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- Best Overall: Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The biggest draw to the hotel is the beach — head across the boardwalk to enjoy the sand and sea."
- Best Budget: La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Right next to the infamous Clayton’s Beach Bar, a spring-break mainstay that’s the life of the party."
- Best for Luxury: Isla Grand Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Offers a vast number of amenities that you’d expect from a top-of-the-line property."
- Best for Families: Schlitterbahn Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The hotel's waterpark features water slides, interactive playground, and pools, one of which has a swim-up bar."
- Best for Romance: Pearl South Padre – See Rates at TripAdvisor "There's a spa that offers special treatment for couples."
- Best for Business: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites South Padre – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Just an eight-minute walk from the South Padre Island Convention Center."
- Best for Spring Break: La Copa Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Notorious for giving its guests access to some parties during spring break, which is the property’s true allure."
- Best Off the Beach: Best Western Beachside Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Since the Best Western isn’t right on the beach, the rates are slightly more affordable."
- Best Apartment-Hotel: Seabreeze Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Best suited for travelers who are looking for a self-catered vacation."
Best Overall: Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island
With comfortable rooms, affordable rates, and a beachfront location, The Hilton Garden Inn South Padre is one of the best hotels in the Texas resort town. The property has 156 spacious rooms, including Junior Suites with separate living areas and pull-out sofas. Although the decor is typical of a large chain hotel, its accommodations are perfectly clean, comfortable, and convenient — everything you need for a simple place to crash at the end of a long day.
You’ll likely be spending your time elsewhere on the property, like at the massive pool with two hot tubs. There's also the poolside Barry’s International restaurant and bar that serves made-to-order breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a fitness center, and a 24-hour business center. A 24-hour market in the lobby sells sundries if you’ve run out of sunscreen or need a late-night snack. The biggest draw to the hotel, of course, is the beach — head across the boardwalk to enjoy the sand and sea.
Best Budget: La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach
Though the La Quinta Inn & Suites brand is a budget hotel chain, its South Padre Island location is actually one of the top hotels in the area. This is in part to its affordability, but also because of its ideal beachfront location — right next to the infamous Clayton’s Beach Bar, a spring-break mainstay that’s the life of the party.
The hotel’s 147 rooms are great for the price, with microwaves and coffee makers in all rooms, soaking tubs and balconies in most, and the decor is surprisingly modern and fresh for a chain hotel. In the main pool area you’ll find a number of loungers, a splash pool for kids, the Lookout Bar, and a sun deck for tanning — plus, all this overlooks the beach, which is directly accessible from the property. Other amenities include a gift shop, a gym, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary hot breakfast with made-to-order omelettes, a waffle maker, and all-you-can-drink coffee.
Best for Luxury: Isla Grand Beach Resort
Luxury is a bit of a loose term on South Padre Island, but there is the Isla Grand Beach Resort. Although it doesn’t cost an arm and leg to stay there, it does offer a vast number of amenities that you’d expect from a top-of-the-line property. There are 193 accommodations that range from hotel-style rooms with pool, garden, or beach views to two-bedroom condos with full-size kitchens and private patios. There’s also one four-bedroom unit available, too. The hotel-style rooms are a little dated in terms of decor, though the condos are much more updated.
The facilities elsewhere at the resort are top-notch — there’s a lagoon-style pool with hot tubs, a smaller pool with a waterfall, tennis courts, a gym, a business center, and massive conference facilities. There’s also the beach, which has a volleyball court and rentable lounge chairs and umbrellas. Food and beverage is a focus here, and there are multiple options available from the beachfront café to multiple bars that offer live music.
Best for Families: Schlitterbahn Beach Resort
One of the biggest draws to South Padre Island is the Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, which has its own hotel. The water park is open year-round as it has both indoor and outdoor facilities, and it features water slides, interactive playground, and pools — one of which has a swim-up bar. As for accommodations, there are 221 rooms at the resort that take on a rustic vibe: they’re decorated with repurposed Loblolly pine trees that fell during the 2011 Bastrop wildfire, the worst in Texas history. Families should opt for one of the suites, which sleep six to eight people.
While water park admission is not included in the standard room rate, you can get discounted tickets through special “stay and play” packages. Also, keep an eye out for special family discounts that gets kids free admission to the water park. There are also a number of other facilities besides the water park, including three restaurants and bars, a fitness center, an extensively stocked gift shop, and beach chair and umbrella rentals.
For more ideas on what to do, take a look at our guide to kid-friendly activities on South Padre Island.
Best for Romance: Pearl South Padre
Even though South Padre Island is best known for its partying during spring break and its family-friendly atmosphere throughout the rest of the year, you can sneak off for a romantic weekend at the Pearl South Padre, a 256-room beachfront resort. Like the Isla Grand Palms Resort, there’s a mix of hotel-style rooms and multi-bedroom condos. But here, it’s the rooms that offer more updated decor than the condos. In any case, the condos are better suited for families and groups than couples. If you want to splurge for more spacious accommodations, opt for the Executive Parlor Suites, which have separate living areas.
Unlike most South Padre Island hotels, there’s a spa that offers special treatment for couples. Otherwise, you’ll find the more typical facilities at this resort, like a pool with a swim-up bar, a fitness center, and two restaurants (one is only open seasonally, while the other offers karaoke twice a week year-round). You can choose either à la carte or all-inclusive rates when you book your room, the latter of which includes all food and alcohol.
Best for Business: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites South Padre
When you’re traveling for business, sometimes it’s easier to choose a chain hotel for your accommodations, as you know exactly what to expect when you arrive. This is the case at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites South Padre, where things might be a little cookie cutter, but they’re familiar. Better yet, the rooms are more modern than many in South Padre Island.
This property is a great choice for business travelers, as it’s just an eight-minute walk from the South Padre Island Convention Center, where many meetings and events are held. Otherwise, there are some features here that are beneficial for your downtime, including a small fitness center and a pool with an outdoor bar and hot tub. This hotel isn’t on the beach, but the sand is just a three-minute walk away. There is, however, free hot breakfast and free Wi-Fi, plus a number of restaurants within walking distance.
Best for Spring Break: La Copa Inn
South Padre Island is the de facto spring break capital of Texas, and the ideal place to crash is the La Copa Inn. The budget-friendly price alone is enough of a draw for students and the younger crowd, but the hotel is also notorious for giving its guests access to some parties during spring break, which is the property’s true allure — at least for a few weeks in March. Otherwise, the property is quite standard by South Padre Island standards.
Rooms are at least comfortable, if they’re not at all chic. Beyond the standard accommodations, there are Jacuzzi Suites, which are significantly more spacious. Amenities include a pool and hot tub, a gym, and a free buffet breakfast. The hotel is set directly on the beach.
See other places to visit with our guide to the best spring break destinations in Texas.
Best Off the Beach: Best Western Beachside Inn
Don’t let the name fool you — the Best Western Beachside Inn isn’t on the beach. It’s actually a five-minute walk away, which is manageable unless you’re traveling with a number of little ones and carrying umbrellas, picnic baskets, or floaties. That said, since the Best Western isn’t right on the beach, rates are slightly more affordable and appealing for many travelers.
The hotel is modern and clean, and it has significantly less wear and tear than some of the other properties on the island. All room categories have mini-fridges, microwaves, and flat-screen TVs, but they’re not incredibly spacious — you’ll want to upgrade to a King Deluxe for a little more room. Elsewhere in the hotel, you’ll find an outdoor pool with a hot tub and a small mini market. There's also a free hot breakfast for all guests, with an extensive menu for a freebie.
Best Apartment-Hotel: Seabreeze Beach Resort
A good number of accommodations on South Padre Island are actually privately owned condos that are rented out to visitors. One of the best complexes is Seabreeze Beach Resort, a 48-unit property that doesn’t cater to the spring break crowd — the minimum age to rent a condo is 25. This apartment-style accommodation is best suited for travelers who are looking for a self-catered vacation, as each condo has a full kitchen, dining room, and living room, plus one to two bedrooms. There are also washers and dryers in each.
As the units are individually owned, they’re also individually decorated, but the majority of the accommodations take on a very comfortable and casual residential vibe. Some are even pet-friendly! There’s not much here in terms of amenities — just two pools and a hot tub — but there is housekeeping and a front desk. The resort is set right on the beach, and it’s within a short distance of restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
Check out our guide to the best things to do on South Padre Island.