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 The hotel’s rooms and suites are clean and spacious, albeit simply decorated with outdated decor.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.
The mid-range Dogo Prince Hotel offers guests a traditional onsen stay, with highly regarded bath house facilities, 123 traditional tatami-mat and Western-style rooms, and fresh, seasonal Japanese dining. The onsen takes center stage, with a variety of baths (some private) that are both indoors and outdoors. Hospitality is important at this hotel: guests are welcomed with a drink, snacks are freely available, and the proprietor’s programming includes events that highlight aspects of traditional Japanese culture. The design is traditional and minimalist, but some furnishings are slightly dated. Guests looking for something a little more luxurious but around the same price should check out the Dogo Onsen Yamatoya Honten in town.
The upper-middle-range Camaya Coast is part of a larger residential development located about a two-hour ferry ride from Manila (or a four-hour drive). It sits on a pretty, palm-dotted beach, complete with cabanas and an inflatable island with waterslides, which is nice enough to warrant daytrips. However, despite the direct ferry, it’s a bit of an inconvenient destination and there’s little else in the area. Two attractive outdoor pools include an infinity one, and loungers line the decks. There are a well-equipped fitness center and a spa, plus guests have access to the sister hotel’s water park. Food is pricey though, and most of the options are of the fast food variety. The 35 rooms here are clean and pleasant, all with balconies or patios (but they’re unfurnished) and solid amenities like flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges. It’s worth comparing rates with the upper-middle-range, 21-room Acuatico Beach Resort & Hotel, which is a beachfront property in Leiya, a 35-minute drive from Naambon Falls.
With a prime location between Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona, Hotel Damaso is a chic and simple mid-range boutique hotel with a lot to like. Opened in 2017, the 39 rooms have a fun, bespoke style that uses patterns and color to make them feel more spacious and bright. All include individually controlled air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and Smart TVs, while Deluxe Rooms add terraces. A continental breakfast buffet is included in rates, and is served in the cheerful bar on the ground floor (where you’ll also find a small library lounge). The Hotel Damaso rooftop bar is the star of the show, though, with astounding Rome views and great wine. The Damaso is a nice bargain for the location and quality, but if you want to be closer to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, check out Albergo del Senato (though it’s less stylish).
The 382-room Sirata Beach Resort is a mid-range, family-friendly resort located right on a long, sandy beach in central St. Pete Beach. The property offers plenty of things to do on-site for all ages, including daily activities, a game room with video games, weekly bonfires at the beach, and live music in the evening. The highlights here are the three oceanfront pools, plus the hotel also offers two popular beachfront restaurants, a small fitness center, event space, and free on-site parking. Contemporary rooms are outfitted with solid amenities, including free Wi-Fi, smart TVs, and coffeemakers. About 75 percent of rooms offer ocean views from the balcony or patio. However, some guests have complained that housekeeping can be hit or miss. Postcard Inn on the Beach is a good alternative for travelers on a tighter budget.
Of the three couples-only Cove Haven resorts in the Poconos region, Pocono Palace is the most modern. That said, it still has all the corny retro romance factor that’s been attracting vacationing lovers to these mid-range resorts since the 1960s. Most of its 189 fantasy-themed rooms are equipped with their famously gaudy (and fun) heart-shaped hot tubs. It’s hard not to marvel at the tri-level Roman Tower Suites with their whirlpools shaped as giant Champagne glasses — though the saggy round beds, chintzy decor, and mirrors galore aren’t for everyone, so simple contemporary rooms are available. All-inclusive packages cover breakfast, dinner, and non-alcoholic drinks. (Discerning diners need not apply.) Between the umpteen seasonal lake activities, pools, and nightly entertainment, there’s plenty to do at this lovers’ only compound. Those seeking romance without the cheesiness, could try Pocono Manor Resort & Spa.