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dknottsfan Apr 16th, 2013 05:52 PM

Family Stay in Washington DC Area - Need Suggestions
Family of four, 2 kids (13 &11) visiting DC area for three to four days. Heard it is better to stay outside DC, like Arlington. Are there any suggestions for decent priced (i.e. relatively inexpensive) hotels w/nice pool and near metro line to DC? Or are there other areas I should look at? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

capecod73 Apr 16th, 2013 06:08 PM

Look for hotels in Crystal City. We have stayed in Arlington and crystal city with our kids 8 and 9 the first time) and found the metro access easier in Crystal City. Also better hotel options. Sheraton and Marriott are great CC choices. DC is amazing for both the kids and adults, and the metro is easy to navigate and safe.

nyer Apr 16th, 2013 06:57 PM

"Heard it is better to stay outside DC, like Arlington" Not necessarily. Where did you hear that?

It may be cheaper, but that doesn't always make it better. As long as you are near a metro line it can be a fairly convenient , but it's not the same as being able to walk back to a hotel in the middle of the day. Some places like Bethesda are near train lines, but pretty far out.

When are you going? Prices can be low in the district over the summer when Congress is out, especially for hotels that are usually filled with lobbyists and other business travelers
And it would be helpful to indicate a specific price range, not just "decent priced (i.e. relatively inexpensive)"
Some people might think that means $200 for a family of 4, some might be hoping for less than $100.

NewbE Apr 16th, 2013 07:09 PM

This question gets asked here a lot, and I think nyer makes a good point. if you're typically going to leave in the morning and stay out all day, to include dinner, then you can save money by staying outside the city. If you typically like to make a midday pitstop, or, more likely, an evening pitstop before going back out for dinner, a hotel inside the city would be best. Plus, hotels in the city are not necessarily more expensive than those in the 'burbs.

People here can make lots of good suggestions if you can provide a budget for your hotel stay.

emd3 Apr 16th, 2013 08:55 PM

Crystal City is only 3 metro stops from L'Enfant Plaza in DC, and it is one more stop to Archives or the Smithsonian stop. Realistically here is no way to get to a hotel in DC any faster than taking the metro to Crystal City. If you stay in a hotel in DC, even if you stay in one near the Mall and main sights in DC, you will end up walking quite a way to get to your hotel, or taking a cab, or using metro, any of which will take just as long or longer than taking metro to Crystal City.

also, Crystal City has a LOT of great restaurants (and some, like Jaleo, a very good tapas restaurant, are sister restaurants to ones in DC) close to the hotels, so some nights you can have the option of dining right there instead of going back into DC if you are tired and want too stay put after a long day in D.C.

emd3 Apr 16th, 2013 09:05 PM

Inexpensive family style hotel in Crystal City hat gets good reviews = Americana Hotel. But no pool there.

other chain hotels lik Sheraton, Zoubletree, COurtyard, Hilton, etc in Crystal City will have a pool, but are pricier.

emd3 Apr 16th, 2013 09:06 PM

Should say Douletree

1JAR Apr 16th, 2013 09:25 PM

Pentagon City is our favorite near Crystal City has own Metro stop. Residence Inn (with kids this might be a good option as has extra bedroom with doors and kitchen with nearby grocery stores) or Embassy Suites w/free shuttle to Reagan National Airport and to Metro.

emd3 Apr 17th, 2013 05:31 AM

Pentagon city is a great option. It is the neighborhood next to Crystal City. It has a very nice outdoor mall with lots of dining options, and a nice upscale indoor mall also, and more green space than Crystal City ( a park, more grass and trees). Residence inn and embassy suites mentioned by 1jar are both good options, check about pools. One metro stop or short walk to the dining in Crystal City also. And two metro stops to D.C. (L'Enfant Plaza).

I live in the area and have a good friend who lives in Crystal City, and we put guest up at he told here, and I have work colleagues who stay in he towels in Pentagon City, t hat is how I know those areas.

emd3 Apr 17th, 2013 05:36 AM

Lol, I HATE the IPad feature that " thinks for you" while you are typing. I don't pay attn o I and then m posts come out like the one above. It should read that we put guests up at hotels there, and I have work colleagues who stay in hotels in Pentagon City.

obxgirl Apr 17th, 2013 07:04 AM

By all means choose Crystal City if you're looking to shave a little money off the cost of a stay, particularly on weekends when rates can be downright cheap. The Americana is a great budget choice. CC has a ton of chain restaurants which can be helpful when on the road with kids. It's cheaper to park your car at CC hotels than downtown.

>>. If you stay in a hotel in DC, even if you stay in one near the Mall and main sights in DC, you will end up walking quite a way to get to your hotel, or taking a cab, or using metro, any of which will take just as long or longer than taking metro to Crystal City.<<

There are a fair number of hotels within easy walking distance of the Mall. If I have to walk to my hotel, I'd rather walk by the White House or the Capitol than schlep across Jeff Davis Highway. It's all about trade offs. CC is a lot nicer than it used to be but I wouldn't rate it above staying in the city if a visitor's budget permits.

There is a Residence Inn on E Street SE with a pool. It's spitting distance from a metro station and less than a ten minute walk to the Air and Space Museum. They have had weekend rates in the $150-$199 range in the recent past. What is the budget?

NewbE Apr 17th, 2013 07:27 AM

<Realistically here is no way to get to a hotel in DC any faster than taking the metro to Crystal City.>
I dispute this, especially in the middle of a weekday when the Metro runs on a less frequent schedule.

bardo1 Apr 17th, 2013 08:20 AM

<i>"Heard it is better to stay outside DC, like Arlington.</i>"

The same way it's "better" to stay in NJ when visiting Manhattan or "better" to stay in Mestre when visiting Venice??

IMHO, it's far better to stay within an easy walk of what you want to see and in a neighborhood that is a destination unto itself for people watching, eating, playing, etc. even if that means a smaller or less luxurious bedroom than the same money buys you in the suburbs.

Or did you mean "cheaper"?

Rich Apr 17th, 2013 10:11 AM

We usually stay at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria . . it's just across the street from King St. Metro Station and easy walking distance from Old Town Alexandria

capecod73 Apr 17th, 2013 04:34 PM

For the people who replied quoting the original poster and then IMO putting him/her down for wanting to stay outside the city why would you respond with hostility? This is a forum looking for advice, the posters question was politely phrased, and it's disheartening to see people respond with any sense of hostility when there's clearly no need for it. You can explain why, for you, staying in the city is preferable without being hostile or making it seem that in any way, shape, or form that the question is foolish or that the person posting is cheap.

nyer Apr 17th, 2013 04:48 PM

capecod73, many people have pointed out that there's nothing wrong with trying to save money on a trip. We all do it. But it is helpful, I think to point out that it doesn't necessarily make it "best" to stay out of town in DC, the way it might be best to do so if you are visiting Detroit (as an extreme example)

And if someone says best but means least expensive, why not clear that up? We have also pointed out that there are downtown hotels that might be around the same price and also more convenient--which for many people equals "best".

NewbE Apr 17th, 2013 07:20 PM

capecod, I think you are finding hostility where there is none. Perhaps you are taking the question of budget too personally. It's important to know how much the OP wants to spend per night, and important to tell him/her that it's not always cheaper to stay outside the city.

bardo1 Apr 18th, 2013 05:34 AM

NewbE - It may be that the hostile posts have already been deleted.

NewbE Apr 18th, 2013 07:24 AM

bardo1, no, there would be an line saying that a comment has been removed if that were the case. No worries.

lmichael Apr 18th, 2013 02:03 PM

We are going early June, kids 11 & 14, and opted for an “apartment” 3 blocks from the Eastern Metro entrance. One bedroom with an alcove that has a twin, futon in the living room and full kitchen, $200 per night total. To save money we plan on eating most breakfasts and dinners in, and it has a BBQ in the small back yard., and had many to choose from. I have used these sites in the past with great luck. Some apartments had swimming pools.

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