500 West


I recently confided in my mom that I believed that if there was such a thing as past lives, one of mine would have been during the Great Depression.

I hate wasting money, resources, etc., whether it is my own or of someone else, so when it came to finding a hotel for my time in San Diego I went looking for a deal.


I found the 500 West Hotel, which is an old YMCA modified into a European-styled hotel/hostel. I think that the “European” thing only refers to the shared bathrooms… but I’ve never been to a European hotel so I really can’t say.


The building itself was awesome. Neat details on the outside, flags, and “Young Men’s Christian Association” across the entrance… however I’m also a sucker for old buildings, places with character, and cemeteries so what I say should be taken with a grain of salt. (Where did that saying come from??)


The room itself wasn’t much. A twin bed, desk, tiny TV, and a wardrobe. The bathrooms are “shared private”– which means they’re individual bathrooms separated from the rooms. It reminded me of living in the dorms again… never being sure if a shower was free or how other people’s schedules would affect your own. (The novelty of it soon wore off.)


One of the best things about the place (other than the price) was the location. It was an easy walk to the Convention Center (the location of the conference I attended), Seaport Village, Westfield Center, and other attractions and only a block away from the Santa Fe trolley station. It was also a short taxi ride to and from the airport and Balboa Park. Plus, it wasn’t in a scary or smelly part of town so I felt completely safe walking around by myself… although I didn’t venture out after dark.

One of my favorite things about it was the quasi-view. I had a great view of the sunset reflected in the mirrored building across the street!


In the end, would I choose to stay there again? Probably not, unless I was on a tight budget for realz. I like having my own bathroom and shower.

(My frugality also came out in my decision to not eat out much… so I went to the grocery store and stocked up on goods for my breakfast and dinner!)