Founded by two local building contractors in Santa Barbara, California in 1962, Motel 6 has become one of the largest chains of budget motels in the world with over 1,100 locations in North America. Originally, founders William Becker and Paul Greene created a plan to build basic motels with low cost room rates. They settled on charging $6.00/night (hence the name Motel 6) which ultimately would cover building costs, leases, and other fees. Since both Becker and Greene specialized in building low-cost housing developments, they figured they had the knowledge necessary to create an alternative to the major hotel chains. Today, Motel 6 is owned by The Blackstone Group.
The biggest draw to Motel 6 is the price. Each location strives to provide discounted rates as an alternative option to travelers. With standard services, guests can expect to save some extra money when booking a Motel 6 room.
While Motel 6 is not an economy or luxury hotel, there are still standard amenities that they provide to guests without steep nightly rates. These amenities are included in the nightly rate and are available at most Motel 6 locations. These amenities include:
- Renovated rooms: currently underway at several Motel 6 locations are the renovations of rooms to provide a more fresh and modern look
- Pet friendly policies: sevice animals and well-behaved pets are allowed to stay in the rooms, but there is a limit of 2 pets per room
- Discounts for AARP and Military members: AARP members and military personnel as well as their families can receive a 10% discount at all of the Motel 6 properties
- Children stay free of charge: when accompanied by a parent, kids stay free with family-friendly amenities such as pools and on-site laundry rooms
Motel 6 also offers an extended stay option to their guests. These hotels, known as Studio 6, is a smaller hotel chain that is also owned by The Blackstone Group. Studio 6 locations offer more amenities than the standard Motel 6 location. These amenities include an expanded kitchenette area complete with: refrigerator, coffeemaker, toaster, microwave oven, electric stovetop, and full set of dishes and utensils in all rooms.
Despite being a franchised operation, Motel 6 has a standard cancellation policy across all locations. Canceling a reservation can be done online or over the phone. Some personal information may be required to successfully cancel the reservation, but a full refund can be expected if the amount has already been funded.
- Reservation modification
- Room options
Guests looking to modify, but not cancel, their reservation are unable to do so online. Travelers will need to call the location they had previously made the reservation with in an attempt to change or alter their reservation in any way.
Since Motel 6 is a standard hotel, and sometimes viewed as "low-end," there are some limitations regarding the floor plan of rooms. When making a reservation, guests will only have three options regarding room type:
- 1 King, Queen, or double bed: this only has a maximum capacity limit of 2
- 2 Queen or double beds: maximum capacity is 4
- Infants can be added to the total number of persons without counting towards the capacity limit
Bed types are the only room classifications Motel 6 currently offers. There are no suites available to reserve, unless the guest decides to stay at an extended-stay location.
For those wanting to utilize the extended stay option by reserving a room with a Studio 6 hotel need to be aware that there are not nearly as many Studio 6 properties as there are Motel 6 properties. Studio 6 hotels can only be found in 15 U.S. states (and some in Canada).
The Bottom Line
With so many independently owned and operated motels, it is impressive that Motel 6 manages to provide similar services and experiences to guests that stay at Motel 6 properties. Those who book a room at a Motel 6 location can expect the following from their stay:
- Discounted rates: compared to other hotel chains, Motel 6 is budget-friendly
- Standard amenities: basic rooms, pools, and lobby areas available for guests
- Addition savings: for select members, save an additional 10%
- Extended stay option: available in some states
- Limited room selections: not many options regarding floor plans