Affordable hotels in Washington, DC?
March 25, 2004 2:11 PM   Subscribe

My partner is going to DC for the March for Choice next month. She'd like to stay an extra day, but the hotel wants to charge too much, and she's having trouble finding B&Bs and/or affordable hotels. Any suggestions?

Keep in mind she'll be a young woman alone in an unfamiliar city. Are there specific neighborhoods she should or shouldn't consider?
posted by me3dia to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dunno about neighbourhoods and you don't mention your partner's travelling style, but maybe she could get a single in this hostel as an alternative to a B&B?
posted by romakimmy at 2:17 PM on March 25, 2004

It might be cheaper for her to stay in Alexandria or Arlington. If she calls potential hotels and asks if they are close to the metro in either of those cities, chances are she'll be in a decent neighborhood and not too far out. Rosslyn (a neighborhood in Arlington) is very close to DC.
posted by drobot at 2:19 PM on March 25, 2004

agree with drobot about N VA and being near the metro.

if she stays in N VA then she should be fine, safety wise. the rough areas in DC are parts of NE and pretty much all of SE. I think SW is getting better, but I'm a bit out of the loop now.

Some neighborhoods in Arlington to consider: Crystal City, Rosslyn, Pentagon City. Alexandria might not work as it doesn't have too many metro stops (and can't think of any hotels near them).
posted by evening at 2:25 PM on March 25, 2004

I was actually going to recommend Rosslyn. I had good luck with this place when I went out for a friend's wedding. (Normally I stayed about 3 blocks from the hotel with my friend, but it seemed kind of rude to do so on her wedding weekend.)

It's very convenient to the Rosslyn Metro stop and the neighborhoood's fine.
posted by aine42 at 2:29 PM on March 25, 2004

(Official site for that Quality Inn.)
posted by aine42 at 2:38 PM on March 25, 2004

How much is "too much" to pay? Just curious, because that sort-of dictates where to look. We're all recommending Northern Virginia because the "safe" areas in DC (mostly NW) are fscking expensive vis a vis hotels. Not sure about hostels, though.

NoVa is an option. There's a Holiday Inn at the Eisenhower Avenue stop (second-to-last stop on the Yellow line) if all she wants is a place to sleep. Kinda far out, though, and there's nothing else there except a honkin' big movieplex and a drab government building. Remember that the Metro system stops running around midnight on weeknights and 2:00 am on weekends.

The StationMasters site (guide to the Metro system) has a hotels index that might help.

You can email me if you have specific questions about neighborhoods, places to go, etc., though there are plenty of MeFiers in DC who would probably be willing to help, also. Does she have particular things she wants to see on her extra day?
posted by arco at 3:05 PM on March 25, 2004

Response by poster: I'm pretty sure she'd like to stay inside DC. Arlington may be close, but it seems kind of like saying "Queens is close to Manhattan, why not stay there?"

Of course, I could be completely wrong about this, but a long train-ride is probably a big minus. She's going to be there overnight, flying out the next morning.
posted by me3dia at 3:06 PM on March 25, 2004

Response by poster: arco, she'd like to spend under $100, but that may be too little. She's paying $145/night at the hotel, but the extra day would be at a $245 rate.
posted by me3dia at 3:08 PM on March 25, 2004

I have no idea what the rates are, but I'll put a plug in for Hotel Rouge anyway. It's a swanky and fun hotel located in a safe part of town and close to lots of the cool things D.C. has to offer. Specifically, it's on 16th Street, not too far north of the White House, and a few blocks east of Dupont Circle.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 3:44 PM on March 25, 2004

Whenever I'm in DC, I stay at the Tabard Inn is in Dupont Circle... a safe area, and a two block walk from the subway stop (Red Line), so it's very accessible.

The rooms are inexpensive, the staff is helpful, and there's a damn good restaurant on the ground floor that pulls in folks from around the city.
posted by silusGROK at 3:55 PM on March 25, 2004

in Dupont also is Carlyle Suites (which has kitchenettes too so you can save money that wya), but it might be too expensive (when congress is in session) for just one person...worth a try tho--i really like it.
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on March 25, 2004

Couchsurfing maybe?
posted by adamrice at 4:23 PM on March 25, 2004

Wow, the rooms at the Tabard Inn look great, and there are 2 in your price range. I live in DC and didn't know about this charming place. Dupont Circle is a great area with lots of great restaurants. Go there!

I live in Foggy Bottom, which is very safe because it's right next to George Washington University and there are lots of on-campus police. It's also convenient for being right in the middle of things downtown -- it's 6 blocks from Constitution Ave and the Mall, and about the same distance from the White House. The hotels are twice as pricey, though.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:28 PM on March 25, 2004

Another vote for the Tabard. Best bar in the city.

In the winter they have a roaring fire and cushy old couches in a book-lined study. In the summer, you can sit in the garden.

You guys want to have a mini meetup there sometime?

(A pal of mine from out of town stayed there last week on my recommendation and liked it a lot. He chose one of the rooms with a shared bathroom to save money and said he never ran into anyone going down the hall to the bathroom.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:24 PM on March 25, 2004

I, too, was unaware of the Tabard.

You guys want to have a mini meetup there sometime?

Count me in! I now have much more interesting things to talk about than the last DC meetup. Plus I'm less of a dweeb. Or so I tell myself.
posted by arco at 5:42 PM on March 25, 2004

Haven't you gone and gotten yourself hitched and honeymooned, arco? Sounds like you're having a good time!

I'm around for meetups, generally, especially given how much I enjoyed the last one. :)
posted by onlyconnect at 8:30 PM on March 25, 2004

I'll have to second the bar comment... I don't even drink, and I enjoyed hanging out downstairs at the bar.

I'll also second the "shared bathroom" thing: never saw a soul.
posted by silusGROK at 9:10 PM on March 25, 2004

I'll second the Carlyle Suites.. Washington DC's Official Art Deco Hotel. It is cheap, lots of character, safe neighborhood. They recently redid all the rooms.
posted by stbalbach at 9:11 PM on March 25, 2004

Oh: me3dia... if your partner does end up staying at the Tabard, make sure they know that the awning over the front door leaks. It just drops great globs of water down upon you randomly... so keep the umbrella open until you're _inside_.

: )

Also, they have luggage storage in case check-in/-out times don't sync with arrival/departure plans... Very handy.
posted by silusGROK at 9:13 PM on March 25, 2004

A word about the Carlyle ... I don't know about the exact location, but if I recall, there're no subway stops in Georgetown — so be sure if you pick them, that you check on accessibility to transit.
posted by silusGROK at 9:19 PM on March 25, 2004

It's not much of a Metro ride from Arlington to DC. Hell, it's probably faster to get from Arlington or Rosslyn to DC than it is from Georgetown. 20 minutes door-to-door, I'd say, no Metro transfers to get to the Mall (where I'm guessing the rally/march will be). Lots of good choices there, clustered near the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stops.

When my family came to visit, they stayed at the Comfort Inn, Ballston, which is short walk to Metro and a short ride to DC, I'd say 30 minutes door-to-door, tops. There's also a Holiday Inn right behind the Air and Space Museum in DC; I haven't checked rates, but it's a great location, though kind of deserted on the weekends. All perfectly safe, though.

Avoid the Best Western Capitol Skyline. It looks great on a map, but is in a really crappy area. Just about any other place NOT south of the Anacostia river should be fine. Email me if you want more specific recommendations of areas to avoid.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:05 AM on March 26, 2004

arlington is more convenient than many DC-proper neighborhoods, but i throw in my vote for the tabard. mostly because i had completely forgotten its existence, and it is charming.

oh, and there are no subway stops in g'town. they just don't want *those* people to have easy access.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:25 AM on March 26, 2004

(Crush... that's what I remembered, as I recall realizing there were no stops so close to the university — even though a metro line runs beneath the streets! Crazy.)
posted by silusGROK at 8:04 AM on March 26, 2004

For those who may be of the impression that anywhere outside of NW Washington is scary bad with boogeymen ready to jump you with their AK-47s try visitng

I don't believed there is information on cheap places to stay, but it will help enlighten those who decide certain areas of the city are bad because of what they have heard rather than what the truth is.

As for places to stay, the folks suggesting staying in a suburb with a Metro stop are correct. They will be much cheaper than staying in the city. But I really can't say enough about Tabard Inn either. It is my favourite place in the city, especially on cold winter nights when my wife and I go to sit by the fireplace and have warming drinks while live jazz music plays. We held our wedding brunch there too :)
posted by terrapin at 8:40 AM on March 26, 2004

You guys want to have a mini meetup there sometime?

Yes, a thousand times yes! :)

As long as I don't have to sit next to MrMoonPie ;)
posted by terrapin at 8:43 AM on March 26, 2004

Rouge is fabulous, (and you can often find $99 weekend deals) but Rosslyn is a good bet too. Just a few stops from Smithsonian (right on the Mall) and you won't have to change trains.

I'm up for a MeFi Mini Meetup too!
posted by JoanArkham at 9:31 AM on March 26, 2004

I'm up for a MeFi Mini Meetup too!

I am so not the organizing type and should not be jumping in here, but how about next week? I've never met any of you guys and think it would be fun.

Do we need a new thread?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:45 AM on March 26, 2004

Do we need a new thread?

MetaTalk, baby!
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:05 AM on March 26, 2004

Carlyle Suites and Rouge are both good - though they may come to a bit more than $100 a night with all the taxes.
There are neighbourhoods in D.C. she will want to avoid, but there are virtually no hotels in those areas. There are a ton of no-frills Holiday Inns and such. The Kalorama Guest House
Adams-Morgan is a decent B&B. I've also stayed at Sofitel and the Lincoln Suites, which are good low-cost places.
One suburb she might consider if you can find nothing in the District is Silver Springs. It's a Metro stop about 15 minutes out. But check Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz - I'd bet there's bound to be something.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:56 PM on March 26, 2004

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