back and soak up the surf vibes from shore. 

This cottage is the perfect place to ease you into a laidback beach mindset. It has almost a full wall of doors and windows that open out onto the beach and waves beyond, which you can take in from your perch on a comfortable green velvet sectional. There are ship-lapped, high ceilings, as well as cheery touches like floral accents and statement walls.  The brick patio outside faces the ocean and has a pair of loungers, Adirondack chairs, and a fire pit for s’mores. 

While you likely have a car, you won’t need it for popping out for a drink or dinner as the quiet town is walkable from the home.

Waterfront home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Waterfront in the Heart of Watch Hill
Stay in Watch Hill, a pretty New England Town where Taylor Swift owns a home.

Book this Watch Hill, Rhode Island condo on Airbnb

Just up the coast from Connecticut’s Old Saybrook is Rhode Island’s Watch Hill, a small (and well-to-do) coastal village that’s flown under the radar of many tourists from outside the region. But it’s worth a visit. It’s New England in a big way, with huge historic homes, beautiful nature, and crashing waves on beautiful beaches. It’s so charming, in fact, that Taylor Swift owns a home in town where she regularly spends her Fourth of July.   

But if we can’t rent her digs, we’d happily book a stay in this condo, which offers sweeping views of the golden, sandy beach (as well as outlooks onto three states). Located on the third floor, the condo’s vaulted ceilings, cheery pastel shades, and cozy bedrooms make for a welcome retreat at the end of a day on the water outside, and large windows and skylights let in plenty of coastal sunlight. But the standout here are the two decks that offer incredible panoramic views. 

Floral quilts, striped sofas, and New England imagery feature among the traditional decor and multiple beds help offset the high price tag. 

A couple of beaches, as well as local shops, restaurants, art galleries, and the oldest continuously operating carousel in the U.S. are within walking or cycling distance.

Luxury home on Bald Head Island, North Carolina

Morning Light on Bald Head Island
This beautiful home has impressive decks that feel perched amid the trees.

Book this Bald Head Island, North Carolina on Airbnb

This southernmost North Carolina island truly offers peace and quiet as it’s completely car-free. Bald Head Island residents are connected by ferry from the mainland but get around on the island using bicycles, golf carts, or their own two feet. Nature-lovers, consider this an alternative to the Outer Banks. 

Ideal for a family reunion or a group gathering, this tranquil, Craftsman-style home is spacious and well-equipped enough for the whole gang. An open floor plan allows for conversation to flow easily between living spaces and screened-in porches. Mahogany, rustic accents, and soaking tubs all come together to make for a beautifully serene aesthetic. 

As of publishing, the two lots on either side were undeveloped, meaning no neighbors and the feeling of being surrounded by nature. While it’s not on the beach itself, it’s only five minutes away by car. 

Bald Head Island is also a great place to go if you want to bring your dog as the island is extremely pet friendly, and this Airbnb allows four-legged friends, too. With 10,000 untouched acres of nature still preserved, your pup will have never had such an exciting walk. 

FAQ: Airbnb beach homes

Is it safe to stay in an Airbnb during COVID-19?

Always check with the latest CDC and WHO guidelines and local rules and regulations for your destination for the latest information, and consider the infection rates of the areas you’re traveling to and from. After all, not everyone has been vaccinated, so some areas might still experience outbreaks.

However, the CDC does say travel is safe for fully vaccinated individuals and experts agree that private vacation homes are one of the safest travel options.

What’s a good time of year to visit the beach in the U.S.? 

That depends on where you want to go. The U.S. has beaches that are visitable in every season across the country.

Tourists head to Hawaii year round, and southern Florida or California for winter escapes, while swimming season gets started later in the near the further north you go (roughly). If you plan to just savor the scenery, you can travel off season for cheaper rates and no crowds, or plan on summer to catch the waves.

How do I find beach homes on Airbnb? 

After you start a search based on location and dates, you may then  filter for “waterfront” or “beachfront” properties. From there, it’s up to you what you prefer in terms of decor or amenities. 

Where is the best place to rent a beach house?

That depends on what and where you’re looking for. Travel time to your destination, the cost of food and activities on the ground, and the climate could all be factors in your budget.

If you’re watching your vacation money, do some research first about where you can afford to stay by filtering for price, then look at how you’d get yourself there (plane? car?) to see how much it would cost to travel. You can also narrow down options based on regional preference and amenities. 

Where is the cheapest place to rent a beach house? 

There’s no hard and fast rule for where it’s cheapest to rent a beach house, but generally speaking, the more popular areas tend to be the most expensive during peak or prime summer seasons. You might have better luck renting in Port Aransas than Corpus Christi during spring break, for example. 

What makes a beach town underrated?

For us, it means that people from outside the area (or those who don’t know it well) might not be familiar with the town. An underrated beach town won’t be found on the Jersey Shore, in Cape Cod, Miami, Los Angeles, or other popular destinations.

Instead, they savor a slower pace with less fanfare but still offer activities, dining, or other special attractions to make it a worthwhile destination. Miles of relatively uncrowded sandy beaches also help so you can keep away from the crowds and find your own little stretch of paradise on shore.

More of the best Airbnbs you can rent

Seattle Airbnb home
Read the original article on Business Insider

15 of the best Airbnbs in Greece, from a penthouse with views of the Acropolis to a pool villa in Mykonos

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An infinity pool in Greece
The best Airbnbs in Greece include homes with pools and great views.

  • Greece is top of mind for vacationing Americans this summer thanks to a vaccination-friendly policy.
  • Greece’s islands and cities offer something for everyone and Airbnbs are often cheaper than hotels.
  • We found top-rated Airbnbs in Greece with beautiful locales, great design, and cheap prices.

With the sparkling Aegean stretching out in front of it, Greece’s seafront shores and historical cities have long been at the top of American travelers’ bucket lists.

This summer, Americans are flocking to Greece in unexpectedly huge numbers thanks to its vaccination-friendly policy, and the launch of nonstop flights to Athens from hubs like Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas.

Rather than staying in chain hotels or too expensive seaside resorts, there are many top-rated Airbnbs in Greece that offer the opportunity to live like a local (or a royal) while immersed within the local culture. They are also more cost-effective for families and typically more spacious than European hotel rooms, which run quite small.

As a Europe-based travel writer who’s visited multiple Greek islands, I turned to several local experts to determine the best places to vacation in Greece and used their advice to find the best Airbnbs Greece.

Browse all the best Airbnbs in Greece below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

Here are the best Airbnbs in Greece, sorted by price from low to high.

Rose-tinted apartment in downtown Nafplio

Rose-tinted apartment in downtown Nafplio
Nafplio is a seaside port town that was the first capital of Greece.

Book this Nafplio apartment on Airbnb

This stylishly designed apartment is comfortable, cozy, and right off the old town in Nafplio, placing you within walking distance of top sites like the Nafplio National Gallery.

Simple but well-decorated, the apartment features rose-colored walls and fashionable touches like rattan chairs and a black-and-white geometric backsplash with pops of color from turquoise appliances. 

While it doesn’t offer a lot of extra amenities, the central location makes up for it. You won’t even need a car to get around. 

Minimalist, monochromatic Thessaloniki apartment

Minimalist, monochromatic Thessaloniki apartment
Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city and this apartment is in the heart of the city.

Book this Thessaloniki apartment on Airbnb

This minimalist apartment is great for a couple coming to take in the city’s culture and history for a couple of days. Modern and monochromatic in black and white, it’s warmed up with warm wood accents like paneling on the walls and honey-toned floorboards.

There’s a big kitchen with a Nespresso machine and a couch to sprawl out on in front of the large-screen smart TV. The bedroom is cozy with a plush mattress, plenty of pillows, and crisp, clean bed linens, plus a wall-to-wall wardrobe for hanging up vacation clothes. 

This home is located in the heart of downtown, just three minutes on foot from the waterfront, and less than a minute to popular pedestrian areas like Iktinou as well as the Mitropoleos shopping street. If Aristotle Square is on your must-see list, it’s just a seven-minute walk.

Modern penthouse in Chania

CHōRA penthouse
This penthouse in central Chania is a modern base to explore the city.

Book this Chania apartment on Airbnb

This spacious apartment offers a modern take on beach living in Nea Chora with all the benefits of being in town. It’s close to the sand beach and just a 10-minute walk to dining out and the old town in Chania.

Inside is clean and minimalist with bohemian touches as well as local ones that give color and context to your stay. The beds are guaranteed to be comfortable too, with mattresses that come from a highly-regarded Greek manufacturer and linens that are are 100-percent cotton. 

Spacious apartment within a castle in Monemvasia

Spacious Apartment with Balcony & Amazing Sea View
Stay in an actual castle when you book this Airbnb.

Book this Monemvasia castle on Airbnb

In a town with a castle, it doesn’t get much better than actually staying in one. This particular home is located within an 11th-century castle, and the details inside reflect and enhance the building’s history with vaulted timber ceilings, stone walls, and vintage-looking rugs and wall hangings.

The house can sleep a family, and bedrooms are well-appointed with white linens and traditional wooden furniture. The larger bedroom is particularly spacious with a terrace immediately off of it that includes lounge chairs positioned to gaze out over the tiled rooftops of the port town and the sparkling sea beyond.  

Ground-floor island apartment in Lasithi with ocean views

Ground-floor island apartment with ocean views
This stunning oasis boasts beautiful decor and views.

Book this Lasithi condo on Airbnb

This Instagram-ready apartment is loaded with soothing beach vibes thanks to a swinging rattan chair, jute rugs, basket lamps, and stunning views out to sea.

If you must work while you’re away, the furnished balcony off the living room looks out onto the water and has enough space for a table and your laptop. Better yet, curl up with a book on the chair of the terrace that is located off the bedroom. Cool concrete cabinetry in the kitchen and a large glass walk-in shower in the spacious bathroom keep the look streamlined. 

Cycladic house in Santorini with panoramic views

Cycladic house with panoramic views
A quintessential Santorini stay means booking a Cycladic house like this with impressive cliff views.

Book this Santorini Cycladic house on Airbnb

This Cycladic house is located in one of the best positions possible for great views. It offers a 180-degree panorama from the highest point in the village with views of the whole island and the sea beyond from its blue-lattice-topped roof terrace.

Furnishings are breezy and modern with a Cycladic touch. Think white upholstery, walls, and tile floors, with pops of color and texture from the woven pillows and rattan furnishings. The look is minimalist but bohemian. The pink tiles in the kitchen with washed blue cabinetry set the tone for a laid-back vibe. 

Seafront house in Halkidiki

Elizabeth's ikia by the sea 2
Stay here and the sea will be part of your front yard.

Book this Halkidiki house on Airbnb

Newly built and right on the beach, this home has everything needed for a modern, comfortable stay with the ocean just steps from the front gates.

A large terrace forms the front yard, with sunscreens, a ceiling fan, and loungers, as well as an outdoor shower to rinse off between dips. The interior is simple, with monochromatic tones, a large kitchen, plenty of common space, and even an organic garden.

Beachfront apartment in Naxos with rooftop terrace

Seafront apartment with rooftop terrace
The island of Naxos is a must-visit for beach lovers.

Book this Naxos apartment on Airbnb

This apartment takes full advantage of the gorgeous views the island of Naxos offers with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the water. Large, spacious rooms come with dark wood and white linens, and the rooftop terrace shines with long, cushioned built-in benches, a dining set, and a lattice to help filter the sun’s rays. 

Just know that the beach in front of the house isn’t good for swimming thanks to sea urchins, so this isn’t the place if you like to wake up and take a morning dip. But, there are plenty of other swimmable beaches nearby. However, history buffs might not mind as there’s the old sunken city of Naxos in the waters right in front of the house. 

Corfu island stone cottage escape

Corfu island stone cottage escape
This charming stone cottage includes the use of a stunning infinity pool.

Book this Corfu cottage on Airbnb

Located in a rural part of the island about a 20-minute drive from the main town and 30 minutes from the airport, this stone cottage is a great getaway if you want an escape in nature, with stunning views of the sea.

It’s designed as a little studio, with a pillow-stacked bed in linens that reflect the stone behind it, timbered ceilings, and a spacious bathroom with a great shower. The living quarters are cozy — the sofa is also the bench for the dining table — but beautifully designed. 

The grounds are shared with the owner, who can work out a schedule for the pool and barbecue so it still feels like your own private hideaway. Three beaches are less than a 15-minute drive, and the central location makes it a great base for day trips if you rent a car. 

Mediterranean island retreat with sea terrace in Porto Cheli

Mediterranean island retreat with sea terrace
The standout feature of this house is a waterfront deck with direct steps into the water.

Book this Porto Cheli home on Airbnb

Equipped for ocean lovers with your own private ladder for direct a dip into the water, this spacious vacation home boasts a beautiful waterfront location with a stone terrace with gorgeous views.

Inside is cozy and welcoming, with a kitchen big enough to cook for a group, and a pillow-lined seating area. Outdoors, a six-seat dining table is tucked under the cover of leafy trees and a shady stone path down to the water, where there’s a large sundeck overlooking crystal clear water. Think of it as the perfect seaside holiday, just without the crowds. 

Modern penthouse in Athens with Acropolis views and a terrace

Modern penthouse with Acropolis view and terrace
No visit to Greece is complete without a stop in Athens.

Book this Athens apartment on Airbnb

This airy, tranquil, 861-square-foot apartment is located in a historic building that is just a five-minute walk to the square that forms the heart of Plaka. And while it’s close to the action, it’s also a relaxing sanctuary to come home to.

Spotlessly clean, the apartment features a palette of warm wood and white, accented by woven and rattan textiles and furnishings. The bedroom is spacious and breezy with hotel-quality linens, and while some might not love that the WC opens onto the actual bedroom, there’s also another half-bath (and it has plenty of storage space for toiletries too). If you plan to cook, or even just make coffee, the kitchen is seamlessly laid out and spacious. 

The best part, however, is the terrace, with a roll away sliding shade tarp that helps you stay cool when you want to catch views of the Acropolis. There’s also a high bar and patio table outside so you can enjoy a scenic nightcap.  

19th century traditional seafront mansion in Spetses

19th Century Traditional Seafront Mansion
This historic mansion dates back to the 1800s.

Book this Spetses mansion on Airbnb

Sink into island life in this Spetses mansion, which was built in 1834 and has plenty of room for a group of friends or a family. The interior is simple but clean, with furnishings and antiques that evoke the house’s younger days.

The bedrooms have white lace curtains, traditional furniture, crisp linens, and various configurations of beds. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen and a generously sized living area and dining room. 

The view to the sea below, directly under blue wrought-iron balconies, is extraordinary and a stunning terrace comes with plenty of space and a barbecue and panoramic views of the ocean. There’s also a beautiful veranda with lounge furniture and a shade cover.

Mykonos sea-view house with a terrace

Mykonos sea-view house with terrace
This villas includes a sweeping terrace with panoramic sea view.

Book this Mykonos villa on Airbnb

This modern, island-inspired house is away from the hustle of tourist crowds in Agios Stefanos, and it’s well worth the payoff for being a little away from the center of the action.

A sweeping terrace showcases a panoramic view of the ocean and harbor beyond, with minimalist, all-white Cycladic vibes. The living room is generous, with rattan chairs and a sand-colored sofa, while the all-white bedroom with a Queen bed forms a retreat at the end of the day. Wi-Fi and a 32-inch smart TV also come as part of the holiday, so you can chill out with a film at the end of a hot day in the sun.    

While it could be useful to have a car or scooter for exploring the island (parking is free), a bus stop is nearby that can take you into Chora, a hub for taking buses around the island. 

Paros villa with an infinity pool

Paros Cycladic villa with panoramic sea view
This spacious all-white home has a beautiful private infinity pool.

Book this Paros house on Airbnb

It doesn’t get much chicer than a Cycladic villa with an infinity pool and incredible views over the ocean.

Four bedrooms and six beds sleep eight total, and with two and a half bathrooms, there’s room for everyone. Inside is pristinely white with thoughtful decor that pays homage to Greek island life. Splashes of Aegean blue color statement walls and three patios are well furnished for sunning and lounging. 

If you can tear yourself away, the sandy beach is just a three-minute walk away and trust us, you’ll want to catch it for sunset. 

Villa in Kos with a private pool by the sea

Villa with private pool by the sea
For ultimate luxury, book this highly-rated home with a pool.

Book this Kos villa with a pool on Airbnb

Located in Tigaki, this villa is set into the countryside and can hold up to 10 guests, enough to lodge a family reunion, large family, or group of friends traveling together. And although it’s not on the ocean itself — though you can see the water (as well as Turkey) from the patio — it has a generous terrace with a private pool and plenty of space for entertaining. 

The three bedrooms are on the first floor and face the sea and frame the sunset beautifully. The common areas, like the living room, dining area, and open kitchen, are all on the second floor, and there are two outdoor verandas to dine and enjoy a digestif on. Inside is comfortable but sparsely decorated — the focus is on the outside, though the kitchen is big enough to cook up a big meal. 

The villa is also full of amenities beyond the pool including a (very) small gym with a hydro massage and steam chamber, and the villa is serviced three times a week with linen and towel changing as well as pool cleaning. 

You’ll probably want a car to get out and about and make the most of the island, but with that comes another bonus as the hotel is close to Kos airport (less than six miles), so it’s easy to get in and out. 

FAQ: Airbnb in Greece

Is there Airbnb in Greece?

Yes, there is Airbnb in Greece. You can search the entire country on Airbnb, or look at specific areas on the platform’s website or app. 

Where should I stay in Greece?

Where to stay in Greece depends on what kind of vacation you want, and Greece has a scene for pretty much anyone, whether it’s groups of friends looking to party in Mykonos, families seeking a getaway with kids, couples looking to stay on a remote island, or vacationers wanting to soak up culture and food in cosmopolitan cities.

For an off-the-beaten-track stay (at least for Americans), check out the Ionian islands (especially Corfu) or lesser-known islands; or mix it up by alternating beach time with city breaks. The good news is that with ferries and flights at fairly inexpensive rates, you can really design the trip of a lifetime with easy connections to wherever you want to go. 

How much should I budget per night?

Prices for an Airbnb in Greece are all over the map, with a rental available in seemingly every budget. Of course, you might pay more for a sea view in some places, and others, like Port Cheli, might be more expensive thanks to luxury reputations.

Lesser-known islands and cities, however, can easily offer well-rated Airbnbs for around $50 per night. 

How do I find an Airbnb with a pool?

Once you plug in the minimum search parameters (date range, guests, and destination), you can click the “more filters” button to pull up a range of other criteria.

Under the “Facilities” section, you’ll find a checkbox for “pool.” If you tick it, your results will show properties with pools. Just read carefully to see if they’re private or shared with the host or other guests.  

What should I look for in a Greek Airbnb?

One of the first things to look for is making sure you’ll be comfortable in the summer heat. Air conditioning units or windows that allow for cross-ventilation are a must.

You should also look for kitchens or barbecues if you plan to cook.

More of the best places to stay in Europe

Hotel De Jobo
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The 9 best hotels in Maui whether you want to lounge on a private beach or explore an active volcano

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Hyatt Regency Maui

  • Hawaii’s island of Maui is one of the most desirable destinations in the world.
  • The island has an array of world-class hotels, though they can be pricey during peak season.
  • Our list of the best Maui hotels includes starting price points ranging from $205 to $899 per night.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Maui is a dream destination. With stunning beaches, gorgeous mountains, and active volcanoes, it offers all the raw, natural beauty you’d expect from an island paradise.

It also brings a sense of balance. Unlike some of the less built-up Hawaiian islands, like lush but more remote Kauai, Maui still has a lively atmosphere and the sophistication of big-city life too, especially in the bustling Wailea area. But only if you seek it out. Languid days spent by the beach or pool, or quiet mornings hiking a nature reserve or out spotting waterfalls are all on offer as well.

Keep in mind that you will still need to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter right now. You can find more info on Hawaii’s COVID policies at the bottom of this page.

With that in mind, whether you’re looking for a luxury experience or a teeming resort vibe surrounded by entertainment and dining, Maui has a hotel for every traveler.

Here are the best hotels in Maui, sorted by price from low to high

Royal Lahaina Resort

Royal Lahaina Resort

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Also located on a lovely stretch of Ka’anapali Beach’s golden sand, the Royal Lahaina Resort is located within the Ka’anapali Resort complex in Lahaina, situated on a half-mile of impressive beachfront.

The resort has three outdoor pools, a hot tub, and a fitness center, as well as a full-service restaurant, two bars, an ice cream parlor, and a coffee shop. Rooms and suites pay homage to traditional Hawaiian culture with teak furnishings, locally-inspired artwork, and neutral colors. Resort activities are plentiful and varied and include flower lei and puka shell-making classes, as well as Polynesian arts and crafts. A free shuttle takes guests to shops and restaurants at Whaler’s Village, about three miles away, which is helpful if you’d rather not rent a car.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

Ka'anapali Beach Hotel/Credit: Booking.com

Book Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel has an authentic Hawaiian feel, so much so, that it was recognized by the Waiaha Foundation as “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel.” It sits atop 11 lush acres on Ka’anapali Beach and each well-appointed room comes with views of the ocean, garden, and pool.

The hotel offers daily hula shows, dinner theater performances, and cultural activities, and there are plenty of options for outdoor activities like snorkeling, swimming, and whale watching, too. There’s a large pool, multiple restaurants on-site, and prime access to Ka’anapali Beach, which is a true stunner.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel has reopened to guests with a new look and upgraded feel, as part of a $75 million overhaul. It includes a significant redesign to the Papakū South Wing and Kauhale Southeast Wing, a refresh to the sweeping courtyard, and the launch of a new beachfront restaurant, Huihui, which also serves as a sailing academy for guests and local students.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Hyatt Regency Maui

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Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa just recently underwent a two-year, multimillion-dollar renovation. Sprawling over 40 acres of tropical gardens, the Hyatt Regency offers all the amenities you’d expect from the sophisticated high-end hotel brand and a huge, well-loved beach resort. There are five restaurants, a spa, and even a water park.

Rooms have views from private balconies, commonly called lanais, and are outfitted in modern Hawaiian decor. The water park features pools with a rope bridge and a lava tube waterslide, that kids will love, as well as a more serene infinity pool. Guests may walk to Whalers Village in under 15 minutes, though there’s so much to savor on-site, there might be no need to leave.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Honua Kai Resort & Spa

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Situated on Ka’anapali Beach, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is an all-suite property with large one-, two-, and three-bedroom options to suit a range of traveler profiles, making it a great fit for families and groups.

Accommodations have fully-equipped kitchens and separate seating areas with flat-screen TVs, plus washers and tumble dryers. Suite decor includes wood and polished granite, all done in muted neutral tons.

On property are three swimming pools and a water slide, and water sports equipment like snorkel gear and pool floats are available to rent. Casual eateries include Duke’s Beach House for Hawaiian food with locally-sourced ingredients and a market and cafe for grab-and-go coffee and snacks.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Grand Wailea Maui

Grand Wailea

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Grand Wailea is a Waldorf Astoria resort, a luxury brand owned by Hilton, esteemed for providing a pampering, elegant experience.

This enormous resort covers 40 acres of tropical landscape on the white sand of Wailea Beach, and houses five restaurants, a spa, three golf courses, and a water park. Guest rooms are spacious with furnished terraces, flat-screen TVs, and premium feather duvets. Bathrooms boast Italian marble vanities, deep soaking tubs, and plush bathrobes and slippers.

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, a Polynesian thatched-roof restaurant set over an oceanfront lagoon, serves Hawaiian-influenced fish and meat entrees in an incredibly romantic setting, and should not be missed. In fact, it’s where I toasted with my now-husband the night he proposed.

Spa Grande offers a range of treatments, and there’s also a fitness center. The Wailea Canyon water park offers nine outdoor swimming pools connected by a lazy river, as well as a water elevator, water slides, waterfalls, caves, children’s pool, sand beach, and a swim-up bar.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Andaz Maui at Wailea

Andaz Maui at Wailea

Book Andaz Maui

Andaz Maui, a luxury brand from World of Hyatt, sprawls over 15 acres of inviting Mokapu Beach. It has four stunning infinity pools — which serve as the visual centerpiece of the resort — plus two restaurants, and a full-service spa.

Rooms have private balconies, 40-inch flat-screen TVs, elegant bathrooms with rainfall showers, and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, and coffee machines are included in the rate. Morimoto Maui restaurant from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto offers Japanese and American cuisine and specialty cocktails using local ingredients, and there are two poolside bars.

Outrigger canoes, paddleboards, kayaks, and surfing lessons and tours are all available, and the fitness center offers classes like yoga. The feeling is refined but family-friendly — I visited with my young kids and in-laws in tow on a multigenerational vacation and we all found it to be welcoming and still sophisticated.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

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For those accustomed to ultra-luxury, the five-star Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua sprawls over 54 acres and features direct access to D.T. Fleming Beach.

Elegant guest rooms feature dark wood floors, marble bathrooms, and bold island-inspired decor and designs. Some rooms come with kitchens for more of a residential vibe. At the spa, treatments are inspired by ancient Hawaiian traditions, and a fitness center offers cardio equipment and daily fitness classes.

The hotel also has two tennis courts and a pool on three levels and additional activities include a basketball court, sailing, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, stand-up paddling, whale watching, snorkeling, hiking, and more. I spent a portion of my engagement trip here and found it utterly romantic — but families and kids are also graciously welcomed.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Hotel Wailea

Hotel Wailea

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Hotel Wailea is Hawaii’s only Relais & Chateaux property, a brand renowned for elegant luxury. The hotel encompasses over 15 exclusive-feeling and private acres overlooking the beach, with stunning views from every vantage point.

There are 72 impressive one-bedroom suites, each with a chic residential feel and lanais facing the ocean. Tesla Model X vehicles serve as house shuttles to punctuate the air of luxury that permeates the place. The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea is a destination in itself, offering Chef Zach Sato’s cuisine with panoramic ocean views.

The adults-only vibe is a boon for couples, and the hotel’s sweeping views exude intimacy and romance. Though, you should know that Hotel Wailea is not located directly on the beach, however, it is a very short shuttle ride away.

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

FourSeasonsMaui

Book Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

The luxurious Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, a stroll down the sand from the Andaz, overlooks beautiful Wailea Beach. It has three swimming pools and three restaurants, which underscore the property’s see-and-be-scene vibe. They include Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Spago, with Hawaiian and California cuisine and ocean views; Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante for rustic Italian cuisine, and DUO Steak and Seafood restaurant with poolside dining.

There’s a spa and wellness center for treatments and salon services, and entry is included in room rates for the Kids for All Seasons club, which makes this a particularly attractive option for families.

Indeed many amenities and programming are included at no extra cost. So while the Four Seasons Maui might come with some initial sticker shock, consider that activities such as scuba lessons, canoe outrigger rides, snacks, hula dancing, wellness classes, shuttles to town, and more, are all included. And, it’s the only hotel in the area that doesn’t charge a resort fee (others charge around $35 per day). All of this together can save hundreds of dollars.

In June 2021, the hotel also launched a new collaboration with NEXT|HEALTH, focusing on health, longevity, and anti-aging concerns of guests, with an array of wellness services and amenities available exclusively on property. Think IV treatments, vitamin shots, Bio-Marker testing, and more. 

COVID-19 status and policies can be found here.

Read Business Insider’s full hotel review of Four Seasons Maui at Wailea

FAQ: Maui vacations

Do I need a COVID test to visit Maui?

You will still need to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter Hawaii and bypass quarantine right now, even if you are fully vaccinated. The test must be from an approved testing partner no more than 72 hours before departure to Hawaii.

Additionally, not every island in Hawaii has the same rules once you arrive. Currently, Maui also requires a post-arrival rapid COVID test unless you are fully vaccinated. If you are planning a trip to Maui soon, be sure to read up on the latest regulations here.

When is the best month to vacation in Maui?

Here’s some good news: The off-season in Maui, mid-April to mid-June, also corresponds to some of the best weather on the island. So you’ll get the best deal on hotels and airfare — and the most available options — with nice weather and fewer crowds.

The other shoulder season of September through November also provides good weather, better prices, and fewer crowds. On the flip side, if you’re planning to travel to Maui during the last two weeks of December — well, good luck! Prepare to pay top prices and navigate crowds.

How much does it cost to book a hotel in Maui?

Hawaii is expensive… and Maui is its most expensive island to visit. So be prepared to shell out significant costs for a hotel stay, especially if you’re looking for luxury.

Prices for luxury hotels in Maui can soar to inaccessible price points, way (way!) over $1,000 for a room night in some cases, especially in peak seasons. That said, deals can still be had for budget hotels in lower seasons around $200.

What are the best beaches in Maui?

Maui’s beautiful, soft sandy beaches are among its top draws for travelers around the world. Clusters of resorts dots areas around some of the best beaches — such as Kapalua and Wailea. Those around the island’s south and west coasts tend to be calmer. Beware of dangerous conditions such as high winter surf at beaches to the west beyond Kapalua.

Do I need a car in Maui?

It’s extremely useful to have a car in Maui. At 48 miles long, it’s a large island. But note that rental cars can be extremely expensive (and hard to come by right now) as the area emerges from the pandemic. If you do plan to rent a car, start with our list of the best rental car companies.

It is possible to go without if need be. Other options for getting around include hotel shuttle buses or house cars, tour buses, taxis, and public transportation. Or, simply stay on foot if you plan to relax in and around your resort’s complex throughout the visit.

What is the best part of Maui to stay?

That question will depend on what you’re looking for in an experience. West Maui, including Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua, includes some of the most popular resort regions — which also means it’s more bustling and more developed. South Maui, including Wailea and Kihei, is also popular — and the weather here is even drier, making it particularly attractive for visitors.

The Eastside of Maui, home to the famous Hana Highway (the “Road to Hana”), is stunningly beautiful but has few hotel accommodations.

Is it safe to stay in a hotel?

The CDC’s current guidance advises that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically. Hotels by their very nature provide opportunities for face-to-face encounters with staff and other guests in common spaces like check-in desks, lobbies, and dining venues. Still, experts say guests who exercise proper precautions can stay safely in hotels. Of course, no travel is completely without risk and we recommend following CDC guidelines as well as all applicable local protocols.

More of the best island accommodations

Best Airbnbs on Maui
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The 8 best hotels in Montauk, including overhauled motels, design-forward boutique properties, and upscale beach resorts

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Hamptons beach montauk
  • Set at the easternmost tip of Long Island, Montauk is a little beach town with a big reputation.
  • It’s known for world-class surf breaks, deep-sea fishing, gorgeous beaches, and its distinct style.
  • We found the best hotels in Montauk, from overhauled motels to upscale beach resorts.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

A dozen years ago when my husband and I were looking at vacation homes in the Hamptons, we thought about getting a place in Montauk but decided it was just too far from civilization. Turns out we were wrong. Even though this quirky little town is nicknamed “The End” because of its remote location at the easternmost tip of Long Island (about 120 miles from New York City), it’s teeming with restaurants, boutiques, hotels, and visitors – especially in the summer.

You’ll find shops stocked with $3,000 Chanel handbags next to stores flogging souvenir T-shirts. Lounges serving craft cocktails are just down the street from scruffy dive bars frequented by working fishermen. And of course, there are plenty of hotels to cater to the range of people who come to Montauk these days, from chic surfers to yoga devotees to families.

My husband and I ended up buying a house in the next town over and we appreciate being close enough to Montauk that we can buzz over to dine at the hotel restaurants, enjoy cocktails on the beach, and even have the occasional staycation. Here’s my list of the best hotels in Montauk.

Here are the best hotels in Montauk, sorted by price from low to high

Driftwood on the Ocean

Driftwood on the Ocean

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Set between two state parks on a wide stretch of beach, Driftwood on the Ocean is a refreshingly affordable find. Technically, the hotel is just over the border in the town of Amagansett, but I can attest that spiritually it’s more connected to Montauk. 

At first glance, the condo-style property looks sterile — like something you’re more likely to see on the Florida coast, with a decor that can be hit or miss. Some rooms have been renovated with a crisp blue-and-white coastal decor, while others are a throwback to the early ’80s. Many of the rooms are equipped with kitchenettes or have a terrace overlooking the ocean. 

But you’re not coming here to stay inside. Swim in the outdoor pool. Play a match on the tennis courts. Compete in a heated game of shuffleboard. Grill up some local seafood on the BBQ. Take a hike through Hither Hills State Park. And don’t miss out on the star of the show: the wide beach, which is often blissfully uncrowded, even in the height of summer.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Haven Montauk

Haven Montauk

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A few years ago, my family and I were renting out our house, so we decided to do a weekend staycation in Montauk. We chose Haven, a modestly priced motel from the ’70s that has been updated with a pared-down Scandi-chic style. Our daughter (who was a toddler at the time) loved hanging out on the pint-sized chairs in the garden and floating on a big inflatable swan in the kidney-shaped pool.

There are so many hotels in Montauk that are hyper-focused on a cool pool scene, but Haven appeals to both families and couples who don’t mind if a 5-year-old is splashing around in the water next to them. Indeed, Haven celebrates life’s simple pleasures, like grilling s’mores over the fire pit. The hotel even provides guests with a free s’mores kit.

Haven is located in Montauk’s Harbor area, a quiet neighborhood where fishing boats bring in the daily catch. Two of my favorite restaurants in the Hamptons are right nearby: Salivar’s Clam & Chowder House (great sushi) and Swallow East (eclectic small plates). Just across the street is a small bayside beach where the hotel can set you up with a free umbrella and a blanket for the day.

For current COVID-19 policies call 631-668-7000. 

Solé East Resort

Solé East Resort

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One of my favorite Montauk memories was celebrating a dear friend’s 40th birthday at The Backyard Restaurant at Solé East. It’s no wonder her husband chose this location to host the milestone birthday: The restaurant is set among 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens, complete with outdoor seating, twinkling lights hanging in the trees, hammocks, and a fire pit.

The restaurant is just one of the many things that make Solé East so special. The building itself is beautiful: a landmark Tudor building overlooking Fort Pond. There are 60 uniquely designed rooms and seven garden cabana suites; each has luxurious touches like 300-thread count Italian linens.

On the grounds, there’s an oversized, heated pool surrounded by St. Tropez-style daybeds, where guests can relax and listen to live music and poolside DJs. Want to head to the ocean? It’s just a five-minute walk or a three-minute bike ride to the beach, and the hotel has a fleet of cruisers that you can rent to take you there.

The hotel also has a sister property, Solé East Beach, in case you prefer to stay right on the ocean. Guests at Solé East Beach have access to all the amenities at Solé East Resort, though not vice-versa.

For current COVID-19 cleaning procedures call 631-668-2105.

Montauk Beach House

Montauk Beach House

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The Montauk Beach House combines the best of all worlds — it’s a block away from the Atlantic Ocean surf beaches and just a short stroll to Montauk’s shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. Adding to the appeal: a sophisticated design and a social vibe.

With vintage furniture, claw-foot tubs, and soaring ceilings, the rooms feel like you’re staying in the beach house of your dreams. Additionally, the Montauk Beach House features sustainable sheets, towels, and robes from the company Farm to Home, which sources its lush, organic designs in India.

The public areas are impressive, too. The lobby is filled with cool artwork and will be hosting cultural events throughout the summer, including a digital NFT exhibit, interactive light installations, film screenings, and more. Actress Naomi Watts has set up a poolside outpost of her brand, ONDA Beauty (which specializes in natural, clean, non-toxic products). And as if that weren’t enough, the hotel also has a fleet of BMWs that guests can borrow. Not to be missed: the hotel’s weekly Friday Sunset Session, with live music and cocktails under the sunset-streaked Montauk skies.

COVID-19 policies can be found here

Marram

Marram

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I was not happy when I found out a couple years ago that one of my favorite laidback oceanfront Montauk resorts was being transformed into a wellness retreat. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the new Marram provides a fresh addition to the local boutique hotel scene with an easygoing approach to wellness that’s not in your face. 

Though just five minutes from the main strip in Montauk, Marram encourages guests to slow down. Rather than the party vibe that Montauk has become notorious for, there’s morning yoga, sunrise meditation, and evening pranayama (breathing) experiences led by local and visiting yogis. You can take guided and self-led nature walks along the bluffs of Shadmoor State Park. The hotel also has a global point of view with a South American counter-service café, Mostrador, led by two chefs from Uruguay. 

The property itself takes inspiration from the surrounding landscape. It’s named after the wild grass that grows on the dunes around the property. With its unfinished white oak walls, hand-trimmed cedar exterior, and mahogany walkways, Marram’s architecture and design evokes the natural beauty of the Atlantic seaboard. A fun fact: There’s a famous surf break called Terrace right in front of the hotel, so don’t miss riding the waves with Marram’s world-class instructors. 

For current COVID-19 policies email hello@marrammontauk.com.

Hero Beach Club

Hero Beach Club

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At Hero Beach Club, you’ll find a lovely blend of tranquility and tradition, all set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. The property’s nostalgic nod to the culture of Montauk (artists, fishermen, surfers) and the outdoors is engrained in its original 1950’s architecture, which has been elevated with a new modern design and up-to-date amenities like bikes and surfboards. 

One of the winning things about Hero Beach Club is that the mellow atmosphere has been holistically enhanced by the surrounding Peconic Dune Land Trust (meaning, the nature around it is protected). While there’s no on-site restaurant, there’s much to do here, from pop-up movie nights to pilates and yoga to lounging on the Balinese furniture by the outdoor pool. Be sure to check out Umbrella Beach, where you’ll find umbrellas (thus, the name) and bean bags set up on this gorgeous stretch of powdery white sand.

COVID-19 policies can be found here

Crow’s Nest

Crow's Nest

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You might not know Sean MacPherson’s name, but this hospitality guru has left an indelible mark on New York City with hip hotels (the Jane, the Maritime, the Bowery) and trendsetting restaurants (Bowery Bar). I used to love going to an eclectic old seafood restaurant overlooking Lake Montauk called the Crow’s Nest and was a bit concerned when I heard that MacPherson was taking it over. I had nothing to worry about. He transformed the Crow’s Nest into one of the most stylish (and delicious) restaurants on the East End.

What many people don’t realize is that the Crow’s Nest also has rooms and cottages for rent. The hotel’s boho-surf vibe is influenced by the nearby neighborhood of Ditch Plains (a favorite surf haunt). Beds are topped with colorful Moroccan pillows and coverings that look like they’re straight out of Goa. 

Rooms range in size from a studio to a three-bedroom cottage and some have kitchenettes (not that you’ll want to eat anywhere other than the onsite Crow’s Nest restaurant). There are bicycles and paddleboards for guests to use, plus a free continental breakfast. But if you want to stay in one of the cottages, just don’t think you can come for a two-night stay: They’re rented out on a weekly basis, allowing you to move in and live like a local.

For current COVID-19 policies call 631-668-2077.

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Book Gurney’s Montauk Resort

I’ve been frequenting Gurney’s long before it was transformed from a dowdy timeshare property into a hipster hot spot. Besides the fact that my husband runs a local photography studio and shoots weddings here, we used to visit Gurney’s on cold winter days to use the indoor heated pool (which is fed with ocean seawater) and the spa’s thermal hot tubs. Alas, those facilities are now only available to guests. But we still love to come to Gurney’s for dinner at Scarpetta Beach and cocktails with a view.

This Hamptons icon appeals to everyone from couples looking for a sexy night out to families in search of entertainment. In the summer, the resort hosts DJs and live music at the Beach Club and the Firepit, while kids can sign up for Camp Gurney’s (a partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Program) and learn about sustainability and the surrounding marine environment. 

Besides Scarpetta Beach — an Italian restaurant that leans heavily into seafood — there are unique culinary experiences including the seasonal Bungalows by the Sea, an outdoor dining experience set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean where each private bungalow can accommodate up to six people and has a seasonal menu, curated cocktails, furry blankets (to ward off the ocean breezes), and an open-air fire pit.

The other big news this summer: Gurney’s is unveiling the latest accommodations in its evolution, with three cottages on the beach, 29 new rooms, and 11 suites. Each space has those dazzling ocean views that make Gurney’s so famous. 

COVID-19 policies can be found here

FAQ: Montauk vacations

What are the best activities in Montauk? 

It’s all about getting outdoors, with surfing on Ditch Plains Beach, horseback riding (Montauk is home to one of the oldest ranches in the country), hiking in the state parks, and visits to the iconic lighthouse.

There’s also an emerging style scene, with high-end boutiques mixed in among the T-shirt shops in town. Many of the hotels on this list have notable restaurants, but some of my favorite local spots include Salivar’s Clam & Chowder House (a fish restaurant with excellent sushi), Swallow East (a dockside restaurant with small plates), the Inlet (more great sushi and gorgeous water views), Duryea’s (lobster on a dock over the water), and Ruschmeyer’s (global coastal cuisine, including summertime favorites like lobster rolls and Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizzas). Right in town, the Montauk Brewing Company is the place to sample the local brews. Want to see an amazing sunset? The views from The Montauket, a dive bar on the outskirts of town, are epic.

What are the beaches like in Montauk?

Montauk has a range of options, from wide Atlantic Ocean expanses to small bayside beaches. Ditch Plains is one of the most popular surfing spots in the world, but it’s not just for surfers — kids play in the water, while couples stroll along the cliffs. You can also find plenty of gorgeous beaches along the Atlantic coast.

All the beaches in this part of Long Island are open to the public, and while you might be tempted to just pull up to a beach, you should know that parking can be challenging if you don’t have a beach sticker or are in a paid lot. (And parking tickets are not cheap.) Luckily, some hotels on this list offer free parking permits. Other hotels are located directly on the beach.

How many days do you need in Montauk?

You can make the most of Montauk in a weekend. But a warning: On summer weekends, getting to and from Montauk can be a nightmare due to traffic. If you can take the time off, it’s best to try and arrive on Thursday night or Friday morning and leave on Monday.

What is the best time of year to visit Montauk?

This little beach town at the tip of Long Island hits its peak in summer, when it seems like all of New York City descends. One of the best times to visit Montauk is in September and October, when the weather is still spectacular, the crowds leave, and the fish are jumping. 

How do you get to Montauk from New York City?

If you drive or rent a car, it takes a little over three hours to get to Montauk. However, on Friday evenings in the summer traffic can be almost unbearable and it will take much longer. You can also take the Hampton Jitney bus starting from $30 each way, or the Long Island Rail Road, which starts from $13.50 one way.  

Are hotels safe?

The CDC has stated that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically. Most hotels have strict new COVID-19 safety procedures in place. While you’re more likely to encounter other people in a hotel than you would staying in a private vacation rental, experts say that it’s possible to be safe.

More great beach stays

Hamptons pool home airbnb
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The 16 best beach hotels in the US for ocean views, gorgeous pools, and beachside dining

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Best beach hotels in the US - aerial shot of the pools, beach, and ocean at The Diplomat hotel

  • Beachfront hotels are coveted stays with access to sandy shores, gorgeous views, and water sports.
  • We found the best beach hotels in the US, from Hawaii and California to Florida and Maine.
  • Keep in mind that summer is the peak season for many beach areas and hotel prices tend to increase.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Summer is here and the urge to travel is at an all-time high. For those who crave an oceanfront getaway for some R&R, the good news is you don’t have to go far. The US has myriad gorgeous options from coast to coast for a sunny escape.

When it comes to the best beach hotels in the US, travelers are spoiled for choice there too. Whether located on paradisaical islands or romantic, windswept coastlines, beachfront hotels that overlook the waves act like surgical glue for the soul. Plus, many come with perks like gorgeous pools, beachside dining, and rooms with panoramic views.

We combed through hotels from California to Maine to find standout beach hotels for a salty-air retreat that’s still close to home.

Browse all of the best beach hotels in the US below or jump to a specific area here:

These are the best beach hotels in the US, sorted by state and price.

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Sanctuary Beach Resort

Sanctuary Beach Resort

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Pretty and romantic, this eco-efficient resort is ideal for couples or a group of friends. Aptly named, the Sanctuary Beach Resort is burrowed into the Marina Dunes of Monterey Beach and presents amazing opportunities from whale-watching trips to learning from local artisans.

Housing is in water-facing bungalows where rooms start at 380 square feet and come with a private patio or deck, as well as French slipcovered chairs, and binoculars for the aforementioned whale and other wildlife watching. A natural gas-fueled fireplace provides warmth, and beds are made up with Harbor Linen’s Monocle Collection that ensure a spectacular night’s sleep.

Tour around town on specially made Dutch-inspired Republic bicycles, and revel in complimentary nature walks, led by local guides through the Marina Dunes Preserves, every Saturday and Sunday. Complete the experience with a picnic basket on the beach from the hotel’s signature restaurant, Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Tower23 Hotel

tower23 hotel

Book Tower23 Hotel

Sleek and modern, with a distinct minimalist architectural style, Tower23 takes its moniker from the lifeguard tower near the hotel. 

Tower23 also takes its position as a place to sleep seriously. White goose-down duvets almost guarantee that once you retire for the night, you’re going to have a hard time getting up. The rooms themselves are uncluttered and painted in deep blues and aqua hues, and suites come with living rooms.

Still, whether you start or end the day with a sea-inspired spa treatment, the friendly resort staff knows their role is to get you out to the beach. The proximity to those Pacific Beach sands and the frothing surf is a large part of the hotel’s appeal, which is why the rooms face the west and bikes and beach accouterments are included. Even the highly regarded JRDN features a 70-foot long “wave wall” that reflects the famous sunset every night.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Book Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Dependable and reliably upscale without being pretentious, the Loews hotel brand always performs well in popular markets. Parked on Santa Monica Beach next to the Pacific Park Amusement Park, the Loews Santa Monica is no exception.

The contemporary interior design couldn’t say “Southern California” more. The double-story lobby’s floor-to-ceiling windows frame each inch of beach and ray of sun. The 347 rooms and suites, recently refreshed, are done in creamy tones of white and tan with wave-patterned carpets and sky-blue accent pillows. Views alternate between the beach and palm trees, or the fourth-floor pool deck and fire pits.

Have a light meal next to one of those 13 oceanfront fire pits, or take advantage of a more elegant al fresco opportunity on the terrace of Ocean & Vine, the celebrated coastal California cuisine restaurant. The daily resort fee includes beach and pool amenities, so be sure to allow the pool concierge to pamper you with fruit smoothies and spray Evian mist as many times as you require.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

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South Seas Island Resort

South Seas Island Resort

Book South Seas Island Resort

A combination 330-acre wildlife sanctuary and resort, South Seas dominates Captiva Island. It’s a family-friendly Gulf Coast resort that offers a variety of rooms, multi-bedroom villas, and private houses where you very much feel at home — if your home comes with sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, and long-legged water birds of various hues.

This former key lime plantation now caters to a variety of families, groups, and couples all looking for the same things: relaxation and beachside entertainment. Fortunately, it’s easy to find, given that rooms in the Harbourside Hotel are close to nine restaurant options, the resort’s interactive pool complex, the Gulf-side golf course, the marina, and the beach. Jet-Skis, fishing charters, sailing lessons, banana boat rides, parasailing, and kayak tours are just a few of the on-site activities that are available to book. If that’s not enough adventure and exercise, check out the beach and paddleboard yoga classes. 

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

The Diplomat Beach Resort

Best beach hotels in the US - The Diplomat Beach Resort Beach & Pool Aerial

Book The Diplomat Beach Resort

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, featuring 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, where the slides end in a lagoon pool. There, parents can keep sight lines on the kids while enjoying 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.

This hotel is currently closed but accepting future reservations. COVID-19 updates can be found here.

Omni Amelia Island Resort

Omni Amelia Island Resort

Book Omni Amelia Island Resort

The versatility of the well-named Omni brand is legend. It can work as easily for a corporate retreat or destination wedding as it can for a couples’ getaway or family vacation. That’s because the resort, with 402 oceanfront rooms, sprawls over the tip of this barrier island, and includes everything from a conference center to a chapel.

Done up in pastel blues, aquas, and creams — with a patterned or red accent thrown in — the rooms start at a liberal 425 square feet. Beachy decor (think cane back chairs) extends to the balconies. The beds are particularly comfortable, with 330-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets over pillow-top mattresses.

If you don’t want to take advantage of the 3.5 miles of beach that beckons right outside the window, check out what the venue calls its “multi-tiered pool deck.” For adults-only, the infinity-edge pool is highly tempting, and for families, the 10,000-square-foot splash pool and water park is just as exciting. On cool nights, cozy up to two oversized fire pits.

Omni Amelia Island Resort is renowned for its two golf courses, one designed by Tom Fazio and the other by Pete Dye. Park the kids, if you have them, at Camp Amelia and head out for a round or two. Or take them with you. There’s instruction for all ages available.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

WaterColor Inn & Resort

Watercolor Inn Fish out of Water

Book WaterColor Inn

Fair warning: WaterColor Inn & Resort is situated in the prettiest part of Florida Panhandle, where the award-winning beaches are so white and fine that you can’t help but think of cake icing. 

David Rockwell designed the 60 rooms starting at 500-square-feet with Adirondack chairs on the balconies and cabana showers on the patios. The 500-acre setting includes long leaf pine forests for hiking and biking, a coastal dune lake for kayaking and canoeing, and a 1,400-square-feet of private beach. The hotel is also next door to Grayton Beach State Park, where you can make good use of the property’s complimentary bicycles, kayaks, and canoes. 

Renovated in 2019, the resort also offers local seafood, Southern, and family-friendly fare via FOOW (formerly known as Fish Out Of Water) and a terrific collection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails. The spa and fitness center provides plenty of distraction, as do beach bonfires and outdoor movies.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

The Miami Beach EDITION

Miami EDITION

Book The Miami Beach EDITION

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 midcentury 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 the fragrance made just for the hotel. Sip creative craft 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 the region, are tastefully decorated in hues of 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.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

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Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Po’ipu Beach

best beach hotels in the US - oceanview room at koa kea in Hawaii

Book Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Po’ipu Beach

Ideal for a romantic getaway, this award-winning resort is known as Kauai’s closest waterfront lodging. “Po’ipu” translates to “crashing waves,” and this south shore beach resort is one of the sunniest spots on the island, and consistently recognized by Trip Advisor and travel magazines for its 121 rooms that are only steps from the sand.

The Spa at Ko’a Kea incorporates island clay, indigenous nut oils, locally grown sugar, coffee, and floral essences in products. Try a treatment in the outdoor seaside cabana room; you’ll never want to go back to an indoor spa again. And, if you upgrade to a suite, the spa can provide an extraordinary in-room floral bath experience designed to restore and improve your immune system.

With executive chef and Kauai native Noelani Planas at the helm, the highly-rated Red Salt restaurant provides local and seasonal dishes, including ahi tartare and vanilla-scented Mahi. Sushi nights at Red Salt Lounge offer an alternative to the regular menu.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, Maui

Wailea Beach Resort   Marriott, Maui

Book Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, Maui

This 22-acre playground is a terrific family-friendly beach resort, whether taking a whirl down the longest water slide in Maui (325 feet!) or nesting at the adults-only infinity pool that overlooks waters so blue you ache to paint them. Bypass the pools to walk to Wailea Beach and Ulua Beach Park.

Rooms with private balconies (also known as lanais) are spacious, beginning at 437 square feet, and are soothing with marble bathrooms and palettes of white and wheat rather than clichéd tropical hues. 

Views are stunning from wherever you are on property, but particularly from the Mandara Spa, which overlooks the Molokini crater and the island of Kaho’olawe. You can also experience the grandeur of the three championship 18-hole golf courses — the Wailea Golf Club is considered one of the best in the country — or get SCUBA dive-certified.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

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Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Gurney_s_Montauk_Resort_Seawater_Spa Montauk_Long_Island_New_York

Book Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

The embodiment of the Hamptons, Gurney’s is the only hotel in Montauk that’s open year-round. Stylish, sexy, and focused on service, the resort is a crowded, see-and-be-seen hot spot during the summer season when prices spike. But booking May through September gives you access to the 1,000-square-foot private beach, with its array of lounges and daybeds, as well as The Beach Club for food and beverage service. However, some seating is reservation only, so be sure to inquire about where you’re allowed to sunbathe. 

Standard rooms feature natural cottons and linens and a crisp, nautical palette of white, beige, gray, and navy. Don’t let the bathroom’s vintage brass fixtures fool you — the rainfall showerheads are as up-to-date as they come.

If you like steam rooms, you’ll love the Finnish Rock Sauna, Russian Steam Room, and Roman Bath at the Seawater Spa, which offers Thalasso therapies. The indoor-outdoor seawater pool is a draw, too, as are the five dining-and-drinking options, including a sibling to Manhattan’s renowned Scarpetta.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Massachusetts

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Wequassett Twenty Eight Atlantic

Book Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Cape Cod has a certain captivation that exerts a pull like a magician on a rabbit’s ears. And the 22 historic buildings that comprise Wequasset Resort and Golf Club are Cape Cod incarnate, with beachside rooms and villas replete with plush armchairs, white wicker dining sets, gas fireplaces, and marble bathrooms.

Twenty-Eight Atlantic is not only the resort’s iconic restaurant, but it attracts foodies from all over the Cape. Chef James Hackney’s fluke crudo with salmon roe or his lobster carbonara served on Limoges china, explains why. After, enjoy cocktails under a pergola at LiBAYtion, which features stunning views of the water.

The neighboring par-72, 18-hole Cape Cod National golf course is one of those courses that is always and forever beloved by serious golfers. But for casual players, it’s also one of the prettiest places to play (even if you will tee off into the trees). Four Har-Tu tennis courts provide another option. But don’t forget why you’re here. If you want to get onto the water, Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals will arrange any kind of kayaking, sailing, or fishing tour or charter.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Maine

Inn by the Sea

Inn by the Sea

Book Inn by the Sea

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 out 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 menus as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free dishes.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

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The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Book The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Kiawah Island is more known for its stately residences than hotels, but one of the few luxury hotels available is the elegant Sanctuary Hotel. It’s also the only hotel located directly on the island’s 10 miles of beachfront property. 

King bedrooms begin at 520 square feet with custom-made mattresses outfitted with matelassé bed covers. Lounge on them in the Italian linen robes provided, or just savor the stunning bathrooms with marble walk-in showers, double vanities, and soaking tubs.

If the beach begins to pall, visit two separate pools, one for adults and one for families, which are tended by beach concierges. To continue your workout routine, enjoy LCD flat-panel touch screens on cardio equipment, followed by a dip in the indoor pool. Or choose private Pilates and yoga sessions with personal instructors. Play outdoors on any of the five world-class golf courses or tennis on the 22 courts in the famous Roy Barth Tennis Center, now directed by Roy’s son, Jonathan.

As guest after guest notes, you get what you pay for at The Sanctuary Hotel. A room might not come cheaply, but the experience lingers.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations Georgia Banner

The Westin Jekyll Island

The Westin Jekyll Island

Book The Westin Jekyll Island

With a manicured lawn in front and a beach in the back, this LEED-certified, pet-friendly resort represents both the south and the raw beauty of Jekyll Island to a T. Lushly landscaped with palm trees and tropical plants, the hotel offers nature, tranquility, and immediate access to seagrass dunes and sandy beaches, where birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife abounds.

Clean and modern, with updated technology and complimentary Wi-Fi, the business-accessible rooms are generously sized with at least a partial view of the water and a balcony. Some have inland views and no balconies, though, so be specific when you book. Westin’s trademarked Heavenly bedding is especially comfortable, and the rainforest showerheads are comforting.

Dining options include The Reserve Steak House, which features native Georgia seafood in addition to meat. Before or after a meal, perch at Harry’s Lounge for a craft cocktail and look over the dunes. A 20-mile bike path that stretches in front of the hotel is a terrific alternative to working out in the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, even though it is nicely outfitted and open 24/7.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations Oregon Banner

Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

Headlands Lodge Oceanfront Cottage

Book Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

Whether you want to catch crabs and fish from the bracing Pacific or simply enjoy them by the fire at 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 have 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. 

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Our methodology for selecting hotels

In addition to the criteria previously listed above, we considered these additional factors:

Price: We looked for starting room rates in low season under $500 per night.

Reviews: In addition to our own first-hand knowledge and stays, we researched reviews and ratings on sites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Booking.com, and took into account the experience of other recent guests.

Guests: We chose the best beach hotels for a wide audience, including families, couples, groups of friends, honeymooners, and more.

Amenities: We looked for beach hotels that feature well-appointed rooms, excellent locations, beach access, pool facilities, top-notch restaurants and bars, and other guest perks from golf courses to beachside dining and spa services.

COVID-19 safety: We selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with new strict new cleaning policies in light of COVID-19.

FAQs

Where are the best beaches in the US?

There’s no shortage of beach paradises in the US. Places like Southern California and Florida offer year-round sun and Florida’s Gulf Coast, in particular, is known for its sugary white-sand beaches and clear, turquoise waters that rival the Caribbean.

Spots like Clearwater Beach and Amelia Island are especially well-known for being great for families. Of course, if you’re looking for more action, the party scenes in Miami Beach and South Beach are infamous. Just up the coast, don’t miss out on Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, and Georgia’s Golden Isles.

For surfers, beaches in California like Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Pismo Beach are prime destinations. If you’re ready to go farther afield or crave a tropical getaway, Hawaii’s beaches are tough to beat, especially when it comes to activities like snorkeling. 

In the Northeast, the Jersey Shore from Asbury to Cape May provides an easy getaway that appeals to young groups of friends and families alike, depending on the area. Coastal spots like Newport Rhode Island and Kennebunk Beach in Maine also offer top-notch sandy shores and salty breezes, and, of course, there are well-known destinations like the Hamptons. And on the opposite coast, Oregon boasts iconic destinations like Cannon Beach and Brookings.     

How much does a beach vacation cost?

Beach vacations can run the gamut from budget to luxury depending on where you go and when. For more wallet-friendly stays, consider areas like Ocean City, Cape May, Virginia Beach, and Myrtle Beach. 

Popular areas like Malibu, the Hamptons, Newport, Rhode Island, and Hilton Head are all well-known for being on the pricier side. And while there are always deals to be found, consider going on a beach vacation in the shoulder season 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.      

Are hotels safe right now?

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically.

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.

More great beach vacations

The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Read the original article on Business Insider

10 of the best hotels in Tulum whether you seek beachfront luxury or an affordable stay in the center of town

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The best hotels in Tulum
  • Tulum is a design and gastronomy mecca on a turquoise beach overseen by ancient Mayan ruins.
  • Hotels in Tulum push the limits of beauty and design but some come with astonishingly high prices.
  • We compiled a list of highly-rated Tulum hotels ranging from $128 to $669 per night to start.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Two hours south of Cancun, Tulum is one of the hottest destinations on Mexico’s stunning Riviera Maya. This jungle-embedded city offers gorgeous and gentle Caribbean waters, lush jungles, ancient ruins, standout design, and plentiful hotels that showcase it all.

Spiritual centers, apartments, hostels, luxury, and boutique hotels all have a home here and proudly boast the Tulum aesthetic of natural wood, leafy palms, and just a touch of concrete or brass for an industrial edge.

I spent three months living in Tulum and the best hotel comes down to personal style and whether you plan to soak up the sun, admire the ruins of Coba, or go cenote-hopping in the beautiful swimming holes scattered within the jungle. Tulum hotels are also among the best wellness resorts in the Caribbean.

Tulum hotels push the boundaries of design, and their prices can often reach astronomical levels, but we found beautiful and accessible Tulum hotels that don’t skimp on comfort, beauty, or amenities.

Browse all the best Tulum hotels below or jump to a specific area here:

These are the best hotels in Tulum, sorted by price from low to high.

Aloft Tulum

Aloft Tulum pool
Aloft delivers a trusted brand and hotel experience under the Marriott Bonvoy umbrella.

Book Aloft Tulum

The Aloft Tulum is one of the newest and largest hotels in Tulum that offers the signature style of the hip and colorful Aloft brand and also many comforts that are hard to come by in Tulum, like industrial-strength air-conditioning and pristine and contemporary hotel rooms (that won’t cost a fortune). The hotel is located halfway between the city center and the beach zone, which means it’s a slightly shorter ride to the beach than from other hotels in town, but you can get there by bicycle or cab.

The Aloft has a bar space designed for live music, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a restaurant, and two pools. There’s a family-friendly pool on the ground level, but the adults-only rooftop infinity pool is the highlight of any stay with stunning views over the jungle canopy. It’s a great place to spend the day sipping cocktails, especially if you need to send out a few e-mails.

All rooms are modern and spacious with bright colors, natural textures, and amenities like Smart TVs and Marshall speakers. The polished style may not suit all types of Tulum-bound travelers, but for anyone dreading bugs and humidity, it’s a very comfortable and affordable place to stay.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Copal Tulum

Copal Tulum
Balconies at this hotel overlook the lush jungle canopy.

Book Copal Tulum

In a quiet section of Aldea Zama, tucked between the beach and city center, Copal has apartment-style accommodations that are great for families and large groups.

The hotel has a polished jungle-inspired design with plenty of bamboo and natural wood finishes. Rooms feel brand new and modern with stainless steel appliances and Smart TVs and the most basic room is similar to a standard hotel room with a kitchenette. Larger rooms like the Studio Jungle Terrace have living spaces and kitchens, and there are also multi-bedroom suites with their own private rooftop and ground-floor pools. 

Behind the hotel and through the restaurant, you’ll find a pathway to a small public cenote. It’s not as large as others in the area, and can sometimes get crowded, but it’s nice to visit for a quick and easy dip.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Orchid House Tulum

Orchid House Hotel in Tulum
The rooftop pool bar is designed so that you can sip on a juice or cocktail without ever getting out of the pool.

Book Orchid House Tulum

In Tulum’s super-polished Aldea Zama neighborhood, Orchid House is a quiet hotel with a serene nature-inspired design. As you enter the lobby, you’ll first notice the interior garden with tropical plants and a small footbridge perfect for a photo opportunity. Upstairs, the pool bar is the hotel’s main attraction, with a classy take on the in-pool seating so you can sip on a juice or cocktail without ever getting out of the pool.

Throughout the hotel, a light and airy color scheme reflects that natural environment, while intricate details and antique furniture add a necessary touch of luxury to this bohemian chic 10-room hotel.

Each room features a stunning wood-carved door, a plush King-sized bed, and a private terrace with a small plunge pool for two. For a little more space, Jungle Suites have terraces large enough for a hammock, and the Master Suites, which also have two additional twin-sized beds, have plunge pools that directly overlook the jungle.

Make sure to have at least one meal in the signature nest, a dining booth on top of the hotel, where you can enjoy an interrupted view across the treetops all the way out into the horizon.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Nativus Glamping Tulum

Nativus
Glamping at Nativus comes with a healthy dose of luxury.

Book Nativus Glamping Tulum

There are a lot of glamping options in Tulum, but Nativus offers premium accommodations with access to a natural crystalline cenote. From the main area of the hotel, you’ll find the tents and a small restaurant, and a winding jungle path will take you all the way to the huge El Cenote Encantada, an open cenote where you can swim, kayak, and paddleboard. The cenote is not private, but it’s hard to reach and find if you’re not accessing it through a local business, so it doesn’t get very crowded. Every tent has a plush bed and its own outdoor bathroom, which is beautifully decorated with natural materials and has a very private outdoor rainfall shower.

This hotel is located at the end of the beach road, right before the entrance to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve National Reserve, so you can indulge in more adventurous jungle experiences without compromising on proximity to the beach.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Ikal Tulum Boutique Hotel

Ikal Hotel In Tulum
Located on the north end of Tulum’s beach road, Ikal is close to the ruins and offers a robust slate of community events.

Book Ikal Tulum Boutique Hotel

Located on the north end of Tulum’s beach road, which is closest to the entrance of the ruins, Ikal is a lively and hip spot that offers community events like Brazilian capoeira lessons, yoga, spiritual lectures, and eclectic live music. It is also extremely kid-friendly hotel with weekly events designed especially for kids relating to yoga, music, and art. 

Although restaurant visitors are welcome to use the day beds on the beach, the pool is for guests only. There are a large variety of accommodation types from spacious and air-conditioned glamping tents with shared bathrooms to beautiful jungle suites with private plunge pools, outdoor showers, thatched walls, and eye-catching furniture pieces that look like they were magically summoned from the depths of the jungle. All rooms are unique but Cabaña 8 stands out with its huge macrame entryway that really tells you everything you need to know about Ikal’s dedication to a bohemian aesthetic.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

La Zebra Boutique Hotel in Tulum
The oceanfront location and views at La Zebra are stunning.

Book La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

La Zebra has a top-rated reputation for a fun ambiance, great service, chic rooms, and great beach access. The hotel has six different categories of rooms from basic Garden Rooms to beachfront suites with balconies and plunge pools. Rooms offer a harmony of natural beach tones and textures with a traditional design style that skips the flashy or industrial touches of other Tulum hotels. However, all rooms are still very sophisticated and luxurious and families will appreciate the suites, which come with one King-sized bed and two single beds.

The beach area offers plenty of space for guests to spread out on shaded daybeds. There is also a small spa and a beautiful restaurant with unique tabletops that pay homage to famous works of Mexican art. For epicurean guests, the hotel restaurant also offers an eight-course Chef’s Table experience that pairs artisanal cocktails, beers, and wine with Mexican gastronomy, hosted in a special dining room decorated with Mexican antiques.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Hotel Bardo

Hotel Bardo
This adults-only hotel has loft-style villas with living rooms and private plunge pools.

Book Hotel Bardo

Hidden in the less busy part of the Tulum city center, this adults-only hotel has loft-style villas with living rooms and private plunge pools. The lofts are beautiful, filled with natural textures and a dark color scheme, all tucked away in your own private corner of the jungle.

The shared hotel space is also sophisticated and calming, with nature and Mexican culture woven into every element of the hotel’s design. Special features include an agave garden and an ofrenda, or altar, decorated with black and white photographs and skulls.

The location is very far from the beach, but parking is free if you decide to rent a car. The common areas are lively, thanks to the inviting restaurant and bar with billiards and an inviting stone fire pit. The main pool has a fantastic design, fringed with lounge areas that have been sectioned off so you can enjoy a bit of privacy with your toes just inches from the water.

Hotel Bardo also offers many experiences for guests, like sunset intention-setting rituals, temezcal ceremonies, sound healing, and yoga. It may be a long journey to the ocean, but you’ll enjoy a rejuvenating and aesthetically pleasing experience in this hotel that encompasses all the reasons why people come to Tulum.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Nômade Tulum

Nomade Hotel in Tulum
Treehouses and villas offer magical lodging facing a gorgeous beach.

Book Nômade Tulum

Located on the south end of the beach, Nômade is a beautiful resort where meandering pathways lead you through a jungle filled with thatched roof villas, treehouses, a yoga shala, a gathering nest, and a meditation tent. Each week the hotel offers a variety of programming from spiritual seminars, live music, tea and cacao ceremonies, and yoga. On the beach, there is a restaurant with seating areas, daybeds, and scattered hammocks shaded by swaying palm trees.

Accommodation choices range from boho-chic suites to deluxe glamping tents and whimsical treehouses. Perched up in the jungle canopy, these treehouses are artistic and intimate with working bathrooms and air-conditioning. As you walk up the winding staircase, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into your own private oasis, far away from any disturbances. 

Though from the city center, there are plenty of posh places to eat and shop nearby while avoiding the more boisterous bars and party hotspots, and the beachfront location can’t be beaten.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Be Tulum Hotel

Be Tulum Hotel in Tulum
Many rooms come with private pools and boho decor, tucked amid lush jungle pathways.

Book Be Tulum

At Be Tulum, a lush entry includes tall leafy palms and meandering paths that lead to a stunning oceanfront, for a feel as if you’re ensconced within a remote island oasis.

Rooms are modern but still embrace natural textures and colors and include a variety of jungle suites and oceanfront villas with multiple bedrooms, rooftop terraces, and private pools. Rooms at Be Tulum are full of stand-out design pieces you’ll want to take home with you, such as a cubical tree log nightstand and embroidered pillows.

The hotel’s spa, the Yaän Healing Sanctuary, is one of the main reasons to stay here. It offers a variety of indigenous-inspired treatments from healing rituals to more traditional body treatments like massages, facials, and herbal baths. You can also arrange to join a temezcal ceremony and there is daily yoga in the treetop studio. Not every room has a private pool, but all guests can enjoy the beach club which has two great restaurants, one is dedicated to seafood and the other serves elevated Mexican cuisine using ingredients from a sustainable garden.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Encantada Tulum

Encantada Hotel in Tulum
This small luxury hotel offers a calm atmosphere, beautiful beachfront, and just 8 rooms for an intimate experience.

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On what’s normally considered a busy strip, this small luxury boutique hotel offers a calm peaceful atmosphere with just eight rooms and one restaurant dedicated to its guests. Although it does not offer the wide range of amenities or “scene” you’ll find on other beachside hotels, it has plenty of space on the beach with inviting chairs and umbrellas, and great service from the front desk and restaurant staff. Ordering a drink or plate of guacamole to your beach chair is as easy as sending a text.

Each room has air-conditioning, luscious beds, and a spacious bathroom with an open shower. When you’re not lounging on the beach, relax on the front porch with a hammock and two chairs, and rinse off sandy feet in the seashell water basin. Not all rooms have ocean views, but they’re located steps from the beach no matter which room you get.

Encantada’s design scheme is nowhere near as flashy as other Tulum hotels, but it is still rich in beautiful details like the large macrame wall-hanging in the entrance or the blue stained glass windows in the hallway between the bedroom and bathroom.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Tulum hotels

How do you get to Tulum from Cancun?

Tulum is about 80 miles from the Cancun airport and it takes about two hours to drive there along the main highway. If you don’t rent your own car, you can either take a cab or car service to Tulum, or you can take the ADO bus for a more affordable option.

What is the best way to get around Tulum?

There are many taxis in Tulum, but prices can be quite high especially on a busy night. Alternatively, bicycles are very popular and there is a safe bike path that connects the city center to the hotel zone.

How far is the city center from the beach?

Because much of Tulum is still protected land, there is a lot of jungle between the hotel zone on the beach and the city center. The road from the center to the beach is 2.5 miles long. Without traffic, it takes about eight minutes to drive and 15 to 20 minutes to bike. If you’re considering walking, that will take you at least 45 minutes.

Which is the best side of the beach to visit?

When you reach the beach, you’ll notice that you can go left or right. It is easy to visit both sides in one trip, but you’ll find that it will be difficult to access the beach on the south side without paying an entry fee to one of the pricey beach clubs or having a meal at one of the hotel restaurants. Meanwhile, the north side of the beach has public access and is also closer to the Mayan ruins.

Where should I stay when visiting Tulum?

If you want to make the most of your time in the water, you should select a hotel on the main beach road but be aware that this will also come with a hefty price tag unless you choose glamping accommodations. There are many places to stay in the main town, but you will need to take a cab or rent a bike to get to the beach.

What are the best hotels in Tulum?

Our list is a 50/50 split between the best Tulum hotels near the beach and non-beach options since the beach hotels can be very expensive and there are other attractions that lure visitors beyond just the sand.

We picked the best hotels that represent a variety of lodging styles, budgets, and experiences. Additionally, we looked for strict COVID policies to protect the health and safety of guests, and not every well-regarded hotel in Tulum takes these measures seriously. We also considered amenities such as yoga shalas, beach clubs, spas, and special access to well-hidden cenotes, which are natural swimming holes that are a defining characteristic of the Yucatan region of Mexico.

Tulum also has many hotels that are famous around the world that we did not include, such as Casa Malca, which was also the former home of Pablo Escobar, and Azulik, which is known for its beautiful rooms that are more like works of art, and is the most expensive hotel in Tulum. However, we opted to not include these hotels in our list of the best hotels in Tulum because they are prohibitively expensive for most people.

To see the famous “Come to the Light” sculpture that depicts a towering female figure ripping open her chest, which is filled with lush green plants, you can visit Ahau Tulum. The Papaya Playa Project is another popular hotel that is well-known for its restaurant and community events, and one we considered.

Are hotels in Tulum expensive?

Tulum is one of the most expensive destinations in Mexico and travelers will pay premium prices for hotels right on the beach since that is the best location to be in Tulum. In the city center, there are more budget-friendly options, as well as Airbnb vacation rentals, and hostels, but you will be far from the beach.

During the low season, between late spring and fall, you can expect to pay at least $130 per night on a hotel in the city center or at least $200 for a hotel on the beach (unless you’re glamping). During the high season, which starts in November and lasts until March, hotels in town will likely raise their rates above $200 per night, and hotels on the beach can charge as much as $1,000 per night. The most expensive time of year is around Christmas and New Year’s.

What is a temezcal ceremony?

Many hotels may offer a temezcal ceremony on-site. This traditional Mexican ceremony is a cleansing ritual purported to have many health benefits. It requires sitting in a small domelike structure in which rocks are heated to raise the temperature and cause you to sweat. It is usually combined with some kind of meditation and is followed by a cold shower. Because it takes some time to prepare, the ceremony is usually only offered a few times per week.

Is Tulum beach swimmable?

The water in Tulum beach is very clear and the waves are extremely gentle. It’s very swimmable, however, the beach occasionally suffers from sargasso seaweed invasions. Most hotels employ teams to clean up the seaweed in the morning, but you still might encounter it as you swim. It can be very unpleasant, but the problem is an issue all along the Riviera Maya and throughout the Caribbean.

What are the different neighborhoods in Tulum?

Aside from the beach zone, which is split into the north and south side, there are many neighborhoods in Tulum.

The city center is where most locals live and where you’ll find lively restaurants and a shopping scene. Aldea Zama is a highly-polished gated community, which is more like a small suburb within Tulum. La Veleta is another community slightly further from the beach than Aldea Zama, where there are luxury apartments but there is still a lot of construction. Villas is a very small local neighborhood that is quiet and although there are no hotels here, you might be able to find a vacation rental.

Is it better to stay in Tulum Town or the beach?

It depends on your budget and what you plan to do. The beach is beautiful, but on top of the high nightly hotel rates, you will spend a lot of money at pricey bars and restaurants. However, if you want to spend every day at the beach, you’re better off staying in the beach zone since high taxi prices from the center of town will end up being just as expensive.

If you’re more set on visiting ruins, exploring cenotes, and taking day trips, you’ll save money on lodging and dining by staying in town, away from the beach.

More of the best hotels for a tropical vacation

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The 11 best Airbnbs in Key West from charming cottages close to Duval Street to tranquil stays on private beaches

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Best Airbnbs in Key West

  • Key West is one of the most popular US destinations thanks to its laid-back, tropical vibe.
  • Its stunning beaches are family-friendly, but it’s equally great for couples and solo travelers.
  • We rounded up the best Airbnbs in Key West, ranging in price from $147 to $513 per night.

As a long-term Florida resident, my family and I love to take the three-hour road trip down from Miami to Key West. It’s one of those places that we find ourselves returning to year after year thanks to its beautiful beaches, historic attractions, and fantastic food. Plus, it offers many travelers the chance for a tropical paradise with no passport necessary.

Key West is only about four miles long and two miles wide, and most of the shopping, dining, and nightlight is situated on Duval street, the main road that runs down the middle of the island, from the Gulf to Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Whether you want to be at the heart of the action or opt for a more tranquil beach getaway will largely dictate the best location for your stay. Luckily, there are plenty of options regardless of your preference.

Browse all of the best Key West Airbnbs below, or jump to a specific section:

Here are the best Airbnbs in Key West, sorted by price from low to high.

Central-based studio one block from Duval

Best Airbnbs in Key West - Central based studio one block from Duval, $147

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Located just one block from Duval Street, this studio apartment is an ideal base for a quick getaway. There’s also a private parking spot, which is a serious perk when visiting Key West as parking comes at a premium. 

This first-floor studio is small but well laid, with a Queen-size bed and a separate kitchen and dining area, complete with granite countertops. A large wooden wardrobe easily allows travelers to unpack and settle in. The unit is part of a historic building and though simple in decor, it has all the necessities and even boasts a deck with a small sitting area. Past guests rave about the property’s cleanliness and its proximity to many of Key West’s major attractions. 

Visit the famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, opened in 1933, or the nearby Key West Butterfly Nature Conservatory. You’ll also find plenty of shopping and restaurants right nearby. 

Colorful condo steps from Duval

Best Airbnbs in Key West

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The huge deck and central location make this condo in downtown Key West a prime choice. Aptly named Bella Vita, or “good life,” the property has a wrap-around porch with white Adirondack chairs for relaxing or some good old-fashioned people watching during downtime.  

The interiors are decorated in bright, cheery colors, including orange and turquoise walls, a red leather sofa, and blue accent pillows. The large master bedroom has a King-sized bed, a desk/vanity space, matching bedside tables, and a sound machine to enjoy a peaceful sleep. and the bathroom has an indulgent frameless glass walk-in shower. The galley-style kitchen includes bar seating at the kitchen counter. 

The ground-floor condo is also close to nearby bike and scooter rentals, so you can cruise around the island in style. 

Cheerful condo near Mallory Square

Best Airbnbs in Key West - One bedroom condo near Mallory Square, $280

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With a large, shaded balcony overlooking the nearby cluster of Victorian-style homes and located within a quiet gated community in the Truman Annex, it’s no surprise that this listing gets a near-perfect rating. 

The inside of the condo is painted in bright yellows and blues, creating a sunny vibe that matches its location. The living area is found upstairs and includes plenty of seating options for lounging around, including a contemporary sofa lined with oversized pillows and a velvet armchair.   

The dining area seats up to five, and the kitchen was recently updated with white shaker cabinets and gray stone countertops. There’s a porthole above the kitchen sink that gives it a slight maritime theme, which continues with seascape art and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase filled with model ships and starfish. 

The historic Hemingway house, Maritime Museum, and Truman White House are all close by. The condo is also a short walk to Zachary Taylor Park, one of the top public beaches in Key West. Bike rentals are only a block away, and the condo includes bike storage for guests.

Modern townhome right on Duval

Best Airbnbs in Key West - Two bedroom townhome in the heart of Key West, $225

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This large townhome puts guests at the heart of the action, thanks to its location right on Duval. Large spaces at this price point are hard to come by in Key West, so this property is a gem for families or larger groups. The inside has been recently renovated with calming neutral tones and standout features include two comfy couches with pops of colorful pillows and a round wooden dining table that seats five.  

There’s a parking spot included, although you probably won’t need your car during your stay since many of the most famous Key West restaurants, like DJ’s Clam Shack, are only feet away. 

The lower level of the townhomes includes an open floor plan with a kitchen, dining room, and full bathroom. Upstairs, the pitched roof makes the bedrooms extra cozy and there’s also a sitting nook. 

Secluded hideaway with a private hot tub

best Airbnbs in Key West - Secluded "mango" hideaway with a private deck, $311

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Tucked away in historic Old Town, this quaint cottage is great for those who want want to be close to the action on Duval Street (only half a block away), and who also value their privacy. 

The space is decorated in a tropical theme with green and turquoise linens and dark wood furniture. The kitchen features new cabinets, granite countertops, and full-sized stainless steel appliances. There’s also a deep brown leather sofa bed in the living room that’s within eyesight of the open-plan bedroom. Both the bedroom and the living room have large French doors that lead out to the deck, creating a relaxing indoor/outdoor setup when fully open. 

The spacious deck is the real selling point of this property, with a four-person jetted hot tub,  rattan patio seating, and a grill for making meals al fresco. The property even includes a large mango tree that has been lovingly preserved by being integrated into the design of the deck. 

There’s also a shared pool about a block away, and the cottage is within walking distance to the famed Cuban Coffee Queen and the free Duval shuttle bus.

Cozy cottage with a hot tub

Best Airbnbs in Key West - Cozy cottage with a hot tub, $243

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A great property for families, this large cottage is loaded with rustic charm, from the wood paneling throughout the kitchen to the retro bathroom fixtures. Each bedroom is outfitted with a plus, King-sized bed, and the living room boasts a comfy sofa and side chair along with a dedicated workspace.

The home has a fenced backyard with a beautiful garden area. The outdoor oasis includes a private hot tub, a bamboo enclosed outdoor shower, and a patio dining set that seats four. 

It’s tough to beat the location, just one block from Duval street, and there’s a parking spot included. The cottage is also walking distance to Mallory Square, which is home to the best street entertainers and sunsets in Key West. If you’re a pet owner, you can bring your pooch to this dog-friendly property. 

Oceanfront studio on a private beach

best airbnbs key west oceanfront studio

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This second floor, oceanfront studio is a rare property in Key West at this price point, which means that bookings fill up quickly. The condo has a King-sized bed and a large balcony that overlooks the Atlantic ocean. As an added bonus, the home also includes access to the pool and hot tub on the property grounds, though these are shared amenities. 

Visitors will get the best of both worlds with the beach and nightlife right at their fingertips, as this condo is just a five-minute walk to Duval street. There’s also a free garage parking spot that comes with a unit. The studio sits on its own stretch of private beach, so guests can go for a swim or lay out on lounge chairs that are provided by the property. 

Inside there’s a collection of wood and wicker furniture and a plush armchair in soft, pastel tones. The bedroom has four plantation shutters that look out to views of the ocean and ample closet space to unpack. There’s also a small fridge and microwave at your disposal, though there isn’t a full kitchen. 

Spacious sailing yacht

Best Airbnbs in Key West - Three bedroom sailing yacht, $224

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One of most unique properties in Key West, this spacious yacht is ideal for adventurous travelers. Nicknamed “The Someday Soon”, the yacht features three sleeping areas with a setup that’s especially ideal for families, including a Queen size bed in the aft cabin, a Full-size bed in the midship, and two Twin beds in the forward cabin. 

The yacht is a vintage Mason boat with a mid-century modern interior that includes turquoise accents, carved wood trim, and polished wood floors. The eating area has a comfy breakfast nook and large windows that open up to let in the light. If you want to eat your meals on board, there’s a four-burner gas stove, an oven, and a refrigerator and freezer in addition to a grill on the deck. 

The full-size bathroom has a shower and lots of storage space under the sink. While the vessel is roomy inside, there’s also lots of seating outdoors. The cockpit is furnished with taupe and turquoise cushions and pillows, making it an ideal reading retreat.  

As an added option, the booking comes with a day sail, and the marina can provide a captain at an extra charge. Guests are also welcome to use the marina amenities like the heated pool and the gym.

See more of the best boat Airbnbs

Tropical Old Town bungalow close to the beach

Tropical Old Town bungalow close to the beach, $304

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Step inside this breezy bungalow located in between Key West’s Art Gallery District and the Historic District, two pedestrian-friendly areas of Key West. 

The interior of the unit is bright and airy, decorated in complementary shades of coral, lime green, and blue. The main living area has an open floor plan and the kitchen has a two-tier island that overlooks the living room. Relax on the cream-colored couch that’s adorned with palm leaf printed pillows under a palm leaf fan to really get into beach mode. 

A matching palm leaf fan is found in the bedroom, which also boasts an elevated deck with a hot tub and high-top dining setup. Back inside, the bathroom has a spacious walk-in shower, and there’s a full-size washer/dryer in the hallway. 

There’s a shared courtyard space with a pool and a grill, and the property is also less than a mile from the beach, so after you settle in, you can make a beeline for the warm waters.

Historic Key West suite in Old Town

Best Airbnbs in Key West - Historic Key West suite in Old Town, $447

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Guests staying at this property get to experience a piece of Florida history. This suite is part of a property in Old Town that was built in 1889, and it’s only three blocks from Duval Street. 

Though technically a guesthouse suite, the first-floor accommodation has its own entrance and is entirely private. The kitchen has modern appliances, warm recessed lighting, and a dining area with an expandable table. In the sitting area, there’s a loveseat that can fold out into a bed and a folding screen that can be used to create a private sleeping space.

Outside, there’s an expansive deck and a wicker patio set with a coffee table and an ottoman, ideal for sipping coffee in the morning or cocktails in the afternoon. The grounds of the yellow guesthouse feel like a secret garden, with a brick path winding around the tropical landscaping to a pond. Guests can also access a pool that’s shared with other units. Past guests have described this listing as a “tropical paradise.”

Floating Tiki suite

coolest airbnbs key west floating tiki suite

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Designed to be a glamping experience on the water, you get to this one-of-a-kind floating suite via boat or water shuttle.

The provided paddleboards and snorkel gear make it easy to leap off the front deck and hit the surrounding water. Of course, lounging in the hammock or opening the French doors on all sides to take in the water views from the King bed are also worthy options. 

Brazilian hardwood floors complement the thatched-tiki styling and soaring vaulted ceilings give the living space an airy feel — literally since they also serving as the core component to the self-ventilating design that helps keep this suite cool. While there is a bathroom, there’s no true kitchen here. There is a cooler that can keep food cold for up to nine days, but guests need to bring their own ice and supplies.

FAQs

What is there to do in Key West?

You won’t want to miss dining at Blue Heaven and Santiago’s Bodega in the Bahama Village, and no trip is complete without stopping in for a slice at the Southernmost Key Lime Pie Shop on Duval. Get a dose of culture at The Key West lighthouse and The Key West Museum of Art and History, or do as we do and take your kids to Mallory Square to watch the various street performers and the sunset celebration that takes place every night. 

Some of our favorite beaches are Smathers Beach and Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, which is a National Historic Landmark and home to a Civil War fort. 

What is the best area to stay at in Key West?

This depends on what vibe you prefer. For a lively party scene close to the action, you’ll want to be right on or very close to Duval Street. Most visitors will also want to spend the majority of their time close to the historic Old Town. It’s where many of the top attractions are, plus it’s easy to get around on foot so you won’t have to be tied to a vehicle or public transportation.

What’s the best time of year to visit Key West?

Between March and May (with the exception of busy spring break weeks) provides one of the best times to visit Key West since there are fewer crowds than during the peak winter season and prices often drop a bit. The weather is also lovely during this time, with April averaging highs of 82 degrees and lows of 72 degrees Farenheit.

Winter is typically the busiest season when East Coast snowbirds seek a warm-weather getaway, so be prepared to pay peak prices if you visit from November to March.

More great Florida Airbnbs

Best Airbnbs in Miami - Tropical cottage in Biscayne Park near Bal Harbour, $100
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