The mid-range Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea is a family-friendly property with 200 kitchen-equipped studios and suites a short drive from the beach, shops, and restaurants of Wailea. Contemporary studios have sitting areas, furnished terraces, and kitchens with stovetops and microwaves, while suites add separate living spaces and ovens. Unfortunately, some patios aren’t private or have unattractive views. Leisure facilities include a well-sized outdoor pool and adjacent hot tub, plus a basketball court, putting green, and 24-hour fitness center. A free buffet breakfast with items such as waffles, cereal, eggs, and bacon is served each day, and a pool bar operates all day, but there’s no full restaurant here. Overall, the kid-friendly atmosphere and home-like suites make this a better pick for families than couples. Travelers without kids should consider the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, which has a stellar beachfront setting.
The mid-range Mauian Hotel on Napili Beach is a peaceful oceanfront property with six standard guest rooms and 38 kitchen-equipped studios on the island’s northwestern coast. Features are limited here, as there are no restaurant, gym, or spa, but it’s a good pick for travelers wanting to cook themselves. A small outdoor pool, free-to-borrow beach chairs and towels, and free morning fruit and pastries are provided, as is free Wi-Fi, though it’s spotty. Standard rooms have microwaves, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and air-conditioning, while studios provide full kitchens, dining tables, and sofas. In order to retain a quiet, nature-centric environment, there are no in-room TVs, though one is available in a common room with movies and games. Note that some past guests have complained of thin walls creating noise issues. There are some restaurants in the area, plus the two Kapalua Golf courses. Travelers wanting a true resort should consider the Royal Lahaina Resort, which offers a good bang for your buck with its array of facilities and room types.
At the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, the 3,981-room, mid-range Excalibur Hotel and Casino is a gigantic casino-hotel with a strong focus on family-friendly features and budget-friendly rates. It was the largest hotel in the world when it opened back in 1990, and has a huge number of features to match, including four pools, a spa, multiple restaurants such as a buffet and steakhouse, live entertainment and — of course — a large casino. While much of the hotel’s common-area decor has a vaguely medieval theme (in a theme-parkish kind of way), the rooms are generic and typical of what one might find in a chain hotel, with flat-screen TVs and dated, but not unattractive, bathrooms with basic toiletries. Like most Vegas hotels, there are no in-room fridges or coffeemakers, and a daily resort fee is charged to cover Wi-Fi and fitness center access. The Excalibur is typically a more affordable alternative to the New York-New York Hotel and Casino across the street, which has a roller coaster, and the Egypt-themed Luxor Las Vegas.
The 388-room Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo – a DoubleTree by Hilton is a modern mid-range property with a pretty oceanfront location a six-minute drive from Hilo International Airport. Although there’s no real beach here, there are an outdoor pool with loungers, water-sports center with snorkeling gear and kayaks, and a decently equipped fitness center. An on-site locally sourced restaurant and bar is popular with both locals and guests, plus there are a lobby bar and shave ice spot. Rooms and suites are contemporary and attractive, if a bit uninspired, featuring neutral decor, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and microwaves, plus many have furnished lanais – some with gorgeous ocean vistas. A daily resort fee (common for Hawaii) covers Wi-Fi, a round of golf at the adjacent nine-hole course, and parking. This is a good option for those wanting to be near the airport, but travelers wanting a true beachfront resort should head west to the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.
The four-room Big Island Bed and Breakfast is a peaceful property on the Island of Hawaii’s less-developed southern coast, close to its famous green-sand beach. There’s not a ton on-site or in the immediate vicinity, so travelers should be prepared to drive. Low-frills rooms are spacious and have flat-screen TVs, bathrooms with toiletries, and fans, plus some add fridges and outdoor spaces. The 8,000-acre grounds contain a macadamia nut farm, and numerous fruit trees that guests can enjoy. A saltwater pool, ping-pong table, fully equipped kitchen, a few exercise machines, and free Wi-Fi are provided. Free continental breakfasts consist of yogurt, pastries, granola, and coffee. Unique additions include a friendly St. Bernard named Annabelle, parrots, and daily “Lava Shows” which are home video footage of the island’s 2018 volcano eruption. This is a good pick for adventurous travelers looking to take advantage of all the nearby outdoor activities, while travelers wanting more of a resort should head north to the 452-room Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, which has a central beachfront location in Kona.
The mid-range, 155-room Royal Beach Palace is an affordable property with dated rooms about a 10-minute walk from the beach in Fort Lauderdale. The hotel’s rooms and suites are clean and spacious, albeit simply decorated with outdated decor. Standard amenities consist of furnished balconies, microwaves, fridges, flat-screen TVs, and writing desks. Amenities are limited here but include small outdoor pools, an average all-day American restaurant, and a popular tiki bar with fun cocktails. There’s an advertised free shuttle to the public beach with loungers and umbrellas available, though travelers have complained that it doesn’t run at times. It’s worth considering the slightly more expensive Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is modern, across the street from the beach, and packed with amenities.
The mid-range Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a charming reconstruction of an 18th-century village in Bagac. Sprawling, beachfront grounds feature quaint Spanish colonial-style architecture, cute cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and balsa boats ferrying people along the river that runs through this “living museum.” The property also comprises a 217-room hotel and 16 private casas that sleep from two to 16 people. The spaces hark back to another era, but still have modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and large bathrooms with separate tubs and showers. However, like much of the resort, they’re showing wear and have some maintenance issues. Additionally, there are no elevators, so guests with mobility issues should request a ground-floor unit. Dining options include five restaurants serving local and international fare, plus free breakfast, but food receives mixed reviews. Other features include cultural shows, water sports, an outdoor pool, and a spa for massages. Walking tours and balsa river cruises are included in room rates, or they can be booked as a day tour. Travelers wanting an affordable beach hotel may prefer Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort, which has overwater villas.
Based on the Japanese-led micro-hotel concept, the mid-range Pod Brooklyn Hotel offers compact, efficiently designed rooms, and limited services — as a trade-off for very reasonable prices and a stellar Williamsburg location. While all of the 249 modular rooms are teeny, they’re uber-modern and cleverly decked out with flat-screen TVs, work desks, under-bed drawers, and multi-plug tech outlets near bed pillows. However, the shower-over-toilet bathrooms aren’t for everyone. Freebies include Wi-Fi, loaner bikes, and walking tours of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The mezzanine level is a great spot to get some work done or socialize, while the adjacent burger joint serves up breakfast, brunch, and craft beers. All up, Pod Brooklyn is a clean, comfortable — even somewhat stylish — option for budget-conscious travelers. As a boutique alternative with a gym, try the Hotel Indigo, though rates are higher.
The mid-range Cliffside Resort Condominiums on the Long Island Sound is a pleasant all-condo property located on a nice beach a short drive from Greenport’s attractions. All units feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, fully stocked kitchenettes (no ovens, though), balconies, and living areas with double sofa beds. Most are homey and cute and have all the amenities necessary for a comfortable stay, but they’re all individually owned, which means maintenance and decor vary. With a seasonal pool and barbecue grills for guest use, the property is a good pick for families and groups seeking a relaxed getaway, and the grounds offer plenty of space to unwind, including Adirondack chairs placed facing the beautiful sunsets. For something cheaper, consider the Sound View Greenport.
The mid-range, 96-room Canyon Woods Resort Club near Tagaytay is an affordable, albeit dated property with expansive grounds housing recreational facilities for both adults and kids. A rather necessary shuttle is available to transport guests around the resort in order to reach the multiple room buildings, indoor and outdoor pools, nine-hole golf course (a 12-minute drive away), a spa, and entertainment for kids. Rooms are simple and equipped with TVs, fridges, work desks, and safes, but past guests have complained of maintenance issues. The atmosphere here is peaceful and relaxed, best for travelers looking to stay on-site. For a more spa- and nature-focused retreat, consider Tagaytay’s Nurture Spa Village.