What to do with 12 hours at Dulles?
June 8, 2010 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Long layover near Washington Dulles Intl. Airport. Is there a hotel with early check in?

My husband is on his way to Dulles Intl. Airport. He will get there at 6am. The airline says he has to pick up his checked baggage. and the wait until 6 or 7pm to check in for an international flight. What can he do in those 12 hours outside the boarding area? Is there a reasonably priced hotel that will check him that early in the morning? Are there any other options?
posted by papalotl to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
if you call around to various hotels near the airport, you can ask about the day room rate (usually runs from 9-5, i think, but times might vary by hotel). sometimes they're pricey, but if he is one of the people who can't sleep on planes or if he thinks he'll be significantly knackered, it may be totally worth it.

if he's just looking for the room to grab a shower, he may want to check some of the gyms in the areas around the airport and see if they have day passes. twelve hours is plenty of time to catch a cab and go have a workout and a shower, or see a movie, or go shopping/get some decent non-airport food.
posted by koroshiya at 11:48 PM on June 8, 2010

The Marriott Dulles Airport is on the airport grounds and might have a day rate. You should contact the hotel directly to inquire. They do not offer day rates on their reservations system, but I have often been able to get day rooms at airport hotels by calling them directly.

Dulles Airport terminals are not the greatest places to spend 12 hours. Clean and safe, but not a lot to do. Another cheaper option might be for your husband to purchase a day pass at his airline's lounge (if they have one at Dulles). It will be less than a hotel day rate and more comfortable than the chairs and benches at the gates.
posted by flyingrock at 12:02 AM on June 9, 2010

Could he store his luggage in lockers or something, then go into DC proper for lunch or something?
posted by mdonley at 12:43 AM on June 9, 2010

The Dulles airport is about 25 to 30 miles outside of DC. The metro doesn't reach nearly close enough to be an option and the bus isn't great. If he decided to leave the airport property, he could get a cab to any number of restaurants in the towns surrounding the airport such as Herndon, Chantilly, and Sterling.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is the one right next to DC.
posted by onhazier at 5:17 AM on June 9, 2010

About 15 minutes south of Dulles airport is a very large Korean Spa called Spa World. For $35 he can stay in the spa for as long as he wants. In addition to the hot baths, showers, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, etc. There's an open area with mats and heated floor where people will often sleep, plus a small restaurant area. Although heavily Korean influenced, there's a significant non-Korean attendance, and everyone speaks English. It's definitely where I'd hang out if I wanted to relax. If instead he wanted a multi-hour activity, there's the Air and Space Museum next door to Dulles.
posted by forforf at 5:22 AM on June 9, 2010 [5 favorites]

The Dulles wing of the National Air and Space Museum would easily consume 3-4 hours of time, and it is free entry and a short 5 minute taxi ride from the airport. Reston Town Center is 5 or so miles away and offers numerous restaurants, a movie theater, shopping, etc. Any local hotel will probably let him check his bags. Just act like he will be checking in later that day and the bellhop won't give it a second thought. If they do, $10 should overcome any resistance the staff has about storing his bags for the day.
posted by COD at 5:26 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!
posted by papalotl at 6:14 AM on June 9, 2010

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