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Washington, DC - where to stay?

Washington, DC - where to stay?

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Old May 21, 19, 4:16 pm
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Washington, DC - where to stay?

Traveling to DC in late July (yes, I know it will be hot) with my family - two almost 10 year olds and an 11 year old + husband. I've been before, many years ago, but first trip for the kids (and possibly my husband? Can't remember!). Six nights. We aren't planning to have a car - will walk or use metro or taxis. Prefer luxury hotel or similar - but not sure best location/hotel, and most posts I'm finding on FT are 2+ years old, so not sure how relevant they still are. We like to spend time in the hotel room, so would like larger rooms - will probably look for a suite with connecting room. Pool would be a plus, but not required.
Suggestions? Some that I'm looking at include Ritz-Carlton Washington DC, Park Hyatt, The Watergate, Intercontinental The Willard - but I'm not limited to those.

Last edited by albie; May 21, 19 at 5:34 pm Reason: added options under consideration
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Old May 22, 19, 10:17 am
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What's on your must-do list for the city? I don't think any hotel is going to blow your socks off (though the food at Blue Duck is phenomenal), so proximity to activities would be my recommendation. We can recommend specific properties based on what you see yourself doing over your six nights.
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Old May 22, 19, 3:26 pm
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Thanks, Beltway2A! With 6 days, we'll probably do things all over! We'll of course walk the Mall (including visits to Library of Congress/White House/Capitol, go to several Smithsonian museums, see the main Memorials, spend time at Arlington Cemetery, visit family in Alexandria and wander through interesting neighbourhoods - Georgetown, Dupont Circle. I don't envision going to the Zoo or Cathedral (which I know are near each other, and not near anything else I've mentioned), so not sure if that helps. Does that narrow it down at all?

And I'm open to suggestions of what 9 & 11 year olds might enjoy! (2 not very girly girls and 1 boy).
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Old May 22, 19, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by albie View Post
Traveling to DC in late July (yes, I know it will be hot) with my family - two almost 10 year olds and an 11 year old + husband. I've been before, many years ago, but first trip for the kids (and possibly my husband? Can't remember!). Six nights. We aren't planning to have a car - will walk or use metro or taxis. Prefer luxury hotel or similar - but not sure best location/hotel, and most posts I'm finding on FT are 2+ years old, so not sure how relevant they still are. We like to spend time in the hotel room, so would like larger rooms - will probably look for a suite with connecting room. Pool would be a plus, but not required.
Suggestions? Some that I'm looking at include Ritz-Carlton Washington DC, Park Hyatt, The Watergate, Intercontinental The Willard - but I'm not limited to those.
Have you considered using an AirBnb or corporate rental arrangement for such a stay? Some of them may have good outdoor pools, decent gyms and even a staffed front desk and provide more living space than a hotel suite with or without a connecting room.
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Old May 22, 19, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Have you considered using an AirBnb or corporate rental arrangement for such a stay? Some of them may have good outdoor pools, decent gyms and even a staffed front desk and provide more living space than a hotel suite with or without a connecting room.
Hmm, interesting thought, have not considered it and never tried such an option before. We generally like the amenities of a hotel - room service, turn-down service, spas - but for the length of this trip, it might be worth considering. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old May 22, 19, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by albie View Post
Hmm, interesting thought, have not considered it and never tried such an option before. We generally like the amenities of a hotel - room service, turn-down service, spas - but for the length of this trip, it might be worth considering. Thanks for the suggestion!
For my traditional hunting ground on the hotel side, I would consider the Rosewood in Georgetown for stays in late July.
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Old May 23, 19, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
For my traditional hunting ground on the hotel side, I would consider the Rosewood in Georgetown for stays in late July.
Just had a look and it looks lovely, although is closed for renovations until June, with restaurants not opening until end of June, which makes me a bit wary. On the one hand, would be nice in a newly renovated room. On the other, if their renovation schedule slips by 2-3 weeks, could leave us without accommodation or staying in a construction site... May call them to check how they handle.

PS - tried to DM you back, @GUWonder, but got this error: GUWonder has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space. Will try again later.

Last edited by albie; May 23, 19 at 5:08 am Reason: added info
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Old May 23, 19, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by albie View Post
Just had a look and it looks lovely, although is closed for renovations until June, with restaurants not opening until end of June, which makes me a bit wary. On the one hand, would be nice in a newly renovated room. On the other, if their renovation schedule slips by 2-3 weeks, could leave us without accommodation or staying in a construction site... May call them to check how they handle.

PS - tried to DM you back, @GUWonder, but got this error: GUWonder has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space. Will try again later.
I've opened up a few spots in my message box.

I would expect this hotel to have some plans in place to fix things if thing aren't good enough for their guests' expectations when the property is to have come off a major renovation. I wouldn't be too concerned with the hotel restaurant situation in the area, as DC has a lot of pretty good ones beyond hotels. And other than perhaps for breakfast, there is too much on offer on the DC food scene to want to stick to any single hotel restaurant option too much when only in DC for a week. This is being said by the guy who tends to go to the same places repeatedly over many many years and isn't exactly practicing what I'm preaching when it comes to the eating choices.
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Old May 23, 19, 6:02 am
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There is also a brand new Conrad in City Center. If you want thee amenities and a central location, it may well suit you. Given the oppressive heat, having something close to most places can be a real help. Uber means that no particular property is much better than another from a location perspective over a period of 6 days, unless you intend to spend them all at the same museum or other venue.
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Old May 23, 19, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There is also a brand new Conrad in City Center. If you want thee amenities and a central location, it may well suit you. Given the oppressive heat, having something close to most places can be a real help. Uber means that no particular property is much better than another from a location perspective over a period of 6 days, unless you intend to spend them all at the same museum or other venue.
That's a reasonable suggestion indeed. And it would tend to be substantially less expensive than Rosewood.

For a better selection of restaurants and variety in food and entertainment in the evening, some properties are better located than other properties. I dislike high temperatures with high humidity so much so that the DC summer time has been good for me mainly for two things: to use the pool when stuck in DC or to get out of town and be in the cooler climates of Scandinavia, down in Argentina/Chile, or in the mountains of Eurasia. [I pay to avoid the heat.] And yet for summer evenings in DC, the convenience of walking out the door to get my food and entertainment fix in within such distance so as to avoid breaking a sweat while on foot and to do so without dealing with taxis and other hired vehicles can make a difference. And when the travel party size is 5 people, getting around in hired vehicles with a driver is a different beast than when the travel party is merely 4 people or less.

This "use a taxi/uber" issue is actually one of the reasons why the Rosewood -- even if it manages to be more or less fully open for a late July stay -- should possibly be avoided and a location closer to a Metro station more ideal.

But DC is indeed a rather compact enough place that for tourist day activities the hotel location really doesn't matter so much, as to get to many of the key tourist attractions for daytime visits will mean wanting to use means of transport with air condition operating from door to door.

For summer time visits in DC that involve 5+ days of visit/travel, I would suggest also considering laundry facilities (and costs for such) so as not to go back home with a bunch of sweat-soaked clothes.
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Last edited by GUWonder; May 23, 19 at 7:17 am
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Old May 26, 19, 6:44 am
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How about the Hay Adams - right across from the White House? For hotels with pools: Mandarin Oriental, the Four Seasons, the Ritz (west end),

Th Mandarin is the closest to the Mall and the museums (walkable (but in July....bleh)), and the Mandarin and the Ritz are close-ish to metro stations (both about 5 blocks). I love the Four Season but it is not really metro accessible.
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Old May 26, 19, 8:26 pm
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I just came home from a two night stay at the JW Marriott. Great location to all tourist destinations. Great room on the 11th floor with an excellent view of the Washington Monument. Very close to a Metro center stop.
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Old May 27, 19, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by albie View Post

And I'm open to suggestions of what 9 & 11 year olds might enjoy! (2 not very girly girls and 1 boy).
Spy Museum

Holocaust Museum

Air and Space Museum

Natural History Museum
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Old May 30, 19, 7:28 pm
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Hi Aldie,
RE: Hotels, I had a good "staycation" at the Eldon Suites Hotel. I'm not sure if it'll have the luxury you seek but it does have a kitchenette, etc, which might be helpful for a 6 night stay, that way you can store juices, bagels/ breakfast stuff. Just a suggestion. TBH, I don't recall if it has a pool or not. Also the JW Marriott at the Convention Center is lovely. As far as suggestions, I have an ongoing list of things to do in DC that I try to cover w/ my own of town visitors: White House, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, National Zoo, Spy Museum, Museum of African American History (part of the Smithsonian Group), going out to Roosevelt Island, maybe a Nats game or DC United Soccer game? Also if you get really bored, you can do the MARC (commuter train) and take the 45 min ride up to Baltimore and enjoy a half day or so at the Aquarium then the other half of the day at the Baltimore Harbor. Again, just suggestions keeping in mind the kids' wants.
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Old Jun 2, 19, 8:16 pm
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There is a Ritz-Carlton hotel connected to the Pentagon City shopping mall -- may well be more functional to be proximate to a mall with 3 kids. this mall is on top of a subway station and not far from the national mall, though it is in Virginia.

That's a lot of time in museums for 3 kids. Non-museum ideas: baseball game at Nationals Park. Horseback riding in horsey country a la Middleburg, VA area (a day in the country -- would need to rent a car for a day). Hiking at Great Falls (Maryland or Virginia). Mt. Vernon. Hopefully you'll have a day or two for which the weather will be less hot and humid.
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