Dubbed the Happiest City in America, San Luis Obispo welcomes travellers to immerse themselves in the cheerful vibe of a friendly, close-knit community situated at the foothills of the breathtaking Santa Lucia Mountains.
A popular travel destination because of its sunny and pleasant climate and abundance of natural and cultural beauty, this charming town is ideal for honeymoons, solo traveling, as well as family-friendly vacations.
Choosing the right accommodation is important to reduce commuting expenses and enjoy proximity to the historic downtown attractions, nearby vineyards, and the serene Pismo Beach. Our roundup will introduce you to the top 10 cool and unusual hotels in San Luis Obispo, California, from elegant boutique hotels and charming inns to world-class luxury resorts and farmhouse-style lodges (in no particular order, they’re all gems)...
1. San Luis Creek Lodge – a cute and quirky-chic boutique lodge with a range of Instaworthy features
The San Luis Creek Lodge combines a convenient downtown location with a quintessential Californian aesthetic, inviting travelers to immerse in the region’s hip bohemian vibe.
This farmhouse-style lodge features an eclectic blend of contemporary décor with a bold bohemian flair. The rustic-style interiors depict the beauty of surrounding beaches and vineyards.
The Lodge offers a wide selection of accommodations, ranging from the deluxe king and double queen to king and queen-sized suites with ornate fireplaces. The tastefully appointed guest rooms and suites are well-furnished with custom pieces from Haus Interior and striking artwork by talented Californian artists.
Guests enjoy state-of-the-art entertainment facilities and indulgent amenities, including luxurious bed linens, Aesop toiletries, in-room movie systems, and well-stock minibars.
- To book, check prices or availability for San Luis Creek Lodge
2. Hotel San Luis Obispo – a bright, trendy and spacious hotel that’s perfect for partying Gen-Zs, millennials and couples too
Travelers looking to position themselves in the heart of all the action and entertainment will find the Hotel San Luis Obispo ideally positioned, a stone’s throw away from the local hangout spots and historic attractions.
This upscale resort-style hotel offers an ideal home base to explore downtown’s popular sites and retreat to a luxuriously comfortable room.
The hotel offers 78 opulently decorated guest rooms and suites, with large windows offering delightful panoramic views of the manicured gardens and verdant mountains.
The bright and airy accommodations have a beachy Californian aesthetic, playing up a simplistic blend of custom-built furniture and textured wood.
- To book, check prices or availability for San Luis Obispo
3. The Kinney San Luis Obispo, Tapestry Collection by Hilton – a hip, funky and modern hotel with a range of amenities including a pool
An upscale oasis of modern luxuries and indulgences, The Kinney is a brilliant addition to the remarkable portfolio of the world-class Hilton brand. This contemporary venue curates an indulgent lavish experience for discerning luxury travelers accustomed to efficient service and innovative amenities.
The Kinney offers 100 sumptuously appointed guest rooms and suites, allowing guests to play, work and relax in the lap of luxury. Guests can begin their days with a dip in the heated pool and end exhausting sightseeing trips with flavorful cocktails at the onsite Leroy’s.
This elegant venue serves as a stellar vantage point to explore the best of San Luis Obispo – indulge in the glitzy downtown attractions and enjoy the serenity of the Edna Valley Vineyard and Pismo Beach.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Kinney
4. Garden Street Inn Downtown San Luis Obispo, A Kirkwood Collection Property – an elegant and romantic shabby-chic boutique inn with a gorgeous garden
Nestled in the core of San Luis Obispo’s enigmatic historic district, the Garden Street Inn offers a delightful experience to experience the beguiling culture of the California Central Coast. This homely abode radiates warmth with its traditional appeal, while the 1887 Queen Anne-style structure creates a charming and instantly recognisable street presence.
The interiors are a feast of Italianate-style finesse and Victorian accents, and guests can explore an array of romantically themed rooms with striking prints and beautiful textures.
For instance, the Emerald Isle suite has an enchanting floral theme featuring the Lily of the Valley and Shamrocks, while the Valley of the Moon is a queen-sized room appointed in serene shades of rust, green, and sand.
The Lovers offers a dreamy setting inspired by a blooming English garden, combining a private deck with a spacious master bedroom.
- To book, check prices or availability for Garden Street Inn
5. La Lomita Ranch – a cool, hip and unique ranch-style accommodation complete with Instagrammable decor and a fire pit
La Lomita Ranch beckons travelers with its vibrant Spanish culture and serene ambience, offering seven tastefully appointed guest rooms and a beautifully designed 3-bedroom accommodation, The Hacienda.
The guest rooms offer an intimate setting and eclectic Spanish-style décor, featuring exquisitely handcrafted Mexican furniture, glistening oil-rubbed bronze ornaments and Saltillo tiles.
The sleep stations offer a luxurious sink-in-the-bed experience with fine Rivolta Carmignani linens and hypoallergenic goose-down bedding.
The Hacienda is more suited to families and large groups, featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a well-appointed living room, a dining area, and a fully-equipped kitchen with outdoor grilling equipment.
The Ranch serves its guests with courteous staff and gracious hospitality, offering a home away from home with luxury hotel-like indulgences.
- To book, check prices or availability for La Lomita Ranch
6. Granada Hotel & Bistro – a stylish contemporary hotel with modern amenities but somehow retains its vintage character
One of the most elegant boutique hotels for an unforgettable San Luis Obispo vacation, the Granada Hotel is incredibly popular for its luxuriously decorated accommodations and onsite Spanish restaurant.
Travelers can find their ideal accommodation from a selection of 17 elegantly designed guest rooms and suites. The selection includes 3 Classic Rooms, 10 Deluxe Rooms, and 4 sprawling suites with intimate balconies.
The interiors radiate magnificence with fine furnishings, such as original artwork, rare antiques, original Persian rugs, polished hardwood floors, and premium linens.
Guests enjoy a soulful farm-to-table dining experience at the in-house bistro, quite famous among locals and travelers for its eclectic take on Spanish cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability for Granada Hotel
7. Apple Farm Inn – a stunning traditional inn with bags of character and a touch of vintage style luxury
Apple Farm Inn offers a convenient location, nestled between the vibrant downtown district and Cal Poly San Luis, perfect for exploring the best of Central Coast without long commutes. The homely inn tempts comfort-seekers with lavish amenities and beautifully appointed deluxe guest rooms.
Vacationers can choose from a wide selection of 106 accommodations. The Tellis Court Motel offers a series of deluxe bedrooms featuring delightful views of vibrant gardens and surrounding mountains, and the Millhouse offers four specialized accommodations decked with authentic countryside pleasures.
The interiors of both venues have a quaint old-world charm with cozy farmhouse-style accents, and the lounging spaces offer an abundance of intimate seating nooks with ornate fireplaces. The beautifully manicured flower garden offers a delightful setting to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
- To book, check prices or availability for Apple Farm Inn
8. Madonna Inn – a quaint, charming and unique take on a more traditional hotel
Madonna Inn welcomes travelers with a rejuvenating setting, situated in the heart of a breathtaking ranch sprawling over 1000 acres of wild, unfiltered beauty. The Inn offers easy access to the vibrant downtown district of San Luis Obispo through a paved walking and biking trail.
Guests can explore 110 well-furnished guest rooms decked with an array of modern amenities, fine bedding, and smart appliances. The interiors and living spaces are a glamorous celebration of the color pink, and one finds a myriad of shades throughout the décor. Each guest room flaunts a unique shade of pink with an eclectic-themed interior profile.
The onsite restaurants, Copper Café and the Gold Rush Steak House, are popular among locals and travelers.
- To book, check prices or availability for Madonna Inn
9. Sands Inn & Suites – a cute and cozy boutique hotel with a wonderful pool area and spacious rooms
One of San Luis Obispo’s finest boutique hotels, the Sands Inn & Suites is an AAA 3-Diamond venue blending authentic Spanish-style interiors with luxurious world-class amenities.
The interiors play up a serene blend of eclectic colors and Spanish furnishings, with living and lounging spaces erected around an alluring fountain area and outdoor pool.
Travelers can choose tastefully furnished inn-style guest rooms or indulge in the opulence of lavishly appointed suites. Guests enjoy lounging around on the expansive sun terrace and self-pampering sessions at the world-class spa.
The Sands Inn offers a state-of-the-art fitness center and well-appointed meeting space, which can be reserved for social gatherings and corporate events.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sands Inn & Suites
10. Hotel Buena Vista – San Luis Obispo – a traditional-style mid-range inn perfect for tighter budgets
The Hotel Buena Vista beckons travelers to rejuvenate and unwind in its breathtaking garden-style expanse, featuring an eclectic layout of lavishly decorated indoor and outdoor spaces.
The sun-soaked pool area is a laidback space for connecting with like-minded locals and travelers, while the tropical gardens and furnished patios are perfect for soaking up sunshine and serenity.
Hotel Buena Vista offers a selection of 75 well-furnished accommodations, featuring an abundance of creature comforts, including plush bedding, smart appliances, entertainment amenities, and fine furniture.
Guests can enjoy lively evenings lounging by the heated pool or reserve the BBQ areas for a fun-filled feast.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Hotel Buena Vista
We also have posts on…
- Cool and hip hotels in Pismo Beach
- Cool and hip hotels in Avila Beach
- Cool and hip hotels in Morro Bay
- Cool and hip hotels in Cambria
- Cool and hip hotels in Solvang
- Cool and hip hotels in Santa Barbara
- Cool and hip hotels in Carmel
- Cool and Unusual hotels in Paso Robles
- Cool and Unusual hotels in Calistoga
Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele.