We just returned yesterday from a week long vacation at the Residence Inn in DC. My husband and 3 young kids (11, 8 & 4) were with me. We are avid travelers and normally always rent a condo or home when we travel to ensure we have enough space. However, this isn't feasible in DC so we went for the one bedroom suite here. When we arrived, I was immediately impressed with the front desk's friendliness and professionalism.
As we entered our suite, it felt clean, new and well cared for. They provided coffee, microwave popcorn, feather pillows (on request) and a small kitchenette. The beds were very comfortable. I was nervous that which ever of my kids got "stuck" on the sofa bed would be complaining all week. However, the mattress was actually quite comfy (no springs) and the kids fought over sleeping out there. There was a tv in each room. Cleaning service was very good. Also, it was VERY sound-proof in the room (no traffic outside or other hotel patrons) so we had no problems at night putting the kids to bed early.
The biggest pleasant surprise was when we were informed that, in addition to the free buffet breakfast, they provided dinner Mon-Wed evenings. It is a small menu and 2 of the days we were there it was hot dogs, macaroni salad, green salad, cookies, etc. so we opted to skip it. However, one day was a delicious dinner of ham, mashed potatoes/gravy, salad, green beans, etc. This unexpected benefit easily saved us $45-50 for dinner. In addition, when we chose to have dinner delivered on the nights we didn't want the hot dogs, we still got the kids milks/soda, desserts, hot chocolate, etc. from the free buffet. This still saved us some money.
The breakfast was very good. I expected junky food, as normal in most hotels. This breakfast had unsweetened oatmeal (with mix-ins offered), eggs, ham, potatoes, fresh fruit (not just apples and bananas) but melon and pineapple and other healthy options, as well as the standard sugary cereals, bagels, waffle maker (my son's favorite). They also had tons of add-ons for the eggs and waffles. It felt like they went way above and beyond for a free breakfast.
The service during the meals and housekeeping was very friendly and professional. They were always smiling, helping elderly customers get their food, and were more than happy to go get me additional milks or bring us extra sheets/towels. We didn't encounter one negative employee all week.
Finally, I must acknowledge the one major drawback which is not the fault of the restaurant. The location. While it is very close to the metro (5 min walk) and the Mall, there is only one pizza place next door and nothing else around. It's a business area so on holidays and weekends, it's all closed. We had to ask the front desk for delivery menus since the hotel restaurant doesn't have a dinner option except Mon-Wed (the free meal). The kids were always so tired by the end of the day and there is very little food options on the Mall once the museums are closed. Our choices were to get on the Metro to Chinatown or Union Station OR head back to the hotel (where we all really wanted to go) and get something delivered. That's what we did but it was a little bit of a pain. We also could have bought food and cooked in the small kitchen but there wasn't a grocery store super close by, either. We knew of this issue when we booked this hotel so it wasn't a surprise but it was a pain with tired, young kids.
I was actually surprised at the lack of restaurants in many neighborhoods around the Mall. We had a hard time finding lunch when we were doing the memorials (war and Lincoln memorials) on Saturday. You really just have to ask around since all the bldgs are closed on Sat and there are not restaurants easily visible. In the museums, we just at there for lunch but they are closed by dinner time. All the food we ate was pretty good but not easy to find in some neighborhoods. I felt like we spent a lot of time planning how to find food when not in a museum.
All in all, I was very impressed with this clean, pleasant hotel and all the benefits it included. My kids loved the free hot chocolate every night and my hubby loved the wine from the market store in the lobby. And I loved a week with no cooking, cleaning, comfy beds and huge, free breakfasts!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.