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Washington, DC Marriotts

tlwmkw

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DH and I want use some reward points for a weekend getaway in DC. Has anyone stayed at any of the DC Marriotts? Which would you recommend for a family (DH, me, and two boys ages 6 and 9). The JW Marriott looks very central- near the mall for the museums but we're not very familiar with DC and want suggestions.
Thanks in advance, tlwmkw
 

Swice

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metro center

Metro Center Marriott provides good access to the metro... buy a pass and hope on and off. DC metro is easy to use. Forget about using a car in DC... NO parking!!

Expect to do a lot of walking no matter what you pick.

I've stayed at JW... but it's been several years and I cabbed it everywhere.
 

Davecanputt

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We stayed at the JW Marriott last Spring Break, with our three boys just a little older than yours. I would highly recommend the JW, as its location to the mall is ideal. Most places you will visit are in walking distance, although it is a pretty good hike to the Capitol. The thing we enjoyed the most was the Monuments Tour at night, which can be scheduled through several of the Tour Companies. Lit up, the different Monuments are absolutely beautiful, and a guide will have a lot of information that is not in the tour book. Mount Vernon is also worth the short trip down. DC may not be Six Flags to kids 6 and 9, but it is the trip they will remember years down the road.
 

Aviator621

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I'd also consider the Residence Inns in Alexandria. While not in DC proper, they are easy walking distance to the King St Metro, which will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go. It also puts you near all the excellent restaurants in Old Town Alexandria, as well as gives you the free buffet breakfast for the family. I have also heard you can now catch a water taxi in Old Town to National Harbor, Mount Vernon and Georgetown.

http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-national/directions-transportation/water-taxis/
 

skifast

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The JW is a very nice hotel in the middle of it all. If you want to be walking distance to evrything, then this is the place. Rooms are a little small, but you are not there that much anyways. Parking was expensive.
We also stayed in Annapolis a couole of nights, and commuted via the Metro. The Springhill Suites there were very nice and included a good breakfast, and Annapolis is a great town to visit.
 

dive-in

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I recently redeemed one of the MR travel packages and we are spending the week at the Residence Inn Bethesda Downtown using the free week during our spring break. One of the reasons we chose that is because it gave us a 1 BR unit w/2 queen beds (I'll be travling with DW, DD-9, and DS-12), a kitchen, free breakfasts, a couple of evening meals, a plethora of restaurants near by, and a couple of grocery stores if we wanted to cook a few meals ourselves. It is also a block from the Metro stop. The only downside is that we have a 20 minute commute on Metro each day. But, having two rooms to spread out in at the end of the day and saving a little money on meals and snacks, meals in DC aren't cheap, make it worth it for us.

Ditto the parking comments. It will run you at least $30/day downtown. We are going to take the train from the Raleigh/Durham area then Metro to the hotel. We'll be getting a Metro 7-day pass for our week in DC.

I used to travel to DC on business several times a month. I stayed at the Metro Center Marriott several times. Nice place but it also has small rooms. But, it is convenient to things via the Metro. I looked at the JW Marriott for our trip and wouldn't hesitate to stay there. I would expect comparable rooms with the Metro Center Marriott. It is a little closer to the mall so if you are spending all your time there w/o utilizing Metro much, it might be a little better choice. As I said earlier, DC meals are expensive. You might use Google Earth to find some convenient places for cheap eats around each hotel and weigh that in your decision.
 
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andrea t

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We spent a spring break week a few years back at the JW and loved the hotel and the location. My son was 12 at the time. His favorite stops were the Monuments at night tour, the American Indian Museum,the Spy Museum, and the Bureau of Engraving & Printing.
 

KathyPet

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There is so much to do and see in Washington that your days will be jam packed trying to get it all in. You will be leaving early and returning to the hotel late. With that in mind I recommend the JW Marriott. It is close to everything and so easy to get to. At the end of a long and tiring day do you really want to have to sit on a subway for 20 minutes to get back to your hotel?
 

jimf41

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I've stayed at Wardman Park and the JW. Both are great but the JW has an edge for it's location. The best Marriott IMO is the Ritz Carlton. The govt/senior rate is the same as the others and it is a spectacular hotel. It is a little pricey though if you have to pay the standard rate. It shouldn't be too bad on points though.

Wherever you choose DC is a great town. Just about everything but the food and drinks are free. The restaurants are as good or better than NYC. Everyone goes to the Air & Space museum on the Mall but the one a Dulles is bigger and better if you get a chance to see it. As stated the Spy museum is great. I recommend the trolley's as they are very informative and a fun ride in nice weather.

One more thing, don't be fooled by how close the JW looks to everything. The DC Mall is a big place. Walking from the JW to the Mall to the Capitol is a little over 1.5 miles, from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial at the other end of the Mall is a little over 2 miles. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to take public transportation if the kids get tired.
 

Big Matt

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Great point.

For the public transportation...The metro (subway) is fast, clean, and fairly inexpensive during off peak hours (weekends). You can get to almost everything using it with one big exception. You can't get to Georgetown on the subway. It even takes you to places like Arlington Cemetary.

One more thing, don't be fooled by how close the JW looks to everything. The DC Mall is a big place. Walking from the JW to the Mall to the Capitol is a little over 1.5 miles, from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial at the other end of the Mall is a little over 2 miles. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to take public transportation if the kids get tired.
 

ecwinch

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If you are looking to save some points - give some thought to Courtyard Arlington Crystal City/Reagan National Airport. They offer shuttle service to the Metro stop, the rooms are good-size, and they have an decent on-site resturant. Shuttle will also take you to the nearby resturant row.

We stayed there this summer on points, and found it easy to get into the Mall area via the Metro.

Also - while it is not free - check out the Newseum. It the latest museum in DC, and we found it really interesting. Also, every day outside they have the front page of a different newspaper from each state.
 
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SherryS

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The Courtyard at Dunn Loring (Merrifield/Vienna) is also a possibility if you want to save points. The metro stop is right across the street from this location. The area is all new buildings. Rooms are good sized and a.m. continental breakfast is good, too!
 

pwrshift

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I don't know what 'weekend' you are thinking of, but did a check on points for a Friday to Monday weekend in Feb and almost all of the hotels have pointsavers specials...you could get two adjoining rooms at the JW for 96,000 MR pts.

Brian
 

ecwinch

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I seem to only be able to see the JW at 65k (pointsaver) for a three night stay vs 42k (standard) for the Courtyard in one room. If you can snag a pointsaver at Crystal City it would drop to 27k.

And the Courtyard Crystal City/Reagan is 3 stops from the Mall, vs a few more from Duning. A plus for Duning is free parking - vs $12.50 a day at the Courtyard.

The JW would be a far better choice, but I try to maximize my points value.
 

ciscogizmo1

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One summer we stayed at the Washington Marriott near George Washington University. We picked it as it was one of the few hotels with a pool. And, we used that pool many times even one of the days that we had planned for the zoo it totally rained so, we had to come back to the hotel to dry off and we swam before going back out. Many said that it was a bad location but it wasn't for us. It was close to two lines. We'd ask conceirge every day which line we should take to get where we wanted to go. I believe at the time I booked the points this was the best point value. I'd go with something that is the best value for you and your family. Good luck. I did think the one by the zoo looked really old fashion that it would be totally fun to stay there.
 

pwrshift

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...
The JW would be a far better choice, but I try to maximize my points value.

Always 'balance' out the number of points needed by the cost Marriott 'sells' them at $0.0125 per point. Marriott wants $279 for a night at the JW on Feb 14 ... or 25,000 points which would cost you $312.50 based on Marriott's valuation. In this case, paying cash is cheaper than using points if you base it on those 'values'. In prime time, at perhaps $500 a night, MR points would be better than cash.

https://buy.points.com/marriott/init.do;jsessionid=003E24797B2FDA380129785F366FDAF0?method=buy

Rates for 2009 might be universally lower, especially off season, which may mean it's cheaper to pay cash and earn points than to use MR points for a 'free' stay. Check each cash rate against the 'value' of the points you would have to use in order to see if cash or MR points is the better route.

Brian
 

emmaddy

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DC and points

Two things here. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn, New York Ave. over Thanksgiving. It is brand new, but admittedly not in the best of neighborhoods. It does border the magnificent National Arboretum. It costs much fewer points and provides a free shuttle to the convention center area or the train station. It has no parking fee and provides a pretty good free breakfast. It also has a small pool and hot tub. The staff is wonderful. There are a few fast food places around, but we stayed in the city and ate dinner or ordered out from some great pizza, chinese, etc. Menus available at desk. Each room, although not huge, has a flat screen TV and a fridge and microwave. We will definitely return. We have stayed at the JW and love it there, but the double points, parking fees, and the cost of breakfast made us opt for the Fairfield. We did take a cab back each night which costs $10-20.
Also, when considering cost of points, don't forget to add in not only the room amount but sales and hotel taxes which in many areas can approach 20% of the room rate. With points, all that is taken care of and often makes the usage of points much more attractive. We would also recommend the Spy Museum with its interactive displays. There is a fee, but the patrons all seemed to love it.
 

mish

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We stayed at the JW the weekend of Dec. 5th. It's within walking distance to the National Museums. I'd recommend the Natural History museum, as they have just re-opened after a major renovation. It was great. Also, the new Visitor's center for the Capitol just opened, too.
There is also a Courtyard by Marriott a few blocks away- across the street from the Ripley museum.
The Metro is very easy and fairly inexpensive to take to see other areas of DC.
My son lives in DC and is our tour guide. We've been down there many times. There is so much to do, and I find something new everytime.
Enjoy your stay!
Mish
 

jdetar

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I'm staying at Wyndham's Old Town Alexandria this weekend for 3 nights. I get in through a Wyndham owner who books the trips for me and I pay him $$$. Usually about $100/night for a 1 bedroom deluxe (full kitchen). Obviously it's cheaper if you own the points yourself, but I need a few nights here or there for business there, and it's a great location. Free parking in their private garage, plenty of good food and cool places around, and a walk right across the street is the metro to go into DC. I go here several times/yr.

It's an RCI gold crown resort, but good luck trying to exchange into it through RCI. I've never seen availability in weeks or points system, and I have a tiger trader.
 

Big Matt

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I like the Natural History Museum a lot, but it was the American History Museum that just re-opened. I think that's what you meant.

Anyway, they have an exhibit of the actual "Star Spangled Banner". Very awe inspiring. The exhibits about war in America was also very good as were the history of the presidency.

I'd recommend the Natural History museum, as they have just re-opened after a major renovation. It was great.
 

winger

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Any thought on the Residence Inn Washington Capitol? I seems close to the National Mall, the Metro (4 stops from Reagan Int'l Airport where we will fly out of to get back home), and some Smithsonian Museums. We wont have a car so will trek or public transit most of the places to see. We will have a 6 1/2 yo and 8 1/2 yo with us.
 

elaine

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this is not really Capitol area, but it is fine

It is in SW DC. Last year, several on TUG or the Disney BB posted that they had stayed here and really liked it. During the day, it is federal office stuff. I don't know if there is much to eat around there for dinner. It is very close to many museums and only a few blocks to Air/Space and Indian Museums. Also easy walk to Capitol Hill. This area of DC is very compact. From this hotel, with a brisk walk, you could easily walk from hotel to White house, pass most of the Mall Museums and backtrack to the Capitol in under 1.5 hours---for many, this would be a regular 45 minute lunchtime run. If it is reasonable M points, then I would stay there. have fun. Elaine
 

SueDonJ

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One summer we stayed at the Washington Marriott near George Washington University. We picked it as it was one of the few hotels with a pool. And, we used that pool many times even one of the days that we had planned for the zoo it totally rained so, we had to come back to the hotel to dry off and we swam before going back out. Many said that it was a bad location but it wasn't for us. It was close to two lines. We'd ask conceirge every day which line we should take to get where we wanted to go. I believe at the time I booked the points this was the best point value. I'd go with something that is the best value for you and your family. Good luck. I did think the one by the zoo looked really old fashion that it would be totally fun to stay there.

How timely that this thread is resurrected now! My niece will be attending George Washington Univ. this fall and my brother has asked me to look into DC Marriotts for the orientation at the end of this month. I think the one mentioned here is the one he's most interested in, so I'm glad to read that you were satisfied. I checked the availability for using points and it looks like it's a go, which is nice because now he's finally given me an option to repay him for taking care of our dawg every time we travel. Looks like everybody wins. :)
 

sandesurf

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There is also a Courtyard by Marriott a few blocks away- across the street from the Ripley museum.
Mish

Very timely indeed! We have reservations at This Courtyard, in just two weeks!
Any more info. about it? We're only staying one night (my FREE Visa night). DH, 12 year old son, and me. This is part of a long weekend to visit friends in Annapolis.
Given the choice, would the JW be better?
 
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