Monterey is tucked into a small, California-central coast peninsula about 100mi (160km) south of San Francisco. Known for Cannery Row, a former sardine-packing district and now a popular strip of shops, bars, and restaurants, and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, the city is also a beloved stop along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway. While the area can get pricey, there’s no shortage of hotel deals in Monterey if you know where to look. Here’s our pick of the best, now bookable on Culture Trip.
Just over a mile (1.6km) from Fisherman’s Wharf and 2mi (3.2km) from the renowned local aquarium, Best Western Plus Monterey Inn offers comfortable rooms on the outskirts of downtown Monterey. Beyond the usuals like free wifi, some rooms come equipped with upgrades like fireplaces, balconies and even ocean views. What’s more, guests have access to complimentary parking and hot breakfast, a definite plus for budget travelers.
With its charming, bright exterior accented with beachy colors, the Arbor Inn Monterey puts travelers in the perfect position to explore the greater Monterey Peninsula. Not only is the hotel located on Munras Avenue right across the street from Monterey State Historic Park, it is also just off the ramp to Highway 1. It’s oh-so-simple to take a day trip to nearby destinations such as Carmel, Pebble Beach and Big Sur, or just head out on the open road for a scenic drive along the coast from here.
Guests at the Stevenson Monterey can flaunt extra perks that include special pricing from Monterey Bay Sailing and advanced tickets for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The prime location in the middle of downtown also puts you within steps of the best seafood restaurants and specialty shops in the city. Paired with the added convenience of free parking and a complimentary continental breakfast to start your day, this retro-style property is hands down one of the best hotel deals in Monterey.
Although guests will have to drive to most of the main attractions from this cheap hotel in Monterey, they’ll only have to walk about five minutes between the airport and the comfortable, updated rooms at the Comfort Inn. You’ll have all the basics, plus a plush armchair and footstool to kick back on. Lovely landscaping surrounds the motel with Californian foliage, from pines to climbing plants.
In the center of the main strip of budget hotels in Monterey, the Inn at 1252 Monterey has some of the lowest prices around. Find plush, clean bedding in the simple guest rooms – some boasting whirlpool bathtubs – and free breakfast with granola and cereal bars in the lobby. There’s also a substantial shopping center across the way and an outdoor seating area to soak in that California sun.
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Marina is a place to rest your head after a long day at Marina State Beach, a family-friendly stretch of sand 2mi (3.2km) west of the hotel. The value doesn’t end there, as you’ll get a free light breakfast item every morning, and hot drinks and fruit juices are on tap. Want to have another guest join the fun? No problem – rollaways are available on request.
Colton Inn gives visitors the opportunity to explore a lesser-known slice of Monterey filled with classic adobe buildings, yet still walkable from downtown. Inside, the decor is chic, the bedding is soft and some rooms come with fireplaces or jacuzzis to add a touch of ambiance. Free morning breakfast is definitely a plus, but there’s also a vending machine to curb any late night cravings, or to stock up on S’mores supplies to use in the outdoor grill area.
Wondering where you can sign up for a cheap hotel in Monterey with ocean views? It doesn’t get much better than a two-minute walk from historic Cannery Row, which is exactly what you’ll get at the Cannery Row Inn – so close to the water that it’s literally on Foam Street. Every guest room here is cosy, but if you want to get some fresh air, the heated patio is also rather toasty. Don’t forget to show your Triple AAA card for an added discount.
Looking to stay on the beach? Read our guide to the best beach hotels in Monterey, then book your favorite with 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.
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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.