San Luis Obispo is a small, charming city located on the Central Coast of California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Founded by the Spanish in 1772, this city is a popular tourist attraction with historic architecture, great beaches, beautiful vineyards, and a lively downtown.
San Luis Obispo, aka SLO (as the locals call it), is home to the famed Madonna Inn which has drawn travelers here since the 1950s. Thanks to Cal Poly, a top-notch university located in San Luis Obispo, it’s also a popular college town.
I grew up on a farm in San Luis Obispo County and was lucky to call this beautiful area home for many years. So while I’m biased, after traveling so much over the years, I still think San Luis Obispo is a very special city that is definitely worth visiting.
Whether you are visiting for a long weekend, a stopover on a California road trip, or a weeklong getaway, here are 28 of the best hotels in San Luis Obispo to help you make the most out of your stay.
Top 10 Things To Do In San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo is a small city with a population of 47,545 as of 2023 but despite it’s size there is still a lot to do and see. Here are 10 of the best things to do in San Luis Obispo.
1) Take a self-guided audio tour of downtown San Luis Obispo
2) Zipline over Margarita Vineyard’s beautiful terrain and taste five local wines on a wine-tasting adventure and zip line tour
3) Head to the beach for surf along the 17 miles of coastline around Pismo Beach
4) Explore the mountains on a Mountains and bird-watching tour where you can spot eagles and hawks
5) Learn the ancient art of foraging on a Margarita Ranch Foraging tour
6) Take part in a guided off-road tour of the Santa Lucia mountains and explore the charming ranch town of Santa Margarita on a Santa Lucia Guided nature tour
7) Watch a show or live music at the 1942 historic Fremont Theatre, which has live showings and live music daily
8) Visit the famous pink-and-white Madonna Inn with over 100 uniquely themed rooms
9) If you are in town on a Thursday night, head to the SLO Farmer’s Market, with over 120 stalls plus you must see famed Bubble Gum Alley.
10) Take on Bishop Peak Trail, a 1.7-mile hike for incredible views of the valleys and the city.
The 30 Best Hotels In San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo offers an array of great hotels. Though SLO is a small city it offers accommodation for every taste and price range. Here are 30 of the best hotels in San Luis Obispo broken down by luxury, mid-range and budget accommodations.
10 Best Luxury Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Here are 10 of the best luxury hotels in San Luis Obispo.
1) Granada Hotel & Bistro
Granada Hotel and Bistro is a four-star hotel in Downtown San Luis Obispo, close to the shopping district. The hotel is within walking distance of the Fremont Theatre and Bubblegum Alley, as well as various restaurants and bars.
The Grenada Hotel offers free parking, bike rentals and breakfast; the onsite bistro features a superb brunch.
Book Your Stay: Granda Hotel & Bistro
2) San Luis Creek Lodge
San Luis Creek Lodge has rooms from 355 sq ft to 420 sq ft, with double rooms and single rooms with queen and king beds. All 25 rooms have individually furnished rooms with premium bedding, designer toiletries and 44-inch flat-screen TVs.
This three-star bed and breakfast has bike rental and is close to the Irish Hills Natural Reserve and the Los Osos Oaks State Reserve.
Book Your Stay: San Luis Creek Lodge
3) Garden Street Inn, A Kirkwood Collection Hotel
Garden Street Inn is within walking distance of restaurants, bars, hotels and several of the city’s top attractions. This Kirkwood Collection Hotel features a cooked-to-order breakfast, a terrace, a garden, premium bedding and free in-room wifi.
The 13 individually furnished rooms have small luxury touches, coffee/tea in the lobby, and premium guest services.
Book Your Stay: Garden Street Inn, A Kirkwood Collection Hotel
4) The Wayfarer San Luis Obispo
The Wayfarer San Luis Obispo by Hilton has a superb terrace, arcade/game room, an outdoor pool, complimentary self-parking and a full breakfast. All 100 feature premium bedding, laptop-friendly workspaces and free wifi.
This hotel, with a 3.5-star rating includes all the amenities you would anticipate from a Hilton, and it’s conveniently located within walking distance of the Performing Arts Center and Fremont Theatre.
Book Your Stay: The Wayfarer San Luis Obispo
5) Hotel Cerro
Hotel Cerro offers queen and king rooms with extras such as sofa beds and patios, sleeping up to four people.
With an outdoor pool featuring cabanas, a spa, free bicycles and 65 rooms with premium bedding and intelligent TVs. This hotel is also located in Downtown San Luis Obispo.
Book Your Stay: Hotel Cerro
6) Madonna Inn
Madonna Inn has 110 individually furnished rooms, each with its own themes, from a caveman theme to the Irish Hills and much more.
This 3.5-star hotel has two restaurants, two spa tubs, a poolside bar, a terrace, and onsite shopping.
Book Your Stay: Madonna Inn
7) Apple Farm
Apple Farm is located in the city center close to the airport, notable landmarks, and vineyards, just a three-minute drive from the San Luis Obispo Station.
The hotel offers a range of amenities including a garden, fireplace, hot tub, and a restaurant. Guests can also enjoy an outdoor pool, free self-parking, and a delicious cooked-to-order breakfast. With 105 uniquely furnished rooms, there is plenty of comfortable accommodation to choose from.
I love the Apple Farm and have stayed here many times. They have a lovely bakery and their restaurant’s corn bread with honey butter is a must-try!
Book Your Stay: Apple Farm
8) Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo
Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo offers a mixture of suites with multiple beds sleeping up to five people comfortably.
The hotel offers free breakfast, a manager’s reception, a garden, an outdoor pool, free self-parking and 138 rooms.
Book Your Stay: Quality Suites Downtown San Luis Obispo
9) Hotel San Luis Obispo
Hotel San Luis Obispo is located in Downtown San Luis Obispo, with easy access to the train station and airport as well as within walking distance of restaurants and top attractions.
Hotel San Luis Obispo features an outdoor swimming pool, cooked-to-order breakfast, an express checkout and 78 rooms with premium bedding.
Book Your Stay: Hotel San Luis Obispo
10) Courtyard by Marriott San Luis Obispo
Courtyard by Marriott is ideally located a little outside of downtown, close to the airport and train station – great for those who want to explore the surrounding areas and natural parks and lakes.
With a mixture of one-bedroom suites and rooms with a king bed, two queens and sofa beds, this hotel is excellent for couples or a small family getaway.
Book Your Stay: Courtyard by Marriott San Luis Obispo
10 Best Mid-Range Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Here are 10 of the best mid-range hotels in San Luis Obispo.
1) TownePlace Suites San Luis
TownePlace Suites San Luis is a three-star hotel with a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor pool, complimentary self-parking and 133 rooms, including bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, coffee/tea-making facilities and free wifi.
This hotel is a four-minute drive from Laguna Lake Park and the Madonna Plaza Shopping Centre.
Book Your Stay: TownePlace Suites San Luis
2) Embassy Suites by Hilton San Luis Obispo
The Embassy Suites by Hilton San Luis Obispo is within an eight-minute walk of the Madonna Plaza Shopping Centre and close to the beach and nature reserves.
This hotel has a mixture of Grand Suites sleeping four people, Executive rooms sleeping up to four people and standard rooms.
Book Your Stay: Embassy Suites by Hilton San Luis Obispo
3) Best Western Plus Royal Oak Hotel
Best Western Plus Royal Oak Hotel is close to the airport and the Irish Hills Natural Reserve, the Pismo Preserve and just a one-minute walk from Laguna Lake Park.
The options available include king rooms, two queen rooms, one queen room and balcony rooms.
Book Your Stay: Best Western Plus Royal Oak Hotel
4) Vagabond Inn San Luis Obispo
Vagabond Inn San Luis Obispo has family rooms sleeping up to six people, studio rooms, and standard rooms with a mixture of one or two queen or king rooms.
With just a one-minute walk, you can be at the Laguna Lake Park, within two minutes at the Madonna Plaza Shopping Centre and a 16-minute walk to downtown.
Book Your Stay: Vagabond Inn San Luis Obispo
5) La Cuesta Inn
La Cuesta Inn is located within the city’s shopping district, with an outdoor pool, free self-parking, a computer station and free continental breakfast.
The hotel features 70 rooms which include premium bedding, laptop-friendly workspaces, free wifi and a refrigerator, microwave and coffee/tea makers.
Book Your Stay: La Cuesta Inn
6) La Quinta Inn and Suites
La Quinta Inn and Suites is a classic three-star Wyndham hotel located in downtown San Luis Obispo on Monterey Street.
The La Quinta hotel has a mixture of rooms ranging from two queen-bed rooms sleeping four to king rooms and suites. Complete with a bar, free breakfast and a 24-hour gym this hotel is great for everyone.
Book Your Stay: La Quinta Inn and Suites
7) Hampton Inn And Suites
Hampton Inn And Suites is located along Calle Joaquin Road with an easy drive to Johnson Ranch Open Space, Laguna Lake Park and Bubblegum Alley.
The Hampton Inn has 84 rooms with premium bedding, LCD TVs, free wifi and bike rentals.
Book Your Stay: Hampton Inn And Suites San Luis Obispo
8) Hotel Buena Vista
Hotel Buena Vista offers two room options a standard room with a king bed and a standard double room with two queen beds, sleeping up to four people.
The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, free self-parking, and barbecue grills. All 75 rooms feature free wifi, LED TVs and coffee-making facilities.
Book Your Stay: Hotel Buena Vista
9) Hotel Calle Joaquin
With a swimming pool, hot tub, free wifi and parking the Hotel Calle Joaquin is a great base for a trip to San Luis Obispo.
Hotel Calle Joaquin is situated in the commercial area near the beach, and it only takes five minutes by car to reach Laguna Lake Park, the Fremont Theatre and the Madonna Plaza Shopping Centre.
Book Your Stay: Hotel Calle Joaquin
10) Avenue Inn Downtown
Avenue Inn Downtown is located in Downtown San Luis Obispo close to bars, restaurants and the train station.
Avenue Inn has a grocery store, free in-room wifi, free self-parking, express check-out, and all 51 room has air conditioning.
Book Your Stay: Avenue Inn Downtown
8 Best Budget Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Here are 8 of the best budget hotels in San Luis Obispo.
1) Los Padres Inn
With two room options, one with a queen bed and the other with two queen beds, this hotel is an excellent base for exploring the city and its surrounding areas.
Los Padres Inn has a convenient location for visiting downtown San Luis Obispo, vineyards, hiking trails and the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens.
Book Your Stay: Los Padres Inn
2) Lamplighter Inn and Suites
This hotel offers a great place to stay if you are visiting the business district or want to spend some time exploring downtown, within easy walking distance of restaurants and the city’s major attractions.
Lamplighter Inn and Suites have rooms that sleep up to six people comfortably, making it ideal for larger friend groups or families looking to enjoy the area.
Book Your Stay: Lamplighter Inn and Suites
3) Sands Inn and Suites
Sands Inn and Suites is a great budget hotel if you are looking for a cheaper way to explore the area. The hotel has numerous room options which sleep between two and five in rooms and suites with basic kitchen facilities.
Located within walkable distance of great shopping, museums and the city’s sports stadiums.
Book Your Stay: Sands Inn and Suites
4) Motel 6 San Luis Obispo – South
Motel 6 San Luis Obispo South is located in the south of the city along Calle Joaquin Road a great place to stay just a short drive from local attractions and shopping.
The budget hotel has 117 rooms, free parking, free wifi and comfortable rooms.
Book Your Stay: Motel 6 San Luis Obispo South
5) University Inn
This budget-friendly option is perfect for couples or small groups of friends. It includes a free daily breakfast to take with you, a laptop workspace and free wifi.
University Inn has rooms which range from 196 sq ft to 225 sq ft sleeping between two and four guests.
Book Your Stay: University Inn
6) Motel 6 San Luis Obispo – North
Motel 6 San Luis Obispo North is located along Calle Joaquin, just three minutes from Laguna Lake Park and the Madonna Plaza Shopping Centre.
All the rooms in this hotel are 200 sq ft with a mixture of double and queen beds with configurations of either one or two beds sleeping between two and four people comfortably.
Book Your Stay: Motel 6 San Luis Obispo North
7) Mission Inn San Luis Obispo
Mission Inn San Luis Obispo is within walking distance of good shopping locations, the California Polytechnic State University and just a short drive from Santa Rosa Park and Fremont Theatre.
Book Your Stay: Mission Inn San Luis Obispo
8) Inn at San Luis Obispo
The Inn at San Luis Obispo offers budget accommodation on Monterey Street in the city center and within walking distance of restaurants.
With an outdoor pool, free self-parking, a terrace, a garden and a business center, this is an excellent location for a budget stay in the city.
Book Your Stay: Inn at San Luis Obispo
Best Time Of Year To Visit San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo has mild California weather year-round, so it’s a great destination any time of year. But summer or fall is an optimal time to visit because it is warm and sunny these months.
Summer can get pricey and a bit crowded (for a small town) though, so in my opinion fall is the best time to visit. And September is probably my favorite month in SLO because the summer crowds are gone, the weather is warm and the ocean is the warmest it is all year since it’s been heating up all summer long.
Best Hotels In San Luis Obispo Wrap Up
I hope you’ve found this San Luis Obispo hotel guide helpful. If you have questions about San Luis Obispo or tips for our readers, please leave these in the comments below!
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