Everywhere you go, you’ll pay a premium to be near the water, but being so close to a white sand beach that you can hear the waves crashing is totally worth it. Whether you’re traveling with teens or you have toddlers in tow, you’re guaranteed a good time (as long as the weather cooperates). With that in mind, why spend two nights at $400 per night when you can stay four nights for $200 per night?
Shop TODAY recently looked at rates for thousands of beach resorts everywhere from Myrtle Beach to Mexico, and even further abroad. The following is a list of standout properties where you can stay for as little as $85 per night. Keep in mind prices are dynamic, and some of these rates are for off-peak seasons. Still, all of these resorts are the most affordable — and highest-rated — options on the map. There are even a few found in bucket list destinations from our list of 40 places to take the kids before they’re grown. So, whether you’re headed for the sun, the surf or both, bon voyage!
Budget-friendly beach resorts to visit
Make this family-friendly resort your home base for exploring San Diego’s Mission Bay. Because it’s located on a peninsula, most rooms have sweeping water views. Budget-wise, it’s been voted a “Best Value Hotel in America” by TripAdvisor, and over 3,600 reviewers gave it a glowing excellent recommendation.
In less than two minutes, you can have your toes in the sand at this Atlantic-facing resort that, due to development restrictions, will always have water views. Pelican Grand Beach Resort is a dog-friendly destination, so Fido can come, too. Play in the waves or lay out on the newly renovated pool’s sundeck. But first, reserve well in advance. This place is popular; it has over 4,700 excellent ratings.
Boasting St. Simons Island’s only oceanfront dining, this sprawling property — with nearly 1,000 excellent ratings — is a special place. While rooms offer the lowest rates, families can also choose from private villas, houses and cottages. Kids will love the children’s pool and dedicated play area, while parents will appreciate the award-winning golf course and poolside cocktails.
This long-time Daytona go-to for families is located right on the beach, less than a mile from the Sun Splash Park at the “World’s Most Famous Beach.” But the best part? Kids 12 and under stay and eat in the property’s two restaurants — for free! How do former guests feel? On TripAdvisor, Holiday Inn Resort Daytona Beach Oceanfront has over 1,400 excellent reviews.
This three-star landmark hotel in historic Cape May, New Jersey, prides itself on its proximity to the beach and well-appointed rooms, including some that are oceanfront. Think lots of little upgrades including new Serta double pillow-top bedding and spa-worthy organic bath amenities. The Grand Hotel, which has a four-star average rating from 1,800+ reviews, has both an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as a fitness center and bike rentals.
“Perfect location” begins a recent review of this family-friendly IHG hotel with a four-star average rating from nearly 700 reviews. Holiday Inn Club Vacations Galveston Beach Resort boasts direct access to the state’s most beloved beach. With its game room, infinity pool and outdoor recreation area (complete with basketball, tetherball and volleyball courts), its ideal for active travelers.
As the state’s largest beachfront resort, Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort has a lot to offer visitors to Ocean City, Maryland. There are more than 25 restaurants within a one-mile radius, and it’s just a few miles north of the iconic boardwalk that attracts 19 million visitors annually. Still, there’s no reason to leave the property. It has a spa, Olympic-sized pool, golf packages and even a four-story tropical atrium. On top of all of that, it’s earned nearly 2,000 excellent ratings from previous guests.
Don’t expect less from this Oahu oasis just because it has relatively low rates for the islands. In 2021, it was deemed the 6th best overall hotel in all of Hawaii by Conde Nast Traveler readers. There may be an additional $20 per night resort fee, but it includes a lot — think bike rentals, beach chairs and umbrellas, fitness classes, SUP lessons and cultural programs where you can learn how to make leis.
Beach Cove Resort is more than just a place to put your head in a bed in South Carolina. With its 10 unique water features including three outdoor pools, three oceanfront Whirlpools and a lazy river, it’s practically a waterpark. There’s also an arcade, and the on-site dining includes outdoor beach bars and convenient cafes.
Sure, the Outer Banks are nice. But Wrightsville Beach off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina is far more accessible. With its kids programs — including half-day camps — Blockade Runner Beach Resort is a great option for families. This historic hotel complete with a pool, gardens, fitness center and boat slips, is situated between the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The property also currently has over 1,300 excellent ratings!
This family-owned establishment, which currently holds 760+ excellent ratings, is managed by three brothers following in their father’s footsteps. When Mr. Wellington first opened Travellers Beach Resort it consisted of one cabin and a bar. Today, there are 60 rooms and suites as well as a full-service restaurant with nightly entertainment. The property fronts Norman Manly Sea Park Beach, perhaps the most private section of Negril’s famous Seven Mile Beach.
It’s hard not to want to see Solmar Resort in person after reading the TripAdvisor description: “Granite cliffs hide the property from the outside world, yet the sights and sounds of Cabo San Lucas are but a 10-minute stroll away.” The all-suite property, which has a glowing average from nearly 2,600 reviews, offers unrestricted access to a private beach — practically unheard of in crowded Cabo.
Most people who visit Puerto Rico head to San Juan, but a vacation in laid-back Rincon — located on the western end of the island — can be just as fun. Rincon Beach Resort has been a popular choice for couples and families wanting a quiet, Caribbean-front holiday. With just 112 rooms, it feels more intimate than massive resorts. Yet, it has amenities like a restaurant, infinity pool, fitness center and even a tennis court.
There aren’t many five-star hotels where you can stay for less than $150 per night. This is one of them. Bahia Principe Grand El Portillo has 600 rooms, eight bars, six restaurants, two pools and a spa. There’s also a waterpark that seems to be a destination in itself. The property, which has over 4,100 excellent ratings, is right on the beach. Guests can swim in crystal clear waters nearby or go further off shore to explore otherworldly sea caves.
Get more than you pay for is the unofficial motto of this all-inclusive resort on the tropical island of Cozumel (just take a ferry from Playa del Carmen). The property, which has 1,700+ excellent ratings, has five on-site restaurants and several bars. In other words, there’s never a reason to not have a cocktail in your hand come sunset.
Because of inflation and its popularity, Costa Rica is a hard place to find quality resorts for under $200 per night these days. That’s why Hotel Punta Leona is such a steal. In addition to offering access to the stunning Playa Blanca beach — where guests can swim, kayak or play volleyball — the property also has mini golf, tennis and aqua fitness classes.
The InterContinental brand is synonymous with luxury. Still, rates at this waterfront hotel not far from Old Town Cartagena are more than affordable. InterContinental Cartagena de Indias, which is located in front of popular Playa de Bocagrande, prides itself on offering “seaside sophistication.” Reviewers often sing the praises of the onsite infinity pool, as well as the hotel concierge who can easily arrange for local excursions.
The Maldives are famous as being a place where the rich vacation. But you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy a stay at Reethi Beach Resort, which currently has over 1,800 excellent ratings. The property is spread out over its own island in Baa Atoll. While Wi-Fi isn’t in all the rooms, including overwater bungalows, the resort does have AC and an impressive fitness center including badminton and grass tennis courts. There are five restaurants and five bars including a beachfront hot spot where guests congregate at sunset.
Don’t judge Cross Pattaya Pratamnak by its small number of reviews — this Phuket resort with private beach access is brand new. It opened in February, and its first guests can enjoy breaking in the 78 rooms and suites (which have DIY cocktail stations), the Moon Spa and the Cloud Gym. Add the breakfast package and you can take advantage of “Round the Clock Bubbly Breakfast” with unlimited sparkling wine.
What sets this top-rated waterfront resort apart from others in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve region is its beach-meets-marina location. Arrive by boat, or simply stroll along the docks, admiring other guests’ yachts. While going for a beach swim in the winter isn’t as pleasant as it is in the summer, it’s still possible. And the cooler months are when you can take advantage of low rates.
Located on the most famous island most Americans have never heard of, this adults-only resort is already on the radar of European couples and solo travelers. Perks of staying here include taking in views of the golden sands of Playa de Fanabe (from a stunning rooftop pool) and hitting up the indoor speciality food market on the lower level. There’s also an award-winning spa complete with a traditional Turkish bath.
For Africans, the ultimate beach getaway often involves going to Zanzibar. This island in the Indian Ocean is home to the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Zanzibar – Nungwi, where a glistening white sand beach meets swaying palm trees. Guests rave about the views — think warm, tropical waters the color of Listerine — and the variety of fresh cuisine. Sip from a coconut or devour a seafood platter at the on-site restaurant.
For more stories like this, check out: