Close to restaurants, bars, shopping, and public transit
Walking distance to the Mission, the culinary heart of the city
Retro flair takes aesthetic far beyond typical motel style
Bright, stylish rooms with attractive, shiny white bathrooms renovated in 2016
Sundeck with jazzy seating overlooking the Market Street action
Laundry facilities available to use for a fee
Free parking, almost unheard of in the city
Free Wi-Fi throughout
No on-site restaurant or bar
Breakfast not included
Street noise bothers some guests
Located in the heart of the Castro, Beck’s Motor Lodge feels like the 1950s motel that it is, renovated with heaps of hip details. The 58-room budget motel has retro touches throughout: a brash orange-and-blue exterior, round analog clocks in the rooms, and a funky cosmic light fixture and free bubble gum in the lobby. The reasonably sized rooms are bright and modern, and large, shower-only bathrooms have tile floors in colorful geometric designs. Free parking is a valuable and rare perk in San Francisco. The lodge has an ideal neighborhood location but isn’t close to traditional tourist hotspots such as Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. Those who want to be closer to the action should check out the Herbert Hotel, another stylish budget hotel, on the cable car line below Union Square.
Fun retro style in a mid-century motel within a vibrant neighborhood
Beck’s looks like the 1958 motel that it is. It was updated in 2016 in a style that pays tribute to mid-century design. The towering Beck’s Motor Lodge sign remains, and the bold bright orange and dark blue color scheme feels modern and retro at the same time. Tucked under the stairs, the tiny lobby is bright and welcoming, with playful paper fans and a string of decorative flags hanging in the window and framed cartoons of the Becks -- who still own the place -- on the wall. There’s just enough room to check in standing at the wood-finish counter, topped with a bowl of bubble gum and a cup of souvenir motel pens. Just under the giant Beck’s sign, a large cement deck holds various seating configurations, including some hot pink and lime green Solair Chairs, for watching the street life below. The Castro is a lively, grown-up scene with few families, and the same is true of Beck’s. The motel’s two levels of rooms form a C around an area that anywhere else would hold a pool, but in San Francisco holds something even more precious: parking.
On busy Market Street in the lively Castro District
Situated on one of the city’s busiest boulevards, Beck’s Motor Lodge is in the Castro, the home base of the city’s vibrant gay community. Close by are the neighborhood’s many restaurants and cafes, trendy and offbeat shopping, and pulsing nightlife. The motel’s Market Street location means there’s a good deal of street noise, from ambulances and streetcars to late-night revelers. Public transit, including the historical F-line, is close by.
Six-minute walk to the F-line streetcar
Seven-minute walk to the Castro Theatre
13-minute walk to the Mission District
11 minutes to the San Francisco Opera by public transportation
14 minutes to the Haight-Ashbury district by public transportation
16 minutes to Union Square by public transportation
18 minutes to the Ferry Building by public transportation
24 minutes to Chinatown by public transportation
33 minutes to Pier 39 by public transportation
39 minutes to Fisherman’s Wharf by public transportation
35 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge by public transportation
25-minute drive to San Francisco International Airport
Fresh furniture and fixtures provide a trendy, stylish look
All Beck’s rooms -- renovated from 2014 to 2016 with all-new furniture and fixtures -- have buckets of personality. From the dark blue doors in bright orange door frames, the fun decor leans toward retro and varies from room to room. Some have mustard yellow walls and white melamine nightstands and desks, while others have one bright blue striped wall and chocolate brown plush headboards and accents; each sports a cool analog clock. Motel-style rooms have one or two queen beds or one king bed, and all come with 32-inch flat-screen TVs, writing desks, programmable safes (big enough for a tablet but not a laptop), mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Spacious bathrooms are sparkling white, with floors of bright tile in geometric designs; each has a shower with a rainfall showerhead. Tucked in the closets are hairdryers, irons, and ironing boards. In-room Wi-Fi is free.
Free parking, a sundeck, laundry facilities, and an elevator
As a motel-style property, Beck’s may not have much in the way of features, but it does have one doozy: free parking -- the Holy Grail of perks in the city. Guests have access to the second-floor sundeck, with seating groupings overlooking the action of Market Street. Laundry facilities are available for a fee (the front desk also sells detergent). An elevator -- unusual at this price point and this style of lodging -- was installed with the recent renovation.
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