Top 50 hotels under $150

Napa, Aspen, or Maui at under $150 a night? Yes, it’s possible. Check out our fave bargain hotels that don’t skimp on style

Northern California

9. Boonville Hotel, Anderson Valley. This homey roadhouse in the low-key wine region of Anderson Valley has a sprawling garden out back, a (really good) family-style restaurant spilling from the lobby onto a patio strung with lights, and, upstairs, a hallway lined with 8 tidy, stylish rooms accented by flowers cut from the garden. $125;

10. Ripplewood Resort, Big Sur. Staying here is a couple steps up from camping—you get all the benefits of sleeping in the forest but have a bathroom, kitchen, and mattress (plus heat if you need it). Of the 17 rustic cabins, we prefer the ones closest to Big Sur River—some have firepits—though they’re pricier. A hearty breakfast at the resort’s cafe isn’t included, but it’s still a steal. $125; 2-night minimum;

11. The Cottage Inn, Lake Tahoe. This 22-room B&B is classic Tahoe all the way, down to the knotty-pine paneling, hammocks hung under evergreens, and the path down to a private beach for a bracing dip in the blue, blue lake. Mornings, there’s breakfast on the deck (or, if it’s nippy, in by the fire); afternoons, wine and cookies for the nibbling. $145; 2-night minimum;

12. Point Reyes Seashore Lodge, Point Reyes / Olema. After switchbacking up Highway 1 to Point Reyes, road-weary guests beeline for the row of Adirondack chairs out back with a view of the sloping, sparkling green lawn and gardens. Across the small creek are 70,000 acres of national seashore, not to mention kayaking and oyster slurping up the road at Tomales Bay. The lodge has 22 rooms; get one that faces away from the road. $135;

13. The Crescent Hotel, San Francisco. Union Square’s shopping and shows are just down the street, but the hotel’s jazzy Burritt Room bar is a great reason to stay put, Sazerac in hand. The 79 rooms are teensy but stylin’, with white leather headboards, oversize black mirrors, and exposed brick. $149;

14. Marina Inn, San Francisco. Pack your earplugs to block out busy Lombard Street when you check into a room that’s more country flowery than city-motel drab. You’re just blocks from the sparkling bay and on top of Chestnut Street’s shops. $99; 2-night minimum;

15. L&M Motel, Sonoma wine country. The big selling point of this 19-room roadside motel, just off 101, is that it’s a 6-minute walk from Healdsburg square. Run by the great-granddaughter of the original 1940s owners, it has a funky indoor “spa” with a sauna and hot tub. $120; 707/433-6528.

16. West Sonoma Inn, Sonoma wine country. The main action of this 32-room hotel in Guerneville, a few miles off winery-packed Westside Road, is its lovely pool and wine garden and the winemaker tastings it hosts on some Saturday evenings. The pick of the under-$150 litter is room 128, which looks out to Korbel’s vineyards. $149; 2-night minimum;

17. Maison Fleurie, Napa Valley wine country. Yountville, home of the French Laundry and a row of must-try restaurants, has become a haven for high-end hotels too. The exception is Maison Fleurie, which has 13 small but country-sweet rooms just a stroll from town. $140 (1 room at this rate, with a full bed; others are $170 and up);

18. Doubletree Napa Valley, Napa Valley wine country. Rooms come dear in these parts, and the Doubletree (formerly the Gaia) is one smart solution: 9 miles south of Napa, next to a storage facility along the store-lined main drag into the valley, this pioneer in the eco-hotel trend has 132 just-fine rooms and a courtyard with a pool, hot tub, and lagoon. $109;

19. Elk Cove Inn, Mendocino Coast. Along the ruggedly spectacular coast south of Mendocino, the Elk Cove Inn is known for its perch above a driftwood-strewn beach. Plus its decadent breakfast and free cocktail hour. There are some truly affordable rooms in the mix, tucked into the 1883 home of a mill supervisor. From $100; 2-night minimum;

20. Carmel Mission Ranch, Carmel. Yes, this is his place—Mr. Million Dollar Baby and “Make My Day,” the man with 4 Oscars and a face crinkling into monument-dom. But in an era when celebrity enterprises inspire deep suspicion—see “debit card, Kim Kardashian”—Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch delivers. Many Carmel digs tend to be fussy and claustrophobic (not to mention overpriced), but the minute you turn into Mission Ranch’s drive, your blood pressure drops at the sight of so much beautiful space: simple, milk white board-and-batten buildings scattered near a curve of Carmel Bay, with Point Lobos floating on the horizon. Cottages aren’t cheap, but many rooms are so reasonable, you’ll begin to suspect this is Clint’s thank-you gift to all of us who’ve been filling multiplex seats for years. Or maybe he just likes it here—last time we took in the ranch’s Sunday jazz brunch, he was there too, looking like he was having the time of his life. $145; 2-night minimum;

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