Stunning panoramic sunrise -- if facing airport/ river side of building. Also, if on higher floors, can easily spot Capitol, while gazing upon capital. (Capitol building illuminated at night -- easier to spot; look in direction of airport tower.)
High-Floor Studio Facing Airport/ River
Depending on your need for spaciousness, studio is comfortable for 1, cozy for 2, snug for 3. (If you're spoiled by RI's roomier 1-bedroom suites, smaller studio suites disappoint, but after weeping a bit, you adapt.)
• 40+ channels HD & analog TV stations; good reception & image quality on LCD TV, which swivels. Aim TV wherever you're located in room: sofa, bed, kitchenette.
• Kitchen table serves double duty as dining spot & desk to work from. (Convenient outlets for electronic gadgets.)
• Free Internet/ WiFi; login code/ password required daily.
• Can faintly hear cargo trains & planes -- not distracting.
• Quiet dishwasher, quiet room-door close (not typical loud, heavy slam as at many hotels).
• Fresh, crisp bed linens -- an under rated pleasure.
From your window, once you experience an evening of glistening city lights & a spectacular dawn sunrise, all petty whinings cease & you appreciate where you are, & how well you're being taken care of.
Additional RI Niceties
• Cozy 3rd-floor patio/ lounging area -- outside exercise room -- a quiet, tucked away spot to work, meet-up, or dine. (RI door you enter patio from may lock behind you (that is, you may be unable to re-enter -- even with keycard -- through the same door; but, you can re-enter building through Renaissance-side door using your RI key card & weave your way back to gym.)
• Black & white photos of DC sites along hallways; challenging to identify which building the photo is taken of.
• Track Capital View's 2 Metro Shuttle Vans (live/ real time) routes & schedules through their website:
(Check it out any time; pretty amazing.) If you've a mobile device & WiFi connection, you can monitor the van's progress -- as you wait (outside the hotel or at Crystal City Metro Station) for the van to arrive.
• 3 swift elevators; minimal waiting.
• $22 underground/ building self-parking. Convenient in/ out throughout the day, but can be *tight* parking if you've a larger vehicle. (Smaller vehicle also easier for maneuvering about town & parking in city, as well.)
• Miss the eco-friendly face cloths in gatehouse/ lobby bathrooms; paper towels solely remain.
Crystal City Niceties
• 10-minute stroll over to South 23rd Street for variety of indoor/ outdoor/ takeout dining options: Sushi, Thai, Legal Seafood,... for evenings when RI isn't serving meals.
• Pick up the "Crystal City Shops Directory" to familiarize yourself with the abundance of shopping/ dining options. The directory also serves as an excellent *Overview Map* (details streets/ buildings) of the area; good for keeping in your pocket if you venture out on foot. (When checking in at lobby desk, turn around & brochure rack is directly behind you on wall; the directory is a tall black brochure with large white letters "directory.") If none are in rack, ask helpful desk staff. (Overview map is worth having.)
• Entry point to Mt. Vernon Trail (walking, jogging, biking) by the Crystal City Water Park (north on Crystal Dr., by 18th St.).
• The new Long Bridge Park (past Crystal City Water Park) is expansive (with well-designed sports fields in view of path) has a bit of a wide open desolate feel -- but an interesting area to stroll nonetheless. Planes fly over -- every 20(?) minutes -- taking off & landing at Washington National Airport. (At times, you feel you can jump up with outstretched arm & touch a plane's underbelly with your fingertips.) Occasionally, a freight train will chug by with a lengthy chain of cars. On one side of the path you can overlook a body of water: Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary.
• Harris Teeter Grocery (at 3600 S. Glebe Rd.) is temporarily closed, but walk further down (toward Alexandria) for a Food World grocery (by Best Buy, Target). (Bit of a long walk down & back -- especially carrying groceries; you may be better off driving if your not a up for a trek.)
Food, Glorious Food
Bring Guest Services Card to complimentary breakfast & evening social hour (dinner).
• Breakfast (6am-9am on Mon.-Fri.; 7am-9:30am on Sat. & Sun.)
-- Best *real* whole grain bread. (Wish every RI would serve this real bread as their standard fare.) (Excellent toasted & eaten with walnuts; tasty flavour combination.)
-- Prefer plain, *unsweetened* yoghurt in parfait; the already sweet granola & blueberries, have the right amount of sweetness already. (Plain Greek yoghurt would be ideal.)
-- Excellent rotation & variety of standard RI fare -- much appreciated by long-stay and/ or repeat guests; relieves the tedium of sameness if you've a steady diet of hotel food.
-- Thankful for plain, boiled eggs.
• Dinner (6pm-7:30pm on Mon, Tue, Wed.)
-- Fresh salad & hearty soups (chicken noodle, minestrone,...) with each meal.
-- Excellent tuna salad/ chicken salad (alongside fresh tossed salad vegetables).
-- Tasty "sloppy joe" seasoned meat as alternative (or in addition to) hot-dog main course. Chicken meal another night.
-- Fresh (not canned) green string beans & other veg.
What can you say. If you like *real* food; this is as real as it gets at any RI. Enjoy it while you can.
(For additional RI Capital View specifics -- breakfasts, dinners, 1-bedrooms, drive/ walk times to sites, guest laundry, exercise room -- see review posted Aug. 2012 about earlier stays -- Sept 2011.)