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When it comes to vacationing in sunny Orange County, there are a number of great beach towns from which to choose. If you’re looking for a more laid-back spot with great surf and sand, as well as plenty of great restaurants and bars, you’d do well with Huntington Beach, tucked between Long Beach and Newport Beach. Not only are there plenty of activities to do in town, but it’s conveniently located near Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, not to mention the Irvine Spectrum Center and Crystal Cove State Park.
Hotels in Huntington Beach run the gamut from luxury resorts to beachy boutiques and kitschy motels, with a number located right across the Pacific Coast Highway from the beach and some others more inland. Here, we break down our favorite Huntington Beach hotels by category to help you make your pick for your next vacation or business trip to the destination.
Best Overall: Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort
When you’re in Huntington Beach for vacation, you’re almost certainly there to enjoy the beautiful sun, sand, and surf and the best place to do that is the Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort. The oceanfront boutique draws crowds with its retro surf-chic decor, an art gallery featuring a rotating selection of works by ocean photographer Aaron Chang, and the Latin American–Asian fusion restaurant Pacific Hideaway. Guests also have access to the 24-hour gym with a bouldering wall, a record library to play some vintage tunes, and beach cruisers to explore town. Plus, there’s complimentary coffee and tea in the mornings, wine in the evenings, and s’mores at night. Rooms continue the beachy yet modern decor scheme, and they have amenities like a soaking tub and yoga mats for relaxation and mindfulness. The hotel is located just one block away from dining and shopping on Main Street, making exploring the area a breeze.
Best Budget: Sun ’n’ Sands Inn
Orange County is known for being on the ritzier side, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a pretty penny to stay there — especially in laid-back Huntington Beach. The best budget hotel along the shore is the Sun ‘n’ Sands Inn, a motel located seven blocks north of the restaurants and shops on Main Street and the Huntington Beach Pier with free parking, a bit of a rarity in the area. The decor is a little dated — think painted-on palm trees on the wall and colorful, beachy quilts on the beds — but the rooms are clean and practical with microwaves, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. The motel is also great for families, as there are accommodations with bunk beds and a pull-out sofa for children (but do note there’s an extra nightly fee per person over two guests). There’s also free coffee and pastries, and towels are available for the beach. Another big draw for the hotel? Extremely friendly service.
Best Boutique: Paséa Hotel and Spa
Southern California is known for its focus on wellness, and at the boutique Paséa Hotel and Spa, that’s just what you’ll find. The hotel's claim to fame is its large Balinese-style spa, which not only has treatment rooms, steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpools, but also a garden with a firepit and cabanas and a 24-hour fitness center. When you’re finished with your treatments, you can head to one of the hotel’s three dining options: Tanner’s Restaurant; Tanner’s Treehouse, a rooftop lounge with cabanas and live music; or the casual Blend Café. There’s also the Ninth Island Pool, which overlooks the Pacific, as well as beach butler service that includes chairs, umbrellas, and towels. After enjoying all these amenities, guests can retreat to one of 250 ocean-view rooms, each decorated with a beach-colored palette of blue and cream. Paséa Hotel and Spa is pet-friendly, and four-legged guests will enjoy their own beds, food, and water bowls.
Best for Surfers: Huntington Surf Inn
Following a recent renovation by HGTV star Antonio Ballatore, the Huntington Surf Inn has been transformed from a sleepy 1960s motel into a funky California getaway. There are only nine guest rooms here, and each features different kitschy but fun surf-inspired decor that nods to the heritage of Huntington Beach, as well as a mini-fridge to store your beer, a microwave, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning. It’s a top pick for professional surfers, skateboarders, and other athletes, so you never know who you’ll rub elbows with.
Amenities are limited at the hotel — though they do offer guests free beach towels and frisbees — but the entertainment of Main Street is only a five-minute walk away. There's also a shared deck area with beach views where guests can mingle. If you’re looking to be right across the Pacific Coast Highway from the water, but you don’t want to stay at a large chain hotel, the Huntington Surf Inn is an excellent pick.
Best for Luxury: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
The Spanish-style Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa offers guests a luxurious change of pace from the beach-themed hotels that line the town's stretch of Pacific Coast Highway. Here, 517 rooms are elegantly decorated in all-white palettes (suites feature peach tones and warm wood furniture), and each has a marble bathroom, wine cooler, 65-inch TV, and balconies or patios — some with ocean views.
The ocean-facing resort feels like its own oasis thanks to two pools and a serene “Spa Grotto” with whirlpools set in a garden. There are also three full restaurants serving everything from California cuisine to pizza, plus a poolside café and an on-site market for more casual options. Guests also have access to a 24-hour gym; a relaxing spa with saunas, steam rooms, and outdoor relaxation areas. For vacationing families, there’s a kids club that provides a day full of activities for the little ones.
Best for Families: Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel
Huntington Beach is a kid-friendly destination, particularly with Disneyland nearby, and if you’re looking for a hotel that can accommodate your whole crew, the newly renovated Waterfront Beach Resort is a great upscale choice. A good portion of its rooms are suite-style, meaning there’s plenty of space for kiddos, and the hotel has pet-friendly accommodations, too, so the entire family can come along.
There are two pools at the property: the Driftwood Beach Club, which caters more towards families, and the Huntington Pool, which is more of a quiet oasis. As for the beach, families can rent cabanas with butler service, and there’s also an evening package that treats guests to campfires and s'mores. The hotel is home to several dining options, one of which, the Boardwalk Restaurant, offers a children’s menu, and there’s an on-site market so you can bring goodies back to your room. If parents need to get away for a while, there’s the Offshore 9 Rooftop Lounge with beautiful ocean views.
Best Off the Beach: Ayres Hotel Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach
While the majority of the action in Huntington Beach is found at the — you guessed it — beach, there are great hotels located inland, too. The Ayres Hotel Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach is about seven miles from the beach, conveniently located right off the 405, which means it’s just a short drive to all the area attractions like Disneyland and the world-class golfing of Orange County. (There’s also free parking for guests.)
With a heated outdoor pool, a fitness center, a serene courtyard with fruit trees with a firepit, a bar and grill, and a free hot breakfast, this two-acre property makes for a compelling stay in itself, even if the beach isn’t across the street. Rooms and suites — 127 of them — feature beige decor with dark wood furniture for a decidedly non-beachy vibe. The design of the entire hotel was overseen by Feng Shui expert Jessie Kim, and the result is an open and flowy floor plan that emphasizes calmness.
Best for Business: Residence Inn by Marriott Huntington Beach Fountain Valley
Though it’s quite easy to mix work and play while you’re in Huntington Beach, you might find it most productive to stay at a hotel that’s not right next to the ocean. The Residence Inn by Marriott Huntington Beach Fountain Valley is a great choice for business travelers, with apartment-style suites with full kitchens, free Wi-Fi, and a business center. It also has a fitness center and an outdoor pool if you need a short break from your work. Plus, at the end of the day, the hotel is just a 15-minute drive away from the beach (and only half a mile away from Mile Square Regional Park, with two golf courses and an archery range), so you can get your leisure time in away from the hotel, too. Guests are treated to a complimentary hot breakfast and evening mixers with bites and beverages three nights a week.
Best All-Suite: Springhill Suites Huntington Beach Ocean County
When you need a bit more space than a standard room can offer, there’s usually the option to upgrade to a suite, but at the Springhill Suites Huntington Beach Ocean County, every single room is a suite. Built in 2017, the hotel features a modern design sensibility, with guest rooms decorated in blues, tans, and light natural wood — take note of the wooden headboard that doubles as two nightstands. As for in-room amenities, there are 50-inch TVs with Netflix and Hulu access, midcentury-modern-style sleeper sofas, and microwaves and mini-fridges for convenience.
Elsewhere in the hotel, guests will find a fitness center, a lobby bar, and a 24-hour sundry store. While there’s no on-site restaurant, this Springhill Suites offers a free buffet breakfast, and it’s within walking distance of several restaurants, as well as the Bella Terra Shopping Center. The beach and downtown are just a 15-minute drive away.