Articles Mentioning Budget

Aqua Aloha Surf Waikiki

The rooms at this 176-room budget hotel, located five minutes from the beach, are fairly spacious — but also noisy, tired looking, and a bit grimy. The free breakfast is a nice feature, as is the small pool, but the free Internet barely works. A better all-around, comparably priced hotel is the Aston Waikiki Beach.

Hotel St. Augustine

This quaint, minimalist 24-room hotel is set on a quiet residential street just south of the South Beach action, within a few minutes’ walk of some of Miami’s best local hot spots. You won’t find any art on the walls in the straightforward, meticulously clean rooms, but you will find 42-inch flat-screen TVs, stereos, and excellent multi-head steam showers. The extremely low-key property doesn’t have a full restaurant or pool on site, but it does offer free breakfast in its bright little lobby lounge (where free coffee is available throughout the day) and the beach is a four-minute walk away. Travelers looking for a South Beach boutique hotel with just a touch more glitz and easier beach access could check out Essex House Hotel, though the shower experience will less memorable.

Best Western Plus Atlantic Beach Resort

The 186-room Best Western Atlantic Beach Resort is a two-pearl property right on the beach, a 10-minute drive north of South Beach. It’s an older hotel that’s a mixed bag when it comes to style and substance, though upgrades were in progress during our 2016 visit. At the moment, though, it has major flaws. Rooms are basic and worn, and include flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers, and some have balconies and some have beach views. There’s a mediocre restaurant and a bar, as well as another bar by the tiny pool. The hotel’s best feature is its beachfront setting, though it’s a 30-minute walk along the boardwalk to South Beach. As an alternative, the nearby Holiday Inn Miami Beach has a bigger pool and is more attractive. 

Cardozo South Beach

Owned by Gloria “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” Estefan, the Cardozo South Beach is across from the beach on vivacious (and noisy) Ocean Drive. Lacking a pool or gym, the Cardozo tries to compensate with a Cuba-meets-Serengeti-meets-Bhutan décor and a restaurant that makes equally little sense.

Cardiff Hotel & Spa

This 56-room boutique hotel may not have the all-inclusive perks of other Jamaica hotels, but its quiet atmosphere and authentic local fare make it a decent option for travelers on a budget. There is a well-kept pool, a business center with free Wi-Fi, a small fitness room, and a solid restaurant serving local cuisine. Its 44 rooms are fairly spacious, but pretty basic, with only flat-screen TVs, empty mini-fridges, and private balconies offering garden or ocean views in the way of amenities. There’s not a lot to do in the hotel either, and the beach is a short walk away, so those who want lively atmosphere or nightly entertainment might want to look elsewhere.

Hotel Celuisma Cabarete

The 120-room, one-and-a-half-pearl Celuisma Cabarate, is a beachside all-inclusive property, but it’s memorable for all of the wrong reasons. From the trash-filled parking lot to the poor sanitation in the restaurants, it’s a stretch to call this place a resort, mostly for the lack of functioning amenities. The website lists two pools, but only one was working when we visited, and despite the promise of multiple bars and restaurants, there’s just a buffet serving sub-par food and small bar with limited hours. Rates are low for the area, and budget travelers only concerned with having a roof over their heads may be fine, but UltraVioleta Boutique Residences is a far nicer option up the road.

Aqua Hotel

Smack-dab in the heart of South Beach, the Aqua Hotel is a basic budget property that attracts partiers looking to be in the center of the local action. The 46 rooms here are simple and get lots of natural light, plus they all have minibars, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers. Many, however, are showing wear and tear, and bathrooms are old. On-site amenities are limited to a whirlpool in a small courtyard with some greenery, and a couple of computers in the lobby for guest use. The hotel tacks on a resort fee to cover what little they do offer: notably, Wi-Fi, basic continental breakfast, loungers on the beach (though umbrellas are only available for a steep daily fee), and a set-time shuttle to the Miami Airport. Similarly priced hotels abound in the area, such as the Whitelaw Hotel nearby, which offers a better value. 

Caribe Club Princess Beach Resort & Spa

As one of the lower-priced Princess properties in Punta Cana (with three other locations in the same vicinity) Caribe Club, with its disco and 24-hour bar, appeals to a party crowd, especially in March and April when spring breakers sidle up to bars ordering MamaJuana. This crowd isn’t as discerning when in comes to getting sleep, hence why some rooms — the Caribe Suites in particular — get away with patterned bedspreads and tube televisions, making them feel out-of-date compared to Bavaro Princess nearby. (Superior Rooms and Honeymoon Suites are better options for grown-ups.) Overall, low prices help keep the focus on a great beach, large pool, friendly bars, and live entertainment in the open-air theatre. For a special occasion, save up for a night at La Cava, which is not included in the all-inclusive price.