Carlsbad is a place with both classical and contemporary charm, with the world’s first skate park, a windmill, a very European-looking mineral spa and fields upon fields of strawberries. The area is also famous for its attractions, such as the gargantuan floral acreage that is the Flower Fields or the self-explanatory Legoland California (probably a must-see if you’re bringing kids).
Legoland and other attractions won’t be far when you choose a good hotel. We’ve saved you the legwork and have found five wallet-friendly hotels in Carlsbad. The area can be somewhat expensive, as most hotels run over $100 a night, but hopefully these properties are a step in the right direction.
From $159/ night
Only three miles from the vibrant architecture of Legoland, this property offers the cooling comfort of air-conditioned rooms and suites with a flatscreen TV, microwave, fridge and spa bath. This clean and tidy Marriott has received high ratings from past customers — especially for its facilities, like the outdoor pool, fitness center and mini mart. Of course you don’t have to stay stuck inside all day. Some nearby notable attractions include The Crossings (a golf course), Carlsbad Premium Outlets, San Diego Botanical Garden and a few drinking holes, like Belching Beaver Brewery and Witch Creek Winery.
This Holiday Inn outpaces the above Fairfield in Legoland proximity —though not by much — at 2.7 miles. Rooms here come equipped with air conditioning, a seating area, refrigerator, coffeemaker and TV (featuring satellite channels and cable channels, for double the fun). Outside your room, there’s a pool, jacuzzi, BBQ grills and a gym to keep you occupied. Clothes need some freshening after your trip to Legoland? There’s dry cleaning and laundry on site. For on-site dining, there’s Stratus Restaurant & Bar, open for three meals a day. Both parking and wifi are complimentary!
From $165 / night
All 97 suites in this three-story hotel come with full kitchens, a TV, free wifi and an iPod dock. Guests have given high marks for the rooms’ comfort and cleanliness, and the staff has appreciative reviews as well. Once you venture outside your room, there are some options: a five-minute walk to the beach, or a five-minute shuttle ride to Legoland. Visiting for a college? The University of California San Diego, Cal-State University San Marcos and the University of Phoenix San Diego are all close by. If your visit’s left you feeling hungry, a P.F. Chang’s is nearby, as are some local eateries like Miguel’s Cocina and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza.
From $152 / night
This classy property promises views of surf and turf: the Pacific Ocean and Carlsbad Flower Fields, specifically. For less natural beauty, Legoland is across the street. You’ll be able to take in at least some of these sights from your room’s balcony or patio. Guests also love the aquatic area, which includes an interactive pool for kids as well as a more mellow option and, perhaps mellowest of all, three hot tubs. Given that you’re in sunny California, you might want to stay on top of your fitness regimen, so a gym is available. Or you can always just indulge: try the Karl Strauss Brewery and Restaurant, located on-site and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
From $132 / night
Guests have praised the breakfast here, but you’ll have to get up somewhat early to enjoy the hot buffet, which is open from 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning. After you and your traveling companions have energized yourselves for the day, Legoland is only two miles away —or, if you’d like to spend that energy on shopping, Carlsbad Premium Outlets is a six-minute drive. At the hotel, meanwhile, you can use the outdoor pool, gym, or business center if you’re in a more productive mood. Certain rooms come with an ocean view, while everyone gets treated to a mini fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and free wifi.