the best cheap hotels in the US

Female friends relaxing together in lounge chairs by pool in boutique hotel courtyard

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When the first Motel 6 opened its doors in 1962, rooms were only $6 per night. These days it seems like it’s difficult to find quality rooms for under $75, but it’s not impossible.

In some cases, you’re better off staying at a highly rated 2-star hotel for half the price of a subpar 4-star hotel. From the world’s best chain motels, charming boutique inns, A-frame glamping cabins and even a hostel overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, here are 17 cheap hotels to consider booking for your next getaway.

Most have starting rates less than $100 (subject to season and availability). All have a 4-star or higher rating on TripAdvisor. Two of the properties have even achieved the elusive 5-star perfect score!


Hi San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California, $110 Per Night, TripAdvisor

Hi San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf


Contrary to popular belief, hostels aren’t just for college backpackers looking to sleep 12 in a bare-bones room. Hi San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf, the city’s oldest hostel, has well-appointed private rooms (with keycard security) starting at just $110 per night. Located in Fort Mason, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it’s surrounded by greenery and boasts views of the Golden Gate Bridgeand Alcatraz. It’s also within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf. The nightly rate includes free parking, free Wi-Fi, free daily activities and tours and free continental breakfast. The on-site cafe is open all day and even serves organic food and local beer. This hostel also has a private movie theater.

TripAdvisor rating: 4 stars from 542 reviews


Hotel La Croix in Honolulu, Hawaii, $99 Per Night, TripAdvisor

Hotel La Croix in Honolulu


Hawaii is notoriously expensive — especially when it comes to hotels within walking distance of Waikiki Beach. Hotel La Croix, however, is one refreshing exception. For less than $100 per night, this recently renovated (2017) three-star hotel is nice enough that you can even honeymoon here and still feel like you’ve been treated like royalty. Every room features a balcony, some with unobstructed ocean views. Plus the property is within minutes, by foot, of the most famous beach on Oahu. Beach towels and snorkel gear are even included in the nightly rate. Another much-appreciated amenity that can save you money? Self-serve laundry on site.

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 stars from 558 reviews


The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, $186 Per Night, TripAdvisor

The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Honolulu


If you want to stay in one of the top three hotels in Honolulu (according to TripAdvisor), you get the most bang for your buck at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club. Like most high-end hotels in a vacation destination, it has a resort fee. But the $25 per diem includes a $10 restaurant credit good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In terms of freebies, guests get complimentary bike rentals for up to four hours a day, “reef safe” sunscreen, a daily newspaper, beach chairs and towels, a Swim Club tote and a local-themed welcome basket. It’s the thoughtful amenities that make this hip hotel one of the island’s most sought after accommodations. Of course the price helps too. “The rates were killer compared to anything else in Waikiki,” says one 5-star review from March.

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 stars from 931 reviews


The Roxbury Motel in Roxbury, New York, $90 Per Night, TripAdvisor

The Roxbury Motel in Roxbury, New York


You may recognize this quirky Catskills motel from HGTV where it was highlighted as one of the country’s most amazing hotels (hence the perfect 5-star rating on TripAdvisor) or TLC where it was featured on the series “Insane Bathrooms.” Or perhaps you saw it on Animal Planet which showcased its Mayan-themed standalone cottage, “The Digs.” Regardless of which room you’re in at The Roxbury, your stay is sure to be memorable. For starters, the decor is surreal. Yes, this is where Alice would feel right at home if she ever left Wonderland. The more expensive suites come with complimentary spa passes. All rooms, including the economical studios, come with free Netflix and a continental breakfast with elevated offerings. Think chai tea, homemade coffee cake and Ghirardelli white chocolate hot cocoa.

TripAdvisor rating: 5 stars from 709 reviews


Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, Illinois, $89 Per Night, TripAdvisor

Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, Illinois


A resort stay doesn’t have to cost more than your airfare. Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is a great example of an affordable resort with most of the amenities of its more expensive counterparts. The only catch is it’s located about a 3-hour drive west of Chicago. Built on 6,800 acres, it includes four championship golf courses, six restaurants and a full-service spa. The indoor pool even features a retractable roof. Still, it’s the property’s outdoor activities that really set it apart. They include sledding, skiing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, zip-lining and boating on Lake Galena. Canoes and kayaks are also available, for free, to all guests.