Don't know if it was me, but even using the GPS on my iphone, I found the Reagan Airport very confusing to get out of and getting to the hotel even worse. It's only ".99 miles" from the airport, but somehow we ending up going through the tour bus lanes to the Pentagon to get to the hotel from the airport. Unlike us, I would advise a little map study time before picking up your rental car and going to the hotel. Good news is that returning to the airport was a snap. Ah, that must be the secret. We asked directions.
When your reservations say the rental cars are "in terminal," it means kinda sorta. I thought I remembered on a previous trip walking to the rental cars from baggage claim. Guess I should have asked more carefully for directions to "walk" to the rental cars. When I did ask, the guy at the airport's info counter said to go outside and catch the bus. So we did. The wait for the bus was unnecessarily long, it merely took us around a circle about 100 yards from the point of origin, and yes, we could have walked. When I asked the Budget rep "where are the signs in the airport directing travelers on how to walk to the rentail cars," she said "on the second floor." Well, since you arrive on the ground floor, why the signs to rental cars are on the arrival deck are beyond me. Next time, I'll know. (If you don't need a car, the hotel's shuttle buses seem to be the way to go.)
On to the hotel. We went to DCA only to drive 2 hours south to the GA Tech/UVA game and back to the airport for an early morning flight back to Atlanta. Great game. Hotel? Average, including the decor and furniture. The bed, however, was very comfortable and even though it's the typical Embassy Suites with the center atrium, the room was quiet. No noise from surrounding rooms. The room comes with a coffee maker and a "mini-kitchenette." We were in a room with a king bed and a pull-out couch for our two teenagers. No complaints there. Two TV's, one in the bedroom and one in the main room. (So I could watch the College Football Sports roundup for the day and my girls could watch "Men In Black" for the 100th time.) We were on the sixth floor with a view of Crystal City. Might want to request a room on the airport side so you can see the Potomac and the DC sites across the river.
We ordered room service. Adequate but nothing special. Fairly expensive. And as usual, they had the annoying and unposted $21 overnight parking fee. Guess I was happy that it wasn't $30! With the room rate ($199 plus tax, etc.), dinner and dessert for 4, parking, taxes, the tab was $356. Felt more like $250.
The hotel is fairly close to all of the sites to see in DC (right across the river) and albeit we were confused, the closest hotel to Reagan. Didn't seem to be much to do right around the hotel in terms of places to eat but I did notice that there was a Ted's, McCormick Schmidt Steakhouse, Morton's and others not to far away. Probably walkable.
Note: If you're cheap like me and don't buy the pre-fill rental car gas, there is a fairly expensive Exxon right down the street on the way to the airport right before you take the entrance ramp into the airport from that direction.
In summary, the Embassy Suites Crystal City in Arlington is nothing special, quite average. Even though I thought the hotel was a bit more expensive that what was experienced, it's okay for a quick stay that's centered around quick access to the airport. For longer stays, I'll stay "in DC" at the JW Marriott or better yet, the Hay Adams.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.