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Where to Stay in Norfolk: Best Areas & Hotels, 2019

Written by Carri Wilbanks

Whether you are heading to Norfolk on a business trip, a vacation with the kids, or a couple's getaway, this friendly city on the Chesapeake Bay, less than a 30-minute drive from Virginia Beach, offers a range of hotels for all budgets and styles of traveler.

The majority of hotels are located between downtown and the airport - unlike many cities, Norfolk's airport is just three miles from the city center. As such, some of the city's top hotels are actually found close to the airport. Examples include the highly rated Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Norfolk International Airport, one of the top-rated mid-range properties in the city.

Home to a large naval base, Norfolk is a great-value city overall and has more budget and mid-range options than it does high-end luxury. The most upscale hotel is the Hilton Norfolk The Main, a four-star hotel right downtown, where you'll also find attractions like the Battleship Wisconsin, which served in WWII and is now a maritime museum, and The Chrysler Museum of Art. Downtown also hosts a number of restaurants and the MacArthur Center Mall.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Norfolk waterfront

Norfolk waterfront

Hilton Norfolk the Main is Norfolk's only true luxury hotel. The chic four-star property is in a lively location downtown within walking distance of numerous attractions, including the Battleship Wisconsin Museum. The modern rooms are spacious and well-appointed with sitting areas, many of which feature Elizabeth River or city views. Suites add even more space, with proper living rooms. On-site amenities include a garden lounge; a few dining options, including a seafood restaurant; an indoor swimming pool; a hot tub; and games room.

The only hotel right on the waterfront, the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel offers good-value luxury at 3.5 stars and is just a 10-minute walk from downtown. The rooms are contemporary and spacious and come with comfy beds, ergonomic chairs, and even pullout sofas - a perk for family vacations. There are larger suites with separate sitting areas. Book a room on the club floor for a free continental breakfast and access to snacks all day and appetizers in the early evening. On-site amenities include a seafood restaurant with harbor views, an outdoor swimming pool, and gym.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

USS Wisconsin Battleship

USS Wisconsin Battleship

Don't let the name throw you off. Although the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Norfolk International Airport is close to the airport, it's also near downtown (the airport and city center are just three miles apart). It's also within walking distance of local shops and restaurants. The property features tidy and spacious rooms that are excellent value. They come with comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, and coffee makers. On-site amenities include a free breakfast buffet, complimentary parking and Wi-Fi, a coin-operated laundry, swimming pool, and gym.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Norfolk Virginia Beach is another popular mid-range option, especially in the summer as it is located between downtown Norfolk and Virginia Beach - it's a bit closer to downtown at less than eight miles and is about 13 miles from the beach. This all-suites property is also a great pick if you have kids - the bright, modern suites are spacious and come with microwaves and mini-fridges. A complimentary breakfast buffet is another perk, and there is also a free airport shuttle and on-site parking. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, workout room, and convenience store.

Residence Inn Norfolk Downtown is within walking distance of many downtown attractions, including the Wisconsin Battleship museum. It offers updated and spacious rooms with comfy beds, as well as family- and group-friendly perks, like pullout sofas and kitchenettes. There are also multi-bedroom suite options. Amenities include a hot breakfast, convenience store (but no proper restaurant), indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and fitness room.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Old town Norfolk on a sunny day

Old town Norfolk on a sunny day

The Bay Inn is a revered budget choice for no frills and good-value lodging, just two blocks from the beach. The motel is in a quiet residential neighborhood and offers basic but clean rooms with comfortable beds. Rooms even have some flair, with colorful decor, as well as mini-fridges and microwaves tucked into kitchenette-style corners. Amenities include free parking and free Wi-Fi.

Econo Lodge Little Creek is another popular budget pick, which is convenient to the city, the airport, the military base, and the beach. It offers basic but clean rooms, with premium cable and free Wi-Fi, as well as microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. A continental breakfast is offered daily for free, and there is also parking on-site. Amenities include a hot tub and workout room.

Where to Stay for Families

Fishing pier in the Oceanview area of Norfolk, Virginia

Fishing pier in the Oceanview area of Norfolk, Virginia

A great family choice, the Courtyard Norfolk Downtown is in a convenient downtown location, just a few minutes' walk from Civic Plaza and the MacArthur Center Mall. It features spacious and modern rooms with kid-friendly amenities, like mini-fridges and pullout sofas in the suites and some of the other rooms. On-site amenities include a lobby with a living-room vibe; an American restaurant serving Starbucks coffee in the mornings; and an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, and workout room.

Hampton Inn & Suites Norfolk - Airport is another popular pick for families traveling with kids. It is located about a 10-minute drive from the airport and is equally convenient to the city center and also Virginia Beach. The rooms are very spacious, and the beds are comfy. The staff is also friendly and helpful. On-site amenities include a complimentary hot breakfast, free parking, an indoor swimming pool, workout room, and snack shop. There is also a free airport shuttle available to guests.

Where to Stay for Couples

Cherry blossoms in a Norfolk garden

Cherry blossoms in a Norfolk garden

With a location just a little outside of downtown but right on the Chesapeake Bay waterfront with beach access, the Best Western Plus Holiday Sands Inn & Suites is a popular choice with couples looking for good-value lodging that is still clean and comfortable. The rooms here are simple but spacious and come with flat-screen TVs featuring premium cable, free Wi-Fi, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. Most rooms also come with ocean views and balconies.

Book a suite if you want a full kitchen and separate living space. A free continental breakfast, outdoor swimming pool, fitness room, and convenience store are all perks of staying.

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