The 6 Best Cheap Hotels in Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica has some excellent budget hotels near all the action
Santa Monica has some excellent budget hotels near all the action | © All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Dominic Bertolami
Freelance Writer30 October 2020

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. Here are the six best cheap hotels in the area.

Ocean Park Hotel

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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.

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Ocean Lodge Hotel

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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.

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Cal Mar Hotel Suites

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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.

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  • Gateway Hotel Santa Monica

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    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?

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    Sea Blue Hotel

    Budget Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Sea Blue Hotel / Expedia

    This classic Los Angeles hotel lies just a block from the 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.

    Bayside Hotel

    Budget Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Bayside Hotel / Expedia

    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.

    These recommendations were updated on October 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.