The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in Tampa, Florida

A stay at an affordable Tampa hotel like Staybridge Suites will leave more in your budget for the area attractions
A stay at an affordable Tampa hotel like Staybridge Suites will leave more in your budget for the area attractions | Courtesy of Staybridge Suites Tampa East – Brandon / Expedia
Hugh McNaughtan

Tampa deserves its time in the sun. Usually considered just a hub of commerce, it actually contains an abundance of attractions. Top of the list are the world-class Florida Aquarium and the city’s two theme parks, while the Tampa Museum of Art and ZooTampa at Lowry Park sit nearly as high. Strolling the Hillsborough Riverwalk, you’ll be impressed by the modern architecture and wonderful dining scene. Let us find you a cheap hotel in Tampa, and you’ll wonder what took you so long to get here.

1. Aloft Tampa Downtown, for sightseeing

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

Pool area perched over the Hillsborough River at Aloft Tampa Downtown
Courtesy of Aloft Tampa Downtown / Expedia

Aloft is perfect for taking in Tampa’s central attractions. Perched on the Hillsborough River, just upstream from where it spills into Hillsborough Bay, you’ll find the Tampa Riverwalk, Museum of Photographic Arts and multiple parks literally outside your door. Inside, Aloft is all clean lines, potted palms and modern comforts. From entry-level guest rooms to the presidential suite, everything sings with bright Floridian colors. Some are accessible to guests with mobility issues, and all feature rainfall showers and Bliss Spa toiletries.

2. Hyatt Place Tampa / Busch Gardens, for easy rollercoaster access

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

Large suite with separate living room area at Hyatt Place Tampa / Busch Gardens
Courtesy of Hyatt Place Tampa / Busch Gardens / Expedia

It’s a slight stretch to name this hotel for Busch Gardens – a theme park full of adrenaline-inducing rollercoasters, a five-minute drive away – but this slick, sensibly priced Hyatt gets a pass. Closer to the actual greenery of USF Botanical Gardens, it’s pet-friendly and offers a gym, pool, restaurant serving complimentary hot breakfast sandwiches and artisanal pastries, and all the amenities you’d expect from a Hyatt. Rooms are quiet, both acoustically and decoratively, with carpets, heavy drapes and muted grey tones, offering an extremely comfortable night’s sleep. Accessibility is a focus, with many rooms ADA-compliant.

3. Courtyard Downtown Tampa, for culture vultures


Cozy fire pit seating area with string lights and tropical foliage at Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Downtown
Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Downtown /

This cheap Tampa hotel is one for the culture-seekers. Several blocks back from the river, it’s nonetheless right in the heart of Tampa’s cultural zone. An easy stroll takes you to the Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum or the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Pale washes of interior color provide a light, soothing effect, while the pool and gym take care of travelers in need of physical stimulation. Rooms of all standards come in sedate creams and grays, with bold statement walls, splashes of contemporary art and armchairs for relaxing.

4. Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District, for local history

Resort, Chain Hotel

Large outdoor seating area with L-shaped sofa and armchairs at Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District /

The 19th-century district of Ybor, once home to Tampa’s cigar industry and retaining a distinct Cuban, Italian and Spanish flavor, is the point-of-difference here. Of course, you can count on Hilton’s universally high standards, but you really must venture out to enjoy Ybor’s bubbling nightlife and restaurant scene. Inside, expect standard luxuries like an on-site gym, pool and restaurant, and enjoy the ocher-and-red palette of rooms featuring 250-thread-count sheets, Mirra chairs by Herman Miller and a range of accessibility options.

5. Holiday Inn Tampa North, for family-friendly comfort


Sunny pool and palm trees at Holiday Inn Tampa North
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Tampa North / Expedia

Those visiting students of the University of South Florida’s Tampa Campus will appreciate this budget Tampa hotel right across the street. The neutral-colored rooms are well set up, with blackout shades for a good night’s rest, walk-in showers, kitchenettes and even work spaces, in case you need to catch up on your emails. It’s also very family-friendly: one kid under 18 per parent can stay for free, and two under-11s per paying adult eat for free. The complimentary hot breakfast includes eggs the way you like them, plus bacon and sausage.

6. Residence Inn Tampa Sabal Park / Brandon, for guest socials

Chain Hotel

Pool area with lounge chairs at the Residence Inn Tampa
Courtesy of Residence Inn Tampa / Expedia

This fully appointed Marriott to the east of central Tampa really rolls out the welcome mat. All-suite accommodation comes with fully equipped kitchens (just don’t miss out on the generous breakfast buffet). Mondays to Wednesdays, the management invites you to meet the other guests for the Mix, an evening of complimentary drinks, light bites and good conversations. You’ll find a first-nighter kit to welcome you to comfortable rooms in muted greys and browns, with good-quality beds and accessible options.

7. Staybridge Suites Tampa East – Brandon, for accessible travel

Hotel, Suite Hotel

Modern king room in soothing olive green and tan tones at Staybridge Suites Tampa East – Brandon
Courtesy of Staybridge Suites Tampa East – Brandon / Expedia

The fitness center at this IHG hotel east of downtown is open 24 hours, and it really is a great place to keep your training going while away on vacation. There’s also a palm-fringed outdoor pool, and plenty of thought has been given to accessibility, from specially configured rooms to visual alarms and amplified telephones. All rooms are suites, with well-equipped kitchens, a neutral color scheme and blond-wood headboards. You needn’t come here alone, either; your pet pooch is welcome here.

8. Hilton Garden Inn Tampa East / Brandon, for easy highway access


Pool area with lounge chairs and palm trees at Hilton Garden Inn Tampa East / Brandon
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Tampa East / Brandon / Expedia

Another great-value Tampa hotel option a little east of the Hillsborough River, the Garden Inn lives up to its name, with greenery sprouting throughout the neat brick premises. Naturally, there’s a pool and gym, and the rooms include thoughtful features like ergonomic Mirra desk chairs, non-allergenic feather pillows, 250-thread-count sheets, Keurig coffeemakers and deep, relaxing sofas. The convenient location right off the I-75 means that you’re just 10-15 minutes’ drive from such attractions as the Busch Gardens theme park, Adventure Island waterpark and Croc Encounters – a zoo that gets you up close and personal with its toothiest denizens.

For more hotel options, check out our guide to the best hotels in Tampa, Florida, bookable on Culture Trip.

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