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D.C. Hotels: Tell Fodor's where you like to stay

D.C. Hotels: Tell Fodor's where you like to stay

Old Jan 8th, 2009, 11:25 AM
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D.C. Hotels: Tell Fodor's where you like to stay

Hi all,

I've noticed a lot of postings about D.C. hotels/suites/apts. lately (beyond the inauguration, even). There have been some great suggestions, and I'd like to expand the conversation here. We're working on the next D.C. update, and want to hear about your favorite places to stay. As Restaurants & Hotels Editor at Fodor's, I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve our coverage. Our end-goal is to capture the best properties -- covering all prices and experiences -- in about 70 selections.

Please let me know if you've had an excellent experience at any hotel/suites/apts. in D.C., or surrounding areas that are accessible to the sights/museums. If we don't already cover it, I'll suggest it to our reviewer and editor for consideration.

If you'd like to see our latest reviews, click here:

Thanks in advance for weighing in!

Erica Duecy
Fodor's Restaurants & Hotels Editor
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 07:06 AM
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I can't help with your inquiry but I do have a question. Priceline put me in the Marriott Courtyard at 140 L St SE when I requested a Capitol Hill hotel.

It's been a few years since I've been to DC but I seem to remember that area as being a little dicey from a street crime standpoint. Do I remember correctly? Any advice on how to travel from the hotel to the Mall carrying camera equipment and a tripod during the Cherry Blossom season?

Thnaks for your help.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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The area is changing, but it will be a little quiet in the evening since there aren't all that many restaurants or bars in the immediate area and the condos are being filled slower than anticipated. Right now, East of S. Capitol is a little better area then immediately west of S. Capitol. I would maybe look at some other options if you are concerned.

You're right next to the Navy Yard metro stop so you could take that to the cherry blossoms. If there is a lot of camera equipment, I would get a cab.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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That Marriott is in the area of the new Nationals (baseball) Park. It will be very lively on 81 dates from April to September, but kinda quiet and boring the rest of the time until the promised nightlife attractions fill in the empty spaces. Safe and convenient for using Metro to get to all the museums and monuments, though.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 09:57 AM
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I would include the budget DISTRIC HOTEL in the gentrified Logan Circle neighborhood. Very basic, but recently renovated and lots of new interesting restaurants in the neighborhood on 14th St., north of Rhode Island Avenue.

You alredy list a favorite of mine - TABARD INN (no elevator). The spacious top floor suite is an incredible value. Guest have free access to the YMCA (w/ olympic size pool) around the corner. I would make a point of highlighting their excellent restaurant as well.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 10:01 AM
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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We visited DC with our 2 small kids a few years ago for a week and stayed at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center. It was a fantastic location. It was just across the street from a Metro Station which transported us anywhere quick quickly.

We were able to walk to Fords Theater and got a great breakfast just across the street at a dinner, while we waited for our tour.

The Mall was easily accessible by foot and even faster by rail.

The lobby had complimentary snacks available - cookies, beverages, etc.

There was a COSI just next door to the hotel which also made it fast and easy to grab breakfast everyday before venturing out.

Our room was spacious and comfortable for the 4 of us and we really enjoyed our visit!!
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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We recently stayed at the Hotel Helix or Rhode Island Avenue. (hotelhelix.com)

We paid about $170 per night. The room was nice/quiet and in a decent location - about a 10 minute walk to the metro, though we walked to the White House - about a mile) and the Smithsonian - two miles).

A nice feature was the afternoon daily afternoon wine and cheese reception - very low key and a nice way to spend the time between the day out and dinner.
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Old Jan 13th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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Hi dwooddon,

I'd echo everything that tusion said. Southeast is off the beaten track and can indeed be sketchy, especially if you're lugging expensive camera equipment around with you. I'd look into other neighborhoods before committing to that one. We don't recommend any hotels in that area of town.

If you do end up staying there, you'll definitely need to take cabs or the Metro to get near any attractions. I suppose the upside is that you'd be located just a block away from the Navy Yard Metro stop. Good luck!

Erica_D is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Sorry to keep this thread off-topic.

While I agree that this is far from the best area for tourists now (or by this year's cherry blossoms), as others have said, it is changing -- and I think very quickly.

Yes, it is not developed yet, and it is quiet. But during the day you certainly can walk to the Capitol (15 mins). And plenty of folks (myself included) walk to the Pennsylvania Avenue bars and restaurants after an afternoon game (20 minutes). You could do the same over to 8th Street as well. But not at night.

Another tip: lots of new Capitol Hill staffers and even new members of Congress are moving into the new condos and apt. buildings in the very same area. I would guess new administration staffers may be moving in as well. This alone is going to create an entirely new atmosphere quickly.

So maybe this is actually on topic: I think Fodors might want to keep an eye on recommending hotels in this area, maybe not in the next book, but soon.
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Old Jan 13th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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When I visit DC, I don't care much about the hotel - I'm there for sightseeing and history.

I think the most cost-effective hotel I've stayed at is the Red Roof Inn in Chinatown. Price was good, location excellent, and the hotel was good. Not the typical "roadside" RedRoof, the former Comfort Inn is of steel and cement construction, relatively quiet. An Irish restaurant/pub in the same building - you'll find no fancy shampoos but you will save a bundle.

Next is the Comfort Inn at 13th and M. Decent location, breakfast included in the room rate and Choice Hotel standards.

Usually I find the best hotels for a visit to DC to be OUTSIDE DC - Rosslyn and Alexandria in particular. Especially if you are driving your own car, you'll save on the room rates, the parking fee and the high DC sales & hotel taxes.

Altho a lot of other Fodor regulars will question the wisdom of staying outside DC for a visit TO DC - well the savings are well worth the cost and the time of those Metro tickets. If your home area does not have decent public transportation, then riding the Metro is a novelty. My position is that if you are staying near a Metro, you are close to everything.

A sidenote: I see too many DC visitors spending way too long on lines purchasing a new Metro ticket each time they tmake a trip. I suggest they estimate the total (per person) they expect to spend on Metro and purchase a farecard of approximate value as the estimate.
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Old Jan 13th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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The last few times, we stayed at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria . . RIght across the street from the Metro with a 15- 20 min ride to the Mall.

We appreciate being away from the center at nite . . and particularly like the dining in Old Town Alexandria.

Free parking is a plus when you have a car.
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Old Jan 26th, 2009, 10:42 AM
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Hi all,

Thanks for responding -- it's really helpful to hear your feedback. We cover some of the properties you suggested (Tabard Inn, Marriott Wash Metro Center, Hotel Helix, Embassy Suites Alexandria), and will be sure to check out the others (District Hotel, Red Roof Chinatown, Comfort Inn on 13th/M) for inclusion in our next update.

To help us better meet your needs, please rate your stays at these and any hotels you stay at on your travels (you'll find the feature on the property review pages of fodors.com). We use your feedback to help determine which properties should be cut or have their reviews revised.

Whenever you have a comment or concern, you can also send an email to [email protected]

Many thanks for taking the time to respond. And keep the recommendations flowing!

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