The much-loved laid-back beach town is located along Pacific Coast Highway – one of the most beautiful road routes in the world – and is known for its sun, sandy beach, surf, gorgeous sunsets, and beach buggy fun. To make your stay even more special, from quaint and intimate boutique inns to modern self-catering and everything in between, here are some of the best cool and trendy Hotels in Pismo Beach, California…
Our Top 3 Best Cool and Unusual Hotels
At Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach, I found a vibrant coastal haven that perfectly captures the essence of California’s beach culture. It’s a place that truly embodies the laid-back vibe of Pismo Beach. The rooms 124 exuded modern style yet retained a relaxed seaside feel. My room had all the needed amenities—air-conditioning, a Smart TV, and a refrigerator. The pillowtop bed promised a comfortable stay with its cozy down comforter and luxury linen.
What stood out was the attention to detail in the spa-like bathrooms; they provided designer toiletries and hair dryers, adding a touch of luxury to the experience. Plus, staying connected was easy with the free wired and wireless Internet access. As a food enthusiast, the dining options here were a delight. Pequin Coastal Cocina, the Mexican restaurant within the resort, offered a unique take on traditional Mexican cuisine. The inventive dishes, showcasing local ingredients and highlighting tequila, were a pleasant surprise.
For a quick pick-me-up, SLO Roasted Coffee and SLO Baked served freshly made pastries, perfect for a morning jog along the boardwalk or as a post-workout treat after hitting the beach. The nightlife scene was equally impressive. Blend Bar, specializing in tequila-based cocktails, had a cozy ambiance. I spent evenings relaxing on plush couches, savoring the finest handcrafted cocktails prepared by award-winning mixologists.
The options for unwinding were endless. Whether lounging by the fire pits on the Starlight Lawn, watching the sunset over the ocean, or indulging in beach-based activities, yoga sessions, hikes, or a dip in the outdoor whirlpool and swimming pool, there was always something to do. Vespera Resort blended West Coast cool with East Coast wit, offering an eclectic mix that made every moment exciting and adventurous. It’s become one of my favorite spots, capturing the true essence of Pismo Beach’s charm.
While visiting, Blend Bar’s award-winning cocktails were my personal favorite, especially enjoyed amid the cozy ambiance.
Chic seafront resort
Modern & trendy rooms
Access to beach activities
Blend Bar's award-winning cocktails
Expensive valet parking
Room can be small
Inn at the Pier
The Inn at the Pier stole my heart from the get-go. It’s nestled just a stone’s throw away from the boardwalk and Pier, making it an ideal spot for soaking in Pismo Beach’s charm. This place is a family getaway dream. With 104 boutique rooms, each offering a glimpse of the Pier or the beachfront, it’s hard not to fall for its allure.
The rooms? Pure luxury. Private balconies, a Simmons BeautyRest Bed that feels like a cloud, and all the amenities you’d wish for – a work desk, 55-inch TV, even an Amazon Echo. Plus, the espresso machine? A game-changer. I opted for a downtown view since you’ll be out exploring more than lounging indoors, especially with kids in tow.
And let’s talk about that rooftop pool! It’s not for your laps but for lounging with coast views that make you stop and appreciate life. Hot tub? Yes, please! Come evening, the rooftop bar and those outdoor fire pits stole the show. Sipping drinks while soaking in the atmosphere? Check and check.
Now, food. The rooftop restaurant dishes traditional American cuisine, catering to all tastes – from hearty breakfasts to veggie, vegan, and dairy-free dinners. And, of course, they’ve got a fantastic selection of regional beers and wines. But wait, there’s more! The Blonde restaurant downstairs and room service are game-changers if you’re feeling lazy. The blend of contemporary and classic vibes here, paired with top-notch service, makes the Inn at the Pier an experience I won’t forget.
My favorite aspect was the rooftop pool offering breathtaking ocean and downtown views, perfect for unwinding.
Trendy boutique craftsman-design
Ocean View Accommodations
Private balconies with views
Pets not allowed
Possible noise from rooftop activities
SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel
The SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel captivates with its stunning view of Pismo Beach. This place has garnered awards, like the prestigious Excellence in Hospitality and Lodging from the California Lodging Sector Association. One of my favorite places, the SeaCrest’s ambiance is perfect for a family getaway. I loved the expansive, shady patio at the entrance, where I could unwind to the soothing sound of crashing waves.
The guest rooms impressed me with their blend of modern vintage furniture, plush-top mattresses, spacious work areas, and a balcony or patio. I experienced the charm of the large groomed lawn, oceanfront patio, and breakfast patio with inviting fire pits. The outdoor heated pool, three hot tubs, and the breathtaking fourth-story rooftop terrace offering panoramic views were delightful features. And guess what? Some rooms even accommodate pets!
While the beach and surfing were my primary interests, this typical California town offered much more. Exploring the famed Pismo Pier and wandering through downtown shops and restaurants was a delightful stroll from the SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel. There were abundant outdoor activities – from golf and horseback riding to thrilling adventures like kayaking, surfing, jet skiing, and boogie boarding.
Nature enthusiasts would adore the monarch butterfly forest and the chance to spot whales from either the breakfast or rooftop patio. I even explored the elephant seal rookery at Morro Bay Estuary in Piedras Blancas, San Simeon.
Throughout my stay, the rooftop terrace and its panoramic views stole the show, creating memorable evenings.
Funky oceanfront vibe
Modern vintage furniture
Rooftop terrace for sunsets
Outdoor pool and hot tubs
Not dog friendly
Can be Noisy
Shell Beach Inn
At Shell Beach Inn, I found the perfect spot nestled along California’s coast, just a stone’s throw from Pismo Beach’s Outlet Shopping Center and mere steps from Pismo State Beach. The stunning ocean views and the contemporary comforts made it one of my favorite places to stay. I loved the hotel’s versatility—whether for a romantic escape or a family adventure. The Spyglass Inn Restaurant offered delightful beachside dining, and the year-round heated pool and Spa were a relaxing treat. Access to Shell Beach and Avila Beach made it even better.
My room was fantastic, with complimentary Wi-Fi, plush bathrobes, luxurious bath items, and a flat-screen TV. Some rooms even boasted private patios, cozy fireplaces, and those breathtaking ocean vistas. Sunsets were a spectacle from the neighboring park and gazebo overlooking the ocean. And the wildlife! From playful sea otters to sunbathing seals and even glimpses of dolphins and grey whales—it was a nature lover’s paradise.
Exploring the nearby, quiet beach with its tidal pools and rock caverns was a highlight, especially for curious souls of all ages. And beyond the beaches, there was so much more to do: drive-on dunes, surfing, kayaking, hiking, and even antique shopping. The recently rebuilt Shell Beach downtown was a charm, bustling with local eateries and a dedicated bike path just a short walk away. The upgraded rooms were a real treat, equipped with a stovetop, minibar, and a kitchen featuring an oven—truly a home away from home!
One of my favorite places was the Spa and the year-round heated pool, adding relaxation to the coastal experience.
Charming boutique design
Panoramic mountain views
Location is a little remote
Some noise from outside
Not pet friendly
The Cliffs Hotel and Spa
Staying at The Cliffs Hotel and Spa was like discovering a hidden gem above Shell Beach. The view of Pismo Beach’s sea was breathtaking. It’s not just a hotel; it’s an escape for anyone needing a break, a romantic getaway, family time, or even work-related stays.
My room was a modern sanctuary with a view of the ocean. The amenities were top-notch—a flat-screen TV, a cozy work desk, free wifi, and a stylish mini fridge set in beautiful Italian marble. Plus, they have pet-friendly rooms, fireplaces, and balconies for that extra comfort. But the real treat was the spa. I indulged in a relaxing session—manicure, pedicure, and facial—at their on-site spa. And the dining! Marisol, the hotel’s restaurant, sources the freshest fish and vegetables from the area. I enjoyed specials during happy hour, Sunday lunch treats, and live music, making each meal an experience.
The perks didn’t end there. Room service was prompt, and the breakfast buffet with a sea view was a delightful start to my day. For the outdoorsy types, golfing and hiking by the stunning Welsh coastline were the perfect ways to soak in the fresh sea air and scenery. The restaurant’s live music, happy hour deals, and Sunday brunches were the cherry on top, making my stay unforgettable.
My personal favorite? The on-site spa’s services and dining experiences were top-notch.
Stunning ocean views
Live music and dining experiences
Spa and relaxation options
Possible noise from the bar
Limited onsite parking
Looking for a private, romantic stay? The Spyglass Inn became one of my favorite places for that. It’s a charming boutique-style spot with modern comforts and stunning seaside views. They offer 82 fully furnished guestrooms. My room had free local calls, an in-room safe, a coffee/tea maker, a clock radio, and a voicemail. They even had an iron and ironing board. I requested a crib, and they arranged that too.
The bathroom was stocked—bathrobes, toiletries, and a hair dryer. There was cable TV, premium channels, and paid movies for entertainment. And guess what? Free internet and Wi-Fi! They had housekeeping on point. The Spyglass Inn has beachside dining and room service, perfect for romantic getaways and family fun. The lobby had a fireplace and private terraces. Plus, they had a tennis court! Oh, and a heated pool and spa tub—so relaxing.
They didn’t slack on services. The front desk was open all day. I loved the little touches—free newspapers, business services, conference rooms, and catering options. And the free Wi-Fi in public places was a lifesaver. Beyond the hotel, there’s so much. Monarch Butterfly Cove, Oceano Dunes, and the Edna Valley Wine Region are nearby. The downtown area has eateries, surf shops, and serene spas. And those beaches and bluffs? Just breathtaking.
One of my favorite aspects was the outdoor swimming pool, complementing the charming seaside setting.
Super cute boutique style
Outdoor swimming pool
No fitness center
Not dog friendly
Cottage Inn by the Sea
I was surrounded by an English country inn’s charm at the Cottage Inn, just a short stroll from Pismo Beach. The thatched-style roofs and ivy-covered walls brought comfort, not to mention the seaside flower-filled garden. The vibrant yellows and creams all around echoed this place’s upscale vibe. Yet, it felt cozy, blending luxury and ease seamlessly. Oh, the ocean view! Those 80 contemporary rooms offered a mix of relaxation and awe. The ones facing the ocean lulled me to sleep with the soothing rhythm of crashing waves. Opting for an upper-level room was perfect for a different perspective.
These rooms weren’t just beautiful; they were functional. Fireplaces, ceiling fans, and all the amenities—flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, fridges, and microwaves—made it a home away from home. Sadly, no minibar in sight. Breakfast was a busy affair but delightful. A buffet spread, including a DIY waffle station, fruits, yogurt, and excellent coffee, set the mornings right. Patio or indoors, the choice was mine.
There’s something about complimentary parking for guests with cars that’s always a relief. And the little touches—a lobby apple dish—made it feel extra welcoming. Plus, plenty of nearby eateries to explore! They have a business center and a heated outdoor pool for added convenience. My stay at the Cottage Inn by the Sea was all about comfort and class, with a hint of seaside serenity.
My favorite aspect was the ocean-view sundeck, creating a serene spot for relaxation and enjoyment.
Outdoor Fire Pit
Heated outdoor pool
Service can be slow
Possible noise from nearby traffic
SeaVenture Beach Hotel
At SeaVenture, I found the perfect spot next to the beach. With only two hotels right on the sand, it offers quick access to downtown and the Pacific Ocean. The 50 guest rooms are cozy, with fireplaces and stunning sea views. They have a fridge, minibar, coffee/tea maker, free WiFi, and a direct-dial phone.
Returning from a busy day at the beach, sinking into a soft bed with a white blanket and fluffy pillows, was heavenly. The room amenities included a ceiling fan, blackout curtains, towels, free newspapers, and toiletries. They even accommodated requests for hypoallergenic furniture and cribs/infant beds. The daily professional cleaning kept everything tidy.
The on-site spa and restaurant were highlights. The restaurant served seasonal meals crafted from locally sourced vegetables, premium meats, and the freshest seafood. Planning an event was a breeze with the skilled staff. They could organize anything from a beachside wedding to a dinner with an ocean view, providing top-notch service and beautiful settings. The meeting rooms and outdoor decks offer unique spaces for gatherings.
The hotel provided audiovisual equipment, professional business supplies, a computer, free WiFi in public areas, and multiple meeting rooms for business needs. Relaxation was easy with on-site spa treatments, a soothing spa tub, and beach towels. Convenience was key here. Services included dry cleaning and laundry, a gift shop, a charming patio with barbecue grills, fresh coffee and tea, a fireplace, and complimentary newspapers in the lounge. Plus, there were plenty of outdoor activities available year-round.
Throughout my stay, the cozy fireplaces in the rooms stood out, adding warmth and comfort.
Charming modern decor
Affordable upscale stay
Cozy fireplace in rooms
Not pet friendly
Limited dining options
Pismo Lighthouse Suites
At Pismo Lighthouse Suites, my stay was a delight. Nestled right by the Pismo Beach shores, it became one of my favorite places for a stylish and affordable holiday home. The hotel exudes coziness with its nautical theme, offering splendid views of both the ocean and mountains. The rooms, spacious and luminous, boasted two beds and two baths. Adorned with charming nautical décor like lighthouses and paddle embellishments, the blue and white striped curtains added to the maritime ambiance.
Each room had modern amenities: flat-screen TVs, microwaves, coffee makers, fridges, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The bathrooms, featuring a shower and tub, were stocked with Bath and Body Works essentials. Opting for a room with an ocean view was a definite highlight.
While the hotel lacked a kitchen, it compensated by serving a delightful continental breakfast in a vibrant room adorned with sunny yellow walls and paneling. Guests could savor DIY waffles, an array of cereals, various juices, and Seattle’s Best Coffee, all amidst additional outdoor seating on a charming covered wooden porch.
The hotel’s amenities were exceptional—an outdoor heated pool and whirlpool with breathtaking ocean views, a play deck hosting life-sized checkers and chess, a ping-pong table, a volleyball court, and a miniature golf area. For fitness enthusiasts, there was a well-equipped facility offering both cardio and weight equipment. Additionally, the spa provided rejuvenating massages and facials. Convenience was vital, with free covered parking, conference spaces for business travelers, complimentary property-wide Wi-Fi, on-site laundry facilities, and a lobby stocked with food and souvenirs. My experience here was truly fulfilling and memorable.
My favorite aspect was the play deck and mini-golf, providing fun, family-friendly amenities.
Stylish themed holiday home
Nautical-themed suites and family-friendly amenities
Mountain views from the room
Play deck and mini-golf
Designer Beach Retreat
Nestled just 0.94 miles from Pismo State Beach, this gem in Pismo Beach became one of my favorite places to stay. The Designer Beach Retreat – 240FH immediately captivated me with its decked rooms and a 24/7 open front desk, ensuring impeccable hospitality.
As a nature enthusiast, I adore how this retreat champions creativity in its design, setting itself apart from conventional beachfront hotels. Its modern aesthetics and artistic flair create an unforgettable ambiance, meticulously crafted with attention to detail and clever use of space. For someone like me who values staying connected, the free WiFi made it a perfect haven for internet professionals and freelancers. The rooms, each boasting a balcony, offered serene spots for meditation while soaking in breathtaking views.
With its two bedrooms and bathrooms, flat-screen TV, and quality linens, this vacation house felt like a luxurious yet homely escape. The kitchen, equipped with a microwave and dishwasher, enhanced the stay, making it incredibly convenient. What stood out were the luxuries this hotel offered—a haven designed for ultimate relaxation. From private spas to infinity pools, rooftop terraces, and gourmet kitchens, the emphasis on luxury was evident, making every moment truly indulgent.
What truly elevated the experience was the personalized service. The staff, from concierge to private chefs and spa treatments, ensured every aspect of my stay was perfectly tailored. This attention to detail truly defined luxury living at its finest.
Stunning vacation home
Unique and creative design
Ideal for families
Balcony with scenic views
No on-site dining options
Possible noisy areas nearby
Best Hotels in Pismo Beach Ranked
In the table below, we will compare the top 10 cool and trendy hotels In Pismo Beach. You can sort a table based on different factors, like location, distance from attractions, price per night, and restaurants nearby:
Hotel Name Location Price Range (per night) Fitness Facilities Distance to Attractions (Km) Nearby Restaurants
Vespera Resort 147 Stimson Avenue $416-$724 Yes 0.1 16
Inn at the Pier 601 Cypress Street $251-$344 Yes 0.1 13
SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel 2241 Price Street, $331-$389 Yes 0.9 18
Shell Beach Inn 653 Shell Beach Road, $212-$256 Yes 0.5 7
The Cliffs Hotel and Spa 2757 Shell Beach Road $343-$389 Yes 0.2 9
Spyglass Inn 2705 Spyglass Drive, $267-$368 Yes 0.4 8
Cottage Inn by the Sea 2351 Price Street $306-$463 Yes 0.2 16
SeaVenture Beach Hotel 100 Ocean View Avenue $291-$521 Yes 0.2 10
Pismo Lighthouse Suites 2411 Price Street $629-$709 Yes 0.2 6
Designer Beach Retreat – 240FH 240 Foothill Rd $219 No 0.9 4
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Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six-month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh-faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi-nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in the warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds, and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex-Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
Hotel Reviewing Experience – published hotel review in the 52 Sleeps Book organised by Laterooms.com and Lonely Planet. Asked by over 12 tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Germany Tourist Board, Canada Tourist Board, Eviivo, France.fr, Visitoostende.be, Live Riga and Queensland Tourist Board. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos.
I’ve also been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, LA Weekly, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, Daily Express, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and Metro. Winner of Travel Blog of the Year. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.