There are hotels in all budget categories, many with kitchenettes, plus bed-and-breakfasts, condo complexes, and private vacation rental homes. Rates do not include tax or service fees, but many places offer discounts for stays of a week or longer.
Despite the planned construction of several large luxury hotels, most rooms in La Paz still fall in the US$50–125 range. Some of the older establishments could use a makeover, but the time warp is also part of their charm. You’ll pay a bit more to stay right on the water rather than along the malecón. And none of the bay-front hotels are within easy walking distance of the malecón or downtown La Paz, although taxis are always available.
Most times of year, you can wing it and find a room when you arrive. But if you plan to visit during mid-November, check the Baja 1000  event schedule and make reservations well in advance.
Budget accommodations tend to be centrally located but noisy and typically do not have air-conditioning, which can be problematic for travel during the hot-weather months of July–October.
Run by two Japanese women and popular with divers, Pensión Baja Paradise (Madero 2166, tel. 612/128-6097, www.bajaparadiselapaz.com , US$25–45) offers basic but immaculate accommodations in a multilevel building. Rooms have private baths, air-conditioning, refrigerators, Wi-Fi, and TV—amenities not often found at this price point. Guests share an outdoor kitchen and courtyard.
A mainstay on the budget travel circuit, bohemian Pensión California (Degollado 209, btw Revolución de 1910 and Madero, tel. 612/123-3508, fax 612/122-2896, misioner [at] bcs1 [dot] telmex [dot] net [dot] mx, US$25) occupies a former 18th-century convent. Its basic rooms have lots of beds, a relatively fresh coat of paint, and ceiling fans, which may or may not work. Rooms around the courtyard have TV and cost a few dollars more per night. Showers can be hot, as long as you turn on the water heater well beforehand. Most guests opt to use the cold water only. The open-air common space has a fridge, stove, sink, and chairs, but it’s not equipped well enough to prepare more than the simplest of meals. There is a computer with Internet access at the front desk (30-min. limit), and free Wi-Fi in the common areas, but it doesn’t quite reach to all the rooms. Guests here tend to be young and social. Pets are allowed. This is not the best place to choose for a quiet night’s sleep.
Around the corner, Hostería del Convento (Madero 85, tel. 612/122-3508, fax 612/123-3525, misioner [at] bcs1 [dot] telmex [dot] net [dot] mx, US$20) is owned by the same family and has similar rooms, but the scene is a bit older and quieter.
The Hotel San Carlos (16 de Septiembre btw Serdán/Revolución de 1910, tel. 612/122-0444, fax 612/122-3991, US$25, US$30 with a/c) has 30 basic rooms.
Posada Hotel Yeneka (Madero 1520, btw 16 de Septiembre/Av. Independencia, tel./fax 612/125-4688, ynkmacias [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, US$25) has made a name for itself among global backpackers. A courtyard filled with greenery, a rusting Model T, and collection of junk give the place a flea-market feel. Its dark rooms have little in the way of amenities, but the location is convenient and there is a laundry facility on-site.
If you’re just passing through and want to bypass downtown La Paz, Hotel Calafía (Km. 4, tel. 612/122-5811, hotelcalafia [at] gmail [dot] com, US$40) is a good option for affordable rooms with secure parking and a pool. Rates include tax.
The 56-room Hacienda Bugambilias (formerly Las Gardenias, Serdán Norte 520, tel. 612/122-3088, www.hotelgardenias.com.mx , US$62) has a residential location (three blocks from the waterfront and six blocks north of the plaza), which makes for a much quieter night’s sleep than you’ll get at other downtown hotels. Rooms come with tiled floors, rustic furnishings, air-conditioning, phone, and TV. The hotel restaurant serves breakfast and lunch fare. This is a popular place for Mexican visitors. Enter on Guerrero between Serdán and Guillermo Prieto.
A block up from the malecón, Hotel Miramar (5 de Mayo at Domínguez, tel. 612/122-8885, fax 612/122-0672, www.hotelmiramarlapaz.com , US$60) sometimes has rooms available when other properties at this price level are booked. Amenities include air-conditioning (noisy units), small TVs, and secure parking. Rooms get very little daylight, especially on the lower of its three floors. Beds rest on concrete platforms and slope a bit. Some rooms have balconies and bay views.
Above the Mar y Aventuras offices, Hotel Posada Luna Sol (Topete 564, btw 5 de Febrero/Navarro, tel. 612/123-0559 or 612/122-7039, www.posadalunasol.com , US$65–75) offers 14 clean rooms, all with local TV, air-conditioning, private baths, and hot water; some also have bay views. Enjoy a sunset cocktail under the rooftop palapa. In recent years, the property has added a new top-floor suite and a room with a small kitchen. Rates include tax.
The historic Hotel Perla (Paseo Obregón 1570, tel. 612/122-0777, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/716-8799, toll-free U.S. tel. 888/242-3757, www.hotelperlabaja.com , US$75–100) has been hosting foreign and domestic visitors since 1940. The building and 110 guestrooms (28 with bay views) have been well cared for over the years, but the overall impression is more business hotel than vacation destination. And rates seem to be climbing without substantial renovations in recent years. Rooms are small but very clean; decor is minimal, which means noise carries in hallways. High ceilings at least create the illusion of more space. Amenities include air-conditioning, TVs, and phones. There is Wi-Fi in the lobby only. A small pool on the mezzanine level may not be heated in winter months; the rooftop playground entertains young kids.
You can’t beat the Perla’s location right in the middle of the action on the malecón. In fact, the hotel’s La Terraza restaurant is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch and watch the city life stream by. Bottom line: Stay here if a central, waterfront location and secure indoor parking are important and the price is acceptable.
Under Swiss ownership, the charming Hotel Mediterrané (Allende 36, tel./fax 612/125-1195, www.hotelmed.com , US$65–95) has nine immaculate rooms in a blue and white stucco building just steps from the malecón. In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, its large and pleasant guestrooms are named for the various Greek islands. They come with air-conditioning, refrigerators, and TVs; some have bay views, but these are also the closest to the street and pick up a little more noise than those at the back of the hotel. A rooftop sundeck with lounge chairs invites visitors to catch a breeze and enjoy the bay views. The owners have loaner kayaks, canoes, and bikes available. Restaurant La Pazion (4–11 P.M. Wed.–Mon., mains US$10–20) and the Hotel Mediterrané Café are downstairs; the café opens at 7 A.M. daily and has wireless Internet.
At the northeast end of the malecón, on the way to Pichilingue, the Club El Moro (Km. 2, Carr. a Pichilingue, tel./fax 612/122-4084, www.clubelmoro.com , US$80–122) is a popular choice for families and travelers planning to take the ferry across to Mázatlan. A Moorish design and nicely landscaped pool and bar area are highlights of the property. Both rooms and suites come with air-conditioning, satellite TV with HBO, reliable wireless Internet, and a private terrace. Standard rooms are a little small for the price, but at US$112, the large junior suites are a great value. There is off-street and gated parking.
The adjoining Café Gourmet serves great espresso as well as breakfast and lunch every day. Hotel guests receive free coffee and a coupon for US$2.50 per day. Friendly staff and an attractive frequent-guest program bring repeat visitors back year after year. You can easily catch a city bus during daylight hours to cover the two kilometers to the downtown area. In the evening, you’ll have to walk or take a cab.
Next to the Baja Ferries terminal in Bahía Pichilingue, Club Cantamar Resort and Sports Centre (BCS. 11/Carr. a Pichilingue, tel. 612/122-7010, www.clubcantamar.com , US$78–220) caters to serious scuba divers and other water enthusiasts. This family business has grown steadily since it opened in 1994 with one 22-foot panga and an old 40-horsepower outboard engine. A boat ramp and tank-filling station paved the way to a full-scale resort.
Today guests sleep in a four-story lodge with 45 standard rooms, eight double condos, and two junior suites; a separate building contains four apartments, each with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchenette, dining room, living room, and private balcony. Rooms are decorated in desert colors, with stucco walls and rustic furnishings. Air-conditioning and satellite TV are included, and most rooms have phones, too. Other resort amenities include a 35-slip marina, swimming pool overlooking the ocean (deep enough for scuba training), bar, dockside restaurant, and swim-up bar. Other adventure-oriented amenities include a boat ramp, kayaks for rent, private beach, fishing fleet, dive shop, and recompression chamber. Proximity to the industrial ferry terminal, with semitrucks coming and going, is one disadvantage of the location. Night owls will find the Cantamar much too remote, but for those who want to maximize their time on the water, this resort is a fine home base. Rates include breakfast and taxes.
Behind the bus terminal, the four-story Baja South Hotel (Independencia 907, at Callejón 18 de Marzo, tel. 612/129-4231, baja_south [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$50–75) has 10 rooms with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and views of the malecón from the upper floors.
Ten large-sized rooms at La Casa Jalisco (Jalisco 480, tel. 612/128-4311, US$55–75) have air-conditioning, balconies, Wi-Fi, and satellite TV. The location in a residential neighborhood of the Pueblo Nuevo district is outside the tourist area, 10 blocks away from the beach, and 15 blocks from the malecón.
On the west side of the La Paz–Pichilingue Road, the Araiza Palmira (Km. 2.5, Carr. a Pichilingue, Alberto Alvarado, Fracc. Lomas de Palmira, tel. 612/121-6200, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/026-5444, toll-free U.S. tel. 877/727-2492, www.araizahoteles.com , US$60–95) is primarily a business hotel, with conference rooms, ballrooms, and guestrooms that look out on a lush garden. Amenities include a swimming pool, tennis court, and restaurant/bar. This hotel is one of many that have dropped their prices dramatically during the recession years.
On the malecón, the Seven Crown Hotel (corner of Paseo Obregón and Lerdo de Tejada, tel. 612/128-7788, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/276-9673, www.sevencrownhotels.com , US$95–130) is a modern 50-room property that has all the basics but lacks the character and history of La Perla. Amenities include a gym, parking, and wireless Internet. Suites (US$130) have ocean views and kitchenettes. There is a rooftop restaurant (El Aura), bar, and whirlpool tub.
La Concha Beach Resort and Condos (Km 5., Carr. a Pichilingue, tel. 612/121-6161, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/716-8603, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/999-2252, www.laconcha.com , US$115) has the closest beachfront location to town, but the beach itself is much less attractive than those found farther out along the Pichilingue Peninsula and the accommodations are in need of some serious attention. There are hotel rooms as well as condos with lovely bay views, and there have been some improvements such as new air-conditioners in some units; however, for the most part, the property is run-down.
Across from the Araiza Palmira and next to the Club de Yates Palmira, the Hotel Marina (Km. 2.5, Carr. a Pichilingue, tel. 612/121-6254, fax 612/121-6177, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/826-1138, www.hotelmarina.com.mx , US$93–180) has 150 suites and master suites with somewhat saggy beds and older furnishings. The resort has tennis courts, a large swimming pool, and an outdoor bar.
Part of the new 500-acre CostaBaja Resort & Marina (www.costabajaresort.com ), the Fiesta Inn La Paz (Km. 7.5, Carr. a Pichilingue, tel. 612/123-6000, www.fiestainn.com , US$85–133) is popular with families as well as boaters, who can anchor at the on-site marina. The resort has 120 guestrooms, including some that are wheelchair accessible; amenities include wireless Internet and a separate lap-swimming lane in addition to the main pool. The location far from town and near an oil refinery may disappoint some travelers. To find the hotel, look for a signed entrance on a rise on the seaside of the road to Pichilingue.
Some of the classiest accommodations in town are found at the Posada de las Flores (Paseo Obregón 440 btw Militar/Guerrero, tel. 612/125-5871, fax 612/122-8748, www.posadadelasflores.com , US$150–290). With its signature coral-colored building and beautiful landscaping, this property looks out on the bay from the west side of the malecón. Rooms are designed in a rustic Mexican style, with tile floors and marble baths. Amenities include air-conditioning, wireless Internet, cable TV, and small refrigerators. Guests can also rent a larger casa next door. Bikes and kayaks are complimentary, and rates include breakfast. Posada de las Flores also has sister properties in Loreto and Punta Chivato.
Southwest of town, at Km. 5.5 on northbound Mexico 1 (it turns north eventually), the three-story Grand Plaza Resort (Lte. A, Marina Fidepaz, tel. 612/124-0830, www.grandplazalapaz.com , US$100–160) is a typical airport business hotel with 50 bayside suites. Rooms are on the dark side and beds sag a bit, but the pool is large and bay views are a plus (no swimming). Notable amenities include free wireless Internet in the lobby and restaurant area, plus a sauna, pool tables, gym, hot tub, tennis court, massage room, and restaurant/bar. Rooms come with air-conditioning and refrigerators. The hotel stands opposite the state tourism office and next to the Singlar Fidepaz Marina.