The Best Hotels in Crystal River, Florida

Crystal River is a true paradise for nature lovers
Crystal River is a true paradise for nature lovers | © J Rubacha / Alamy Stock Photo
Siobhan Grogan

Criss-crossed by peaceful woodlands, glittering waterways and harmonious nature reserves, Crystal River is a true paradise for nature lovers. Visitors flock to the area’s waterfront resorts and mid-priced hotels to swim, sail and snorkel in the heavenly waters or spot the gentle manatees who migrate here to escape chillier waters each winter. These are the best hotels in Crystal River, Florida – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Plantation on Crystal River, Ascend Hotel Collection

Eco Hotel

Outdoor pool area at Plantation on Crystal River, at night, with loungers, lamp posts, manicured lawns and palm trees
Courtesy of Plantation on Crystal River, Ascend Hotel Collection / Expedia

Combine action-packed days on the water with lazy days by the pool at this sprawling eco-friendly resort in Crystal River that families will love. Surrounded by the renowned natural springs of Kings Bay, the property has an 18-hole championship golf course, a croquet lawn, volleyball and tennis courts and a lovely lagoon-style pool lined with sun loungers and a fun tiki bar. Head to the on-site adventure center to arrange kayaking, fishing and boat tours from the private dock or splurge on treatments at the tranquil Aveda spa.

2. Hampton Inn Crystal River

Hotel

Room at the Hampton Inn Crystal River, FL has chic design, a black work desk, white bedding, tall lamps and a blue feature wall
Courtesy of Hampton Inn Crystal River, FL / Expedia

Just off Highway 19, 2mi (3.2km) from downtown, Hampton Inn is still just ten minutes from the Crystal River Preserve and Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Parks for days spent hiking and ogling manatees. Meanwhile, city restaurants are close at hand, or you can cool off with a dip in the hotel’s outdoor pool – just don’t leave without gorging on the complimentary freshly baked waffles each morning.

3. Retreat at Crystal Manatee

Motel

Room at Retreat at Crystal Manatee has abstract bedding, a red work desk, a mountain painting and wall lights
Courtesy of Retreat at Crystal Manatee / Expedia

A world away from the big-name chains, the small Retreat motel in Crystal River, is all about personal touches – think individually decorated bedrooms with vibrant bedspreads and striking geometric tiles, and a front desk staffed by the friendly owners, who will happily direct you to the best local seafood restaurants. King’s Bay Park, Hunter Springs and the Three Sisters Springs are all within walking distance for a dream holiday without the hassle.

5. The Port Hotel and Marina

Hotel

As the only hotel on the main spring in Kings Bay, the Port Hotel in Crystal River is a water-based wonderland. Rent boats and kayaks, snorkel with the area’s famous manatees or jump straight in to swim in the bath-warm spring water. If that sounds like too much hard work, join a leisurely dinner cruise or grab a seat at the waterfront bar to toast the fiery orange sunset with a cocktail.

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