I'm a Hilton member and I've stayed at many Homewood Suites. Homewood Suites Columbia was a great place to stay at with my children. My family had a good stay except for one night (explained in detail below).
Spacious Rooms- ample space for those with children
Complimentary-parking, breakfast, dinner Mon-Thur
Close to Restaurants- Bob Evans, Mc Donald's, Olive Garden, TGI Fridays & further on Lark Brown Road (5 minutes away) there is a Trader Joes, Mimi's Cafe, On the Border Mexican Grill, Royal Farms, Houlihans all in the shopping complex
Fod Lion Grocery & CVS Pharmacy are also only 5 minutes away on Waterloo Road
Waterloo Community Park is nearby for parents with young children. It is next to the elementary school on Old Waterloo Road which also has a playground for children. (This is about 8 minutes from the hotel)
Clean Pool Area-pool had plenty of pool towels available
Easy access to Highway 95
Easy access to BWI airport
The main negative was that during our stay one night someone decided that it will be funny to pull the fire alarm at little after 2 in the morning and vandalize a few things inside of the hotel. This is of no fault with the hotel. However, they need to install cameras and have overnight sercurity to prevent such matters. I never knew rather the pranksters were staying at the hotel or not. This did create a big disruption for all the people who had their sleep disrupted just for a prank. Thankfully, there was no fire!
Breakfast-After a few days of staying there we were getting tired of the lack of variety available at breakfast. It appeared to be the same items everyday. However, it's free and there is a Mc Donald's and Bob Evans near the hotel just in case you get tired of the breakfast.
Airplane Noise- If you're a light sleeper, then know that you might hear airplanes flying towards BWI. However, I didn't hear any after 10pm and the airplane sounds were not too loud. I'm a light sleeper and I slept well most nights.
Also, this is a great location if you're doing things in the Batimore, Anne Arundel County, or Howard County areas of Maryland. I will recommend that you stay at a hotel closer towards the city if you're planning to visit Washington DC only. Rush hour traffic can be bear going towards DC in the morning. So, you may want to checkout a Hilton chain that is a bit closer to DC.
TIP: Printout a Google Map of the area before you leave home. That way you will get directions on how to get to the above mentioned restaurants and grocery stores. Another tip is that if you take 175 West & then go North on Snow River Pkwy (15 minutes away from hotel) There is a huge shopping complex with a Target, Borders, and tons of other places to shop or to eat.
I will probably stay here again if I'm in the general area (Maryland) only.