Staying outside of Washington DC

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Mar 23rd, 2005, 04:00 PM
  #1
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Staying outside of Washington DC

Thinking of going to Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival, but our favorite hotels are either full or priced out of sight. Does anyone have a suggestion for a hotel out of the district that has access to the subway and might not be overpriced?
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 04:01 PM
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there have been some posts about this very thing. you might want to try to search the board.
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 04:05 PM
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What is your budget/dates?
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 04:30 PM
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I stayed at the Doubletre, Tysons Corners. Very nice property with a huge indoor pool. The bus stops out in front to take you to the metro rail, less than 10 minutes away, or in the other direction to the huge Tysons Corners mall. Buses run pretty frequently and late on that route. I also used the hotel shuttle a couple of times to get to/from the rail station, and taxis were readily available there as well. I got a great rate through Hotwire, and was very happy with where I stayed.
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 06:12 PM
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You can try priceline for a hotel in the city. Or you could try Rosslyn, which is very close to the city, or Crystal City. Other people like Alexandria (hotels near the King St Station). I certainly would NOT recommend Tyson's Corner. It stresses me to think about all that traffic. You can stay at a hotel outside the district that is still very close to the metro. Don't stay someplace where you have to take a bus for 10 minutes to the metro, unless for some reason you really like that specific property.
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 08:14 PM
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I stayed in Crystal City, you might see if you can bid it on Priceline, not sure if they also fill up during Cherry Blossom Time. I stayed at the Hilton which was one of the furthest away from the metro station and it was still walkable or they have shuttle buses.
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Mar 23rd, 2005, 09:29 PM
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In Roslyn/Arlington, VA area (subways galore) -- Marriott has several properties -- Marriott Key Bridge, etc. I use Marriott.com we've stayed at several. Also liked Sheraton by the Pentagon -- has a compl. shuttle to subway.
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Mar 24th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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The Hilton in Silver Spring, Md. It's about a block walk to the metro (which is wonderful), and a short metro ride into the city. There are nearby shops and restaurants. Rooms were fine and they have an indoor pool and fitness center.
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Mar 25th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions.

I did find:
Hilton Silver Spring for $107 + $10 parking

Marriot Residence N Oak St Arlington for $123 (They say it's a 2 block walk to the Metro, and I wonder what the area is like)

Marriot Mayflower CT Ave for $135 + $28 parking. For the location, this would be our choice, but is there a less expensive way to park in the area? Once we get to the hotel, we don't use our car until we leave.

Any thoughts on these three hotels?
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Mar 25th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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The Residence Inn is in a fine neighborhood. Very safe, less busy at night.

The Mayflower would be great, but parking garages around there are probably not going to be significantly cheaper. Street parking is possible, but risky.
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Mar 25th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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I'd pick the Mayflower, hands down, even with the pricy parking. Great hotel, great location, close to the Metro and you'll have short rides to in-town stuff. IMO, it's worth the extra $$. I agree that parking garages nearby are unlikely to offer lower daily rates; if I were you, I'd try calling the hotel and whining/begging for a lower rate, esp. if you're a member of Marriott's rewards program or a partner program, or if you've stayed there before (I have had surprisingly good results from calaiming simple loyalty to a hotel, even without a membership). But I wouldn't hold out much hope for a lower parking rate--it's just high inside the city. Good luck, and enjoy!
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Mar 25th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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And the garage is probably not managed by the hotel. I agree, though, it is a great location although the rooms are smallish.
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Mar 26th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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Do not stay in Silver Spring. You will have to take a 30-minute metro ride into downtown DC. In addition, the metro will be packed full of commuters. I've seen what the red line looks like during rush hour - it is not pretty. And then what happens if there's a major delay, as there so often seems to be? You'll be stuck on the metro platform with hoardes of cranky commuters who are waiting to get home.

I would absolutely stay in the district or very close by, such as in Arlington. I could potentially do Alexandria, but only because the Old Town area is so nice and offers so much for tourists.
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Mar 26th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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All of the lines can be bad or delayed at rush hour, not just the Red Line.

Silver Spring to Union Station is 13 minutes; SS is 18 minutes to Metro Center. Another advantage to Silver Spring is that many of the inbound commuter trains start there so you've got a better chance of getting a seat.

The Red Line had some issues over the past year, but most were tied to construction of a new station, which is the system's first in-line addition. It's been reliable as reliable as the rest of the system since that station opened.

While it doesn't have Old Town's charm or Rosslyn's proximity to Georgetown, Silver Spring is a decent option these days with the AFI Silver Theater and the downtown redevelopment. It wouldn't be at the top of my list (unless there were other reasons to be in the area), but the Hilton is fine and the dining options there are on the upswing.

That said, staying downtown at the Mayflower is head and tails above the other options if it isn't busting your budget.
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Mar 26th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Repete, do you currently live in DC and use the red line? The reason I ask is because the red line is absolutely the worst. All my friends who took the red line gave it up and started driving. It is so packed, it is really unpleasant. The next crowded line is the Orange, and none of my friends using that line during rush hour feel that kind of frustration.

You are right that the actual train ride is only 13 minutes once you get on the train - to Union Station. On the other hand, Metro estimates the trip between the Silver Spring station and L'Enfant metro is 26 minutes.

In addition, the Hilton is not on top of metro - it's three blocks away. You can walk those three blocks, but if the weather isn't nice, you'll wait for the Hilton shuttle. Then, you usually wait a few minutes for a train. Hopefully there will be room on the train, and hopefully there won't be delays. Of course, once you get to the metro station you desire, you have to then walk to whatever tourist attraction you are interested in.

So, yes, I think an estimate of 30 minutes from the Hilton to tourist attractions in downtown DC is not unreasonable. In fact, it might be overly reasonable.

I am no longer in DC but was just up there for a week in Feb., staying for four days in Dupont Circle. Two out of the four days, the red line had serious days. Yuk.
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Mar 26th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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I think the Marriott Key Bridge is the best bet as well. It is just over the bridge from Georgetown which is nice and its near the Metro.
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Mar 26th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Birder,
Yes, I've used it for my daily commute for years.

The reason for the longer time between SS and L'Enfant is because you have to change trains.

Please point out where I said the Hilton ``was on top'' of the Metro.

Meawhile, you said ``30-minute Metro ride'' and now you're amending that to total travel time. If you would have said, it takes 30 minutes or so to get from the SS Hilton to downtown (best defined as the Metro Center stop and it's 18-minute ride), you'd have no argument for me.

Every line has delays. I had two meetings delayed last week because of folks hung up on the Blue/Orange lines. In fact, today there are delays on the Orange.

My general advice to visitors is to avoid the rush hours if you can on any line. I've dropped visitors off at the Starbucks or the bagel place right at SS Metro and either are nice places to plot out the day.
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Mar 27th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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Repete, yes, you are right - I did say 30 minute metro ride. My miscommunication.

I agree, avoiding rush hour altogether is a good thing. That way tourists will avoid the annoyed commuters on the stairs - the tourists don't know the informal rule "stand to right, walk to the left" (which metro refuses to post?) - so the commuters sort of shove by the tourists standing to the left.
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Mar 28th, 2005, 04:22 AM
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birder,
Please don't post incorrect information. While many (including me at times) riders do in fact walk up and down the escalators, it is NOT ALLOWED by offical WMATA policy. Please refer to here to Metro's official policy on this (item #2 "Never walk up or down the escalaotrs"):

http://www.wmata.com/metrorail/metro...cfm#escalators

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Mar 28th, 2005, 04:47 AM
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birder didn't post "incorrect" information -- there IS an informal rule, it's common sourtesy to stay out of others' way. And you've explained why WMATA refuses to post it. Undoubtedly there are minor safety risks in walking up or down the escalators, so it's understandable why they won't want to endorse it. But this official or unofficial system is true of every subway system I've ever encountered.
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