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pixieprincessmom
06-25-2009, 12:51 AM
We are beginning to plan a DC trip for next summer. The prices for most hotels are really more than I thought, but my DSIL recently stayed at the Best Western Georgetown and said it was a nice hotel and within walking distance to a few attraction and the Metro (of couse she walks several miles a day, me, not so much; we plan on getting to the city on amtrak and hope to not rent a car). BTW it will be my extended family- about 20 people.

If anyone has stayed there or have any suggestions please let me know. Kids will range in age from 4-16, what should be on my "Don't Miss" list?

AnnaS
06-25-2009, 05:26 AM
We might actually be going there within two weeks. An unexpected short trip. I have relatives coming fro Europe this Friday and that is one place they want to go to.

I looked at Hotel Harrington. Prices seem reasonable and in the center of it all. Not sure if we can even get a room on such short notice. We would just need a clean, safe place to sleep. Check it out.

Wendynat
06-25-2009, 06:12 AM
I suggest staying outside the city near a metro station. We go up rather often for 'Skins games (we're season ticket holders that live in Va Beach), and here are the hotels we normally stay at that are walking distance to the metro: Arlington:
Residence Inn at Pentagon City (free breakfast, near Pentagon City Mall which has a great food court and a metro stop for blue and yellow lines),
Hampton Inn Reagan Ntnl Airport (free breakfast, near Crystal City which has a metro station blue line)
Vienna/Fairfax:
Courtyard Marriott Dun Lorring (across from Dun Lorring orange line metro station, near Tyson's Corner mall, free parking, sometimes has special rates that include full buffet breakfast).

There are other good hotels outside the city and next to a metro stop.

thumpery
06-25-2009, 06:43 AM
We are going in July and will be staying at the Marriott Residence Inn in Pentagon City. We are paying $104/night with a full breakfast. We stayed there last year and were pleased. It is about a 2 block walk to the metro. Hope this helps!;)

Teacher03
06-25-2009, 06:58 AM
Try some of the hotels in Arlington, VA. My daughter lives near the Rosslyn metro stop and there are some reasonable, nice hotels there. It's also right across Key bridge to Georgetown. We always stay at the Holiday Inn. The parking is free there which is a plus. We have pricelined before with great success. Good luck.

Janet100
06-25-2009, 08:07 AM
We just got back from a wonderful vacation in Washington, D.C. We stayed at The Liaison Capitol Hill - An Affinia Hotel. It was one block from the Capital. There were lots of families staying there. A really nice pool on the roof. We got a good deal on Sams Club travel. The Union Station is just right around the corner. Maybe a 2 block walk.
There is so much to see and do in Washington. You guys will have a wonderful time. :goodvibes
Janet

torinsmom
06-25-2009, 08:09 AM
If you don't mind Priceline, you can get a great hotel in DC for less than $100/night. We just got back last Thursday after staying at the Marriott Wardman Park for 2 nights. It was an amazing hotel and right beside the metro, two stops from downtown. We got it for $95/night. YOu can use betterbidding.com to see what hotels you are likely to get based on star rating and zones. I only bid on 3* or better in Convention Center/White House/ Dupont Circle zones in order to avoid areas that might not be as safe. We did end up getting the Landmark Hilton in Alexandria for our last night for $70, but I didn't see a metro stop closeby. We didn't need it, so we didn't ask.

Marsha

prncess674
06-25-2009, 08:14 AM
I would advise against staying in Georgetown. It is not on the metro and it is a lengthy walk to the metro. I agree with all the hotels suggested in Virginia near Pentagon City. They are all clean chains.

Hotel Harrington = Roach Motel. AVOID!

I wouldn't stay as far as Vienna/Fairfax, that is a LONG metro ride. Another area to consider is Bethesda.

AnnaS
06-25-2009, 08:14 AM
We are going in July and will be staying at the Marriott Residence Inn in Pentagon City. We are paying $104/night with a full breakfast. We stayed there last year and were pleased. It is about a 2 block walk to the metro. Hope this helps!;)

I put dates in (I have put same dates for every hotel) for two nights and I get an average of $250 a night. I do not want to spend that much.

AnnaS
06-25-2009, 08:30 AM
We are going in July and will be staying at the Marriott Residence Inn in Pentagon City. We are paying $104/night with a full breakfast. We stayed there last year and were pleased. It is about a 2 block walk to the metro. Hope this helps!;)

How did you get this rate? Are you staying weekend? I am wondering if weekend is less money.

pixieprincessmom
06-25-2009, 08:53 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions! I will check them all out and see which has the best rates. I was starting to think this might be a little out of our budget, but you guys have given me hope!

The Princess
06-25-2009, 08:55 AM
We are thinking of the Fairmont in Georgetown. any info on that hotel???

pixieprincessmom
06-25-2009, 09:10 AM
This so not like planning a Disney trip!! Do you think the prices are so high now because the dates are so far away (close to a year)? Since we are relying on the metro I thought we better plan early, but maybe I should wait to get better rates.

I guess my biggest worry is getting there and having to rent a car (or 3) because we are not as close to the metro as we thought. Not knowing the city makes it hard, so I guess I need to research more,

DisneyDawnNH
06-25-2009, 10:15 AM
I am currently planning our first trip to DC for the end of August. From what I have found is Thursday through Sunday are the least expensive nights (weekend stays). I think we are going with the Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town. My requirement was pool, onsite parking, near metro and free breakfast suite. We figured it was worth the extra time on the metro to park for less money as long as we were near a metro station. AAA rate with 3 night stay was 97.00 night!

Wendynat
06-25-2009, 10:20 AM
You can use Googlemaps to see if a particular hotel is ACTUALLY close to a metro stop. You can also check tripadvisor - usually folks will mention in a review how close the hotel is, or isn't, to a metro.

Weekend rates are significantly cheaper than during the week. During the workweek, the decent hotels are filled with business and government travelers and can charge much more, so they do. Priceline might be an option, but since you're talking about so many rooms for a group of 20, I don't know how well that'll work out.

We've stayed at the Courtyard Dunn Loring in Vienna/Fairfax, and it's right at a 30 minute ride on the orange line to the Smithsonian stop. It depends on what you're used to, as far as how long that'll seem to you :).

torinsmom
06-25-2009, 10:31 AM
Wow, I missed the part about it being 20 people! I do think it is a little early to be pricing hotels. Many of the ones I was checking said they didn't take reservations more than 330 days in advance. Maybe they would if you called? I would try around 5-6 months before. You can check rates for the same dates THIS summer, and see how they are running, and get an idea of hotels you would like to try.

Weekends will definitely be cheaper, but you may not get tours of Federal buildings on weekends. If you find a hotel that is close to the metro, but charges more for parking, you can park at the Ballston garage in Arlington for $8/day and metro in. That's what we did(Marriott was charging $32/night to park:scared1:)

I don't know if you have seen the thread, but there is a current one about DC here

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2197159

Marsha

thumpery
06-25-2009, 11:04 AM
To those that inquired about the Residence Inn Pentagon City. I booked a few months ago for July. We are going a Thursday till Monday - 4 nights. It was a AAA special. I booked it right through the hotel's website. It was still available a few weeks ago.

librarygal
06-25-2009, 11:17 AM
One thing I discovered in helping visitors find lodging here in DC is that prices are much cheaper Thursday through Sunday. I have noticed some good deals on Travelzoo for last minute weekend stays in the D.C. area. Here is an example.

This Week's Top Pick from Four Points by Sheraton D.C.
$99 -- Weekends at D.C. Hotel thru September w/Breakfast
Central location; near White House; rooftop sun deck
Thursday-Sunday July 1 - Sept. 30; +$50 midweek

By the way, although Georgetown would not be a location I would choose there is a bus that travels from Georgetown to Union Station via downtown. It leaves every 10 minutes. It is called the DC Circulator and only costs one dollar.

NotUrsula
06-25-2009, 11:34 AM
If you will be there all week, split your stay to save money. Price the hotel for Sun-Wed, and again for Thu-Sun. (Not change hotels, just make it officially two stays.)

The weekend will be much cheaper on its own, but if you price the entire period most search engines will show only the higher rate for the entire period. Just did this at the Hampton Crystal City last week: I paid $220/nt for my business trip from M-Th, and then $119/nt for Th-Su when the family joined me. (BTW: the Hampton Crystal City is a 3 block walk to the Metro.)

jrasmom
06-25-2009, 03:06 PM
We went in May of last year. We stayed Thursday through Saturday I'm thinking it was $89 or $99 a night with free parking.
We stayed in Arlington, VA @ the Marriott Key Bridge location, 2 blocks to the metro station. We just walked to it every morning, hopped on and got off at the stop closest to where we were going that day.
Look up Marriott, then speicals for the area. Although I do think it's a little too early to book just yet.

sharonmickey
06-25-2009, 06:06 PM
You guys have lots of great suggestions. Would you suggest staying outside the city even on weekends? I've been looking at St. Gregory's, L'Enfant, or Doubletree - does anyone know anything about any of them? I'd like something near the Metro or within walking distance of the Mall. I will be needing two rooms; one for DD and I, the other for her "friend".

NotUrsula
06-25-2009, 09:35 PM
You guys have lots of great suggestions. Would you suggest staying outside the city even on weekends? I've been looking at St. Gregory's, L'Enfant, or Doubletree - does anyone know anything about any of them? I'd like something near the Metro or within walking distance of the Mall. I will be needing two rooms; one for DD and I, the other for her "friend".

If you can afford to stay in the District, do it. It's a much easier way to do things. Priceline is very effective, but as with many older central cities, there are PL hotels that will only offer one bed for two people in a room. If you are going for two rooms, it should serve you quite well as an option.

sharonmickey
06-26-2009, 07:13 AM
Thanks NotUrsula. I'm going on a weekend which makes staying in DC much more affordable. If I was going during the week I would definitely stay in a suburb.

Does anyone else have any suggestions on what to do or where to stay?

prncess674
06-26-2009, 07:25 AM
Thanks NotUrsula. I'm going on a weekend which makes staying in DC much more affordable. If I was going during the week I would definitely stay in a suburb.

Does anyone else have any suggestions on what to do or where to stay?I would suggest looking at a map. Don't rule out everything that is in VA or MD. Just because a hotel is in DC doesn't make it convenient. Rosslyn, Courthouse, Pentagon City and Crystal City are very close and could be more convenient that some DC locations.

I would just avoid outer areas such as Vienna, Rockville, etc.

Here is a map of the metro. This map is not to scale. I am most familiar with North Arlington since I live there (Clarendon) the metro goes above ground after Ballston on the Orange line and after Crystal City Yellow/Blue line. Once the metro hits the above ground stops the stops are MUCH further apart and add significant time to the trip.

http://wmata.com/rail/docs/colormap_lettersize.pdf

PlutoPony
06-26-2009, 07:31 AM
Consider how you'll get to a Metro station when choosing lodging.
If you're within walking distance, great.
If you're not and it's during the week, make sure your hotel has a shuttle or some way to get you to the Metro station. Parking at at metro lots is filled by commuters very early in the morning M-F (like 6am). Saturday / Sunday the lots are open and free, so at least in the outer burbs it's easy to drive there and park. Some of the closer in stations do not have parking lots at all, or they have a very limited number of spots, thus making parking problematic all the time. The Metro website give decent info on parking at each station.

sharonmickey
06-26-2009, 07:42 AM
Thanks! You guys are the best!!!

Here's another question - I'm driving down from PA on Thursday after work, stopping in Strasburg to pick up DD's friend. It's about a five hour drive so I will not get there until late evening. Would I be better off staying near Strasburg or near a further Metro stop on Thursday? I could either drive into DC on Friday morning or park somewhere, leave the car and take the Metro in. What suggestions do you have? How do I know what hotels are within walking distance of the Metro?

What are some "can't be missed" things we should do? I've only been to DC once more than ten years ago with DD's fifth grade class . Going with 100 eleven-year-olds I was so busy counting kids I did not see much.

Ava
06-26-2009, 09:12 AM
To the OP, how many rooms will you need? Perhaps choose a few hotels that look good to you (location, proximity to Metro, amenities, etc) and call them to discuss rates. They may give you a deal since you'll be booking multiple rooms.

luvmy3jewels
06-26-2009, 09:17 AM
I'm taking my family to DC in a couple of weeks and we are planning on hitting the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument (pre-ordered tickets on-line), and the National Zoo. I'm also hoping to hit Mount Vernon on the way home.

I won two rooms for Sat - Mon at the Marriott Metro Center (3.5* convention center) off of Priceline for $60 per room/night. It looks like a nice hotel, but parking is valet and costs $35/night. The best thing about this hotel is that the metrocenter is right there.

One thing I'm hoping to do is watch "Night at the Museum" at the Air and Space Center's IMAX theater. We also want to go to the butterfly arboretum (can't remember which museum that is in).

If anyone has any food recommendations in the downtown area (reasonably priced and nothing too fancy or exotic since my kids are picky), I would appreciate it. :)

mikehn
06-26-2009, 09:25 AM
I'm taking my family to DC in a couple of weeks and we are planning on hitting the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument (pre-ordered tickets on-line), and the National Zoo. I'm also hoping to hit Mount Vernon on the way home.

I won two rooms for Sat - Mon at the Marriott Metro Center (3.5* convention center) off of Priceline for $60 per room/night. It looks like a nice hotel, but parking is valet and costs $35/night. The best thing about this hotel is that the metrocenter is right there.

One thing I'm hoping to do is watch "Night at the Museum" at the Air and Space Center's IMAX theater. We also want to go to the butterfly arboretum (can't remember which museum that is in).

If anyone has any food recommendations in the downtown area (reasonably priced and nothing too fancy or exotic since my kids are picky), I would appreciate it. :)

There are plenty of fast food joints all over the area. There is a Five Guys burger and fries joint near your hotel. Your concierge can point you.

mikehn
06-26-2009, 09:30 AM
Thanks! You guys are the best!!!

Here's another question - I'm driving down from PA on Thursday after work, stopping in Strasburg to pick up DD's friend. It's about a five hour drive so I will not get there until late evening. Would I be better off staying near Strasburg or near a further Metro stop on Thursday? I could either drive into DC on Friday morning or park somewhere, leave the car and take the Metro in. What suggestions do you have? How do I know what hotels are within walking distance of the Metro?

What are some "can't be missed" things we should do? I've only been to DC once more than ten years ago with DD's fifth grade class . Going with 100 eleven-year-olds I was so busy counting kids I did not see much.

An alternative is to stay in Rockville or Bethesda Thursday night (there are Metro stops in both Rockville and Bethesda), then take the Metro into DC on Friday. I would not recommend driving into DC.

Janet100
06-26-2009, 09:31 AM
luvmy3jewels,
It is very expensive to eat in the food courts in the museums. There are lots of hot dog stands outside of the museums. The hot dog carts saved us some money. Also, if you are near the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center ([I]It is very close to the National Museum of American History)], it has a very nice food court that seemed to be a little cheaper. It had a Subway counter. Lunch for 3 was less than $20.00 that day. Lunch for the 3 of us in a museum food court probably would have been more than $50.00.
Janet:thumbsup2

prncess674
06-26-2009, 10:04 AM
Two places that are sooo good, have fun local atmosphere and cheap eats are:

Ben's chili bowl (U Street stop on the Green/Yellow) line

Ray's Hell Burger (get off at Courthouse but return via Rosslyn on the Orange line. It is in the middle of a huge hill. That way you walk down hill both ways.)