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Washington DC AREA hotels (Arlington, Alexandria, etc)

Washington DC AREA hotels (Arlington, Alexandria, etc)

Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 05:15 PM
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Washington DC AREA hotels (Arlington, Alexandria, etc)


We (myself, DH, DS 7 and DD 5) are thinking of spending 4 nights in Washington DC during April vacation week (3rd week April). We've been told to NOT stay inside DC, as there's not much to do after 5 and it's much safer outside the city. We would like some hotel recommendations for outside of town, like in Arlington or Alexandria or perhaps Bethesda. We're willing to take the metro, in fact would probably prefer it, since everyone says it's great. We want to see the Smithsonian Natural History musuem, Air and Space Museum, Lincoln Memorial, & perhaps the National Art Gallery. We're looking for something under $175 a night. Thanks for any info
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 05:31 PM
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How about the crystal city area of Arlington? There are alot of hotels and a metro line - a short trip into the city - only about 10 minutes. You might want to reconsider staying in DC though. There are some really nice areas and plenty to do after dark especially with the abundance of restaurants.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 05:59 PM
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I don't really agree with what you've been told, as there will be less to do after 5 in the suburbs (unless you choose a hotel in a strictly business district, like the Leow's L'Enfant). The Dupont Circle area in particular is very busy at night with lots of stores and restaurants, including moderate ones, open late.

And all the tourist areas of DC, where the hotels are, are pretty safe. Most of the crime in DC is in areas where there are no tourist attractions, and the unfortunate residents have to deal with drug wars going on around them.

But--the area which sounds like just what you are looking for is the Rosslyn section of Arlington. It is just one Metro stop from the start of the tourist stops in DC. Very easy access to all the museums and monuments, and the famous Iwo Jima statue is right there. You can easily walk across the Key Bridge into the heart of Georgetown.

The Holiday Inn Key Bridge and the Best Western Key Bridge are a block or so from Metro, and reasonably priced. These are not luxury hotels, though, if that is what your family is used to. I would read their reviews, under Arlington, VA in, to decide if they are right for you. Also, you might want to do a search under the word Rosslyn in this forum, as there has been quite a bit of discussion of these hotels.

The Holiday Inn has a three meal a day, moderately priced restaurant at the top with a panoramic view of the Potomac and Washington. Also within a couple of blocks is Tom Sarris' Orleans House, wildly locally popular for many, many years with a fun New Orleans decor, serving reasonably priced steak and prime rib meals which include a long salad bar. Neither is a gourmet spot, but good choices for a family with younger children.

I think you will find that hotels in Maryland, including Bethesda, and even Alexandria, Virginia will involve a considerably longer ride to the Metro stations of the points of interest in DC.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 06:01 PM
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I suggest that you read other recent threads on DC. The suburbs are not particularly safer than the parts of DC where your hotel would be. And there's certainly more to do in the evening in many sections of DC, such as Dupont Circle, than in Bethesda or Crystal City.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 06:34 PM
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Staying outside the city just adds additional commuting time to your day. There are many really nice hotels and some very good areas to choose from in the city. Dupont Circle is an excellent area to choose. Northeast DC and Southeast DC are NOT good areas to choose but most hotels are not in those areas either.

You might do well to look into Priceline for your hotel needs. Seems that you should be able to get some nice rooms for less than $175.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:00 PM
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Hi, I don't think it matters where you stay--no matter what, you will have to use the metro/public transportation to go from one tourist site to the other, so if it can save you money on a hotel, I would just stay outside of the city regardless. I live in Crystal City and the train ride is 10 minutes to the Capital or "downtown"--tops. There is lots to do here, as Pentagon Row is within walking distance. Tons of restaurants, shops, etc., and relatively cheap to stay here. Nice hotels (Hilton, Sheraton, etc.) and Walking distance to Metro.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:09 PM
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I completely disagree with the advice you were told. In fact, it's the other way around. There is less to do in the suburbs than in DC.

Most likely, whoever told you that was staying in downtown DC, a part business district where things close down by 6. But that doesn't mean the rest of the city does!

Dupont Circle is the place to be. Look for hotels there.

As for outside of the city, Bethesda is also a nice place (as long as you are in downtown bethesda).

Arlington/Alexandria - you need a car to get around.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 04:25 AM
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Thank you so much for the replies - I will check out dupont circle. My advice might have been outdated, as the people in question hadn't been to DC in at least 10 years.

What about the Old Towne part of Alexandria? Would that be too far away? I can get a room at the Best Western Old Colony Inn for $109, although we are usually more Marriott/Hilton/fancy inn kind of travellers.

A travel book I looked into mentioned at restaurant in Alexandria called Bilbo Baggins. It looks intriguing - anyone been there?

Thanks for the tip about - I had forgotten about that site and it's very helpful.

I will check into Arlington and Dupont Circle. I've always heard Dupont circle is nice, but it might be out of our price range for this trip.

sorchamac is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2005, 04:50 AM
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Here's a handy map that shows both hotels and Metro stops to give you an idea of the hotels proximity to Metro. It even includes the Virginia suburban areas of Crystal City and Pentagon City.

The food at Bilbo Baggins is OK, just OK. Fine if you happen to be right there and want something cheap, but not deserving of a special trip.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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In December 2003 we stayed at the Marriott in Crystal City

There is a metro station you walk to via the hotel and attached mall--very convenient.
Old Feb 24th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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In Old Town (no "e" please!), the Best Western Colony is at the edges of what is considered OT. I stayed there about 18 months ago, and was able to walk to my office near King Street metro stop in about 20-25 minutes. It's not the most central location, but not bad. You're walking distance to my favorite DC-area restaurant, Cafe Marianna.

Bilbo Baggins is a good spot, and they have nice brunches on the weekend.

You do not need a car to get around Arlington and Alexandria, unless you happen to live there and need to get to Home Depot.

Avoid Crystal City. They don't call it the Concrete Jungle for nothing. Some people will claim since they've opened a Jaleo restaurant that CC has suddenly become the place to be. It has not. The CC hotels are FILLED to the rafters with conventions and high school marching bands.

In Old Town, check out rates for Hampton Inn (built about 2 years ago), Holiday Inn OT (not my favorite, but tourists seem to like it), Residence Inn on Duke Street, Embassy Suites (at the metro). There's also a Hilton at the metro.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 10:00 PM
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We enjoyed the Embassy Suites at Alexandria Old Town. Very close were also a Hilton & Hampton Inn.

Have also stayed in Rosslyn area many times. The Hyatt there often is overlooked, and it's the closest hotel to the Metro.

If you can get a decent place at reasonable price IN DC, I'd stay there, but even out in the closer suburbs, if you can weigh the lower hotel price favorably against the commute time, then why not. I'm the type of visitor who NEVER goes back to the room until I'm ready to retire, so I don't care if it's "in the boonies".

(In three more weeks I'll be staying at a hotel next to Springfield Mall ... (go ahead folks, and beat on me!) but because I moonlight on occasion at a hotel, my 2 rooms will be only $25/each. Now that's worth even a little longer subway ride.)
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 06:04 AM
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I highly recommend the Hampton Inn in Old Town. The hotel is in very good shape, the service is friendly and courteous and the rates are reasonable. It's located a block from the metro (as are Hilton & Embassy Suites)and about 20 minute metro ride from major DC attractions. Hilton looks very nice from outside, though haven't stayed there.There are a lot of nice restaurants in walking area and old town is one of my favorite areas to walk around.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 06:05 AM
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Whoops -I forgot to mention that I meant Old Town Alexandria in previous post.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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I've stayed at the Hilton in Old Town Alexandria for business - nice hotel, friendly staff, convenient location for shopping. We had a conference rate - I don't recall the price for our rooms, sorry.

If you like Thai food, visit the small restaurant between the Hilton & the hotel next to it (I can't recall which that was, the Hampton maybe?). Anyway, that Thai place has yummy food and for a good price for the area.

We hopped the metro there and went to Smithsonian Natural History Museum and others during the Cherry Blossom Festival last year. That metro is an amazing thing!

The DuPont circle area is nice too, TONS of fantastic restaurants. I highly recommend Rosemary's Thyme.

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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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We are staying at the Holiday Inn Capitol for 3 nights in April. It is very close to the mall and Air and Space Museum. Is this a good choice? It is during Spring break so it is a little higher priced. I am going with my two kids 11 and 14. Any suggestions?
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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on Franklin st in the city and it was great. It was clean and very nice and about 140 per night. This was about a year and a half ago. The area was fine at night. We took a cab home from dinner.
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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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I second the Hampton Inn Old Towne. I stayed there in November and was extremely impressed by the condition of the hotel and the friendly staff. Free breakfast didn't hurt either! We walked a block to a wedding receptoin at Embassy Suites. Very convenient.
Old Mar 4th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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Has anyone stayed at the Econo-Lodge Metro in Arlington? Good or bad? It seems quite reasonable for AAA members.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:36 AM
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I live in Arlington, and I think that depending on the neighborhood in DC or VA, there will be plenty to do in the evenings. And they are probably equally as safe, again, depending on the neighborhood. Old Town Alexandria has tons to do, lots of shopping, the waterfront area, and is on the metro. In Arlington, I would recommend the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn. It's directly across the Potomac from DC (cheap cab ride), and about 4-5 blocks from the metro. They have an indoor pool, which could be good for the kids. In DC, definitely the Dupont area is fun, as is Georgetown. Georgetown is not metro accesible.
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