You don’t have to compromise on amenities when looking for an inexpensive hotel in Los Angeles. In Santa Monica, budget hotels are retro in style, have surprisingly ideal locations and will help stretch your dollars further. Without further ado, here are the best cheap hotels in Santa Monica – bookable on Culture Trip.
Ocean Park Hotel offers basic lodging in an excellent location. The rooms are simple, clean and comfortable, and the staff is friendly. The attached OP Café serves American-style breakfast and lunch in a charming atmosphere. Meanwhile, the surrounding neighborhood offers hip restaurants, shops and bars, and the Expo Line (which takes you to Downtown LA) is a 20-minute walk away, with a station on Bundy Drive.
Just one block from the Santa Monica Pier, this budget 1950s hotel has bright, fresh rooms in a vintage Southern California setting. The adjacent restaurant, Chez Jay, is a nautical-themed mainstay with a boozy daily happy hour and dedicated local following. A short walk away is the Third Street Promenade and nightlife destinations such as the Bungalow. It’s in an ideal location for travelers looking to see the best of Santa Monica on a budget.
Tucked away in a residential neighborhood just two blocks from the beach, the Cal Mar is an unassuming all-suite budget hotel with a pool. The suites are spacious and feature traditional decor, full kitchens and mid-century SoCal appeal. There are plenty of unexpected amenities here for a budget hotel, including car rentals and laundry service.
You’ll discover an especially welcoming staff amid cheerful surroundings at the Gateway Hotel Santa Monica. The rooms are bright and colorful with all the comforts of home, including pillowy mattresses and flat-screen TVs. It’s within walking distance of the 17th Street Expo Line train station, which is great if you’re looking to explore more of LA. But why not keep it local and simply take a stroll down Santa Monica Boulevard towards the pier?
This classic Los Angeles hotel lies just a block from Santa Monica State Beach and is within walking distance of the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. Sea Blue Hotel, which opened in 1948, has a relaxed atmosphere and an offbeat retro-surf-meets-rock’n’roll theme. The renovated rooms, adorned in various shades of blue and bright white, have a lot of character.
The Bayside Hotel sits between Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier and has the retro design of a 60s surf motel, but with modern amenities. In the bright rooms – some of which come with kitchenettes and ocean views – splashes of blue and white complement the pale wood and small marine-themed decorations. Enjoy sunbathing on the lush lawn while the ocean breeze runs through the palm trees lining the street. This Ocean Avenue hotel offers brilliant sunsets in a simple vintage setting.
For more options, see where else you can stay in California on a budget and the best hostels in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Looking for something a little more special? Discover our guide to the best hotels in Santa Monica, now bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.