I'm just wrapping up six nights at the DC Courtyard here on F and 9th, smack in the heart of everything, and I've pretty much got only great things to say.
The not so great part first:
1. Fitness Center == really really really tiny. They have squeezed a couple treadmills and a couple of ellipticals in one room, a set of weights and a multi-purpose weight system in another one -- and the 2nd one being a glass box in the basement Bistro elevator lobby. You'd better look good in that gym wear, because you're on show! The "pool" is more of a plunge but gets points for both cuteness (feels rather luxurious next to the old bank vault) and for having a connected hot tub/jacuzzi (although who would hot tub in a DC summer is beyond me, I'm close enough to a stroke in this heat as it is!).
2. The Bistro == You'll see this on the upside as well, as the staff here, like everywhere and everyone in Downtown DC, couldn't be nicer and more service oriented. It's just that you're in the basement. Clearly leasing the light and bright ground floor space to Gordon Biersch brewery was more lucrative for Marriott Corp, but relegating your guests to the basement for breakfast doesn't feel so warm and fuzzy. Nice job on the decor, but if you're the claustrophobic sort this probably will not be your favorite spot.
3. What's up with the elevators? Every evening it seemed like one of the three working (of 4) elevators was parked on an upper floor. This presented a BIG problem after the 4th of July fireworks when we spent nearly 1/2 hour in line to get on the elevator (shame on you people who walked down to the basement to get on ahead of those of us in line -- bad citizens!).
So, don't come for the fitness center and don't come for the basement dining. On the other hand, if you are a true workoutmeister, there is a Crunch just down the block and you can probably buy some day passes for that.
4. The sliding scale (again, also on the upside list): Rack rate for the basic room is $369 (with breakfast, woohoo!). From Sunday to Tuesday nights we paid (or, more exactly, my partner's company paid) $269 (with tax $296) nightly (breakfast not included). Thursday through Saturday we paid $141 plus tax. Same room. I just hate that. At least we weren't paying the higher rates, but, ultimately, don't we all? It's that "always feel like you're getting the not quite perfect deal" paranoia that makes this wearing on the traveler.
Upsides -- and there are plenty:
1. Nicely modernized rooms -- I especially like the big walk in shower that replaced the tubs -- a really nice touch for those of us who are tired of standing in the tub... The a/c worked great (although I'm convinced it was set at a master control, not in my room), the digital TV could have worked a little better, but there were LOTS of electrical outlets in all the right places, including bedside, so it's easy to charge all your stuff. Great fan in the bathroom for those of you who appreciate such stuff. The in room coffee, no matter how little water I added, basically sucked. But, there's very strong Starbucks coffee in the basement, so not so bad.
2. Technology friendly -- not just lots of easily accessible and well-placed electricity, but wifi everywhere you go, and included in whatever it was you ended up paying! Excellent. Although please note, DC is a very 4G friendly town! I only had trouble when we were at the Capitol Concert -- the system was just bogged down, understandably with all those folks snapping photos.
3. Location: I can't really imagine a better location than this hotel. A block from the Gallery Metro, 2.5 blocks from the National Mall (making it a 10 minute walk from most major museums), a 15 minute stroll to the Capitol, 10 to the White House (if you're going for dinner, say hi to Michelle... -- no tours during the Sequestration - don't get me started). Restaurants everywhere you look (check my upcoming reviews of Jaleo, Central and Pintanga). WE walked almost everywhere from here and where we didn't (ballpark, waterfront for boat cruise or Bethesda) the location was so transit central is was delightful to come and go. Absolutely 110% perfect location.
4. Great Staff: Umbrellas, bottled water, early check-in (we arrived at 7:30am from the west coast on a red eye -- thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Courtyard for letting us check in upon arrival), and a charming, polite and authentic staff. The Bistro staff -- excellent! Loved you all! The front desk, ditto, ditto -- great, warm and competent (so very important in a front desk staff). The front door -- always saying hello, have a great day, handing out info and weather reports -- very personal and makes the hotel feel like a sanctuary without feeling overly protected. Kudos to the Marriott HR folks for hiring and training, but mostly kudos to the great people -- I really like everyone I've ever met in DC.
One final word of warning: If you have never been to DC in the summer and you are NOT used to the heat and humidity, think about coming in the fall. The summer is crowded with families (but handles it all very well), but the heat -- OMG -- the heat. Yuck. I was in shorts and a tank top and was completely totally soaking wet after 20 minutes outside every single day (hence my loving the Courtyard showers!). Fair warning.
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- Also Known As:
- Courtyard By Marriott Washington Hotel Washington Dc
- Courtyard Washington Hotel
- Courtyard Washington Dc
- Washington Dc Courtyard
- Washington Dc Marriott