Oyster’s 11 favorite beachfront bargains for under $200/night

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Negril Tree House Resort is located on Jamaica's best beach and offers rooms for around $115/night.
Negril Tree House Resort is located on Jamaica's best beach and offers rooms for around $115/night.

Many travelers planning a beach getaway want one thing above all others: A hotel that’s located smack on the sand. Finding a hotel that’s truly on the beach isn’t always as easy as it seems (hotels that are a five-minute walk away don’t usually like to advertise that fact), and finding one that doesn’t cost a fortune can be even trickier. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and found 11 fantastic beachfront properties, all for under $200 a night. If you want to see more, check out our new beach hotels page.

Natura Cabanas

Offering eco-friendly bungalows in a lush, friendly setting, Natura Cabanas is a taste of serene, northern coast luxury for a remarkably fair price. Guests enjoy delicious, fresh food, a clean, crowd-less private beach, daily yoga and Pilates classes, and a fabulous spa. It’s quiet, and a bit rustic without TV or AC in rooms, but that’s the point.

Negril Tree House

  • Average Price: $115/night
  • Rating: 2.0 Pearls
  • Location: Negril, Jamaica

The 70-room Treehouse is about the most relaxed hotel in Jamaica, almost to a fault. There’s only a skeleton crew on staff at night, and the rooms feature nothing but an old TV and a bar of soap. But most guests don’t seem to care, once they’re swinging on a porch hammock overlooking Jamaica’s best beach. Plus, great bars and restaurants are right next door.

  • Average Price: $179/night
  • Rating: 4.0 Pearls
  • Location: Bahamas

The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort has great rooms, a gorgeous beachfront, three great pools, a top-notch gym, and a friendly and cheerful staff. But it’s a massive property — 694 rooms — with little to eat nearby. This means that guests are stuck with the Sheraton’s own overpriced, mediocre fare. Still, it’s a great value.

  • Average Price: $188/night
  • Rating: 4.0 Pearls
  • Location: Oahu, Hawaii

The largest resort in Hawaii is a veritable village, with five towers, five pools, 20 bars and restaurants, 90 shops, direct beach access, and a separate lagoon. The crowds can get big and the lines long. But for families and other Waikiki vacationers looking for a self-contained resort with loads to do, the Hilton is a top choice.

Located right on the beach, the Townhouse offers bright, stylish rooms, but little else. Still, it’s a great, comparatively clean alternative to the sketchy, similarly priced hotels throughout South Beach. Young singles might appreciate the Townhouse’s proximity to clubs and the mix of good-looking Europeans spending the night.

  • Average Price: $147/night
  • Rating: 3.5 Pearls
  • Location: Oahu, Hawaii

This 717-room behemoth looks and feels like a shopping mall, with chain restaurants on the ground floor, an escalator to the lobby, and service that seems to emphasize speed over personal touches. But the beachfront location is great, and recently renovated rooms feature fun décor and flat-screen TVs. Plus, most have ocean views.

Rose Hall Resort & Spa

With modern features, professional service, and a huge on-site water park, this relaxed, beachside golf resort is more popular with somber families than rum-chugging partiers. Though the rooms are small, they feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, spa-quality bath products, great beds, and a powerful Wi-Fi signal — all rare luxuries in Jamaica.

  • Average Price: $170/night
  • Rating: 3.5 Pearls
  • Location: Maui, Hawaii

A 15-minute walk outside Kaanapali’s main strip, the family-owned Royal Lahaina has what the Kaanapali mega-resorts lack — a quiet, isolated beachfront. Its amenities — just three small pools, a nightly luau, and an 11-court tennis facility — don’t rival those at the mega-resorts, but this is still a great pick for peace and relaxation.

With large, spacious rooms, a great rooftop pool and Jacuzzi, and friendly, attentive service, the Bentley is a superb value for those who want a trendy Ocean Drive location, but prefer a quieter address just a few blocks south of the all-day, all-night South Beach party.

Family-owned and run since 1974, Bolongo is a laid-back resort with an excellent beach, great food, and a warm, helpful staff that keeps guests coming back year after year, despite the small pool and scarce features. But beware the “Value Rooms,” which have old, sagging mattresses.

  • Average Price: $196/night
  • Pearls: Rating: 3.0 Pearls
  • Location: Aruba

Sporting two large pools, exotic landscaping (with caged parrots), a top-notch spa and fitness center, and a long beach where kids and teens run wild, the Radisson is an excellent value, even with a dingy casino and squeaky mattresses. Plus, the location is ideal; ample restaurants and places to party, on-site and off.

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