I accepted a job in the DC area in March 2010. I needed to start quickly, so I didn't have time to (and frankly, did not want to have to) go through the time-consuming, arduous task of quickly finding an apartment as well as all the furnishings to go in it, along with committing to a lengthy lease and setting up utility service.
Candlewood Suites to the rescue. I saw in an ad that this hotel was running a long-term residential special with no commitment. I was (and still am) waiting for my house back in Texas to sell. My partner is staying behind there to oversee the house while I continue working in my job and calling Candlewood my temporary home.
Living in a hotel long term? It might sound crazy, but my partner and I have both stayed in Candlewood Suites hotels in several places all over the country. (He works as a sign-language interpreter in Houston and is a regular guest at one of the Candlewoods there.) So we are both familiar with how this class of hotel is set up.
I don't need room service. My studio room gives me a minikitchen with full-size refrigerator, two eyes on a range, a microwave, a toaster, a dishwasher, and a coffee maker -- more than enough for my needs. I enjoy a comfortable (and sleep-inducing) recliner while I read or watch the flat-screen television. I have a desk with both wired and wireless Internet access available (the connection is stable most of the time, and the few times it's been problematic, technical support has almost always quickly resolved the problem). Housekeeping comes every week to clean the room and change the linens, and the laundry room with free washers and dryers is just down the corridor from my room.
I'm coming up on 11 months living here, and the staff have been kind and helpful. Whenever I've had a question, they have been quick to respond (twice now I've left my room without my key card, and the front desk staff have gladly made me a new one when needed).
The experience has been good on so many counts. As happy as I'll be when our house back in Texas finally sells, I'll be a little sad because I won't be staying here, so close to my job. This hotel is right off the Dulles Toll Road, making my commute to work almost always effortless. If you want a fancy hotel with a restaurant and bar and 24-hour room service, this isn't the place for you (as an independent and self-reliant person, I would avoid such places anyway). But if you need something solid and reliable with good value, by all means, come here. It's the best of both worlds of apartment living and having your own place.