Seven-story (160+ rooms) National Harbor Residence Inn (RI). Still in excellent condition. Comfortable & convenient even on 3rd/ 4th visit.
1-Bedroom Corner Suite -- High Floor
[Facing Fleet St. (overlooking small green park) & Waterman Passage (parking garage & Cadillac restaurant view).]
• Living room's high ceilings give sense of spaciousness. (Any grievance -- petty or great -- is cheerfully overlooked by feeling of expansiveness.) Sun pours in through 3 large living room windows. (If up early, can catch sunrise.) Best morning light to work at desk. Sun beaming through windows (as day progresses) can heat up living room; may need to turn on air conditioner to balance temperature.
• Bedroom can get cool in comparison to living room once AC is turned on; be aware of negotiating temperature if people are sleeping in bedroom & people are sleeping in living room (pullout sofa). (Striking just the right temperature balance between the 2 rooms can be tricky.)
• Small bedroom in comparison to high-ceiling, lengthy living room/ kitchenette. Bedroom has 1 window, is darker (ideal for sleeping) & cooler. (AC vent is near ceiling but blows cold air directly onto bed & is the rare instance you'll actually use a comforter in heat of summer.) (Nook in bedroom wall allows open suitcase on luggage stand. Ideal if you prefer not to fully unpack & just access items directly out of suitcase.)
• Bathroom sink outside bedroom (unlike typical RI room layout where sink is in bedroom) with a door to block sound. If you've children/ guests needing to use bathroom sink, you'll not be disturbed.
• Kitchenette, at end of room's hallway has stove, spacious countertops, cookery/ utensils. (Room's hallway, by room door, acts as buffer to any sounds from hotel hallway -- heard not a peep.)
Picky Points (Not Problematic)
• Some TV channels didn't appear on 1st day, but resolved within day or 2. Poor quality image/ reception remained; even HD stations hadn't good picture. TV screens smaller in proportion to rooms, but certainly adequate. Approx. 40+ channels (some HD duplicate analog channels).
• Shower/ tub narrower than standard-width tub (in combination with slightly curved shower curtain rod) means you'll bump into (elbow) shower curtain while bathing -- whether you're slender or robust.
• L O U D dishwasher; q u i e t bathroom fan. (Best run dishwasher when out of room.)
• On weekends (depending on crowds), can hear voices/ motorcycles from living room. (Air conditioner white noise minimizes clarity of voices & vehicles.)
• Hint of wear desk chair & ottoman.
• First floor guest laundry (across from gym): 2 washers ($1.50), 3 dryers ($1.50). (Full capacity washer; dryer completely dried full load of clothing without having to plunk in additional quarters or hang-dry damp items.)
• Exercise room with modern equipment (built-in TV screens) -- elliptical, treadmills, bike, weights. Earbuds (for TVs), wipes, & towels provided. (Easily exercise & do laundry at same time as both rooms are nearby.)
• Small pool (with lifeguard) across from gym.
• Free working Internet/WiFi. (No login required.)
• Between gatehouse seating & lobby is Business Center -- 2 computers & printer in comfortable, spacious work area. (Print boarding passes/ work documents.)
• Room key card required in elevator to access your room floor (an appreciated security feature). Occasionally a brief wait for 2 peppy elevators.
• Expansive, beautiful lobby/ gatehouse with abundant seating. Large windows look out onto comfortable, extended outdoor seating. Great for overflow diners or if you'd just like to relax, work outside, or meet up. (Wonderful in nice weather.)
• One-minute walk across street (Waterman Passage) to 6-story, above-ground parking in Mariner Parking Garage ($11.50). (Depending where you're situated in hotel, view garage from room.)
• On Fleet St. side of hotel, see Cadillac Ranch restaurant outside window. Actual Cadillac car perched above restaurant's door; great overhead view.
• Depending on traffic, approx. 25-min. drive to:
-- Washington National Airport (DCA) (8 mi./ 13 km)
(No RI airport shuttle.)
-- DC, Washington Mall, Smithsonian Museums,
Memorials, Sightseeing (11 mi./ 18 km)
(6:30-9am on Mon-Fri; 7-10am on Sat, Sun)
• Bring Guest Services Card to complimentary breakfast & evening social hour.
• Good rotation & variety of standard RI hot & cold breakfast foods. (Rotation/ variety much appreciated -- especially if long-term or repeat guest of RI brand. Won't be driven to despair by monotony of identical meals each day.) Smart chefs also know how to tastefully prepare food & promptly replenish depleted items.
• Didn't see boiled eggs; non-issue as other healthy options to choose. (Wish list: plain Greek yoghurt, additional in-season fresh fruit, boiled eggs, & even better quality whole grain breads -- such as sliced bread at Capital View RI in Arlington, VA.)
• Excellent yoghurt parfait: F R E S H blueberries (not frozen), plain/*unsweetened* yoghurt, granola.
Free Evening Meals -- 3 Weekdays
(6-7:30pm on Tue, Wed, Thur)
• Full meals: tacos (flavourful seasoned beef) & chicken stir fry. Fresh salads each evening. (Wished for additional foods: soups & more variety/ quantity of fresh/ cooked vegetables.)
• Unique offerings (haven't seen at other RIs): homemade potato chips -- crispy, sinfully delicious. Outrageously large hamburgers ever seen in continental US. (1 burger feeds entire village.) Tailor burger to your liking with fixings & salad on side.
• $ saved on evening meals (& breakfasts) easily compensates for $11.50 daily parking; especially if several members in your party. (Good to excellent value.)
• For evenings off from RI meals or from kitchenette cooking, Nando's Peri-Peri (Portuguese marinated chicken) is 2-minute walk down Fleet St. (across from CVS). Eat-in or take out a moderately priced savory meal. (Store leftovers in full-size fridge & reheat in microwave.) (Many nearby (pricey) eateries to choose from; Baja Fresh is economical alternative.)
Consistent, reliable, comfortable for short or long stays whether traveling with family, as a couple, or alone on business.
Ideal jumping off point for business (or pleasure) & return back home (to RI) for quiet evening. Easy access to:
• Beltway (I-495/ 95): approx. 5-minute drive
• Maryland side: Oxon Hill, Anacostia (I-295)
• Virginia side (over Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge): Alexandria, Crystal City, Pentagon City, Washington National Airport (DCA)
• DC: Smithsonian Museums, Monuments
If on budget, savings from breakfasts & 3 evening meals compensates for parking fee.
(Additional RI, Gaylord, waterfront details in July 2012 review.)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.