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Budget Hotels in the Swankiest Locations in America

The last thing you want to do is blow your budget on the hotel when you’re planning a vacation. You’re likely to spend more of your time exploring, eating, drinking, shopping, hiking, skiing, than in the room. Let’s be real. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style when it comes to your suite.

Yahoo Travel went in search of America’s swankiest “inn-expensive” budget hotels, motels and ski chalets—all under $200 per night.

Prices listed at time of article publication and subject to seasonal changes.

Beaver Creek / Vail, Colorado

The Holiday Inn Apex ($179) is a higher end property than you might expect from this budget hotel chain. The cozy lodge-like property features three solid on-site restaurants and a year-round outdoor pool and jacuzzi with beautiful views.

Freebies: High-speed Wi-Fi and parking.

Austin, Texas

ATX legend Liz Lambert’s Hotel San Jose ($165) is an intimate 40-room property, originally built as a motel in 1939. The hotel is located in Austin’s SoCo neighborhood and features a small swimming pool, an outdoor lounge serving food and drinks, and the locally famous Jo’s Coffee just next door.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, parking, and access to a lending library that includes a music library, bicycles, Polaroid cameras, and even a Remington typewriter.

Carmel by the Sea, California

Soak up the natural beauty of the Pacific Coast at the Comfort Inn Carmel By The Sea ($90) just steps from the ocean and Carmel Village and a short drive from nearby attractions such as Big Sur, Point Labos, Pebble Beach, and the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Freebies: Hot breakfast, weekday newspaper, coffee, and beach access.


The stunning Palmer House Hilton ($139) is a national landmark hotel that is located in Chicago’s downtown Loop, with a lobby so breathtaking you’ll want to snap a photo for Instagram. Amenities at this historic hotel include an indoor pool and jacuzzi.

Freebies: Wi-Fi (for Hilton HHonors members … which is free to join.).

East Hampton, New York

Just across from local favorite Bostwick’s Chowder House on Montauk Highway is the East Hampton House ($120), a modest resort with a residential feel. It boasts two tennis courts, a small fitness center, and it’s just a short walk to the sandy beaches.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, coffee, and beach passes (a great perk in the Summer).

Honolulu, Hawaii

Even locals stay at Pagoda Hotel ($105) for the tranquil koi ponds, Japanese Garden, large recently remodeled rooms, and proximity to everything your money-saving conscience can handle: Walmart, Ross Dress For Less and the Ala Moana Center (farmers market, McDonald’s, and Macy’s).

Freebies: WiFi and shuttle service to Waikiki Beach. Parking at the hotel is not free, however, guests say it’s much cheaper than other nearby hotels that now only offer valet.

Laguna Beach / Newport

Perfect for birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, or couples looking for a romantic getaway, the laid-back Best Western Plus Laguna Brisas Spa Hotel ($134) has a spa in every room. After a long day, enjoy a romantic evening on the rooftop with a pool and jacuzzi.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, breakfast, and weekend access to a trolley that runs up and down Pacific Coast Highway.

Los Angeles

The Rochester Mansion ($70) is a 1940s private home bed and breakfast with a pool, piano, fireplace, on-site activities and chef-prepared gourmet breakfast.


Hotel Paisano ($119) is a rustic 1930s hotel restored by Trost and Trost, just a short walk to free art galleries and local eateries Squeeze Marfa and Marfa Burrito.

Freebies: WiFi and complimentary basic breakfast.

Maui, Hawaii

While there isn’t a swimming pool at the Days Inn Maui Oceanfront ($144), it is right on Keawakapu Beach where guests can swim, snorkel, and watch humpback whales. This noteworthy Days Inn also has an on-site award-winning Italian restaurant.

Freebies: Parking and Wi-Fi in the lobby.

Nantucket Island

Union Street Inn ($139) is rated #1 of 14 hotels in Nantucket by TripAdvisor. Guests love the impeccable rooms and location one block from Main Street.

Freebies: healthy breakfast (8-10 AM)

Napa Valley, California

After a day of wine tasting, unwind at the cozy Best Western Plus Elm House Inn ($135). This luxe bed and breakfast with spa is located just across from the Napa Premium Outlets.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, hot breakfast, and cookies at the front desk.

Within walking distance of downtown Napa and a short drive to numerous attractions is the Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley ($149). This hotel features all-suite rooms, each with its own living room, two pools, a hot tub, and complimentary access to an off-site fitness center with sauna.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, hot cooked-to-order breakfast, and a nightly Manager’s Reception with cocktails and hor d’oeuvres.

Palm Beach

Grandview Gardens Bed & Breakfast ($119) is walking distance to everything with spacious tropical gardens, pool, 5 guest suites with private entrances and 2 luxury cottages and access to Bike Tour of Palm Beach.

Freebies: WiFi, breakfast and bicycles.

Rancho Mirage, California

Hilton Garden Inn Rancho Mirage ($101) is a Spanish-style hotel with a modern edge. If you are not golfing or hiking, you can spend your day relaxing at the outdoor pool, working out in the fitness center, or eating at the on-site restaurant.

Freebies: Wi-Fi and parking.

San Francisco, California

After undergoing a $32 million renovation, the Radisson Hotel relaunched as Hotel Zephyr ($159), a boutique hotel in must-see Fisherman’s Wharf. This property has a heated outdoor pool (open year-round), 24-hour fitness center, and outdoor interactive game space.

Freebies: Wi-Fi and some special introductory rates include breakfast.

Park City, Utah

Looking for an affordable option in Park City? The mountain lodge-like Hampton Inn ($169) with pool and hot tub is just a 15-minute drive from Park City Mountain Resort and steps from the Tanger Outlet Center Park City.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, parking, and continental hot and cold breakfast buffet.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Best Western Plus Sundial ($162) is a beautiful budget property just a few blocks from buzzy downtown Scottsdale and close to the Phoenix Zoo. When you get past the grand entrance, you will find an outdoor pool, hot tub, and fitness center. Tip: ask for a room facing the pool in the back to avoid noise.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, full breakfast, and parking.

Sedona, Arizona

Located off Highway 89A, Sedona’s main drag, is the impressive Southwest Inn ($121) that has 28 adobe-style suites with kiva-style fireplaces that overlook the red rocks. Tourists flock to this property for its proximity to hiking trails and affordable downtown shops and restaurants.

Freebies: Wi-Fi, highly-rated breakfast, and discounts to local restaurants and attractions.

South Beach, Miami

Design firm Roman and Williams, most known for their work on Ace Hotel New York and The Standard High Line, combined a ’70s hippie vibe with thoughtful design for Freehand Miami ($145). This affordable and hip hostel right by the beach attracts a sophisticated set of travelers who appreciate style and community. (With all the money you’ll be saving, make sure to stop by the Broken Shaker bar for a seasonal cocktail or … four.)

Freebies: High-speed WiFi, breakfast, yoga classes, salsa lessons and tours to Wynwood Art Walk. (Current deal: free punchbowl (normally priced at $150) from Broken Shaker with booking of Quad Dorm)

—Micah Jesse

This article was originally published by Yahoo! Travel under the headline Budget Hotels in the Swankiest Locations in America. It is reprinted here with permission.

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(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

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