by Terry Ward
Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine, less than an hour south of Jacksonville on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, is the oldest city in the United States. And the city’s atmospheric old town — with its fun and (bonus!) educational attractions that range from museums and old world-inspired shops to mini golf and the obligatory Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum — make St. Augustine a popular tourist destination any time of year.
If being centrally located near the old town or on the beach isn’t the primary interest of your vacation to St. Augustine, you can save quite a bit of money and still settle in for a pleasant enough stay at this La Quinta Inns & Suites, located four blocks from St. Augustine’s popular outlet shops, close to I-95.
The first thing to know is that this a pet-friendly hotel, and many guests arrive with one (or more) dogs in tow — up to two pets can stay free in a room. So if dogs aren’t your thing, you’ll definitely want to book elsewhere.
Secondly, you’ll need a car to get around. The hotel is located a good 6.5 miles from downtown historic St. Augustine and even farther (more than 8 miles) from the beach. That said, it’s easy enough to make the drive from here to those places, as traffic is rarely an issue and there’s plenty of parking around St. Augustine (prepare to pay for it in the more touristy spots though).
Also, know that you’ll be comfortable in one of 62 rooms and suites that are all outfitted with mini-fridges, microwaves and coffee makers.
Our Editor Loves
- Free hot breakfast
- Swimming pool and hot tub
- Close to shopping area
- Horse Back Riding
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
There are 62 rooms and suites spread throughout three floors at this mid-sized La Quinta Inn & Suites. None of the rooms or suites have balconies, and views are either of the hotel's parking lot or the street running in front of the property.
Room dÃ©cor and comfort is standard in all rooms and suites, with pillow-top beds with plenty of pillows (and more on call, if you desire), carpeted floors in the living space and tiled bathrooms. Dark furniture pairs with light walls for a look that's modern enough. The bathrooms are all tiled with granite-style countertops. All rooms have coffee making facilities, microwaves and mini-fridges, but you'll have to bring your own utensils (or save some from breakfast) if you plan to cook meals in the microwaves.
Rollaway beds are not offered by the hotel, but you can request a Pack N' Play be delivered to the room for no charge, based on availability.
Standard Guest Rooms
Standard Rooms come with your choice of two queen beds or one king bed, plus all of the standard amenities.
Executive Suites offer a choice of two queen beds or a king bed with a sofa bed in a living room area set apart (though not separated) from the other sleeping areas. Queen Executive Suites can sleep up to five people and King Executive Suites can sleep three people.
Accessible rooms are available either with two queen beds or as one-king suites with a sofa bed, each of which has ADA accessible bathrooms and low-pile carpet for ease of movement.
The hotel will not confirm connecting rooms as there are only a few, but if you get lucky, you can get two standard rooms--each with two queen beds--that connect through a door way to each other (to accommodate a total of eight people).
I spoke to Ashley the day before arrival and asked for a high floor. When I arrived, Ashley told me the desk people before her shift gave away all the rooms on higher floors. WHERE IS THE COMMUNICATION HERE!!!!
I paid with 11,000 points because I stay at MANY LaQuintas and this is WRONG! No consideration or compensation, just "I'm sorry." I had to stay over in your hotel with the inconsiderate people above me banging and children jumping off the bed. I heard the banging at 9pm and then again at 6:30 am. I did not tell the front desk....why would I... I would get "I'm sorry"!!!! That is why I asked for a higher floor. I am done with your hotel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Note: I have stay there for the last 11 years and the rates keep going up but the service is not there!!
The bedroom we had was dirty, sheets in one bed dirty..., bed’s skirts on the floor, we couldn’t seat in the chair to dirty, the smell in the room was borderline and we didn’t have access to the Wifi unless we were in the lobby
The only real activity onsite at this La Quinta is swimming in the kidney-bean shaped swimming pool, which is really only suitable for swimming during the warmer months of the year, as it is not heated during winter time, when temperatures in North Florida are far less balmy than down south. An outdoor Jacuzzi hot tub is heated year-round and is a nice spot to kick back after a day spent touring.
If shopping is on your agenda, it's an easy walk of four blocks to St. Augustine's Premium Outlets, where you can score some decent deals on clothing, accessories and kitchenware year-round.
La Quinta's chain-wide Bright Side Breakfast is offered for free every morning, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday, and until 10 a.m. on the weekends. Kids adore the make-your-own waffle station (things can get messy, so keep an eye on your younger chefs!), and the spread includes cereals, muffins and bread, fresh fruit, coffee and juices. This is the only meal offered at the hotel, but there are grocery stores and restaurants close by to stock your mini-fridge and eat inexpensive meals out.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Washers and dryers are available for guests to use and cost $1.75 per load. You can purchase small packets of detergent from the front desk for $1.
Internet is free throughout the hotel's rooms and public places.
A small onsite business center has a computer you can use for free to get online, as well as copy and fax capabilities.
Pets are made exceedingly welcome at the hotel, with an allowance of two free pets per room and a charge of just $5 per additional pet thereafter.
There's a small gym with a treadmill and a few weight machines that's open 24 hours a day.
The Art of Smart Timing
Spring break brings larger crowds to St. Augustine and this hotel as well, and the property operates near capacity during February and March. The summer months are also quite busy in the area, with many Floridians staying in state for vacation, so consider booking in advance if you plan to travel at this time of year. October and November are lovely months to visit, as crowds are down and the beach is less crowded, but still fairly warm and always beautiful. April and May are equally agreeable.
Jacksonville's International Airport, about 50 miles north of St. Augustine, is the closest major airport to the hotel. Count on a drive of about an hour to reach it. There are no airport shuttle services operated by the hotel and most guests rent their own cars during their stay (all major car rental companies are on hand at the airport's arrivals area). About an hour's drive south of St. Augustine is Daytona Beach International Airport, another option for fliers. And two hours to the east (125 miles) is Orlando International Airport, where you'll find the most options for connecting airlines from across the country and around the world, as well as every car rental option under the sun. The hotel's easy on/easy off position on I-95 makes it a good stopover on trips north and south, too.
A rental car will benefit your family most if looking to explore and discover the historic downtown area of St. Augustine. Self-parking is free for guests in a lighted outdoor parking lot at the hotel. The outlet shopping area is within walking distance.
For Mom and Dad
Start things off with a locally brewed beer in the heart of the historic district at A1A Ale Works, a lively restaurant with a good mix of tourists and locals. For dinner, head to the funky neighborhood on Anastasia Island for the Gypsy Cab Company, a long-standing, local-favorite restaurant with excellent shrimp and Italian-inspired dishes. For live music in a very local setting, head to the rooftop of the San Sebastian Winery on weekend afternoons for live jazz and blues, and follow up with some wine tasting in the cellars.