Travel Tuesday: Motel 6 – Anaheim, CA Convention Center Review

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a look at the La Quintas we stopped at as my wife, our dog Rigby, and I made our way to California. So, today, I figured I’d talk about where we stayed once we made it to our destination: the Motel 6 near the Anaheim Convention Center. Truth be told, this wasn’t our original accommodation plan for the D23 Expo as we booked a room at the Anaheim Hilton nearly a year earlier… before we had a dog. Unfortunately, that hotel doesn’t allow pets, so we ended up booking a room at the Motel 6, having our friend stay in our original room at the Hilton, and having her watch Rigby during the day while we were at the Expo.

So how was our budget and pet-friendly stay at this particular Motel 6? Let’s get into my thoughts, including the pros and cons.

Note: apparently I didn’t expect to review this room so the only photos I have are of my wife and dog in the room. The others come from the Motel 6 site. My bad.

Motel 6 Anaheim Convention Center Review

Booking

To book our stay, I headed directly to the source: the Motel 6 site. This option made it easy to browse locations in the area, which is how I discovered it was this particular property that would work the best for us. Another aspect I appreciate about booking direct was that they gave me the opportunity to note that I was traveling with a pet.

In terms of cost, our five-night stay came to a total of $780. For context, a stay at the nearby SpringHill Suites by Marriott was going to cost us $1,000 more, even before parking and pet fees were considered.

Location

While there are several Motel 6s in Anaheim — including multiple properties on Harbor Boulevard — this particular location is just south of Orangewood Avenue on the aforementioned Harbor Boulevard. Notably, this places it at less than a mile from the Anaheim Convention Center, hence the name of the property. Technically, you could also walk to Disneyland from this motel, although it’s a bit of hike (2.5 miles or so). That’s probably a bit of a stretch, so there are better options if you’re heading to the theme parks, but this worked great for us as we attended the D23 Expo.

Parking

When you pull into this Motel 6, you’ll notice that there are parking spots in front of one side of the building along with covered parking under the other side of the building. As it turns out, guests are welcome to park in any open spot. Furthermore, there was no additional fee.

For whatever reason, I worried that parking — or at least the “best” spots — would be in shorter supply once the weekend came around. Yet, I never had any issues with parking and the lot was never more than maybe half full (or half empty? Which is the optimist view in this case?). This took a lot of stress out of our stay whereas I imagine self-parking at most other properties in the area would have been a pain.

The room

Our room was located on the ground floor and was tucked into the corner — we even had our own little vestibule of sorts leading to our room and the room across the hall. This provided a little bit of extra shade, which was helpful since our visit fell near the end of a So Cal heat wave. It also seemed to make things slightly quieter, although that’s just a theory.

The first things we noticed about the room were the floors, which were laminate. This seems like a smart move given the pet-friendly nature of the property and I didn’t hate it. Also standing out was the desk area, complete with a plastic chair that immediately threw me back to grade school. Jokes aside, this desk area was totally sufficient for working and eating.

According to the Motel 6 site, this property is “newly renovated.” While that shows in some places, the age was evident in other areas. Still, overall, the room was clean and (mostly) comfy.

Seeing as Motel 6 is a budget brand, there’s a reason I said it was “mostly” comfy. Some nitpicks I had were the thickness — or lack thereof — of the towels and pillows. Both did the job, but I personally could have used an upgrade. Also, similar to what I shared about our La Quinta stays, the A/C at Motel 6 left something to be desired as it ran near constantly. On the bright side, at least it did keep the room cool and, once the heatwave broke, we did notice that the amount of time the A/C had to take a break grew.

Conveniently, the room included a sizeable mini-fridge along with a microwave. We made great use of these as we not only brought a few items of our own but also ended up with some leftovers from our takeout orders.

One thing missing from this budget room was any personal amenities, other than a couple of bars of soap. Funny enough, figuring — for the first time — that we didn’t need to bring along our own shampoos since they were provided in every room we stayed in, we left these items behind. Luckily, our friend staying at the Hilton had some extra we could use, but there was also a CVS not too far away we could have headed to if needed.

All things considered, the room was comfortable enough for our five-night stay. Similarly, our pup seemed pretty pleased with the accommodations. So, for the price, we definitely could have done worse.

Dining

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that this Motel 6 doesn’t really have any on-site dining options (although there seemed to be a vending/snack area in the check-in office). So, when we did want to eat, we ventured out to a few places within walking distance. First, the property’s nearest restaurant is likely the Carl’s Jr on the corner of Harbor and Orangewood. I was actually able to place an online order, pick up my food, and bring it back to my room, all within a few minutes. Slightly further away in the opposite direction, we also placed a take-out order at Bucca di Beppo. And, even further away (but still well within walking distance for me), we found a Waba Grill. Finally, on one of our nights there, I joined some friends of mine at the Morton’s Steakhouse near the convention center. Again, this was a super-easy walk — even in the light rain that was coming down on my way there.

To be sure, there are plenty of other dining options in the area, but these are the few we happened to try. In fact, there’s a Roscoe’s nearly right across the street you should definitely try if you haven’t before. There’s also a Joe’s Italian Ice nearby that seemed extremely popular at night. Basically what I’m saying is that there’s no shortage of food to find in the area even if you won’t find it at the Motel 6 itself.

Final Thoughts on Motel 6 Anaheim Convention Center

Overall, while the Motel 6 near the Anaheim Convention Center probably wouldn’t be my first choice in most situations, there were definitely more pros than cons for us during this particular stay. First, the ability to walk to Convention Center was crucial and this property delivered on that. Next, the surplus of free parking not only helped us save even more money but also made it easy to venture beyond the area when needed. Finally — and most importantly for us on this visit — the pet-friendly policies of the property make it an excellent pick for those traveling with their pups. With that, if you’re heading to Anaheim for a convention and are hoping to save money, this Motel 6 is definitely a budget-friendly option you can likely live with.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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