We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

Which Washington DC hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Indiana
Level Contributor
116 posts
42 reviews
Save Topic
JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

I have been reading the reviews and forums all weekend - and wanted to see if this group of experts can help me distinguish between the JW Marriott and Hotel Monaco for a Memorial Day Weekend trip. I think I have it narrowed down to these two :) There is a $70/night price difference -- which I don't mind paying if there is $70 worth of difference between the two. But if they are relatively the same, I don't see a need in paying $210 more (3 night trip). I like nice - but not too "nice" where we are out of place if we aren't dressed up. We will likely be in jeans :)

We are a couple in our 40's. We like nice, clean hotels. Love the idea of being in walking distance to the monuments, white house, Smithsonian and other touristy areas. We understand the metro is easy, but it's not our thing. We'd honestly prefer to just grab a cab and go where we need to move from place to place. Would prefer to have good options for dinner in walking distance, but we will only have 2 full days (arrive late Friday and leave Monday) - so ideally could cab it for dinner as well if we needed. I'd love a view from the room, but I am not sure either offers - if if they do, it's not $70 difference. Am I missing an obvious choice? I have looked at so many hotels -these two seem to be the best fit. Thank you in advance.

Also, does anyone know of any private tour guides in the area? We don't care for the large group tours. At first I thought we could do the hop on/off bus, but I am thinking hiring a guide 1 day may be better due to our limited time. But perhaps not.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
1,259 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

My advice to you is for your tour question - not so much your hotel choice. You don't need to waste your money on a tour. You can easily navigate the important sites yourself.

My husband and I just got back from a similarly timed trip to DC and got to see mostly everything on our list in three days. We arrived on a Wednesday morning and left on a Saturday morning. We were there during spring break for most K-12 schools, as well as the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was packed, but we didn't let the crowds discourage us.

After we checked into our hotel early Wednesday morning, we hit the ground running. We saw all of the presidential and war monuments in and around the National Mall in one day. We even walked the entire length to the Tidal Basin and toured those monuments. We were tired, but did all this (with breaking for lunch) in about five hours. Day two, we had a timed tour of the Capital Building. We spent all of day two at the Capital Building and Library of Congress. Day three we spent touring the Musuem of American History, Museum of Natural History, and other small musuems in the area. We also spent a couple hours wandering Georgetown. The only thing we missed was the National Archives because we didn't buy tickets and the line was just far too long.

All of our evenings were spent eating, drinking, and relaxing. We spend night two at a Capitals game and wandered Chinatown. Keep in mind, we were up early every morning and stayed on the go! We were very tired when we got home but were glad we kept to a strict schedule because we didn't miss a thing.

We stayed at the Willard Intercontinental, which is a block the street from the JW Marriott. We loved the location and could walk everywhere. The only cabs we took were to dinner at BLT Steak one evening, and to the Verizon Center for the game. We didn't even need to take either of those cabs because we could have walked to both locations, but our feet were tired :)

Edited: 06 May 2013, 18:50
Washington DC...
Level Contributor
19,864 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

I would pick the Hotel Monaco. A much more interesting hotel in a more convenient location. Lots of great dining options within a couple of blocks. And don't get a room on their lower level, which is partly below street level. The restaurant in the hotel, Poste, is a good choice for a meal and for drinks.

richmond
Level Contributor
905 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

Which is more? I vote for Hotel Monaco. Great location for dining and walkable to the mall.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
2,880 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

I'm also wondering which is more expensive -- depending on day of the week each might be more than the other, although my guess is after discounts the Monaco likely trends a bit cheaper than the JW.

Either way, I'd take the cheaper one. Both are good hotels and I agree there isn't a $70 difference between them. If they were the same price I'd probably go with the JW, only because you don' t have the risk of semi-basement rooms they have at the Monaco. Also the JW has the edge in views (upper floors will let you see the Washington Monument, and a small number have balconies), while the Monaco is a low-rise building. In addition the JW has a servicable pool for a soak at the end of the day, but it doesn't sound like that's high on your list of priorities. So I don't think there's a $70 a night value difference here.

If you do stay at the Monaco, be sure to sign up for the free Kimpton InTouch loyalty program. You'll get free wifi and a $10 minibar credit, which are nice little touches.

Edited: 06 May 2013, 22:10
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
647 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

I've stayed at both these hotels and prefer the Monaco. It has more character than the JW Marriott, IMO, and we also enjoyed the free wine reception in the lobby every night at 5. Like the other posters said, it's also very convenient for walking to dinner. We booked through lastminutetravel and got breakfast for 2 at Poste included in the rate.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
3,103 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

"We booked through lastminutetravel and got breakfast for 2 at Poste included in the rate."

Great advice, Molly. Second this suggestion. Check and see if its available for your dates...

Indiana
Level Contributor
116 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

I just looked back at my notes. The JW I can get for $218 - and Monaco $251, NOT a $70 difference. The difference came if I tried to add breakfast to the rate at the Monaco. It wouldn't let me have my AAA rate plus the $1 more for breakfast, so with breakfast it would cost me nearly $70 more. I am guessing we can buy breakfast out for that! lol I also talked to the W Washington - and they have rooms for $242, but no view available. And I don't know the JW or Monaco has views or not. I think I am trying to have it all :) Thanks for your advice! I am open to other hotels. I just checked the Willard, and they don't have any rooms for my dates.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
3,103 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

Bridkoe --

What are your dates? How about if I take a look and see if I can find any lower rates...I'd be willing to bet I can, especially for the Monaco.

Indiana
Level Contributor
116 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

Very late check in on the 24th of May (10pm flight arrival). Checking out Monday, May 27th morning. The reviews go from really good -- to "small bathroom" "dirty" and the reviews are just so overwhelming...and swing. lol I am not 100% sold on either. But I will say I will refuse a basement room. No way. I know it's only 3 nights - and I won't be in the room much - but I still want some comforts. I also really would like a bar to unwind after dinner in the hotel or really close by too.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
3,103 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: JW Marriott or Hotel Monaco

On those dates I see the Monaco at $279 and the JW Marriott at $316, so I'm guessing you're seeing those rates through maybe a rewards program (Amex) or a discount site?

Honestly, I could get you a rate at $152 per night at the Marriott Metro Center that is basically between the two hotels. It's a phenomenal, typical Marriott property but you have the perk of literally being at Metro Center, so you have the hub of the metro at the hotel. Can't beat that for convenience. They recently refurbished the rooms and its your updated Marriott in the heart of downtown. 4-star, nice property. Plus they even have a pool (the JW does too, the Monaco does not). 5 blocks from the White House (west), 5 blocks from the Mall (south), and just a short walk from all the great restaurants and bars in Penn Quarter. At that rate, its quite a bargain, and as someone who recommends it often, I can't tell you how many travelers have PM'd me and told me what a great stay they had, and several have commented on how great the cleanliness is.

The Willard (my favorite hotel in town) does, in fact, have rooms for those dates --- $372 for a Superior King, $382 for a Superior King with Breakfast. It is pricer, but if you are looking for a phenomenal hotel experience, that's it. And if you like people watching, celebrities, royalty, ambassadors, etc. almost always stay here.

Rooms for $237 at the W prepaid on hotwire (it's listed as a 4.5-star Hotel in the White House / Downtown Neighborhood). I know its a property you mentioned. The whole view thing is kind of silly if you ask me because you won't be in your room but to sleep and get ready to go back out and explore the city. I've paid $100s extra per night for views and I don't think I ever looked out the window once 9 times out of 10. Pay for the location, amenities and hotel. Not the view. In that respect, the W is great. Its vibe is just very young and energetic, be warned.

AM13