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NeoPatrick Aug 27th, 2012 07:53 AM

Hotel choices in DC for Thanksgiving
Looking at spending three nights in Washington DC for Thanksgiving. Rates are all over the place, many now dramatically coming down for that holiday weekend. Haven't been there in years. We'll be driving so need parking (which seems to be as high as NYC prices!
Several great deals are JW Marriott by the White House, Westin in Foggy Bottom, and the Palomar near Dupont Circle. Which would you choose? Or any other suggestions specifically?
I know there are a couple good deals with parking (I think) at Georgetown Suites, Avenue Suites, and the Harbor Georgetown Suites, and some others. But we don't really want a hotel overrun with kids and families on that weekend -- which seems likely at those advertised "family friendly" places when I read the reviews.

tomfuller Aug 27th, 2012 09:09 AM

I would not limit myself to "in DC". Look at places in Silver Spring or Greenbelt and take the Metro into the city.
Don't try to drive your own car into the city and find parking.
This is if you are coming from the Northeast.
From the South or West, Arlington or Pentagon City work well.

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 09:16 AM

I couldn't disagree more. Stay in DC and save yourself a lot of time.

The JW Marriott is an enormous business hotel (all-marble lobby type). Stayed there once and thought it was okay, but I was there on business. Location is pretty good for sightseeing, but not for evenings out.

The Westin in Foggy Bottom. I think that I stayed there once when it was under another name and it was a beautiful hotel - elegant, not at all "cold". Good location (walkable to Georgetown, near the metro).

But me, I'd choose the Palomar because I like Kimpton hotels in general, and because I love Dupont Circle as a place to stay in DC. Lots of shopping and restaurants, metro, great residential area, embassies, just a wonderful neighborhood (probably where I'd want to LIVE if I lived in DC).

I would NOT stay in Georgetown because the metro doesn't go to Georgetown.

vjpblovesitaly Aug 27th, 2012 09:24 AM

I also disagree with staying in SS (where I live) or Greenbelt.

This parking garage is open 24/7/365 and is currently $22/24 hours. It is located at 1725 DeSales Street which is south of Dupont Circle right off Connecticut Avenue NW and is about 0.6 miles from the Palomar (according to Google Maps)

Union Station is also open 24/7/375 and is currently $22/24 hours.

I was going to tell you that Montgomery County garages are free on holidays and weekends and recommend that you perhaps consider parking in a county lot in Bethesda, but Friday is not a holiday according to the Montgomery County website. If that is something that interests you, I can look into it further.

What days do you plan on doing the driving?

gardendiva Aug 27th, 2012 09:33 AM

If you decide on the Palomar check out Groupon and Sniqueaway first. There is always a discount for that hotel and other Kimpton locations. The B&B that I usually stay at in DC closes for that weekend due to low business. I would think that you would be able to get a great deal in DC on that weekend.

bardo1 Aug 27th, 2012 09:45 AM


I think the Palomar is best suited to what you want out of those you mentioned. The location is a better pedestrian area (some great restaurants on that block) and very close to Metro. Gentrification pushed most gays east to 17th St. and eastward over to the 14th St. area a LONG time ago but The Fireplace is still there (a few doors down from the Palomar, generally age 35+).

The JW has a lot of families with children (and $$$, I think it's overpriced).

24th & M (Westin "Georgetown" - Ha! it's Foggy Bottom, not EVEN Georgetown) is not a particularly happening area not is it close to Metro. The Westin Embassy Row is a great location, however.

Another worth a looking at is Hotel Helix, a Klipmton hotel. Great location thought not right next to Metro, but has the myriad 14th St. bus lines including the Circulator buses. Also walkable to the White House, etc.

14th st. (between N St. & V st.) has many nice restaurants, cafes, shops and a few small theaters. worth exploring even if you don't stay there.

You might also look The William Lewis House - "Washington DC's friendliest Gay Bed & Breakfast" - 3 blocks to U St. Metro or, again, the myriad 14th St. bus lines including the Circulator buses. Also walkable to the White House, etc.

As to the suggestion above by tomfuller to consider the close-in burbs for a hotel base: Only if you would do the same when visiting NYC....

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 09:55 AM

bardo, what in the world gives you the impression Neo is looking to stay in a "gay neighborhood" or "gay bed & breakfast"? All he said was he doesn't want a hotel overrun with families with kids -- neither would I!

obxgirl Aug 27th, 2012 10:09 AM

Another vote for the Palomar but I am a total Kimpton fan. As noted, great neighborhood, close to metro and also very walkable to Georgetown if that is a destination for you. I like the Helix too (are you looking for a hotel that caters to gay clients?) but it's a little farther from a metro station and the Palomar is a nicer hotel.

My second choice would be the Westin for the some of the same reasons. Nice mix of residential, higher end hotels, restaurants. Close to Dupont Circle and close to metro (5 minute walk to Foggy Bottom) and Circulator buses. Quieter than Dupont. (bardo -- is Georgetown really "happening" these days?)

If the National Mall is where you're going to spend most of your time, the JW Marriott might be a good choice.

PMI has 3 lots that do 24/7 parking we recommend to visitors and parking runs from $22 to R$30 a day there:

1725 DeSales Street NW
1325 G Street NW
900 New York Ave NW

I would pass on Union Station given the holiday. We often recommend Reagan National where you can part for $12 (economy) and $20 (closer and covered) but, like the train station, it's likely to be a madhouse with traffic or full b/c of the heavy travel time.

bardo1 Aug 27th, 2012 10:10 AM

I know Patrick is not looking to stay in a gay neighborhood - it just happens the the best areas sometimes are "gay". I suggested the hotels (and one B&B) based on superior neighbor vibes/architecture/cafes etc.

NewbE Aug 27th, 2012 10:18 AM

< it just happens the the best areas sometimes are "gay".>
So true, IMO!

Fwiw, I agree with all of the above except for the idea of staying in the suburbs. We'll be in DC over Thanksgiving too--hope you enjoy it!

NeoPatrick Aug 27th, 2012 10:25 AM

Actually, I guess Bardo knows me. But B&B's are usually not my thing, and one with shared baths is NOT for us!

Thanks for the comments all. The parking is an issue now. The Palomar charges $48.37 a night for parking -- including taxes, which seems pretty typical. I don't see us looking for free street parking because it's the weekend -- seems like a pain to me.

Our plans are to drive down (from north of Philadelphia ON Thanksgiving Day, although if my partner does get out of work on Wednesday around noon, which is a good possibility, we might leave and head to Baltimore Inner Harbor for that night. I suspect the traffic will be worse though on Wednesday afternoon and evening than it will on Thanksgiving. We'll also be driving home on Sunday.

Of the three hotels I mentioned JW Marriott has the best cancellable rate (which is the only way I'll do it) of $127. The Palomar is $161 and has free internet. The Westin is $142,
The Helix doesn't seem nearly as nice as The Palomar and I think the location is not as good.

Do most of you think the Palomar is a better location than the Westin?

NeoPatrick Aug 27th, 2012 10:33 AM

Oh, Bardo, I couldn't find the Westin Embassy Row -- I guess it's now The Fairfax Embassy Row, a Luxury Collection Hotel?
They have a rate of $127 for a superior room with King. Wow. Sounds great. Is it? And a better location than the others do you think?

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 10:33 AM

Do most of you think the Palomar is a better location than the Westin?

Yes! And we parked in a garage right near DuPont Circle (we were staying at the DuPont Hotel) that was in the price range obxgirl quoted. It was on New Hamshire Avenue right at the circle, so a few blocks from the Palomar.

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 10:36 AM

Wow, that looks like a great deal, in a great location!

obxgirl Aug 27th, 2012 10:55 AM

Patrick, If the Fairfax Embassy is the one at 2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, it's effectively the same location as the Palomar. A block or so away. Don't know the hotel by experience but the rate sounds super. DC is a bargain over Thanksgiving.

NeoPatrick Aug 27th, 2012 10:56 AM

Well, yes, $127 sounds great. But with parking, internet, and taxes that is actually $296.10 a night. Of course, other rates get similar additions. Just whining, I guess.

But with that in mind -- do you think the Fairfax is a better choice than the Palomar? Actually although the Palomar has free internet, add in parking and taxes, and it's about $20 more than the Fairfax.

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 10:59 AM

The parking should be equal, because you should be parking in one of the public garages nearby either way.

Neither is a "better choice" - it depends on the style of hotel you like. How big are the rooms at the Palomar - the rooms at the Fairfax are 250 sf - similar?

NeoPatrick Aug 27th, 2012 10:59 AM

Ooops. Major typo That was supposed to be $206.10 for the Fairfax above -- not 296!

Yes, obxgirl, that's the address. So maybe that parking mentioned above would work for us. How much do you think we'll want the car over the weekend? Is walking to and around Georgetown too far? The Smithsonian?

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 10:59 AM

Taxes, internet and parking add up to $169? Are you sure?

sf7307 Aug 27th, 2012 11:01 AM

You will not need the car AT ALL while you're in DC. You can get to Georgetown by bus, and everyplace else (including Alexandria) by metro.

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