Washington DC Hotel Dilemma

Jul 5th, 2002, 02:57 PM
  #1  
Sue
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Washington DC Hotel Dilemma

Here’s my problem: The SeniorNet book group is going to the October Book Fest in DC and the hotel for the group is the Harrington ($89) at 11th & E. Well, a brief perusal of this site reveals that said hotel is at best a "vile pit." A friend recommended the JW Marriott (very close to the pit, I think; both are across from Barnes & Noble, one of our venues), but the lowest rate I have been able to find on the web is $309 (gasp!). The Hotel Washington is a little further away at 15th & Pa and the rates are fair ($145-115). I've never been to DC before and I just need advice: I would like to be near the group for dinner and outings, but I would rather not stay in a substandard hotel. Is the Washington close enough? If I wait, might I be able to find discount rates for the Marriott? Or are there other options? This is over Columbus Day weekend. Help!
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:02 PM
  #2  
JB
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Sue,

You might want to check out a discount hotel source for the JW Marriott, which is probably the nicest hotel in that area. Try www.quickbook.com.

There is also The Grand Hyatt which is around that same area. You might want to check that one out too.

Hope this helps. DC is beautiful!

JB
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:26 PM
  #3  
P. Dantic
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The word dilemma most commonly means a situation that requires one to choose between two equally balanced alternatives. It would appear what you have on your hands is a quandary. Hope it all works out for you.
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:32 PM
  #4  
Stephanie P.
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Hi Sue:

I can't comment on the Harrington, just that when I worked for the FBI, midnight shift, we use to go over and have an early breakfast, the buffet there was great.

The J.W. Marriott is a really nice hotel and not too far away from the Harrington. It has a huge food court and many, many stores inside and you don't even have to go outside to get to this if you stay at the J.W.

I was wondering about the rates too. I looked up: lodging.com and picked the Columbus Day weekend and D.C. as the city. I got a rate for J.W. as $199/night. So, maybe this is more affordable for you. $309 - nice hotel but not worth this. PS: I wouldn't wait last minute to book another hotel whereever you choose to stay. October is such pleasant time of the year to visit D.C., moderate temps in the 70s, so alot of visitors will be around.
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 11:27 PM
  #5  
Sue
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P., Thanks for pointing out the distinction--ya learn something new every day!

JB, quikbook didn't have it; I've tried lots of sources, but it looks like lodging.com from Stephanie does.

Stephanie, thanks for the info.

One SeniorNet friend got a big laugh out of the "vile pit" description, said she has stayed there since she was a kid, so maybe I'm blowing this quandary out of proportion! I'm still waiting for Christina to weigh in.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 02:56 AM
  #6  
Stephanie P.
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Sue:

Just remember the people who post here go for 4 or 5 star hotels. One even insulted Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, by saying one part of it, the least expensive, was like staying at the Holiday Inn. Well, to me the Holiday Inn is a decent and clean hotel. So maybe take the comments about the Harrington like a grain of salt. I'd trust more people you know and who have stayed there before and see nothing wrong with it. But again the J.W. is a really nice place. Around the area is Ford's Theatre (where Lincoln was shot), Old Post Office, Naval Museum and Archives if you've near been to the area before. Hope you enjoy yourself.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:22 AM
  #7  
Jen
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You will be SO glad to stay somehwere other than the Harrington! For a good rate on hotels in DC, go to www.washingtondchotels.com

Remember, the Metro system in DC is very good, so you can consider not only hotels that are close to the convention site, but others that are close to stops on the same Metro line will also be relatively convenient.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 09:28 AM
  #8  
Jill
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It's a 5 - 10 minute walk from The Hotel Washington to the Harrington. It's a historic hotel. I've had friends who've stayed there - some said the rooms are really small.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 02:46 PM
  #9  
Christina
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Moi? Well, I haven't seen the rooms at the Harrington, so my knowledge of it is the same as everybody else's -- based on others' comments on it which have been pretty bad. I've read tons of negative comments on it all over the place, not just on here -- www.tripadvisor.com has one guy who said it was the worst hotel they'd ever stayed at, and I agree it is very overpriced for what the quality appears to be. YOu can get a nice hotel for only a little more than that. I wouldn't stay there myself, I think the comments are just way too bad for it to be just pickiness. Anyone who stays there is already the kind of person going for budget, basic hotels, I'd say, so I think it must be pretty bad. One of these days I'll have to check it out in person when I'm around there, but I don't think I will be in the immediate future, unfortunately.

The problem is that there aren't really any other hotels within a couple blocks of it except the Marriot and Washington, I'm pretty sure. Oh, yeah, the Willard, but I'm sure that's out (it's really expensive).

One good discount hotel site for Washington is www.dcaccommodations.com, you can find all kinds of nice hotels that weekend on there for $90-140 a night. I think it has places like the Omni or Crowne Plaza for only about $90-150, (at least on Fri-Sat, that Monday 10/15 is more expensive, weekdays usually are). It would really bug me to pay $90 for the Harrington. Even the Topaz, Rouge, and Marriott are only about $99 on the weekend on that site and the Radisson Barcelo only $89.

Well, I wouldn't stay at the Harrington and the Washington is about 4 blocks away, I would stay there instead of you want the closest, unless you can get the Marriott at a good rate. I think you can do okay from what I see on the above site. It would sure help the budget if you only wanted Fri-Sun. There are obviously lots of other options but not so many within a few blocks of the Harrington.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:45 PM
  #10  
Shannon
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There was a discount broker we found from Consumer Reports Travel Letter -- something like capitol or DC bookings. In any event, we received a very good price to stay at the JW Marriott and we just loved it. There was even an indoor pool. We had a terrific view of the Washington Monument and a buffet breakfast was included. Very centrally located. Our rented car was, unfortunately, stolen from valet parking during the middle of the night, but what do you expect when the valet attendant just leaves the car there and is not watching the car keys -- in DC for heavens sake! A minor inconvenience for us, a big headache for the hotel. I'm sure they watch those keys like a hawk now!
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #11  
x
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Topping for Stephanie at the FBI!!!!!!!!
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 05:23 PM
  #12  
traveler
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Stephanie-I have to ask this-what did you do when you worked for the FBI???

and BTW-the Atlantis is a hokey tourist trap not unlike a gaudy crowded Holiday Inn.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 05:29 PM
  #13  
Jorge
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I stayed at the Atlantis in the Bahamas and it was the single worst hotel experience I have had in my entire adult life. You couldn't pay me to go back to that place.
 
Jul 6th, 2002, 05:32 PM
  #14  
traveler
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Lol,Jorge, glad to know that I am not just one of those picky 4-5* hotel people! It was like going on a cruise! too many people,too much food,lots of screaming kids!!!
Might qualify for one of the levels of Hell,what do you think
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 02:16 AM
  #15  
Stephanie P.
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Traveler:

I worked for the FBI in the 1980s, at 10th and Pennsylvania, J. Edgar Hoover Building, 4th Floor, Records Management.
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #16  
ASDFGH
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Stephanie: hope you had better judgment and discretion then than you do now by telling us all that.
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 06:09 AM
  #17  
Jen
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Give the girl a break! What was indiscreet about her post? Everybody knows where the building is. So they kept records on the fourth floor twenty years ago -- this is useful how?
 
Jul 7th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #18  
dearJen
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If you knew Stephanie like we knew Stephanie, you wouldn't ask!!!!
 
Jul 8th, 2002, 10:39 AM
  #19  
Claudia
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There are some hotels that have just opened - Hotel Monaco (near the MCI center) and Sofitel (near the White House, I think). They might be running specials since they are new.

If you're not going to cancel out on your trip, you might want to go to biddingfortravel.com and see what hotels come up on the Priceline board. I've found that is the best way of getting a great deal in a city. At biddingfortravel, there should be a listing of the hotels that Priceline supports, one of which will probably be a Marriott.

Don't stay at the Harrington. You'd be better off staying away from the group and taking the Metro to them every day.
 
Jul 19th, 2002, 08:19 AM
  #20  
Francisca
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Re the Harrington (and SeniorNet)..I have stayed at the Harrington twice in the last three years and will stay there again in October. In fact, any time I have to pay my own way, I'll stay there.
Yes, it's tired...exhausted, really...not what we Americans expect of hotels. But the rooms (the ones I've seen) are fairly good sized, there are some "family rooms" that probably would rate as suites, with frig and kettle. The hotel has not been "redocorated" probably in 50 years. However, I would NEVER call it "vile"... it's just old. Yeah, the grout in the bathrooms (original tile I bet) needs fixing, but the maids do scrub it daily. It's a family owned hotel and the desk people seem to care that you're taken care of.
The location is fantastic, and the price is right! The other guests are an interesting mix of Europeans and Americans, some people on business, some on vacation.
Breakfast buffet seems to be used by many locals, too. Two restaurants, one cheap and okay, the other reasonable and more fun.

Hope this helps!
 

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