Cheap hotels in Santa Monica? You've probably heard about the scary prices hotels in Santa Monica charge.
If you're on a limited budget, you may feel like you'll be left out in the cold (or, rather, the warmth) in Santa Monica.
While Santa Monica is famous for its expensive beach hotels, the truth is that there are cheap hotels here too - and some are even steps from the beach.
The Seaview Hotel on trendy Ocean Avenue features 15 recently upgraded guest rooms in fresh, welcoming colors and featuring comfy furnishings.
The Seaview's garden and grounds have been lovingly attended to over the years, giving it a quaint, homey appeal. There's also a rooftop sun deck for guests with sweeping ocean views.
Each guest room has a kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator and coffeemaker. Free wireless access daily, a flat screen TV, daily maid service, and daily free parking is also available for guests. Rates start at $125 nightly.
No, not the Hotel California - you know, the one immortalized in the Eagles' 1977 hit song. There actually isn't one, according to band members. But if it was a real place, the Hotel California Santa Monica hotel would likely be it.
The 2-story hotel features 26 rock-and-roll and surfer-inspired guests rooms (expect things like surfboard headboards and guitars on the walls) - and its own private beach pathway from the quaint Spanish courtyard.
It is also one of the best hotel deals in Santa Monica for the price and prime location near some of the best Santa Monica attractions. In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine called it "One of the top three affordable hotels in Los Angeles."
The iconic Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica's premiere outdoor, pedestrian-only shopping center, are a 10 minute walk away. Rates start at $259 per night., breakfast included.
The Bayside Hotel bills itself as the "arbiter of fun in the sun" - and frankly there's some serious truth in advertising there.
Not only does the Bayside Hotel sit directly across the street from the beach, it is just one short block from Main Street to the east.
Main Street is home to block after block of chic clothing shops and boutiques, some of Santa Monica's best restaurants, and coffee shops galore.
The Bayside makes beach bikes available for guests so that you can easily cruise to the beach or along Main Street - and beyond.
Santa Monica is a bike friendly city with miles of well-marked bike paths.
Pedaling is how many locals get around Santa Monica, so you're sure to quickly feel at home exploring the city inexpensively when you hop on one of the Bayside's two-wheelers.
The Bayside's simple, comfortable guest rooms are decorated in soft, soothing colors; upgraded rooms also feature ocean view, kitchenettes and patio areas. Rates start at $195 nightly.
This low-rise, 1950s-era hotel just a block from the beach offers bargain rates, a prime location, and clean, comfy guest rooms. That's not an easy feat in usually spendy Santa Monica, but the Ocean Lodge pulls it off to perfection.
The Ocean Lodge sits boldly among the newer luxury hotels on Ocean Avenue, a testament to just how much Santa Monica has changed over the past half century.
It is just a two-minute stroll from the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Aquarium, and the beach. Which provides another opportunity to save money: Once you arrive, you won't need a rental car to get around.
The Lodge's recently renovated, air-conditioned rooms and two-bedroom suites (for 1 to 5 guests) include refrigerators, televisions, and en suite bathrooms.
Some rooms offer ocean views. There's free WiFi and complimentary coffee, tea and hot chocolate. There's also a computer in the lobby for e-mail or browsing. The two-story, 1950s-California beach vintage style hotel has been operated by the Gregory family for three generations. Rates start at $199 per night.
The Hotel Carmel reminds me a lot of the smaller European hotels I love so much with their grand but postage-stamp-size entryways and gracious, stately lobbies.
It's easy to see how the hotel is the perfect home away from home if you've flown across 'the pond'.
The lobby's high ceilings, tiled floor, dramatic white columns and classic, oversize fireplace capture the gracious Spanish revival elements of the 1920s.
The hotel has 97 graciously appointed guest rooms and suites, some with views. And you can't beat the location - the hotel practically sits on the popular Third Street Promenade and adjacent Santa Monica Place.
The Seashore Hotel is old-school charming, small (just 19 spacious standard rooms), and in a centrally perfect location - the heart of bustling Main Street.
Historic Main Street is home to some of Santa Monica's best restaurants, art galleries, chic boutique shops, fun and funky coffee houses and more.
And perhaps best of all, it's one of the cheap hotels in Santa Monica that is just two short blocks from the beach. Rates start at $125 nightly.
The 3-story Comfort Inn is about a mile and a half from Santa Monica beach, the Santa Monica Pier, and the 3rd Street Promenade.
But what it lacks in location, it makes up for in price, comfort, cleanliness and amenities. It is a clean, solid place to stay, with ultra comfortable beds, oversized bathrooms, free self-parking and Wi-Fi, and breakfast daily. Rates start at $152 per night.
The Days Inn Santa Monica is about 2 miles from the beach, with a city bus stop just across the street. Breakfast is included daily with your room. And so is complimentary gym access, so you can keep your beach bod toned. Rates start at $152 per night.
Even if the Wyndham Santa Monica was a cheap hotel flophouse, there are three reasons I'd stay here: Location, location, location.
The Wyndham, thankfully, bears no resemblance to a flop house. In fact, the freshly renovated, 132 guest rooms provide the amenities to feel comfortable and at home away from home. Rates start at $237 per night.
Cheap hotels abound in Santa Monica. Compare prices and locations to find the perfect place to stay during your vacation on a shoestring budget.
There are lots of other cheap Santa Monica hotels. But these are the ones I can vouch for. If you're on a limited budget, I'm pretty sure you'd be happy at the hotels detailed above.