April in Washington, D.C. for family of three

Jan 9th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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April in Washington, D.C. for family of three

I just booked tickets to D.C. arriving around 8 pm at Dulles on Monday, April 14th and departing Sunday, April 20th (Easter) around noon from Dulles.

My husband and I are traveling with our daughter who will be 10 years old.

My SIL and BIL will pick us up at the airport on Monday and we'll stay with them Monday and Tuesday nights and spend time with their family. They live an hour from Dulles.

We're planning on heading back to D.C. on Wednesday afternoon and spending Wed through Sunday in D.C. and mostly touring on our own. I feel like I have a good handle on what we want to see with respect to museums and monuments and the zoo (daughter has never been to a zoo and is very excited).

But I'm wondering where to stay. It looks to me like the Metro is pretty easy to use and a great way to get around D.C. We have a budget of anywhere between $150 to $250 a night. We like Kimpton style hotels or other boutique hotels. I also looked at the Normandy Hotel and it's seems very reasonably priced. Any thoughts on it? We're Kimpton members and I'm hoping for deals to start coming up for D.C.

We like fun walkable neighborhoods with interesting shops and good restaurants and places to sit and grab a glass of champagne or wine and a shirley temple for the 10 year old.

I know we'll be doing a lot of museums and monuments, and I think it would be nice to have kind of a funky neighborhood to also explore, if that makes sense.

I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you all might have!
kureiff is online now  
Jan 9th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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The Lorien in Old Town Alexandria is a very nice hotel and a block from the Metro stop.
JanetKMR is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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I've looked at the Lorien and it looks great! I keep hoping the prices will drop some.
kureiff is online now  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:14 PM
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We stayed at the Embassy Suites Old Town Alexandria several years ago. It was across the street from the King Street Station. I loved Old Town Alexandria. Many restaurants and shops within walking distance, plus it was nice to get out of Washington, D.C. in the evening.
wtm003 is online now  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Old Town Alexandria is nice, and historic, and certainly worthy of a tourist's time, but when you only have 4 days in DC, I would stay in DC. Unfortunately, I have no hotel recommendations for you as we always stay with friends, but Dupont Circle is a fun, walkable neighborhood that fits your criteria, and I believe the Palomar is a Kimpton hotel...
NewbE is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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I look at Kimpton sometimes for clients coming into town. I don't think they've been having the deals that they used to here. Even in January the rates are high.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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We stay at Embassy Suites when in DC as well . . metro trip to center of everything is easy and quick
Rich is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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We enjoyed walking through Georgetown. There were some neat houses and a pretty cool cemetery. I wrote about it in my trip report:

Have fun!

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 9th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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Loved your report, Lee Ann, and the Americana looks like a great deal!
kureiff is online now  
Jan 10th, 2014, 06:38 AM
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Here's a very nice boutique option with plenty of room for the whole family. Free access to the Capitol YMCA 1/2 block away (with Olympic size pool!). 1-1/2 blocks to Dupont Circle Metro. On a quiet one-way street. Lot's of dining, cafes, shopping within a few blocks. The BEST breakfast (their in-house pastry chef/baker makes incredible breads/pastries/DONUTS). A very charming and convenient option all the way around. Within budget.

bardo1 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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If you have a choice, stay in DC rather than Alexandria or Arlington. I like the area around Dupont Circle because there are a lot of restaurants and stores I like within walking distance, and it's an interesting area. But I stayed at the Grand Hyatt the last time I was in DC and liked that area as well. It's near the White House and a lot of good restaurants.

Yes, the Metro makes it very easy to get around the city, but it's very crowded during rush hour.

Kimpton has several nice hotels in DC but they are pretty expensive and may not be within your budget for April, which is super high season in DC because of the cherry blossoms. I'd focus more on finding a hotel you can afford rather than focusing on the boutique aspect of your search. And I'd make some reservations soon because that is a particularly busy week in DC.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 10th, 2014, 07:00 AM
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The Tabard Inn (which bardo linked to) is an excellent option. Location couldn't be better, and it's a charming place.
NewbE is offline  
Jan 10th, 2014, 07:04 AM
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Thanks for the additional suggestions! I'll check out the Tabard Inn.
kureiff is online now  
Jan 10th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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I haven't stayed at the Normany but I have stayed at sister property of the Modus group, The River Inn in Foggy Bottom. If there is consistency between hotels in a group like there is with Kimpton's then I'd say the Normandy is a great choice especially as it meets your fun neighborhood requirement X 2 with both Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan/Kalorama. The only downside might be that it's about a 15 minute walk to the metro at Dupont Circle. Dupont Circle is on the red line and most of the National Mall sights are accessible from the Blue/Yellow lines so the Normandy would involve a train change. Neither of those things are big deals at all if you're even a moderate walker and public transportation user but I do think it's worth pointing out.

You might take a look at the River Inn which is on a very leafy street in Foggy Bottom (25th St NW) which would also satisfy your neighborhood requirements with Foggy Bottom/West End and Georgetown. Another Modus option in that immediate area is One Washington Circle.

The Modus group of hotels are less pricey but similar to Kimpton's in DC in that they are often located in former apartments buildings with spacious rooms and frequently with kitchenettes, both big pluses to my way of thinking when traveling with kids. River Inn and One WA Circle are a five minute walk to the Foggy Bottom metro which is on the blue line. There is also a Whole Foods & a Trader Joes in the neighborhood.

You might also look at the Carlyle Suites in the Dupont Circle area, again large rooms with kitchenettes in an old Art Deco property.

Alexandria also satisfies your neighborhood requirement -- for Kimptons, the Monaco and Morrison House tend to be less expensive than the Lorien. I used to live in Old Town and love it but I do agree that it's preferable to be in the city when you're visiting the sights there.
obxgirl is online now  
Jan 10th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Thanks, obx! The River Inn and One WA Circle look great. Having a kitchenette is so nice for breakfasts! Thanks!
kureiff is online now  
Feb 1st, 2014, 05:46 AM
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I have a room with a double bed and sleeper sofa and kitchenette at One Washington Circle.

I also have a room booked at Hotel George (Kimpton) with two queen beds.

The price between the two is within a total of $25.00 as I hit a sale at the Hotel George. Any thoughts between the two? One Washington Circle is in the Foggy Bottom area and George is in Capitol Hill area. The George looks nicer but doesn't have the kitchenette. It's nicer to have two beds instead of a pull-out., on the other hand.
kureiff is online now  
Feb 1st, 2014, 07:10 AM
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I love Kimpton Hotels so this would be a tough choice for me. I've stayed at the George but not One Washington Circle. I would agree that the George is probably a "nicer" hotel.

Advantages to the George: Short walk to the National Mall, close proximity to red line metro at Union Station, and it's a Kimpton hotel. Bistro Bis is an excellent restaurant.

Disadvantages: Neighborhood is business, courts & politics. Nearby restaurants reflect that (other than the food court at Union Station).

Advantages to One Washington Circle: Well located for Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom which are all interesting and fun neighborhoods. Very close to blue line metro which is three stops from the Smithsonian station. Walkable to Lincoln Memorial (25 min) and Kennedy Center (20).

Disadvantages: For me, it would be the unknown having not stayed there so I'd be scouring the reviews.
obxgirl is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2014, 03:22 AM
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We ate at the restaurant at One Washington Circle and wandered through the lobby. We thought we would probably try staying there on our next trip, but it hasn't happened yet.

A huge advantage to us is the free shuttle to the Kennedy Center from the Foggy Bottom Metro station, since our trips to Washington are usually organized around an event there. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are just around the corner, and there are other places to eat.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2014, 06:09 AM
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I recently stayed at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill for a conference. it is right around the corner from the George. I would agree with others it isn't a very interesting neighborhood. I think One Washington Circle is a better location.
Vttraveler is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 07:24 AM
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thank you for the additional input! I appreciate it very much.
kureiff is online now  

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