Going to Bend and wondering where to stay? Based on my personal experience, I'm here to recommend a fantastic budget motel (and offer alternatives too).
First, the best budget motel we encountered in a year and a half of traveling in the US was The Dunes Motel and it's in Bend, so I highly recommend it. But keep reading for the necessary caveats and some alternatives too.
Bend is one of our favorite towns in the US and definitely one you should visit while in Oregon. Plenty of things to do in Bend and also good shopping opportunities and fun great atmosphere. And great value accommodation options. In fact, it was in Bend Oregon that we stayed in a motel that was the best cheap motel we have ever stayed in.
Oh, she must be exaggerating, I hear you saying.
Well, this is based on my own personal experience. And believe me, having stayed in literally hundreds of motels and hotels in the US, I have quite a bit of experience in that area. Read on to see why that little Bend motel got me so excited.
Why stay in Bend, Oregon, anyway?
Bend is a perfect place to stay while exploring the Oregonian High Desert. It's that perfect size of US town, just like Bozeman, MT, where you get -
- Fantastic outdoors right around the corner (within one hour drive from town)
- Peace and tranquility and yet...
- A commercial hub with every major store you can think of or need
My post about things to do in Bend is one of the most popular posts in the blog. I'm so happy to see that so many people look for information about the town and come here to find it! And I just felt like I owed one more post to all the wonderful people searching for Bend travel information. One that will deal with accommodation in this splendid town.
Ok, let's get to business.
I'm going to start by telling you about the best budget motel experience we've had in our year and a half of traveling in North America.
The Dunes Motel in Bend, Oregon
We stayed at the Dunes Motel while visiting Bend and this was hands down the best value-for-money motel we have stayed in. Ever. Across eight countries, 46 US states and several Canadian provinces.
I'm being serious here.
We love traveling and during the past decade we have stayed in literally hundreds of hotels and motels. Most of them in the USA. The Dunes Motel in Bend was one of the cheapest we've ever booked. It cost only $45 a night for a family of four.
I was worried this might not be a good bet. We've had mixed experiences with cheap motels in the past. Most of them were extremely basic Motel 6 joints. Which was fine, you know. As long as they were clean, we weren't too fussy. We've learned to ask for that fourth towel on checking in (they always have three towels in Motel 6's - even when you stay as a family of four). We learned to get our meagre cup of coffee from the reception in the morning - and nothing else. It's fine, we're really not very fussy about motels.
We also had a couple of bad experiences with cheap motels. The ones under the $50, especially when not being a monitored chain motel, can be iffy. I know that bed bugs can happen anywhere - even in fancy hotels. But I've only seen the darn things twice in my life, and both were in no-name under $50 motels.
So, don't blame me for being a bit apprehensive when booking our room in The Dunes Motel in Bend, Oregon at only $45 a night in September.
I was so pleasantly surprised though!
The place was not only super clean, it actually had a pampering feel to it! Definitely not what I expected from a motel this cheap. I didn't have time to take fancy photos because my boys were making themselves at home and getting on the excellent WiFi connection right away.
Now, don't get me wrong here.
This is not a luxurious resort. It's a motel, duh.
The decor, the attention to detail, the extra pillows and fluffy towels, were a delight to find at this level of pricing.
A few more things to know about The Dunes -
- Free parking (motel style and next to your room)
- Some bathrooms have bathtubs
- Flat screen TV's in every room.
- They have a 24/7 desk with very friendly service.
Click to find out more about the Dunes and check for vacancy and pricing at Booking
Look, this is a budget motel. It's not the Ritz or the Hilton. I mentioned the attention to detail in the decor and I do stand behind that. That doesn't mean the style was exceptionally sleek or modern. It wasn't. It had that old-fashioned feel to it which some may like and others won't.
Also, this place is right by the main road. Again, that's a pro and a con at the same time. On the positive side of things, you can find it very easily just by driving through Bend. Also, the stores are just a few minutes of driving away. On the less-than-positive aspect, you don't have any view to speak of and you're close to the main road. And this is where I need to remind you one last time that this is a motel and not a fancy hotel or resort.
What other options for accommodation are there in Bend?
And just in case The Dunes is full, I prepared for you a list of other super affordable motels in Bend. As you'll see, there's no shortage of budget motels. Bend is just a very affordable kind of place, I think. A great base for a value vacation in one of the prettiest states in the USA.
The Cascade Lodge is another pearl of a motel where you really get a lot of bang for your buck.
A hotel with a swimming pool, great reviews and rates of under $60 a night (just found this rate for September 2018) is a rare find indeed. Bend can be very hot during summertime and if you're traveling with kids and want a swimming pool, this one should be high up on your list.
Check your dates and rates for the Cascade Lodge here
Bunk + Brew Historic Lucas House
Not a motel but more like a hostel with a personal touch. If you want to get a feel for historic Oregon, the aptly named Bunk + Brew is an excellent choice as you'll be staying in Bend's oldest brick building.
This is a guest house, in the traditional sense of the word. Which means the bathrooms and Kitchen are shared by guests. You can choose between dormitory rooms or private ones. If you're willing to share your room with friendly travelers, you can pay just over $40 and get breakfast in the deal as well!
Check out this great option for solo travelers here
Still haven't found what you're looking for?
Here's a link to the list of Bend hotels/motels at Booking.com
The above are affiliate links which means that if you make your reservations after clicking them, I'll get a small commission at no added cost to you. If you do that, you'll support my blog and help me keep on writing about the places we travel to, hopefully helping others too.
And in case the "still haven't found what you're looking for" triggered an earworm for you, let me scratch that itch for you with the actual song:
I hope you found this post helpful and that you did end up finding what you were looking for.
If you have any questions for me about Bend or motels in the US in general, leave me a comment and I promise to get to it as soon as I can.