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H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

texas
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H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

Hi All,

I wish I had time to read all postings, but in reality I very little computer usage time. Like everyone else, I just want the "quick fix" :) so I'm sending an S.O.S. out to the experts..

My husband and I will be flying in to the DCA airport on Oct.14, renting a car, and spending the 14th and 15th in Washington. (SOMEWHERE??)..We'll then drive to see our grand babies in Roanoke. We will be returning to Washington to stay from Fri/19th.- Mon. 22nd. (SOMEWHERE??) before flying out. We've never been to Washington and so we'd like to work in many of the "biggie" vacation sites in this "sandwich" trip. I'm at a loss for where to begin for the best hotel(s) for our needs. We like comfortable beds and a nice atmosphere. We tend to be 3-4 star patrons, but we do veer away from "old" feeling hotels since we have enough " wear and tear" to go around :) Since my husband has back issues, he may run " out of gas" with walking, so I may be finishing sites "solo". Should we stay a bit farther to get more for our money and then drive in and "park" somewhere with car? or stay closer in so I can hop the mass transit and float in and out of the hotel if he gives out? I'd love specific hotels I could look up based on where you think we'd get the most for our dollar and still be reasonably pleased. Thanks so much in advance!..

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

First, plan to pick up the rental car when you leave for Roanoke on the 16th, and then return it on the 19th. No need to keep it those other dates before or after your drive. DCA is easily reachable on the Metro and by taxi from just about any hotel, so you can book the car to pick up / return from there.

We can't recommend a hotel without knowing your per night budget. But in the 3 / 4 star range for your first two nights these are good value propositions that came up from a quick search on hotels.com:

Holiday Inn Rosslyn Key Bridge $201 a night

Hilton Garden Inn Arlington $214 a night ($124 a night when you return to DC)

Le Meridien Arlington (ex Kimpton hotel) $263 a night (I love this hotel; it should have the style you are looking for) ($137 a night when you return to DC -- good value at that price)

On your return, if you want to splurge the Sofitel is at $263 a night and the Willard Intercontinental is at $273. Both are excellent.

texas
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2. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. 'l'lI look these hotels up today.

Have you had any exposure to the Residence Inn Arlington Courthouse by Mariott or any thoughts on that spot?

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

The Residence Inn Courthouse reviews well and is in a good safe area with a handful of food choices within a couple blocks and many more within a 15 minute walk. Only downside is it is on the Orange Line, which gets crowded on weekdays.

Portsmouth...
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4. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

If you are flying into DCA, I suggest staying in Crystal City which is right there at the airport. Shuttle will pick you up. Several hotel selections in Crystal City.

Once checked in, use the Metro for all your DC sightseeing. Take the money you would spend on a rental car, gas and paying for parking and get a Hop-on-hop-off tour bus pass. Check Goldstar.com they have 50% off discount for this bus a lot of the time (makes it $17.50/day instead of $35). Makes it easy to get around all the big sights and less walking. Otherwise expect LOTS of walking.

Have the shuttle take you to the airport and pick up your car for drive to Roanoke.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

I can't recommend enough against the hop-on-hop-off tour bus. Even for $17.50 a person, it's ridiculously overpriced considering there are cabs everywhere around the Mall that you can just hail off the street to take you around when you get tired of walking. Even if you take multiple cabs to different spots on the mall it will be a fraction of the price of the bus tickets.

The only reason to book the bus tour is if you really really really love the idea of narration. Other than that they are basically a way to exploit tourists who either a) haven't studied a map and don't realize how close together most of the Mall is or b) aren't used to using cabs and so don't realize how easy of an option that is if you don't want to walk.

Edited: 12 September 2012, 17:25
texas
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6. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

Thanks so much. I was able to get a really reasonable rate for our return October 19-22.. But somethin' crazy must be going on when we fly in and need October 14-16th check out. Seems like every 3 to 4 star hotel I researched will cost a 3 to 4 star (hundred) dollar bill!! I am amazed at the cost of one night on each of those dates, no matter where I check! If I'm missing something, again H.E.L.P....ran out of time again on the computer..so don't have anything booked for the 14th through 16th yet. I may have to just wait until we get closer to that date and go to one of the last minute wholesalers?

thanks..

Arlington, Virginia
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7. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

Looks like you can get the Holiday Inn Crystal City for $168 a night plus taxes / fees. It's very near DCA, which is good, but a longish walk (maybe 10-15 minutes) from Crystal City metro, which isn't quite what you want. The prices you are seeing aren't that unusual for weekdays during the spring and fall, given business travel.

texas
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8. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

Thanks Warthog...

one more question...

If you had the choice of this Holiday Inn or a vacation rental in Columbia Heights, which would you pick?

Arlington, Virginia
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9. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

I think that depends heavily on the vacation rental -- how close is it to Metro, what amenities does it offer, what is the difference in price, etc.? Others here have a much better feel for the vacation rental market and may chime in.

Portsmouth...
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10. Re: H.E.L.P. with our hotel choices for a "sandwich" trip to D.C

Rooms do seem a bit high for that period. We stay out at Dulles when want a cheap room. And the Hilton Properties we normally stay at for $60-80 are running $120-150.

Hampton Inn in Springfield is $90. They provide a shuttle to the Metro stop. Take note the Metro to the mall from here is about a 45 minute ride. Alexandria is along the way with good places to eat and a free shuttle that goes from the Metro along King Street where everything is. Also the Pentagon if wanted to see the 9/11 memorial and Arlington Cemetery (lots of walking unless pay for the tour bus).

Since you are coming back to DC, there are also many things to do between Roanoke and DC. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah Valley, Caves, Civil War Battlefields. Foliage might be good at this time. Just couple thoughts for you.