Travel & Day Trips

The 7 Best Walnut Creek Hotels–Ultimate Guide from a Local

Walnut Creek, California is one of the jewels of the East Bay, and one of the most developed and largest cities in the more suburban enclaves of the Bay Area.

Walnut Creek is an affluent, leafy community with an upscale shopping district, a classic downtown, fantastic parks, and many local businesses.

Walnut Creek is also perfectly positioned on BART, making it a ideal destination for travelers who want a comfortable, inexpensive place to stay that still has easy access to San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland.

I’ve lived in the Walnut Creek area for 10 years. Here are my recommendations for the best hotels in Walnut Creek, California.

Best for Commuting to San Francisco: Embassy Suites by Hilton Walnut Creek

The Embassy Suites Walnut Creek is one of my favorite Walnut Creek hotels. I recently stayed there on a brief staycation, and it’s a great property. It’s also the only Hilton Walnut Creek hotel.

The Embassy Suites Walnut Creek is unassuming from the outside, but the interior is beautiful, with a massive atrium and a recently-renovated lobby.

The rooms are spacious, and the hotel provides both a free made-to-order breakfast (think omelet stations!) in the morning and free evening receptions. The massive free breakfast is reason enough to stay there!

Easy Ride to the City

The best thing about the Embassy Suites Walnut Creek is its convenient location. You can easily get on BART, with the Pleasant Hill Bart station right in front of the hotel, and ride it to Oakland or downtown San Francisco in about 30-45 minutes.

That makes the Embassy Suites a perfect hotel for business travelers or families who want to visit San Francisco, but want a less expensive hotel with way more space than you’d get in the city.

Stay at the Embassy Suites instead of San Francisco, and take BART into the city. You’ll save yourself a ton—rooms at the Embassy Suites Walnut Creek are often half or less of the cost of a room in San Francisco.

Best for Fitness Fanatics: Renaissance Walnut Creek Hotel

The Renaissance Walnut Creek Hotel is a Marriott hotel that’s located right on the Contra Costa Canal Trail and Iron Horse Trail.

That’s a great fit, because the hotel is a fitness fanatic’s paradise. The Renaissance Walnut Creek Hotel shares its space with the legendary Bay Club.

Enjoying the Bay Club

As a guest at the hotel, you’ll get free access to this upscale fitness club. That includes a massive, well-heated pool, state-of-the-art equipment, sport courts and much else.

With a bike, you can easily take your workout outdoors and bike or run on the Iron Horse trail to downtown Walnut Creek.

The Renaissance Walnut Creek isn’t quite as convenient to BART as the Embassy Suites, but it’s still just a quick walk to the BART station if you’re commuting to San Francisco.

Best for Access to Downtown: Walnut Creek Marriott

If you’re staying in Walnut Creek and you want to access the fantastic shopping, tasty restaurants and fun nightlife that this East Bay city offers, the Walnut Creek Marriott is a great place to stay.

This hotel is a few minutes walk from downtown Walnut Creek, and also has easy access to the downtown Walnut Creek BART station. 

The outside of the Walnut Creek Marriott is a bit dated, but the rooms are newly renovated and comfortable. The Walnut Creek Marriott is also convenient to the city’s office district on Ygnacio Valley Road, making this a great fit if you’re in Walnut Creek on business.

Best New Hotel: Residence Inn Walnut Creek

The Residence Inn Walnut Creek is a beautiful, brand-new hotel just a few minutes walk from downtown Walnut Creek.

The Residence Inn is an all-suite hotel, making it perfect for extended stays. The hotel serves a free buffet breakfast every morning, and has a fitness center with TRX equipment.

As with the Marriott Walnut Creek, you can easily walk to the downtown Walnut Creek BART and take it to San Francisco, the Mission District, or even all the way to San Francisco International Airport. That makes it one of the most convenient Walnut Creek Hotels.

Best Budget Option: Holiday Inn Express Walnut Creek

For a budget travel option that’s still relatively new and very close to Walnut Creek’s amenities, check out the Holiday Inn Express. 

You’ll be a fit farther from downtown Walnut Creek than with some other options, but travelers say the Holiday Inn Express Walnut Creek makes up the difference on price and amenities, which include a free breakfast and pet friendly facilities and rooms.

The Holiday Inn Express’ Craftsman style design is a perfect fit for the Bay Area; you’ll definitely feel like you’re in California!

Runner Up: Diablo Mountain Inn

Another budget pick that people enjoy in Walnut Creek is the Diablo Mountain Inn. I don’t know too much about this property, but travelers have said it’s a good option if you want a smaller and more B&B-like experience in Walnut Creek.

Best Under $100: Motel 6 Walnut Creek

If you’re looking for a no-frills travel option in Walnut Creek that’s very easy on the wallet, check out the Motel 6.

This bare-bones motel is conveniently located, though a bit longer of a walk to downtown than other options.

Visitors praise the Motel 6’s clean rooms and welcoming environment. This is a pet friendly hotel for those with a pooch in tow.

Visitors’ favorite thing? Prices at this Walnut Creek hotel are often available for an average monthly price less than $100 per night, making it an accessible option for students, budget travelers and others who want to stay in a less expensive room and then take BART into San Francisco.

Best Luxury Hotel: Lafayette Park Hotel

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel experience near Walnut Creek, you’ll have to go a bit outside the city’s technical limits to neighboring Lafayette.

The Lafayette Park Hotel has an opulent lobby with marble and brass, an excellent pool, convenient parking, and a renowned local restaurant.

When I have relatives in from out of town, they frequently stay at the hotel and love it.

The Lafayette Park is a quick five-minute drive or Uber ride to downtown Walnut Creek, and is walking distance to Lafayette’s wonderful downtown.

Choosing the Best Walnut Creek Hotel

What’s the best Walnut Creek hotel for you? It really depends on your needs.

  • For families, larger groups and business traveler who want to stay in Walnut Creek and travel into San Francisco, I recommend the Embassy Suites for its classy lobby and easy access to BART.

  • If you love to swim, bike or work out on vacation, you have to stay at the Renaissance Walnut Creek. I’m jealous of that Bay Club fitness center!

  • Both the Marriott and Residence Inn provide great access to downtown Walnut Creek, while also being convenient to BART.

  • For the budget traveler, the Holiday Inn Express is a good intermediate option, and the Motel 6 serves the most budget conscious traveler.

  • For a luxury experience with a spa and pool and a great restaurant, venture a bit farther out to the Lafayette Park.

If you’re planning to visit Pleasant Hill in addition to Walnut Creek, you’ll want to stay at either the Embassy Suites or the Renaissance. Although there’s no Hilton Walnut Creek, there is a Hilton in nearby Concord you can consider as well.

What to Do During Your Stay in Walnut Creek Ca

The Embassy Suites and Renaissance Hotel are both convenient to the Contra Costa Transit Village. If you’re staying there, I recommend checking out Parada Restaurant for great Peruvian food, or walking down the Iron Horse and Canal trails to visit Heather Farm or another Walnut Creek Park.

The Marriott Walnut Creek, Residence Inn, Motel 6 and Holiday Inn Express are all convenient to Broadway Plaza and Walnut Creek’s downtown area.

You can check out local restaurants, catch a show at the Lesher Center, or go shopping at a variety of upscale stores. Make sure to check out Lottie’s Creamery downtown, too!


Walnut Creek is both a perfect, less expensive place to stay for a trip to San Francisco, and a world-class destination in its own right.

These hotels in Walnut Creek offer some great options for your next visit to this East Bay city.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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