One of Utah’s Mighty 5 Parks, and certainly the most distinctive is Arches National Park. It is a bucket list destination for almost anyone who loves the outdoors. Arches is a large park and visitors spend an average of 2-4 days in the area.
There are no lodges or hotels inside the Arches National Park boundaries, but with the city of Moab less than 5 miles away, there are plenty of choices no matter your preference. To narrow it down, here’s a quick list of places we recommend.
- Closest to Arches Entrance: Springhill Suites by Marriott
- For Families/Large Groups: Sage Creek
- Accessible Luxury: Hoodoo Moab by Hilton
- Ultimate Luxury: Sorrel River
- For Film Buffs: Red Cliffs Lodge
- Budget: Bowen Motel
- Downtown Walkable: Expedition Lodge
- Rustic Charm: Moab Springs Ranch
Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list and the best hotel for you will depend on your personal preferences and the reason for your visit.
Whether you stay in a hotel, vacation rental, or a campground near Moab, it’s important to book in advance to find the best rates and availability. Despite the many options in the area, accommodations all fill up quickly during peak season as the town fills to the brim with visitors.
Closest to the Park: Springhill Suites
Moab was settled in a small valley between imposing cliffs and rolling sandstone hills. Because the valley is long and skinny, traveling from one end of the town to the other can add a good 20 minutes to your drive, and more if downtown is busy. If you want to avoid hitting crowds between you and the park, the location of the Springhill Suites by Marriott can’t be beat.
Before the Springhill Suites was even completed, I was dying to visit just for the location and the pool! Situated between Highway 191 and the Colorado River, this hotel has a beautiful pool area inspired by the red rocks of Southern Utah. It has 2 pools and 4 large hot tubs, with plenty of space for guests to soak their tired feet without the usual awkward proximity to other guests, like you get at most hotel hot tubs.
One of my favorite features of this hotel is the King/Bunkbed Suite with kitchenette. It can comfortably sleep a family of 6 in the 1 King bed, 1 Twin over Full bunk, and a couch that folds down. The couch also has a trundle pull-out. Many hotels have a pull-out couch or cot for a 5th guest, but these suites keep the family together without putting anyone in a subpar bed. The other rooms in the property are what I would call “Mini-Suites”. They have a wall that crosses half of the room to offer more privacy than a traditional studio hotel room, without paying the cost of a larger one or two-bedroom suite.
- Heading to Arches? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Visiting Delicate Arch!
For Families/Large Groups: Sage Creek
Continuing the theme of EPIC pool areas, Sage Creek is another favorite for families, and even multi-family groups. Located on the southern end of Moab, the Sage Creek property is the perfect combination of hotel quality care with vacation rental conveniences. This property has condos that can accommodate up to 14 guests. Larger groups can book adjacent properties for even more space.
The pool and hot tub complex is picture-perfect, with views that just don’t stop. You can look past the complex itself, up to the huge sandstone cliffs that tower along the entire western edge of the valley.
Each condo has a full kitchen equipped with all your basic appliances, dinnerware, and cookware. This makes it easy to cook full meals that please the crowd you bring. Think of it as your home away from home for as long as your adventures keep you in Moab.
Accessible Luxury: Hoodoo Moab
If you’re looking for the best Moab has to offer without paying luxury resort prices, Hoodoo Moab is the stand-out winner. As one of Hilton’s Curio Collection properties, Hoodoo Moab is a no cookie-cutter hotel for the masses. Unique modern design and décor make this hotel feel like a luxury resort from the minute you step in the door.
It is one of only two properties in Moab that have an on-site spa. Hoodoo Moab offers a basic menu of spa services that guests can purchase to enhance their stay. Appointments are required; it is recommended they be reserved in advance. My only disappointment here is the on-site restaurant. Josie Wyatt’s Grill looks and sounds like a luxury experience, but tends to be underwhelming compared to the price and the hype. Based on my experience I recommend heading outside of the hotel for dinner.
If this sounds like a place you want to visit but you’re scared of the price tag, try visiting in the off-season. Even weekend rates in January and February frequently drop below $150 a night, and weekday rates can be even lower. Take advantage of the low crowds and come enjoy a little luxury with a reasonable price tag.
Ultimate Luxury: Sorrel River Ranch
Let’s just get it out there – most of us only dream of ever staying at a property as pricey as Sorrel River Ranch, but oh what a luxurious dream it is! Sorrel River is unquestionably Moab’s premier luxury accommodation. So much so that they have a section about discretion regarding high-profile guests on their website. I have no idea if it has ever happened, but this is where I imagine George Strait or Paul McCartney staying if they were to visit Moab. Yeah, it’s that nice!
More than any fancy room or activities, the ONE thing that makes me dream about Sorrel River is the amazing River Grill. Sorrel’s chefs create an ever-evolving menu of the freshest food they can grow in their own garden, or source scrupulously from local farms. Reservations for this culinary treat are open to both resort guests and visitors not staying on the property, but they do prioritize resort guests. When I tried to get reservations last year for my birthday trip, we called several weeks in advance and they had no more availability for non-resort guests. I even repeatedly called to check for cancellations.
For ultimate tranquility away from the rush of tourists downtown, the resort is located on the banks of the Colorado River, about 20 minutes east of Moab. If your budget is exponentially bigger than mine, or you want to join me in dreaming about the River Grill, you’ll have to check it out for yourself.
- Looking for things to do nearby? Check out Scenic Byway 128 in Moab: Things to See and Do.
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For Film Buffs: Red Cliffs Lodge
Home to the Moab Museum of Film, Red Cliffs Lodge has access to more activities and entertainment than any other resort in Moab. The property has been used to film many films, including stars such as John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. This is a great option for a comfortable and adventurous vacation in Moab.
More than just the museum and on-property activities like horseback riding, the Red Cliffs team has cultivated close relationships with many adventure providers in the Moab area. They provide the best activities for their guests. Activities are easy to book directly through the red-cliffs website, and you always know you’re getting the best of the best.
I visited Moab recently for my 30th birthday and we did a Colorado River “float” (the water was pretty calm at the time we visited). We had to arrive at the Moab Adventure Center 30 minutes before our trip started and then take a 20+ minute bus ride up the river to our launch point. On the way, our bus stopped directly at Red Cliffs. If guests staying at this lodge were going on a river float, they could walk straight out the door of their hotel and onto the bus.
After driving farther up the river, we floated back down to Red Cliffs for the absolute best lunch spread there ever has been on a river trip! We ate the same lunch as guests of the resort, although they have additional choices beyond what we were served. I would have happily eaten there several times in one week. The quality and selection were excellent!
Red Cliffs Lodge has a variety of accommodations including traditional guest rooms, suites, and vacation rentals. The property features scenic views of the Colorado river, red cliffs, and desert landscape. Although they don’t have a full spa facility, the property offers a good variety of restorative activities such as massages, sunrise yoga/meditation, and sound baths.
Budget: Bowen Motel
If you’re like me and want budget price lodging so you can travel more often and farther away, Bowen Motel is a great option! I admit, I’m kind of biased against motels – too many horror movies and old run-down locations have tainted them for me – but Bowen Motel challenges those biases! Recently remodeled, Bowen’s rooms are clean and functional. They are a perfect fit for travelers who want to spend more time out on the sandstone than in the room.
Bowen is consistently noted as clean, comfortable (one reviewer even shared that she ordered the same mattress for her home after her stay!), and conveniently located. A great unique amenity is the Bike Wash area, which guests have free access to in order to clean up from their adventures. Despite the popularity of mountain biking in the area, this is not something most properties offer.
Downtown Walkable: Expedition Lodge
Another motel where I have to check my biases, is Expedition Lodge. It is a very well done motel that has been recently remodeled and is well liked by guests. It has a retro theme that is present throughout the hotel, from the lobby, to the rooms, and even to the on-site arcade.
If the arcade isn’t enough, the lodge has a pool with a great waterslide to entertain kids while parents take some time off their feet. A variety of guest rooms, including some with bunks, will suit parties of all sizes.
The best amenity of this hotel though, isn’t something they offer as a service, it’s simply their location. There are almost too many shops, restaurants, and sources of adventure to count. All of them less than a 5-minute walk from the door of your room. Although most guests in Moab will have their own vehicle, it’s refreshing to walk down to dinner or dessert instead of climbing back into your dusty car.
Rustic Charm: Moab Springs Ranch
A literal oasis in the desert, Moab Springs Ranch, just had to make our list. Although most Moab accommodations have pool access or small water features, the waterfall pond and vineyard at Moab Springs bring a tranquility and softness to the desert that you can’t find farther into town!
Moab Springs is another great option for families or larger groups traveling together. They have several bungalows, and a variety of one, two, or three-bedroom townhouses to fit your group. The bungalows each feature a kitchenette. Townhomes have full kitchens to properly fuel your adventures.
The ranch has a small but delicious coffee shop with a few bakery items to snack on. However, you’ll need to go to town or cook in your kitchenette for full meals. For the most aesthetic lodging in Moab, choose a bungalow, with drive-up access, that features vaulted ceilings and perfect rustic themed décor.
Additional Options: Green River, Utah
If you’re visiting Moab as part of a larger trip through Utah or Colorado, or simply want more affordable lodging, Green River, Utah can be a great option. Green River is a small town located about 45 minutes north of Moab, directly bordering I-70 and the Green River.
During peak season in Moab, lodging rates can double or triple and be sold out months in advance. Prices on Moab lodging fluctuates a bit with the seasons but Green River is just far enough away that they are much more predictable and affordable than Moab.
Green River has several big chain hotels (Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, etc..). The Holiday Inn is the biggest and newest property. Additionally, Green River has some lodging options that really have some hometown charm, and consistently receive high ratings from guests.
With a Stellar 5 out of 5 stars rating on Trip Advisor, River Rock Inn B&B is top of my list for the next time I’m in town. The property has an American West theme throughout the rooms and common areas. They offer a delicious breakfast each morning, including Greg’s Famous Pancakes. The photos make me hungry!
Green River is an excellent location to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, the San Rafael Swell, and more. It has direct access to hiking, biking, river trips, canyoneering, OHV rentals, and everything you could want in an adventure destination. If the crowds of Moab during peak season aren’t your style, consider Green River for an equally pleasing desert adventure destination.
- Learn more about hiking in the desert: things to know before you go.
If you’re struggling to know where to stay, a great tool to use is booking.com. We use them when we’re staying in accommodations located outside the national parks. Booking.com is a great resource to use when you want to compare prices and ratings all in one place.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Yes! Arches National Park is super close to Moab but it can be tricky to get into the park. The national park service has implemented a reservation system that limits the number of visitors allowed to enter each day.
If you are visiting during peak season, you may not get to enter. Make sure you are prepared and have backup options. For this reason, please read our article Can’t get a reservation for Arches? Here are 9 things to do nearby.
Most travelers want to visit the most popular sites and still avoid crowds. We have a detailed itinerary for Moab and Arches that gives you a step-by-step game plan so you can get to the best places at the right times.
- Our Moab, Arches and Canyonlands Itinerary
- Our Arches Trip Planner Page
- Our Moab Trip Planner Page
- Our Canyonlands Trip Planner Page
- The Ultimate Guide to visiting Delicate Arch
- 9 alternate activities to do in Moab
- An Easy Guide to Visiting Canyonlands National Park
- Scenic Byway 128 in Moab: Things to See and Do
- When is Arches open & when is the best time to visit?
- Hiking in the desert: 11 things to know before you go
- Arches Official Webpage