HaveUHeard.com includes links to third-party websites and advertisements for third-party products and services. Product and service-specific opinions mentioned within the content of our blogs are entirely the opinions of the HaveUHeard.com team and its staff. It is our hope that you will find value in the products and services these third-party organizations represent, and patronize these businesses. Such advertising and marketing partnerships help make our efforts at HaveUHeard.com possible. Thank you for your support and ongoing interest. For additional information, please read our full HaveUHeard.com Disclosure Statement
A Nice Place to Stay
Although it won’t seem like it on a busy weekend, there are definitely plenty of hotel options for your visit to Gainesville. Remembering this is a college town, you should not be expecting to see high rise, five-star hotels. Many of the hotels will be found on Archer Road right off I-75, but there are a few further away from the crowded Archer Road corridor as well as some closer to campus.
If you don’t already have a hotel allegiance, it’s a good idea to pick one hotel chain for your Gainesville travels. This will allow you to accumulate points to earn free night stays or other rewards offered by that particular program. Another important point to consider is that there are peak weekends in Gainesville where it is very difficult to get a room — all football weekends and graduation being prime examples. During these high demand weekends, rates will double to a cost seemingly very high for a town like Gainesville. But you have a better shot at securing a room if you regularly book your stays with one hotel company, even if you can expect to pay $200 – $400 per night, depending on your hotel choice.
For graduation, HaveUHeard strongly recommends that you try to book a year in advance. For football games, book as far in advance as possible. Some reservations allow for 24-hour cancellation but for high demand weekends, you will need to cancel 30 days in advance.
To walk or to ride…that is the question.
For those unfamiliar with Gainesville, you will often see listings for Ocala, Florida when searching for “nearby” hotels. Be warned: Ocala is at least a 40-minute drive from Gainesville in regular traffic conditions. This should be a last-minute choice if you are unable to find an available hotel room in Gainesville. For football games, expect that drive to double — at a minimum. Many alumni and Florida fans converge on Gainesville from cities to the south, often leading to gridlock on I-75.
If you are coming in for a football game and want to stay at a hotel that is within walking distance to the stadium, the four options are The Reitz Hotel, the Hilton University Conference Center, the AC Hotel, and the Holiday Inn University Center. Most of the other hotels are off of Archer Road and will require some mode of transportation. Remember, even Uber drivers have to deal with traffic.
Included in those walkable options is UF’s first hotel on campus, which is found in the Student Union. While commonly called the Reitz Hotel, its official name is the J. Wayne Reitz Union Hotel. It has only 36 rooms, offering standard size, business suite, executive suite, and deluxe rooms. If you are hoping to stay here during football weekends, you must enter the lottery by April 1st. To get up to speed on that, read our lottery blog. Typically, a standard room, consisting of one queen bed or two double beds, ranges from $99 per night for an off-peak weekend to $185 per night for graduation weekend to $200-$225 for a football weekend.
UF’s newest hotel “on campus” (actually located by UF Health complex and Gator athletics) is called Hotel Eleo. They have both rooms and suites, an onsite restaurant that will open in fall 2020, a grab and go market, fitness studio with Peloton bicycles, a business center, valet, and more. Rooms include Scandinavian-style furnishings, flat-screen TVs, wireless smartphone charging station, and a Nespresso machine. It is currently managed by Pyramid Hotel Group, and part of the trend of hotels being built on-campus medical centers.
Keep reading for other hotel chains and independent hotel listings in Gainesville.
For those who are traveling with pets, the hotels that are pet-friendly include Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, Super 8, La Quinta, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Home2Suites, Drury Inn & Suites, WoodSpring Suites, and Comfort Inn.
Hilton University of Florida Conference Center – 1714 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL. As mentioned above, this is a walking distance hotel, located directly on the University of Florida campus. Most of the football game weekends are booked up far in advance, primarily with UF Alumni. Rates are at a premium for this location, costing approximately $299 and higher, depending on the room selection. The rooms include free wifi if you are a Hilton honors gold and diamond member. The hotel recently underwent (much needed) renovations, to great reviews. They have a restaurant offering breakfast and lunch for an additional fee but do offer complimentary coffee in the lobby. Shula’s Steakhouse is new to the hotel.
Hampton Inn – 4225 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL
Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown – 101 SE 1st Ave, Gainesville, FL
Homewood Suites – 3333 SW 42nd St, Gainesville, FL
Hilton Garden Suites – 4075 SW 33 Pl, Gainesville, FL
Home2Suites – 2115 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL
DoubleTree – 3726 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL
The Marriott family has five hotel brands in Gainesville. They are:
Courtyard Marriott – 3700 SW 42nd St, Gainesville, FL. Courtyard Marriott has standard rooms as well as two-room suites. Options for rooms also include breakfast at a slight rate increase.
Residence Inn – 3275 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL. Residence Inns are considered extended stay hotels. Guests can select from a studio, 1-bedroom, or a 2-bedroom guest suite. Suites include full kitchens complete with a fridge, microwave, stove-top, and dishwasher.
Springhill Suites – 4155 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL. Springhill Suites is Marriott’s Green Lodging Certified, all-suites hotel located just off Archer Road near I-75. It receives positive reviews and the rates are similar to the other Marriott hotels. The suites include a kitchenette and free wifi.
Fairfield Inn – 3877 SW 37 Blvd, Gainesville, FL. The new, quite modern Fairfield Inn & Suites opened in February 2018.
TownePlace Suites – 7451 W Newberry Rd, Gainesville, FL. TownePlace Suites is another extended stay hotel with a full kitchen set-up. With its location pretty removed from the UF campus, it is more suitable for business travelers. But it’s also still in Gainesville, if you’re having trouble finding a hotel room on a weekend you absolutely HAVE to be in Gainesville. On par with other Marriott hotels, they are also pet-friendly.
AC Hotel – 151 NW 14th St, Gainesville, FL. This 144-room hotel is located at the main crossroad of University Avenue and NW 13th Street. This location is directly across from the University and adjacent to The Standard apartments, which I consider pretty central to all campus and mid-town happenings. It has a lounge, a library, and a European-inspired breakfast, along with rooftop amenities including a fitness center and an outdoor deck with pool.
Aloft – 3743 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL. This urban-influenced boutique hotel has a 24/7 gym, free internet, and an outdoor splash pool with hip lounge.
IHG Hotels: Holiday Inn & Hotel Indigo
Holiday Inn University Center – 1250 W. University Ave, Gainesville, FL. Its location directly across the street from the UF campus makes it quite appealing. It’s one of the four hotels most consider walking distance to the football stadium, midtown (a popular hub for Gainesville nightlife), local shops and attractions, and restaurants.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites – 3370 SW 42nd Street, Gainesville, FL; pet-friendly.
Hotel Indigo – 5020 SW 30th Lane, Gainesville, FL at Celebration Pointe. Just barely to the west of I-75, this chic hotel at Gainesville’s newest open-air plaza and gathering place features boutique-style guestrooms with spa-like bathrooms. There’s also a pool connected to the lobby and hotel bar, and Hotel Indigo is pet-friendly.
Country Inn & Suites – 4015 SW 43rd St, Gainesville, FL. Located in the same Archer corridor as most of the other hotels, it is just a short drive to the UF campus and near many shops and restaurants.
Most of the hotels under the Choice brand are, by their own acknowledgment, value hotels. Here is where you should find clean, comfortable rooms at affordable prices. In Gainesville, you will find several options including:
Comfort Suites – 2603 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, FL. This new, all-suite hotel features an outdoor saltwater pool and fitness center complete with a Peloton bike! The best part? The owners are UF Alum! Located 1.3 miles from campus.
Quality Inn – 2435 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL. Basic rooms with free breakfast, wifi, and an outdoor pool and parking.
EconoLodge – 2649 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL. Basic hotel rooms offering free wifi, continental breakfast, and parking.
Comfort Inn – 3440 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL. Straightforward lodging with an outdoor pool, free WiFi, breakfast, and parking.
Sleep Inn & Suites – 4110 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL. Casual hotel offering free hot breakfast, parking and WiFi, outdoor pool, and fitness room.
Rodeway Inn – 3459 SW Williston Rd, Gainesville, FL. Clean, basic room with free breakfast, outdoor pool, and parking.
WoodSpring Suites – 5505 Sw 41st Blvd., Gainesville, FL. Clean suites off of I-75 close to UF and Shands.
Under the Wyndham Hotel Group umbrella, you will find several options for hotel stays in Gainesville. Their properties here are considered economy style hotels, with most averaging a $40- $50 per night. But, search for a room during a football weekend, and rates jump anywhere from $100 on the low end to over $200 per night.
HoM Hotel & Suites – 3905 SW 43rd St Gainesville, FL. Part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham, your stay here includes free WiFi, a heated outdoor pool, gym, and free hot breakfast every morning.
Baymont Inn & Suites – 6901 NW 4th Blvd, Gainesville, FL. A laid-back property, still offering free WiFi and breakfast, outdoor pool and fitness center.
Super 8 – 4202 Southwest 40 Boulevard, Gainesville, FL. Budget hotel with outdoor pool, free continental breakfast, and WiFi.
Days Inn – 1901 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL. Budget lodging with outdoor pool, free breakfast, and WiFi and local shuttle service.
La Quinta Inn – 920 NW 69th Terrace, Gainesville, FL. This hotel is a short drive from the University of Florida, located closer to the Oaks Mall and I-75 junction. Enjoy services like a free Bright Side Breakfast®, free Wi-Fi, and free parking as well as an outdoor pool area. Each spacious, comfortable, and well-equipped room or suite features a coffeemaker, hairdryer, data port phone, and Samsung flat-panel TV.
Motel 6 – 7413 W Newberry Rd, Gainesville, FL, is known for its value economy lodging options.
You’ll find Best Western Gateway Grand at 4200 NW 97th Blvd, Gainesville, FL. Approximately 15 minutes from the University of Florida (and two exits north of Archer off I-75), this property offers free deluxe continental breakfast and complimentary wifi. Pets are allowed based on the availability of pet-friendly rooms, with up to 2 dogs (80-pound weight limit) per room. Additional pet types (cats, birds, etc) may be accepted at the hotel’s discretion. Pet rate is $20.00 per day with a $100 per week maximum.
Drury Inn & Suites
Relatively new to Gainesville, and located at I-75 and SW Archer Road, Drury Inn & Suites guests get free hot breakfast daily as well as a free 5:30 pm Kickback®, a hot and cold rotating menu lasting until 7:00 pm every evening. Rooms feature king, queen, and suite options. Pets are accepted with a $25 per room daily cleaning fee.
Bed & Breakfasts
If a quaint Bed and Breakfast stay is more in line with what you are looking for, Gainesville has several options– The Sweetwater Branch Inn, the Camellia Rose Inn, and Magnolia Plantation. These charming inns are a sweet Southern alternative to the area hotels, allowing you to experience the historic feel of Gainesville. While the properties have changed hands since their established opening dates, all the owners have worked hard to maintain the unique feel and history of each. Nightly rates are admittedly a bit pricier, but if you are searching for an experience instead of just a room, look into one of these Bed & Breakfast Inns. Most are located near downtown Gainesville, within two miles of the UF campus.
A little farther away (about a fifteen-minute drive south of Gainesville), you will find the Herlong Mansion Historic Inn and Gardens, located in Micanopy (Mick-can-oh’-pee). Listed on the National Register of Historic places, this inn occupies a special space in this tranquil little village located in southeastern Alachua County (between I-75 and US 441). The streets are overhung with ancient oaks bearded with Spanish moss and bordered on either side by private homes and storefronts that time seems to have forgotten. But they are not so far removed from this century that you shouldn’t check their website for seasonal specials and discounts.
Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.