The Best Hotels in Gainesville, FL

Best known as the home of the University of Florida and the Florida Gators, Gainsville, Florida has a lot more going for it than education and football alone. This small city might not boast the seaside location, size, and decadent nightlife of many of the other cities in the state of Florida, but what it lacks in the way of beaches and 24-hour buzz it more than makes up for with a thriving arts and music scene, a collection of outstanding eateries and micro-breweries, and a handful of highly attractive locations for outdoors lovers, all within easy driving distance of downtown.

In this article we aim to introduce you to our selection of the top 25 hotels in Gainsville, FL for visitors with varying needs, tastes, and budgets. We reviewed dozens of hotels in Gainsville, FL to identify the very best of the best. We based our assessment on a range of factors, including cost, location, convenience, style, amenities, and average customer reviews.

Top Pick
AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown

A conveniently located hotel with bright, airy rooms, a roof-top pool, and a friendly, laid-back vibe.

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Having considered a large number of hotels, we chose the AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown as our top pick. This relaxed midtown hotel is located just across the street from the University of Florida and a half mile from “The Swamp”. It offers bright, modern, and stylish rooms, a roof-top spa and pool, and a laid-back vibe that will appeal to visitors heading to Gainsville on business and for pleasure alike.

The 5 Top-Rated Hotels in Gainsville, Florida

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallAC Hotel Gainesville Downtown 4.5
Runner UpThe Sweetwater Inn
4.7
Best Budget HotelDrury Inn & Suites Gainesville4.8
Best Pet-Friendly HotelHilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville4.4
Best Hotel for FamiliesCountry Inn & Suites by Radisson 4.4

*Ratings are from Google Reviews at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: The AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown

After careful consideration, our top pick of hotels in Gainseville, Florida, is the AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown. This slick but very laid-back, informal hotel wins our vote for a number of reasons, most notably its whereabouts, polished amenities, welcoming vibe, and its stylish but unpretentious rooms.

Located just across the street from the University of Florida and within walking distance of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (also known as “The Swamp” in the world of college football), this midtown hotel is perfectly situated, providing easy access to a wide range of restaurants, the midtown shopping area, and the charming neighborhoods dotted around Gainesville Downtown.

In terms of amenities, the AC Hotel doesn’t disappoint, boasting a chic tapas restaurant and bar, a gym, spa, and a rooftop pool with city views. It’s also kid and pet-friendly and just 5 miles from Gainesville Regional Airport.

AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown Key Features:

  • Located in Midtown Gainesville, just 2 minutes from the University of Florida campus
  • Pet and kid-friendly
  • Amenities include a tapas restaurant, gym, and a rooftop spa and pool
  • City views

Our Runner Up Pick: Sweetwater Branch Inn

Runner Up
Sweetwater Inn

An absolutely charming collection of B&B residences located in the historic downtown area of Gainsville.

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Downtown Gainesville’s Sweetwater Branch Inn is a great choice for visitors to Gainseville looking for an experience that is truly one of a kind. While listed as a ‘B&B’, the Streetwater is in fact a collection of delectably cute Victorian-era houses and cottages set in a landscaped garden very near the heart of downtown Gainesville. If charm and quaintness are your thing, then look no further than this!

The rooms in the Streetwater properties combine both homeliness and elegance and come with en-suite bathrooms and whirlpool tubs. In terms of location, this property is also something of a standout, being just a 5-minute walk from the historic Matheson House and Matheson Museum, a short drive from the University of Florida (but far enough away that it boasts a far more peaceful vibe than other hotels on our list!), and within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and Gainesville’s main shopping areas.

Sweetwater Branch Inn Key Features:

  • B&B-style residences in Victorian-era property
  • Located in Downtown Gainesville
  • Elegant, homely rooms
  • Amenities include and outdoor pool, free parking and breakfast, a wine and cheese hour, and landscaped gardens

Our Budget Pick: Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville

Best for Budget
Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville

A very affordable hotel boasting a wide range of winning amenities and located just minutes from the downtown area and the University of Florida.

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Visitors to Gainesville who are working on a tighter budget will be hard pressed to find an option that offers better value for money than the very centrally located Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville. This affordably priced hotel offers simply furnished but very comfortable rooms in a relaxed environment. It is located just off I-75, 2 miles from both the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and within walking distance of several casual restaurants.

In terms of perks and amenities, this hotel ticks all the boxes that need ticking, boasting an outdoor pool, a hot tub, gym, and also a business center and meeting rooms, and offering free parking, hot breakfasts, and evening drinks and snacks.

The Drury is also kid and pet-friendly and its spacious, unpretentious rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges, microwaves, and tea and coffee-making facilities.

Drury Inn & Suites Gainesville Key Features:

  • Located just off the I-75, 2 miles from the Florida Museum of Natural History and 5 miles from Gainesville downtown
  • Simple but spacious rooms
  • Relaxed vibe
  • Amenities include free parking, evening drinks and hot breakfasts, business and meeting rooms, a gym, and an outdoor pool

Best Pet-Friendly Hotel in Gainesville, Florida: Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville

Best Pet-Friendly Hotel
Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville

A cozy, contemporary hotel situated on the University of Florida campus.

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While marketed towards those visiting Gainesville on business, the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville is also a great choice for those traveling with their pets. The hotel allows guests to bring up to two pets per room and enjoy all the facilities and amenities on offer while their non-human family members kick back in the sleek, modern rooms.

And those facilities are well worth visiting for, too…

In addition to complimentary parking, a gym, pool, hot tub, bar and lounge, huge business center and meeting space, this hotel is home to a number of highly attractive eateries, including the trendy and curiously named No Name Lounge, Shula’s Steak House, the 2-Bit Lounge, and Albert’s Restaurant.

Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville Key Features:

  • Located on the University of Florida campus
  • Pet friendly
  • Amenities include a 24-hour gym, several eateries, a bar and lounge, swimming pool, hot tub, business center, and meeting space

Best Hotel for Families in Gainesville, FL: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Best Hotel for Families
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

An unfussy, laid-back hotel with ample amenities for all the family.

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It may not be the swankiest of hotels out there, but the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson offers a very practical, cozy option for those visiting Gainesville with the kids and looking for excellent value for money.

The Radisson is located off I-75, roughly 2 miles from both the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the Florida Museum of Natural History, making it a great getaway for those looking to have easy access to the city center and the wealth of parks in the vicinity.

In terms of amenities, this hotel is also a bit of a winner, offering a tasty hot breakfast buffet every morning, free parking, a heated indoor pool, a whirlpool tub and a 24-hour fitness room. The rooms are unspectacular but perfectly functional, spacious, and score higher on comfort than many other hotels in this price range.

And we haven’t even gotten to the best bit…kids aged 18 and under stay at no extra charge with a paying adult!

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Key Features:

  • Located 2 miles northwest of downtown Gainesville on I-75
  • Straightforward rooms have  free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, and tea and coffeemakers
  • Kids under 18 stay for free
  • Amenities include a heated indoor pool, a whirlpool tub, 24-hour fitness room, free parking, a free breakfast buffet, and 24-hour fitness room

Who Should Visit Gainesville, Florida

Gainesville has a great number of attractions that will appeal to visitors of varying tastes and budgets. While famed for its college and that college’s football team, this quaint, vibrant little town also scores highly on things to do for those of a more cultural persuasion or simply looking to have a good time with their family and/or friends in a new and unique location.

One of the things that strikes most first-time visitors to Gainesville is the harmonious coexistence of the traditional (in the charming downtown area with its Victorian-era residences, for example) and the modern, found in the form of several startup business, stylish restaurants and microbreweries galore, a handful of shopping streets and malls, its up-and-coming arts scene, food truck rallies, and other cultural events.

Just outside the city, nature-lovers can get their fill of outdoors activity in a number of parks and recreational areas such as the Split Rock Conservation Area, Clear Lake Nature Park, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Grove Park Wildlife Management Area, and Newnans Lake Conservation Area.

If you find yourself traveling across the states, take a look at Modern Mansions: Must-See Homes On Your Next American Travel Excursion for some more location options.
Top Pick
AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown

A conveniently located hotel with bright, airy rooms, a roof-top pool, and a friendly, laid-back vibe.

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Important Factors to Consider

  • Budget. Gainesville is a small city but is nevertheless home to a sizable array of hotels catering to visitors with different budgets. As with most locations, the more expensive of these tend to offer the most central location, upscale amenities and luxurious rooms, but there are bargains to be found, particularly if you book well in advance and are willing to stay a little outside the downtown area.
  • Location. Gainseville is a small city and very walkable, meaning choosing a hotel in the downtown or midtown areas will allow you to access most of the city’s main attractions on foot. If you’re not too concerned about being able to get around without using a car, however, a number of hotels on the periphery of the city offer slightly cheaper and often more relaxed, quieter accommodation. These also tend to have slightly easier access to the parks and recreation areas dotted around the outskirts of the city. All told, location isn’t quite as important to visitors to Gainesville as in other cities owing to the city’s smaller size – choosing any of the hotels on our list will leave you no more than 15 minutes from downtown and, at most, just a little more from all other attractions in the vicinity.
  • Hotel type. Although Gainesville is a little short on truly luxury hotels, it does offer a wealth of accommodation oriented towards business travelers, families, and those working on a tighter budget. It is also home to small handful of utterly unique boutique residences set in Victorian-era properties that ooze charm and quaintness in equal measure, most of which are located in the downtown and midtown areas.
  • Amenities. As with any destination, when booking your hotel in Gainesville we recommend listing a few amenities that are non-negotiable (pet friendly, spa, and/or gym, for example) to narrow down the options and then work through those remaining using a simple process of elimination until you have created a shortlist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best area to stay in Gainesville, FL?

While this will ultimately depend on your own needs, preferences and your reasons for visiting the city, most visitors tend to choose accommodation in either the downtown or midtown areas in order to have easy access to the city’s restaurants, shopping areas, and the University of Florida campus.

What airport do you fly into for Gainesville, FL?

Visitors to Gainesville have a choice of two airports – Gainsville Regional Airport, which is located roughly 6 miles from downtown, or  Jacksonville International Airport, which is just over 80 miles from Gainesville and  approximately an hour and a half by car.

Is Gainesville, FL expensive?

Compared to other cities in Florida like Orlando and Miami, Gainesville is relatively cheap as regards the cost of eating out, accommodation, and entertainment.

Is downtown Gainesville, FL safe?

Of Florida’s 142 cities, Gainesville is currently ranked 117th safest and has an above-average crime rate compared to other cities in the US as a whole. That said, the downtown area is generally safe.

Other Hotels in Gainesville, FL We Reviewed

Top Pick
AC Hotel Gainesville Downtown

A conveniently located hotel with bright, airy rooms, a roof-top pool, and a friendly, laid-back vibe.

Check Price

We looked at 20 other hotels in Gainesville, Florida. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best hotels in Gainesville list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your trip. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Budget Hotels in Gainesville, Florida

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Gainesville

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Gainesville

This relaxed, affordable, all-suite hotel offers excellent amenities and is conveniently located just 2 miles from Gainesville’s downtown area.

Key Features:

  • Located off I-75, 2 miles from downtown Gainesville
  • Relaxed vibe
  • Amenities include an outdoor pool, hot tub, spa, a convenience store, meeting space, a business center, and free airport shuttle, breakfast, and parking

Cost: $92

Sleep Inn & Suites University/Shands

Sleep Inn & Suites University/Shands

In terms of value for money, they don’t come much better than this simply furnished but cozy, laid-back hotel situated 2 miles from downtown off I-75. Nicely sized rooms and unbeatable prices.

Key Features:

  • Located 2 miles from the Florida Museum of Natural History and 3 miles from the University of Florida
  • Spacious, relaxed rooms
  • Amenities include a pool, free Wi-Fi, an exercise room, sundeck, business center, free hot breakfasts and free parking

Cost: $62

Comfort Inn University

Comfort Inn University

This unfussy budget hotel offer a handful of attractive amenities and comfortable rooms just a short distance from all of Gainesville’s major attractions, including the downtown area, the university campus, and the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

Key Features:

  • Located 1.6 miles from the University of Florida Gainesville campus and 5.1 miles from downtown Gainesville
  • Relaxed vibe
  • Amenities include a free hot breakfast buffet, free parking, an outdoor pool, an exercise room, a business center and a laundromat

Cost: $72

Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe

Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe

A modern hotel with bright, wonderfully stylish rooms, awesome amenities, and conveniently located just 3 miles from the University of Florida campus.

Key Features:

  • Located just off I-75, 2 miles from the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and 3 miles from the University of Florida
  • Contemporary vibe
  • Amenities include free parking, a restaurant, a bar, an outdoor pool, a gym, and over 2,000 sq ft of meeting and event space

Cost: $90

Hampton Inn Gainesville

Hampton Inn Gainesville

A frill-free but perfectly functional, cozy little hotel with good amenities and a very relaxed vibe located just 2 miles from the University of Florida and 1 mile from Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

Key Features:

  • Located off I-75, just 4 miles from Gainesville downtown area
  • Casual vibe
  • Amenities include free hot breakfast, free parking, an outdoor pool and patio, a fitness center, and event space

Cost: $90

Homewood Suites by Hilton Gainesville

Homewood Suites by Hilton Gainesville

A great choice for those heading to Gainesville for more than a few days, this extended-stay hotel offers spacious, contemporary rooms, excellent amenities, and is located just over 5 miles from downtown.

Key Features:

  • Located off I-75, just 1.6 miles from the University of Florida and 5 miles from downtown Gainesville
  • Contemporary and laid-back vibe
  • Amenities include free hot breakfasts, complimentary light dinner and drinks Monday to Thursday, a 24/7 convenience store, a free grocery shopping service, a business center, coin laundry, fitness center, sports court, and an outdoor pool with a hot tub

Cost: $90

Gator Town Inn

Gator Town Inn

Situated just two miles from the University of Florida, this laid-back hotel combines a convenient location with spacious, comfortable rooms and a home-like vibe.

Key Features:

  • Located next to Sweetwater Wetlands Park, 2 miles from the University of Florida and 4 miles from Gainesville downtown
  • Casual, homey vibe
  • Amenities include free parking, free continental breakfast, an outdoor pool, and a volleyball court

Cost: $62

Pet-Friendly Hotels in Gainesville, Florida

Best Western Waldo Inn & Suites

Best Western Waldo Inn & Suites

This nicely priced hotel is a little out of the way but offers very comfortable, spacious rooms and a relaxing, homely atmosphere.

Key Features:

  • Located roughly 15 miles north of downtown Gainesville off Highway 301
  • Pet-friendly
  • Casual vibe
  • Amenities include tasty free breakfasts, free parking, a lobby lounge, fitness center, and an outdoor pool with sunloungers

Cost: $91

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alachua – Gainesville Area

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alachua - Gainesville Area

This one is located a little out of the way, but for those willing to put in a few extra miles to reach downtown Gainesville it’s well worth a place on your shortlist, offering stylish modern rooms, outstanding amenities, and a pet-friendly policy that allows you to bring all your non-human family members along for the trip.

Key Features:

  • Located in a rural area off US 441, 3 miles from Alachua Splash Park and 8 miles from Hornsby Spring
  • Contemporary, relaxed rooms and vibe
  • Amenities include free parking, free breakfast buffet, an outdoor pool and a hot tub, a gym, a business center, and laundry facilities

Cost: $90

Aloft Gainesville University Area

Aloft Gainesville University Area

Pet-friendly hotels down’t come much more convenient or cozy than this laid-back hotel located just 1 mile from the University of Florida and 3 miles from Gainesville downtown.

Key Features:

  • Located within walking distance of the Florida Museum of Natural History and 1 mile from the University of Florida
  • Laid-back vibe
  • Amenities include free parking, a bar, laundry facilities, a heated outdoor pool, and a fitness center

Cost: $107

Best Western Gateway Grand

Best Western Gateway Grand

Situated 10 miles north of the city, this casual hotel offers comfortable rooms, a stunning location, and plenty of nearby parks for walks with your four-legged friends.

Key Features:

  • Located 9 miles from the University of Florida and 11 miles from downtown Gainesville
  • Rural location
  • Casual vibe
  • Amenities include free continental breakfast and parking, a large outdoor pool, a hot tub, gym, restaurant, bar, business center, and meeting and event space

Cost: $12o

Residence Inn by Marriott Gainesville I-75

Residence Inn by Marriott Gainesville I-75

A casual hotel with relaxed suites and studios, outstanding amenities, and a pet-friendly policy that’s located 4 miles from the University of Florida and 6 miles from downtown Gainesville.

Key Features:

  • Located just off the I-75, 4 miles from the University of Florida, 2 miles from the Florida Museum of Natural History, and 6 miles from downtown Gainesville
  • Spacious rooms
  • Amenities include hot breakfast, free parking, evening socials with snacks, a 24-hour convenience store, a picnic area, an outdoor pool, fitness center, laundry facilities, and a grocery delivery service

Cost: $113

Hōm Hotel + suites by Wyndham

Hom Hotel +

A cozy, straightforward hotel with contemporary rooms, a pet-friendly policy, and ample amenities located just off I-75 and ten minutes from Gainesville downtown.

Key Features:

  • Located 2 miles from Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and 5 miles from Gainesville downtown
  • Pets welcome for a small surcharge
  • Amenities include free parking, a free breakfast buffet, a fitness center, a sun terrace, and a pool

Cost: $107

Hotels for Families in Gainesville, Florida

La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Gainesville

La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Gainesville

This causal hotel just off the I-75 and roughly four miles west of downtown Gainesville offers superbly comfortable rooms and excellent amenities.

Key Features:

  • Children under 18 stay free with an adult
  • 4 miles from the University of Florida and Downtown Gainesville
  • Amenities include an outdoor pool, meeting space, free parking, and free continental breakfasts

Cost: $65

Red Roof PLUS+ Gainesville

Red Roof PLUS+ Gainesville

This informal hotel off I-75 offers casual rooms, adequate amenities, and a very laid-back vibe just 5 miles from Gainesville downtown. Kids stay for free with an adult.

Key Features:

  • Located 2 miles from the University of Florida and 5 miles from downtown
  • Relaxed vibe and unfussy but very comfortable rooms
  • Amenities include free parking, free coffee, and an outdoor pool

Cost: $72

Baymont by Wyndham Gainesville

Baymont by Wyndham Gainesville

A casual but perfectly functional, cozy little hotel that offers spacious rooms and ample amenities, all within a ten-minute drive of downtown.

Key Features:

  • Located next to The Oaks Mall roughly ten miles north of downtown Gainesville
  • Kids stay for free with an adult
  • Amenities include a free breakfast buffet, free parking, an outdoor pool, an exercise room, and a business center

Cost: $60

Holiday Inn University Center Gainesville

Holiday Inn University Center Gainesville

A contemporary hotel with slick but comfortable rooms offering easy, on-foot access to the University of Florida campus.

Key Features:

  • Located just 2-minute walk from the University of Florida and 2-minute drive from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Kids under 19 stay free with an adult
  • Amenities include free continental breakfast, free parking, a rooftop pool, a fitness room, and a business center

Cost: $113

DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville

DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville

This plush, upmarket hotel is a great choice for those looking to spoil themselves with a little bit luxury, offering chic rooms, a stylish restaurant and bar, a sundeck, and a large swimming pool with a nearby playpen for the kids.

Key Features:

  • Located across the street from the Butler Plaza shopping complex off I-75
  • Stylish vibe
  • Amenities include free parking is free, a terrace restaurant and bar, an outdoor pool, a sundeck, hot tub, convenience store, business center, and a gym

Cost: $120

Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville

Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville

A large, contemporary hotel with polished amenities, comfortable rooms, and conveniently located just an 8-minute drive from the University of Florida.

Key Features:

  • Located off I-75, just one mile from Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and 5 miles from downtown Gainesville
  • Chic decor
  • Amenities include a 24/7 convenience store, an outdoor patio, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, a boardroom, ballroom, and a business center

Cost: $118

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gainesville I-75

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gainesville I-75

While not the cheapest hotel on our list, this option rewards those willing to shell out a few extra $ with outstanding amenities, stylish and functional rooms, and an easily accessible location.

Key Features:

  • Located off I-75, 2 miles from Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and 3 miles from both Lake Alice and the University of Florida
  • Contemporary vibe
  • Amenities include free breakfast, free parking, a large outdoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center

Cost: $117

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