The Best Hotels to Book in Gainesville, Florida

Book a spacious suite for your trip to Gainesville and enjoy your own living area
Book a spacious suite for your trip to Gainesville and enjoy your own living area | Courtesy of Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville / Expedia
Photo of Jen Karetnick
14 December 2021
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Ask anyone in Florida, or even anyone interested in college football, and they’ll tell you what Gainesville is: Home of the Gators. The Gators are the football team of the University of Florida. Gainesville is also where Gatorade was invented. But fewer know it as a place with large-scale paleontology excavations, restored Victorian architecture, a standout arts and music scene that spawned such artists as Tom Petty and a superb number of preserves, gardens and museums devoted to 2 million years of natural history. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Gainesville, all bookable through Culture Trip.

Sweetwater Branch Inn

An outdoor pool with grass and trees at Sweetwater Branch Inn
Courtesy of Sweetwater Branch Inn / Expedia

If restored architecture is your cup of tea, then this Victorian complex will fill your cup to the brim. Whether you stay in the individually decorated suites or in an entire cottage, you’ll delight in all the tiny little touches that make up this bed-and-breakfast. With a saltwater pool and beautifully designed gardens – and a putting green, no less – on the grounds, this site in historic downtown Gainesville will keep you mesmerized with its Southern charm.

Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe

A bedroom with two cushioned beds, an armchair and a TV against a blue wall at Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe
Courtesy of Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe, an IHG Hotel / Expedia

Given that the Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe is located within a planned Gen Y live-work-play community, where dogs are more prevalent than people, it’s no surprise this trendy hotel is pet-friendly. The guest rooms play homage to the Gainesville music scene with a themed wall mural and decor. Even the on-site GATHER Social Lounge has local seasoning – literally – with farm-to-table ingredients and liquors.

Fairfield Inn and Suites Gainesville

A bedroom with a bed, TV, mirror, desk, orange sofa, coffee table and armchair at Fairfield Inn and Suites Gainesville
Courtesy of Fairfield Inn and Suites Gainesville / Expedia

With modern midcentury influences and a nod to functional art deco, the guest rooms at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Gainesville are warm and inviting. Inside, find fellow Gators at the full-service bar. Outside, strike up friendships over the barbecue grill or fire pit. Take advantage of the complimentary breakfast or plunge in for a morning swim in the outdoor pool before stepping out to tour the nearby college campus.

AC Hotel by Marriott Gainesville Downtown

An outdoor rooftop pool with palm trees and sun loungers at AC Hotel by Marriott Gainesville Downtown
Courtesy of AC Hotel by Marriott Gainesville Downtown / Expedia

From here, you can hear the roar from the crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, known as the Swamp. Gator fans love to stay in this chic hotel, less than a mile away from their beloved football team’s home ground. But they also like the refreshing minimalism in the guest rooms, the rooftop pool and deck dotted with potted palms, plus the expert mixology at the AC Lounge.

Aloft Gainesville University Area

A stylish seating area with blue sofas, tables, yellow and grey armchairs and a TV at Aloft Gainesville University Area
Courtesy of Aloft Gainesville University Area / Booking.com

Cool and colorful – and yes, those are University of Florida hues – the Aloft is the business-smart kid sibling of the luxury W hotels. Stop into the W XYZ bar that offers live music, Re:fuel by Aloft market or even the Re:mix lounge. Canines are also welcome, and you can even request a special Aloft Pet Bed, so that your pup doesn’t have to make a mess of your cool platform bed with the graphic rolled pillows.

Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville

An outdoor pool at Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville
Courtesy of Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville / Expedia

This hotel might be located on the UF campus, but it’s not all students, parents of students, professors and university business. The attractive interior and lovely setting, which house a generous fitness center and an outdoor pool, offer places to blow off steam. So do the No Name Lounge and Shula’s American Steakhouse, named for and founded by Don Shula, the beloved winningest coach in America’s National Football League (NFL) history.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Gainesville

Chain Hotel, Suite Hotel
An outdoor pool with sun loungers, yellow chairs and small tables at Home2 Suites by Hilton Gainesville
Courtesy of Home2 Suites by Hilton Gainesville / Expedia

These full suites, complete with kitchen and bathroom that contains a scald-proof faucet, are among the most convenient and comfortable places to stay in town. They’re also located just a couple of miles from campus and 3mi (5km) from downtown. If you’re not going out, stay to enjoy the bright lobby, outdoor fire pits next to the pool, pet-friendly rooms and grab-and-go snacks. We’d say Home2 Suites is a friendly place to put down temporary roots.

Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville Downtown

A bedroom with two beds, dark grey carpet, a TV, window, armchair and desk at Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville Downtown
Courtesy of Hampton Inn and Suites Gainesville Downtown / Expedia

Cosmopolitan guest rooms welcome the weary traveler here. Far enough away from campus to mute the Gator roar, the Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville Downtown is still nicely situated in a region that offers an assortment of interesting restaurants, bars and attractions, including a taco garden across the street. Bring your pet or your significant other, or your colleagues for a business meeting. You’ll all get a complimentary hot breakfast, access to the fitness center and pool privileges. All except the dog, that is.

Holiday Inn Gainesville

An outddoor pool with sun loungers at Holiday Inn Gainesville
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Gainesville / Expedia

Located directly across campus, the Holiday Inn Gainesville – University Center is an exceptionally family-friendly place to stay. Not only are your pets petted and feted, your kids stay and eat free if they’re under 18 – up to four of them. The rooftop pool is a highlight here, as is the half-kitchen – mini-fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker – especially for those days you’re running late, or just running from one activity to the next. Like many on-campus hotels, this one fills up fast for game weekends and other events.

For more places to stay in Florida, check out our guide to the best hotels in Celebration, Florida, for every traveler, bookable with Culture Trip.

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