20 Cities Where You Can Score Five-Star Hotels at Three-Star Prices

Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix


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Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix

Cheap Luxury

You don't always have to pay five-star prices for luxury hotels. In many cities it's possible to book a posh getaway for the cost of a three-star hotel, according to the travel insiders at Hipmunk. According to the site, the average five-star hotel clocked in at a steep $431 per night in 2018, but in the following 20 cities it's possible to stay in such a hotel for far less, in some cases for almost half that price. Hipmunk's pro tip? Book between two and four weeks prior to check-in to get the best deal, but don't be too eager: bookings made more than 30 days ahead of check-in are usually higher. Here are the top 20 cities where you can find a bit of luxury for less on your next trip, along with hotel suggestions from Cheapism.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Celebration, Florida
Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Celebration, Florida

A small town with tree-lined streets and attractive architecture, Celebration was originally created by The Walt Disney Company and has been named one of America's 10 prettiest towns. It's also one of the towns where you can score a bargain on luxury hotels. The median booking price of a five-star property in Celebration is $219, according to Hipmunk. Consider checking out the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, a hotel located on a 482-acre nature preserve that features two pools and poolside attendants to respond to your every wish.

Alohilani, Waikiki, Hawaii

Waikiki, Hawaii

Waikiki is famous for its popular surf beach, designer boutiques, and beachside bars. Hawaii can be enjoyed on a budget, and Hipmunk has found it's possible to book a five-star hotel for a mere $241 per night. Cheapism found numerous five-star hotels in Honolulu to choose from where you might be able to score a deal, including the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, The Kahala Hotel and Resort, and The Royal Hawaiian. The Alohilani was named one of the top resorts in Hawaii by the Conde Nast Readers' Choice Awards in 2018 and is home to an oceanarium, a saltwater infinity pool, and a shallow-water pool and club for kids.

The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club and Spa, Carlsbad, California
The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club and Spa

Carlsbad, California

About 45 minutes north of downtown San Diego, the vibrant SoCal beach town of Carlsbad attracts visitors not only to surf and catch some rays on its many beaches but to also visit Legoland and the popular Flower Fields, a seasonal attraction made up of 50 acres of flowers. The median booking price for a five-star hotel here costs $246 per night. The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club and Spa is a AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star luxury retreat offering customized wellness programs and recreational activities.

Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Bellagio Hotel/Yelp

Las Vegas

Sin City is known for its high-rollers and over-the-top luxury, but there's plenty off-strip to explore and you don't have to be a big spender to live large here wherever you go. The median booking price for a five-star hotel is $250 per night, according to Hipmunk. Top luxury choices include Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Wynn Las Vegas, and the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas.

La Cantera Resort and Spa, San Antonio
La Cantera Resort and Spa

San Antonio

If visiting The Alamo or San Antonio's River Walk have been on your to-do list, the good news is you can check-off these attractions while bunking in a five-star hotel. The median booking price for a luxury property in San Antonio is $260 per night. Among the notable five-star hotels is La Cantera Resort and Spa, a property overlooking Texas Hill Country that has two golf courses, kids club and five pools.

Parker Palm Springs, Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California

A desert enclave that once attracted the Rat Pack, Palm Springs offers a vibrant dining scene, high-end shopping, luxe spas, legendary golf courses, and hiking. The median booking price for a five-star hotel is $284. The uber-stylish Parker Palm Springs is a name to put on your radar. The sprawling estate grounds are filled with fruit trees and herb gardens, and guests spend time playing tennis and croquet or taking a dip in one of three pools, including an indoor pool.

The Heathman, Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Perched on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Portland is rich with parks, bicycle paths, and an eco-friendly outlook on life. The city is also home to an impressive microbrewery scene and unique coffee houses. A five-star hotel here will set you back about $295, according to Hipmunk. Two five-star names to keep in mind when in Portland are The Nines and the boutique Heathman Hotel. The Nines is a historic hotel located in downtown near Pioneer Square featuring sweeping rooftop views of the city, artwork-filled guest rooms, and two restaurants. The Heathman dates back to 1927 and features such amenities as a personal concierge, pillow menu and even a spiritual menu.

The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Atlanta
CandleLight Inn, Napa, California
CandleLight Inn

Napa, California

Good wine, anyone? There's no finer place to indulge than Napa, the heart of the valley's wine region. Downtown Napa has been going through a renaissance of late, with an increasing array of unique restaurants, tasting rooms, and even microbreweries blossoming. A five-star hotel here will set you back about $299 per night. Consider CandleLight Inn and the Westin Verasa. The Candlelight Inn is a bed and breakfast known for its romantic ambiance. The property features a pool, outdoor patio, and three-course breakfasts. At the Westin Verasa, there's a Michelin-starred restaurant and guest rooms offer luxe amenities like the Westin Heavenly Bed.

Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

New Orleans

More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, the tourism scene in the Big Easy has fully recovered, and there are plenty of cheap, fun things to do. It's still possible to score a deal on high-end accommodations here, with the median price of a five-star hotel in New Orleans about $304, more than $125 less than the national average. Steps from the French Quarter, the Windsor Court Hotel is an elegant sanctuary offering a full-service spa, outdoor pool and health club.

Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix


A city of year-round sun, Phoenix features high-end spas, world-class golf courses, and a variety of scenic hiking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The median booking price for a five-star hotel is $324. Among the legendary five-star properties here is the famous Arizona Biltmore, which has 39 acres of gardens, eight swimming pools, a personal concierge service, and the Spa Biltmore. The property has hosted everyone from celebrities to presidents since opening in 1929. The Royal Palms Resort and Spa is yet another notable five-star option. Set at the base of the city's Camelback Mountain, the property is famed for its luxe spa and historic Spanish-inspired architecture.

The Pendry San Diego, San Diego

San Diego

In San Diego, it's possible to book a top-end hotel for about $329 per night and enjoy the city's many attractions for cheap. The city offers beaches, a vibrant culinary scene (don't miss the many cutting edge and trendy restaurants in the Little Italy neighborhood), and numerous museums in Balboa Park. Want to stay in the heart of all the action? The Pendry San Diego is located in the Gaslamp Quarter, a neighborhood filled with bars, shops and non-stop nightlife. The property features six bars and restaurants on-site, including a rooftop pool and lounge.

Hotel Granduca Houston, Houston


Five-star hotel rooms in Houston come in around $333 per night, or $98 less than the national average. America's fourth largest city boasts a world-class dining scene, a well regarded museum district, and the famous Space Center Houston. Hotel Granduca Houston is a sophisticated Italian villa-style property offering al fresco dining, a pool, and a property Maserati available to chauffeur you around the city.

Willard InterContinental Washington, Washington, D.C.
Willard InterContinental Washington

Washington, D.C.

In the nation's capital, a five-star hotel can still be found under the national average at $339 per night, along with plenty of free and cheap activities for all ages. There are numerous options at the luxury end of the spectrum, including the Willard InterContinental Washington, the Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C., the Intercontinental Washington D.C. — The Wharf, and also Sofitel Washington D.C. Lafayette Square.

Langham Huntington Hotel, Pasadena, California
Langham Huntington Hotel

Pasadena, California

This charming city, just outside of Los Angeles, is famous for hosting the Rose Parade each year, but Pasadena offers far more than just a parade. Old Pasadena is a shopping and dining district featuring Victorian and Art Deco architecture, The Norton Simon Museum is home to a remarkable private art collection, and a five-star hotel is about $343 per night. Nestled against the San Gabriel Mountains, the Langham Huntington hotel is known for its award-winning Chuan Spa and its formal afternoon teas.

JW Marriott Miami, Miami


In the sizzling-hot, nightclub-filled beach city of Miami, there are still cheap and free things to do While five-star properties are approaching the upper end of the spectrum, they are still offered at something of a discount at $351 per night. Some of the names to keep in mind include the Kimpton EPIC Hotel (an urban resort located in downtown Miami), the ME Miami located near the Frost Museum, and the JW Marriott Miami in the city's trendy Brickell neighborhood.

Claremont Club and Spa, Berkeley, California
Claremont Club & Spa, a Fairmont Hotel/Yelp

Berkeley, California

Berkley is home to the legendary University of California, Berkeley, a place where the 1960s free speech movement took off. Today, the city is known for its festivals, cutting edge theater, and Telegraph Avenue, a street filled with shops and cafes. A five-star hotel here is about $352 per night. The Claremont Club and Spa is one of America's iconic luxury hotels and was built during California's Gold Rush-era. The property celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015.

Related: 29 Places to Visit If You Love the 1960s

Kahala Hotel and Resort, Honolulu, Hawaii
The Kahala Hotel & Resort/Yelp

Honolulu, Hawaii

A visit to the picturesque Hawaiian Islands is rarely cheap, but plan accordingly to enjoy Hawaii for less. it is possible to find a five-star hotel room here for about $355 per night, according to Hipmunk. The Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach and also The Kahala Hotel and Resort are among the luxe properties to consider.

The Fairmont Princess, Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Near the capital of Phoenix is the enclave of Scottsdale, a community overflowing with notable spas and legendary golf courses. Don't miss the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a desertscape of hills, rock formations, and cacti. Five-star resorts in this posh desert community are about $356 per night. The Phoenician and the Fairmont Princess are two of the city's legendary five-star names. At The Phoenician you'll find an expanded pool complex, a new spa, an athletic club, and a golf course. The Fairmont Princess is a sprawling property with vast open spaces, lushly landscaped grounds, and six sparkling pools.

L'Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is located near Flagstaff in the northern part of the state and is famous for its red-rock buttes and pine forests as well as its vibrant arts scene. The priciest five-star option on this list, rooms here are about $359 per night. To experience a bit of that five-star luxury here, consider the L'Auberge de Sedona, a property perched on the banks if Oak Creek that features a nature spa and award-winning dining.