Beachfront hotels are known to be pricy. Very pricy. Beachfront vacation rentals in Santa Monica California aren’t known for being cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole vacation budget on accommodations. To help you have more money for other fun things to do in sunny Southern California, we’ve put together a list of affordable hotels that are within walking distance of the Santa Monica Pier and the other fun things to do in Santa Monica.
There are cheaper hotels as you go farther inland, but if you’re planning on spending time at the beach it’s worth it to get a hotel within walking distance. Traffic in all of Los Angeles is very heavy, but more so at the beaches. You don’t want to be spending your fun time sitting on a freeway that isn’t moving or circling around on congested streets looking for a place to park! Interestingly though, once you are on the beach it’s an easy matter to hop a rental bike or electric scooter and ride down the beach bike path to the nearby funky Venice Beach Boardwalk, Marina Del Rey and more. You can get from point to point on the beaches much faster this way than by car.
This post was inspired when I noticed a place called the Ocean Lodge Hotel a half a block from the Santa Monica Pier. It was the older “roadside” hotel style from the Sixties through the Eighties with outdoor entrances to each room. Though older it looked well kept up. I guessed it might be more affordable and started researching prices. I spent some time looking around and noticed a few others like it right in the area such as the old Hotel California a block from the pier. Unfortunately this is not the Hotel California in the famous Eagles song (it was an entirely made up hotel in the song) and the name has been changed to the Sea Blue Hotel but it does offer you a reasonably priced place to stay right where the action is.
Hotels near the beach in Santa Monica are in three main categories: Luxury Hotels that can reach $1000 per night, Boutique and Mid-Range Hotels that range $300 – $700 per night and Budget Hotels with are under $300. We’ll focus on budget and mid-range in this post that are close to the pier and the Santa Monica Beach. We eliminated some of the budget hotels because they were just not up to standards.
To find rates for the dates of your stay in Santa Monica for any of the hotels, simply click this link for Santa Monica Hotels and type in the name of one of the hotels we recommend below in the search box on Hotels.com. Or you can just browse the Santa Monica hotels that will come up when you arrive on the page.
Our first choice is the Ocean Lodge Hotel pictured above in this post. The rooms are well under $200 per night on Hotels.com (they are slightly higher on the hotel’s own website) and you can just walk across the street to the Santa Monica Pier, beautiful and relaxing Tongva Park, the Original Muscle Beach, Camera Obscura and of course Santa Monica State Beach. The address is 16677 Ocean Avenue. Note that there is a $30 parking fee, but you will find this to be the case with any hotel in Los Angeles.
Our next choice is the Double Tree Hotel at 1707 4th Street. Rooms range about $230 to 425 per night and it is just four blocks from the beach and all the cool attractions noted above. If shopping is your thing, it’s just one block from the famous Third Street Promenade. The added bonus here is that since it is a well known chain hotel, you have a good idea of what to expect.
The Hotel California or Sea Blue Hotel at 1670 Ocean Avenue has rooms under $300 per night. It’s more expensive than the Ocean Lodge and really doesn’t seem any nicer but it’s also very close to the pier if the Ocean Lodge is full.
Hotel Carmel at 201 Broadway has rooms under $250.00. This is just off the beach and a block from the Third Street Promenade. It’s modern and clean but the rooms are on the small side.
The Comfort Inn has rooms under $250 per night but it’s about a mile from the beach and pier. It’s located at 2815 Santa Monica Blvd. Again, being a chain hotel, you can rest easy knowing what to expect.
The Hampton Inn and Suites at 501 Colorado has rates under $400. A little higher priced than some of the others and a bit farther, but is a chain hotel you can trust Colorado meets the Santa Monica Pier just 5 blocks west of this hotel.
JW Mariott has rooms in the $500 per night and up range. It’s three blocks south of the pier at 1740 Ocean.
On the higher end, but worth it are Hotel Shangri La Santa Monica at 1301 Ocean. This is directly across from Camera Obscura and beautiful Palisades Park and about 2 blocks from the pier. Rooms are in the $600 a night range but worth it if it’s in your budget. The Viceroy Santa Monica at 1819 Ocean is a bit farther from the attractions but is a beautiful four star hotel. These are both exceptionally beautiful hotels with all the amenities you could wish for.
When booking your hotel, be aware that most will charge additional fees for parking and room taxes that might not be on the listed price. If your budget is tight, call the hotel directly to check what these fees will be.
As disclaimer here. I have not personally stayed in any of these hotels, but I have seen most of them from the outside at least. The links we have provided are through Hotels.com, an affiliate we work with and we do receive a small commission if you book with them. I have personally used Hotels.com for my own reservations and been happy with the experience. Click here for Last Minute Hotel Deals in Santa Monica
We hope you enjoy your vacation in Santa Monica. Check our post on 16 Fun Things to do in Santa Monica and our Venice Beach Vacation Guide for more cool stuff to do a mile down the road! Please explore Totally-LA for more fun things to do while you’re here and be sure to tell your friends about us!
See more Santa Monica pictures after the break…