The Best Hotels to Book in San Luis Obispo, California

Take your relaxation to the next level and treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment at Hotel San Luis Obispo
Take your relaxation to the next level and treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment at Hotel San Luis Obispo | Courtesy of Hotel San Luis Obispo / Expedia
Photo of Daniel Stables
5 August 2021

Set at the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountains, San Luis Obispo is a California city well-loved for its award-winning wine, farm-fresh food, and outdoor adventure possibilities. The large choice of places to stay in San Luis Obispo is equally appealing, geared towards foodies, nature lovers, and history buffs.

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham San Luis Obispo Downtown

The rooftop pool at La Quinta Inn and Suites, San Luis Obispo, California, is surrounded by blue sun loungers and looks out over the surrounding mountains.
Courtesy of La Quinta Inn & Suites / Expedia | Courtesy of La Quinta Inn & Suites / Expedia
A quinta is a Portuguese country estate, and this eye-catching hotel in San Luis Obispo (SLO), with its spiky angles and classy minimalist suites, is a modern take on that brief. With views of the Santa Lucia Mountains looming in the background and the walking trails of South Hills nearby, this is a great choice for outdoorsy types, but Downtown SLO – with its Spanish mission and museum of local art – is right on your doorstep, too.

Madonna Inn

The stone-clad exterior of the Madonna Inn is fringed by lush flowers and trees in San Luis Obispo, California.
Courtesy of Madonna Inn / Expedia
Quirky and colorful are two words that come to mind when describing the Madonna Inn, which has 110 flamboyant rooms, each one themed differently – examples include Old Mexico, Harvard Square, and Country Gentleman. The exuberance continues at the Gold Rush Steak House, Copper Cafe, Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge, and the onsite bakery, where towering pink cakes and indulgent pastries will tempt you time and again.

Garden Street Inn, A Kirkwood Collection Property

Built-in wooden bookcases surround the fireplace and face a comfortable seating area at Garden Street Inn, San Luis Obispo, California.
Courtesy of Quality Suites Downtown / Expedia
The elegant Garden Street Inn sits in the historic Downtown district, a short walk from the Spanish mission, where the old monks’ quarters now house a museum exploring the colonial period. While Spanish history echoes through town, French country architecture inspired the decor of this particular San Luis Obispo boutique hotel, with cozy guest rooms and a wood-paneled library that begs you to curl up on a sofa and get into a good book.

Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo

The high-ceilinged lobby with a fountain centrepiece and comfortable seating at the Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo, California.
Courtesy of Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo / Expedia
“Quality” is certainly the word to describe this Spanish-inspired hotel, where tiled fountains decorate the lobby and your suite features extra touches like an extra sofa bed to make you feel at home. An outdoor pool, hot tub, and barbecue grill mean it’s tempting to never leave the grounds, but you must, to explore the hiking trails of High School Hill, the strangely compelling (if kind of gross) art installation of Bubblegum Alley, and the colonial-era architecture of Downtown.

San Luis Creek Lodge

The white wood-panelled interior of the San Luis Creek Lodge lobby is complemented by desert plants and a modern Californian chair and rug.
Courtesy of San Luis Creek Lodge / Expedia
Bringing together the rural charm and boho artistry that characterizes California’s Central Coast, San Luis Creek Lodge has a breezy hippy charm but doesn’t compromise on luxury. Be sure to check out the works of local painters and sculptors at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and discover more about the rich history of the city at the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum, just across the street.

Sunbeam Motel

A twin double room in traditional hotel style at the Sunbeam Motel, San Luis Obispo, California.
Courtesy of Sunbeam Motel / Expedia
It’s hard to imagine a more classic Californian motel than the Sunbeam, with its vintage sign, traditional rooms, and cheerful, sunny paint job. For an even more retro fix of motels in San Luis Obispo, be sure to head up the road to the remains of the Motel Inn – opened in 1925 as the first motel in the world – and, then, take time to explore the riverside greenery of nearby Cuesta Park.

The Kinney San Luis Obispo, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

A swinging chair and modern seating area sit in front of a wall of globe lamps at The Kinney San Luis Obispo, California.
Courtesy of The Kinney San Luis Obispo / Expedia
There’s a youthful, collegiate vibe to the Kinney, which features a large open-plan social area with a self-serve bar, pub-style restaurant, and board games – perfect for getting to know fellow guests. The campus atmosphere extends to the rooms, which have a surfy aesthetic and include a Grad Suite and a duplex Dean Suite. Other facilities include a gym, an outdoor pool, and rental bikes.

Hotel San Luis Obispo

Colurful cushions and accessories decorate a large bed in a suite at the Hotel San Luis Obispo, California.
Courtesy of Hotel San Luis Obispo / Expedia
Huge, floor-to-ceiling windows invite the outside in at Hotel San Luis Obispo, flooding the colorful, artistically appointed guest rooms with natural light. Some also have balconies or terraces overlooking the mountains. The local ethos extends to the several eating and drinking options, which source produce from around SLO – try the grilled lobster tail from Ox and Anchor, the wild Pacific swordfish at Piadina, or grab a coffee and a croissant from bakery Daily Bread. When evening comes, watch the sunset over the valley with a glass of zinfandel at the High Bar.
These recommendations were updated on August 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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