Feel like you're in the lap of luxury without spending a fortune
Rockhouse Hotel, Jamaica
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The lush, laid-back Rockhouse is a holistic haven with gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates and the incredible Jamaican-made toiletries. Your skin will be bronzed and beautiful before you return home stateside.
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Grand Paradise Samana, Dominican Republic
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Because the Grand Paradise Samana is located on one of the D.R.'s best beaches, the 2.5-hour, $95 taxi from the closest airport is well worth it. The bungalows and guest rooms are a bit dingy, and the resort lacks luxe features like a gym or spa, but the quality buffet and spectacular white stretch of beach keeps guests coming back.
The Alexandra Resort and Spa, Turks & Caicos
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This 115-room resort may not be the best in Turks & Caicos, but thanks to a 2010 renovation, it is one of the best for the price. Spacious and stylish contemporary rooms, a large free-form pool, a fitness center, tennis courts, a small independent spa, and one of the island’s most recommended restaurants put this upper-middle-range property a cut above. And since Turks & Caicos is one the Caribbean’s notoriously expensive destinations, the Alexandra is truly a steal.
Hotel Erwin, Venice Beach
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An eccentric, spirited 119-room hotel for budget-conscious travelers that's an easy walk to Venice Beach and plays off the area's hippie-centric history. It doesn't quite live up to the laid-back image it projects—the lobby is a zoo—but it does have unexpectedly large rooms and remarkably comfortable beds (evidence of a recent multi-million-dollar renovation) in a neighborhood with very few hotels. And who doesn’t love the free show that is the Venice Beach boardwalk itself? Talk about bang for your buck!
Essex House Hotel, Miami Beach
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A clean, comfortable, laid-back alternative to the Deco price gougers on Ocean Drive, the Essex House Hotel is an easy walk to museums, shopping, restaurants, the beach (one block away), and all-night brouhaha. A discount price tag, great noise insulation, and personable service more than make up for the fact that it's not directly on the beach. But we figure you’ll get plenty of sun regardless—just don’t forget to slather on the SPF!
Beach House Hotel, Puerto Rico
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The boutique Beach House Hotel sits right on a small stretch of private beach and offers perks like free Wi-Fi, nighttime film screenings, and a pumping DJ on the weekends (a pro for those looking to let loose with the girls). Although it lacks the amenities—fitness center, business center, pool—of a larger hotel, the price and value of this hotel is tough to beat.
Mary’s Boon Beach Resort, St. Martin/St. Maarten
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This 37-room beach hotel along Simpson Bay is certainly no luxury resort—rooms show wear and tear, the pool is untended, and extra features are few. But an amazing beachfront location, small spa, and lush grounds full of character make it almost impossible not to appreciate Mary's Boon. Some people may not appreciate, however, the thunderous sound of planes at the neighboring airport, but then again, it's a small price to pay for the incredibly low rates.