Anyone who knows me knows I prefer to stay only at a Marriott property as much as I only prefer Nikon gear. In fact, I have not traveled at least twice because I could not find a local Marriott property. This phobia might be due to a cross country trip with my father who insisted we stay at a Motel 6 somewhere in Texas on our way to California. I had to sleep with a handgun in my hand, in my clothes, while bugs crawled all around me. Never again. Recently, I was assigned to my company HQ located in Washington, DC. Though difficult to find a property within perdiem rates, I found a Marriott property close to the Capitol and a nearby Metro station (Federal Center SW) that meets that requirement. Thinking it would be a good opportunity for my family to checkout DC and maybe take some awesome photos, I brought my family and gear (more on the photography/family mix in another post).
The Marriott Capitol Residence Inn is located at 333 E. St. SW , Washington DC 20024. Though in what is clearly labeled a business district, this location provides incredibly easy access to Congress, all the Smithsonian Museums, and the nearby Federal Center SW Metro stop. This area seems to be in the process of a major revitalization. The hotel is located directly across the street from NASA Headquarters. Congress is about a ten minute walk from the hotel and the Federal Center SW Metro stop is about five minutes. The proximity of the Metro stop is a Godsend as you can access the entire city without the need for a car. It is also a great location for photographers to access the city during the weekend during best shooting times. However, the Metro can be tightly packed during weekday rush hours. In that case, you would be better off using a car service or taxi, which are readily available outside the front of the hotel. Most taxi rides to major attractions are about $10 -$15 from this hotel (one way). Note that many existing reviews of this hotel state there are no eating establishments near the hotel. However, that is no longer the case due to recent development. There is an excellent pizzeria right next to the hotel called Pizza Authentica offering some of the best pizza I have had in a long time as well as stromboli and salads and Italian ice cream. Next to the pizzeria is the new Phillips Cafe (opening June 2011). By the Federal Center SW Metro stop, you will find a Starbucks and PotBelly Sand-which shop apparently frequented heavily by Capitol Hill staffers. Also across from the hotel is a deli and coffee shop that to caters mostly to NASA HQ employees. And yes, I rode an elevator with a real life astronaut the day I wrote this review.
Make no mistake, the location of the property is in the city. This hotel offers LIMITED parking and they clearly state that fact. However, most people take the Metro directly from the airport. If you do decide to drive, parking is $30 a day with in and out privileges. DO NOT BRING A FORD EXCURSION or similarly sized vehicle into the parking garage. Chances are you will get stuck, which is why the hotel website lists size limits. If you decide to take your car out, just be aware you may lose your spot. On the weekends this did not seem to be an issue for me. Also being in the city, there are the usual noises associated with such a location. For example, if you want a room facing Congress, you will have to deal with the CSX train that regularly passes. In our case, we stayed on the eleventh floor facing the front of the building with a view of NASA HQ. We could only hear the occasional police car. Also, this hotel is marketed more toward the business traveler traveling with family. So, be prepared for a potential onslaught of misbehaved kids and frazzled parents.
This hotel opened in 2005 according to Marriott. It is very clean (usual with Marriott) and provides great service. The staff are incredibly friendly and really go out of their way to help you. However, when you arrive, do not expect anyone to help you with your luggage as is the case with most, but not all, Residence Inn's. So, if you pack as heavy as my family does, you will need to grab a cart and haul it yourself. In my case, with three women, I mad to make two trips.
Room pricing varies widely. We chose a one bedroom / two queen beds with separate living and kitchen area. The room was decent size and the beds easily fit a family of four (2 to a bed). There is also a pullout sleeper sofa. The kitchen is fully equipped with full refrigerator, pots, pans, flatware, etc.. However, there are no ovens in these rooms. Maid service was fantastic. We did experience issues with our icemaker and subsequent leak, which was quickly fixed by incredibly nice staff. Each room comes with a safe that will not fit your camera gear. However, one big security aspect that really put my mind at ease was that only guests registered guests with a valid room key (active) can access any floor above the first floor. The hotel also offers breakfast and dinner (free) though dinner was only provided three times while I was there (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). Once a week, the hotel also offers movie night for the children.
In summation, I highly recommend this hotel for an extended stay with family. If I was traveling alone, and did not drive, chances are I would have chosen a hotel more downtown with a close metro stop instead of the southwest part of town. But for a family stay, this hotel will be hard to beat.
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- Also Known As:
- Residence Inn Washington, Dc/Capitol Hotel Washington Dc
- Washington Dc Residence Inn