Once one of the more popular destinations for college students on spring break, Fort Lauderdale has shaken off the raucous crowds to emerge as a chic beach destination. The pristine beaches, combined with top-notch restaurants, Venice-like canals, and waterways, make Fort Lauderdale a magnet for tourists. While many high-end hotels have sprung up over the years, there are plenty of cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area for someone on a budget. Even if you’re on a budget and looking to be close to the sea, you’ll find a smattering of cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach.
However, it’s not just cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale that are on the beach. Some of the best hotels in Fort Lauderdale enjoy prime positions with their own private entrance to the beach. Other hotels have stunning pools that are accessible to outsiders also during peak season. Fort Lauderdale is also right up there as a gay friendly destination, so if you’re looking for gay friendly hotels in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be quite spoilt for choice.
Wherever you choose to stay in Fort Lauderdale, you can rest assured that you won’t be bored. With so many things to do in Fort Lauderdale, many of which are free, your time here is going to be quite busy.
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One crosswalk away from the ocean, you’ll find Snooze, a small, quaint hotel that stands out as one of the best cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area. The hotel’s location places you in one of the more enviable spots, a hop away from the most active part of the beach. Right next door to the hotel is the romantic Casablanca Café and the Westin Hotel. It’s about a 10-15 minutes walk from here to the hip Las Olas Boulevard. The hotel is also on the local trolley route. If you want a free ride, hop onto the bar hoppers, stretched-out golf carts that drive up and down the boulevard.
Built in 1957, the term ‘less is more’ can aptly be applied to the hotel. You won’t find any big amenities here, but you will find simple, clean rooms that range from bunk/dorm rooms to larger suites. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and refrigerator. The larger rooms come with kitchenettes.
One of the more popular spaces at the hotel is the rooftop terrace on the fifth floor. It’s a good place to lounge with a drink from the bar as you take in 360-degree views of Fort Lauderdale. There’s also an open-air patio on the second floor that faces the sea breeze. Guests can park their cars for free and use free beach gear like towels, chairs, and sunscreen. However, those staying in the dorms cannot use the free parking.
Behind the W hotel, just one block from the beach, Nobleton Hotel is a good place to base yourself if you’re on a budget. It enjoys a convenient location within walking distance from restaurants, bars, and the Fort Lauderdale boardwalk. Las Olas Boulevard is easily accessible too.
The reason this hotel stands out among the cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale is that it doesn’t cut corners on style and comfort. White is the dominant color of the guest rooms that are clean and comfortable, and outfitted with a number of amenities. If you’re in town for a few days, a good idea would be to book one of the larger rooms that come with a kitchenette.
A standout feature of the hotel is its lovely grounds with a tranquil garden and a small pool. The pool with its umbrellas and sunbeds is a good place to unwind. Another great thing about this hotel is that it offers free parking. However, one thing to note is that there are only nine parking spaces for the 18 rooms, so you may not want to move your car once you’ve parked.
Casitas Coral Ridge
Located in an upscale area of Fort Lauderdale, Casitas Coral Ridge is a tropical getaway surrounded by palm trees and flowers. With its wide range of accommodation types, this boutique inn is the perfect choice for cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area. If you’re here on business, it’s about a 10 to 12-minute drive to downtown Fort Lauderdale and The Broward County Convention Center. However, if you’re here for leisure, the beach is just a short ride from here.
The hotel is designed to be a home away from home that offers quality furnishings and comfort. Free high-speed WiFi can be enjoyed in all 20 rooms that feature a unique design. You’ll also find a few other extras like coffee/tea makers.
Don’t expect too much, given the rate and the size of the property. That being said, you’ll find a pleasant heated outdoor pool with sun loungers, bicycle rentals, and BBQ facilities. There are quite a few restaurants lining the main boulevard for dining, a block to the south.
Castle by the Sea Motel
Castle by the Sea Motel sits in the charming beach town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, five miles north of Fort Lauderdale. Although the hotel isn’t exactly on the main beach, it’s an excellent choice for someone looking for cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach. It’s just a few steps from the beach and within walking distance to premier shopping, fine dining, and nightlife.
The 16 room motel offers a range of well-appointed rooms. Rooms mirror the color of the sea with turquoise or white walls, new furniture, and a good range of amenities. Even the standard rooms are pretty spacious.
Outdoors you’ll find a small heated pool with loungers. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun and while away your time. Other than the pool, there are no other big amenities here, but you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars in close proximity to the hotel. That being said, if all you want is a comfortable space to rest your head at the end of the day, this is definitely one of the best cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area.
Plunge Beach Resort
When it comes to cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area with style, the Plunge Beach Resort tops the list. This hip, inviting hotel sits in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, five miles north of Fort Lauderdale Beach. You’ll find plenty to do in the vicinity of the hotel as it sits in the heart of the town. It’s one of the best places to head to if you’re looking for a beach destination that’s not too overrun with tourists.
What also adds to the allure of this hotel is the oceanfront location without the bother of a road running by. The Plunge Beach Resort is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach. Four buildings make up this hotel that features bright and colorful rooms with surf-themed art. The Ocean Front rooms are cozy and comfortable with a furnished balcony or lanai. Rooms in the Bungalow Building are larger, with some having their own kitchenette.
For a hotel that’s this affordable, the amenities are pretty good, especially when it comes to dining. You can indulge in fresh-off-the-boat seafood and fun food truck favorites or elevated island plates at the Octopus gastropub at the hotel. Alternatively, you could relax poolside with a drink or small bites at the Backflip Beach Bar & Kitchen. To kick start your day, head to Bean & Barnacle for freshly brewed coffee. The hotel also boasts two swimming pools, a 24-hour fitness center, and beach cruiser bicycles, apart from the excellent dining options.
Nestled between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll find the charming Tranquilo boutique hotel. Part of the North Beach Village Resort, the hotel stands out as one of the best cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale area. The setting and amenities make it the perfect getaway. If you’re wondering about the beach, it’s just three minutes from the hotel.
The hotel is surrounded by greenery in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. You can choose from a good variety of room types that range from large studios to two-bedroom suites. All rooms come equipped with quite a few modern conveniences to make your stay here a relaxed one.
As far as amenities outside the rooms go, you’ll find heated pools with relaxing sun decks and a courtyard lounge area. There are also casual dining options available at the Village Café or Wine Garden. The resort also has a serene spa for some serious pampering. When you’re ready to explore the area, you can rent a bike and be on your way to take in all that Fort Lauderdale has to offer.
A unique, laid-back hotel that’s sure to put a smile on your face is the Fortuna Hotel. The first of the Gzella Collection of hotels, the Fortuna stands out as one of the cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale area with a difference. The hotel is just steps away from the golden sands of Las Olas beach, so if you are looking for cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach, be sure to look up this ‘happy’ hotel. It’s not only the proximity to the beach that makes this hotel a preferred choice but also its location between Las Olas shopping district that puts you close to restaurants and other attractions.
One thing you can look forward to at the hotel is the bright and spacious rooms. Standard King or Double Queen rooms come with a lounging area and mini-fridges, whereas Deluxe studios have a fully equipped kitchen. Families looking for larger accommodation can opt for the apartment suites.
Hotel guests can look forward to two pools as well as a recreational lawn area. Though the hotel does not have an onsite restaurant, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in the vicinity.
The Riverside Hotel may not be as cheap as most of the other hotels on our list, but it is an affordable option in the hip Las Olas Boulevard area of Fort Lauderdale. At this location, you’re minutes away from the city’s chic restaurants, shops, and other attractions. In addition to this, you also enjoy fantastic views of the marina.
The hotel has something for everyone, from affordable quaint rooms with a charming, vintage feel to more spacious suites. That’s one reason why this hotel has a place on our list of cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale. The cheapest rooms are the Micro and Classic Guest rooms located in the original tower that dates back to 1936. All rooms come with standard amenities such as a safe and mini-fridge.
Outside the rooms, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. Relax at the hotel’s palm-fringed pool or lounge on the patio, watching yachts sail by. If your hunger pangs kick in, you have a choice of four award-winning cafes and world-class restaurants to satiate those cravings. Don’t worry if you overindulge as the hotel has a well-equipped gym to burn off the calories.
Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach
Another affordable hotel that enjoys a prime oceanfront location is the Sonesta. It sits at the northern edge of Fort Lauderdale Beach bordered by Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. If you can tear yourself away from the sea for a while, the park is an excellent place for a peaceful walk. It’s just about a five-minute drive to Galleria Mall from here, but you’ll find a few bars and restaurants at the back of the property.
The recently renovated hotel has a fresh feel. You’re greeted by an all-white lobby that features a textured accent wall. It’s a nice space to sit down for a bit, especially at the inviting bar. White dominates the tastefully designed guest rooms too. The rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, artwork, and carpeting that looks like sand. All rooms come with a good range of amenities to enhance your comfort.
Steelpan, a Caribbean American fusion kitchen & bar, is top notch when it comes to dining. It’s open throughout the day and features a menu influenced by multicultural island flavors of South Florida. You can also enjoy a meal at the newly renovated pool and sundeck. However, if all you’re hankering for is a quick snack, the Beach Market off the lobby is a good place. Other amenities at the hotel include a newly renovated state-of-the-art fitness center and a spa suite for private pampering.
B Ocean Resort
If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale on the beach, the B Ocean Resort is the place you should head to. The hotel’s beachfront location right off Seabreeze Boulevard will put right on Fort Lauderdale beach. However, this is a much quieter stretch, 15 minutes away from the happening parts of the beach. It’s still a great spot if you want a quiet day at the beach.
The hotel has a rich history that dates back to 1956. Originally opened as the Yankee Clipper, it has hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Robert De Niro, and other icons. The tasteful interiors have a modern vibe with thoughtful nods to its storied past. Guest rooms are spread across several buildings. Beach-inspired contemporary décor combined with wooden furniture, artwork, and large windows up the ante on style. You can be sure that you’ll be more than comfortable here.
When it comes to amenities, there’s more than enough to keep you within the hotel. From a private beach with a beachside restaurant to two infinity-edge pools, four restaurants, three bars, and a 24-hour fitness center, what more could you ask for!
Ocean Beach Palace
With its convenient location within walking distance of Fort Lauderdale beach, the Ocean Beach Palace is one of the best options for someone looking for cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area. That being said, apart from the beach and the Jet Ski Escape Room, there are no other big attractions within walking distance of the hotel. You’ll find a few good restaurants that are easily accessible, like the Oceans Grille right across the street. Downtown Fort Lauderdale is less than a 20-minute drive from here, while the airport is about half an hour.
You’re spoilt for choice with the large variety of room types. Depending on your budget, you can choose from a standard hotel room or larger jacuzzi rooms, or ones with kitchenettes. Most windows look out onto the exterior walkways, so they don’t offer much privacy. However, they come with a good range of amenities such as coffeemakers, mini-fridges, microwaves, and flat-screen TVs.
While you won’t find an on-site restaurant, guests get a discount at the hotel’s sister property, the Royal Beach Palace, just five minutes away. This is a budget hotel, so don’t expect many onsite amenities other than a small heated outdoor pool.
Top Affordable Bars in Fort Lauderdale
- Booze Garden – If you’re looking for more to do than just downing a few cheap drinks, this bar in downtown Fort Lauderdale offers just that. The heady combination of old school video games, sports hot shot basketball and of course a good variety of cheap beers makes this an excellent choice for a night out.
- McSorleys Kitchen+Bar – One of the best beach bars at the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s beach is this traditional Irish Pub. It’s not just an excellent place to grab a cheap drink but also has quite a lot on offer. There’s something for everyone here with a lounge, outdoor cigar bar, and rooftop bar featuring some of the finest DJs in the country.
- Poorhouse – Don’t be fooled by the name of this bar that’s been hosting national touring bands for over 25 years. The drinks are undoubtedly cheap but it’s the ambiance that draws the crowds. Open till the early hours of the morning, the bar is quite popular with locals and visitors.
Top Affordable Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
- Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Q – Renowned for their succulent ribs and famous BBQ sauce, this cozy eatery is where you can also enjoy classic soul food at an affordable rate.
- Andrews Diner – For over two decades this diner in Wilton Manors has been pulling in the crowds. Here you can enjoy a delicious breakfast, tasty hamburgers, milk shakes and the very best coffee at a great price. Though the diner is always crowded you’ll find benches along the front to sit.
- The Floridian – Open 24 hours seven days a week, this restaurant is one of the best places to grab an affordable bit on Las Olas Boulevard. The food portions are pretty generous as are the sizes of the drinks.
Free Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale
- Beaches – You can’t visit For Lauderdale without spending some time on at least one of its beautiful beaches. While the main Fort Lauderdale Beach pulls in the crowds you’ll find a number of pristine beaches on the outskirts. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is one such beach town about five miles from Fort Lauderdale that has its own charm. Likewise with Hollywood Beach about 14 miles south of Fort Lauderdale. Some of the best cheap hotels in Ft Lauderdale area will undoubtedly place you as close to the beach as you can get.
- Las Olas Boulevard – A stroll down Las Olas Boulevard will not only heighten your senses but also lighten your purse. Although it’s a free stretch worth exploring, you’ll probably be lured to loosen your purse strings by the shopping and dining in the area. There are plenty of other tourist attractions in this area with museums and art galleries vying for space with shopping venues.
- Hollywood Beach Boardwalk – Just south of Fort Lauderdale this lovely boardwalk has been named as one of America’s best. The brick paved promenade is always bustling with activity. The renovated boardwalk dates back to the 1920s. Despite the renovation it still holds onto the Old Florida charm.