Review of the Motel 6 San Diego Downtown
1546 2nd Avenue
This was our first year at SDCC, so we were excited! We weren’t able to get badges in February, but I was chosen in the lottery for the June resale and was able to get 4 day badges! So having not booked anything without having badges, we found ourselves booking everything about a month in advance. Airfare was easy, but lodging was a pain in the nether regions. Travel Partners had nothing left, and every form of booking for any hotel with availability had rates of $400+ a night. Even the condos & apartments on AirBnB, Homeaway, and VRBO were all extravagantly priced. We did find a Motel 6 for $186.50/night, so we booked that before it went away with the thought of it being a good backup since we could cancel up to the day of our reservation. Not finding anything else, we ended up staying at the Motel 6.
The Motel 6 is a nondescript building nestled in the block just north of Beech St. in between 1st & 2nd Ave. They do have free parking in the parking lot next to the building, and it’s well lit. We never saw any suspicious activity, and always felt safe walking in the area. Being up on 2nd Ave past Beech St, it was a good walk to the Convention Center, but not overwhelming at all. A 20 minute walk isn’t a bad way to start or end your day, though admittedly the walk back always seemed to go a bit slower (it being uphill probably contributed). I never felt unsafe, and there were plenty of stops along the way for food & drink (7-Elevens, Ralph’s, etc). It is also one block south of the Four Points Sheraton, so one could pick up the shuttle from there very easily. It is away from all of the activity in the Gaslamp, so if you’re looking to stay near the “action” the Motel 6 is not for you. We did meet a few other fellow attendees who were staying there as well, but there was no partying into the wee hours, which was actually ok by us.
The room was a surprise. With the remodel a few years back, they went boutique in decor. Bold oranges & browns and modern furnishings (all 4 of them) actually made the room comfier. The size is minimal. We’re talking a small dorm room, no larger than 14′ x 14′. You open the door, take a step in, and the vanity is immediately to one side, with the bathroom on the other. Two steps further, and you’ve come into the rest of the room which consists of a flat-screen TV mounted just off the wall, a corner chair, a small table with one chair, and a queen bed that dominates the room. There is a small area about 6″ in depth behind the TV to hang some clothes if need be. Small.
Everything was clean and functional. The towels were typical low-quality motel towels (as absorbent as fine paper towels), but everything was always clean & well made when we came back at the end of the day. The water pressure was excessive. Taking a shower was almost like a whole-body exfoliation, but I guess that’s better than the other extreme. And the motel staff was always friendly, especially Daisy at the front desk. They all wore superhero themed t-shirts, so they were embracing the Comic-Con weekend. They also held my suitcase behind the front desk after I checked out very early Sunday morning (had to get in that Hall H line!), which was a nice convenience.
If you’re just 1-2 people looking for a place to leave your stuff during the day and sleep at night, the Motel 6 San Diego Downtown isn’t a bad option. Would we have chosen another hotel were there one around $200/night? Probably. Being our first time, we wanted something within walking distance. If I go again (which looks very probable), I might consider a hotel right off of the trolley line now that I know the area better. But to be honest, my experience at the Motel 6 was good enough that I wouldn’t mind staying there again. Though very minimal and bare-bones, it is clean & comfy enough. Of course, as I was leaving Sunday night, their rate sign reverted back to $59.99/night.