Fee for in-room Internet (two different prices depending on the speed)
Long, slow-moving lines at breakfast on weekends
Pricey valet parking, with in-out privileges
The 384-room Embassy Suites Convention Center was given a well-needed update in 2012, which brought new decor to all rooms and the lobby. Features such as the spacious suites, free breakfast, free cocktails, and central locale a few blocks from the White House make it an appealing value for families and groups.
For business travelers, families, and tourists who want a lot for their money in a prime location, this Embassy Suites delivers. In other words, Free Beer!
I'm going out on a limb and saying that there are few hotels anywhere with a conference room named for the founder of the American Federation of Labor. The Samuel Gompers Room at the Embassy Suites Convention Center got its name not because any significant moment in labor history took place here, but because the hotel is owned by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. All that means for guests (other than a discount for IUPAT members) is that the hotel employs only union workers and serves only patriotic union-made beer at the daily free manager's reception. Does it get any more American than PBR on tap?
From Monday to Thursday, the 384-room high volume, all-suites hotel is filled with business folks and conventioneers. When Friday hits, "the minivans roll in," says General Manager David Del Russo. In today's economic climate, "family values" have been usurped by "values for families," which is what the Embassy Suites Convention Center offers in spades. The rooms are all suites with pullout sofas and plenty of extra space if you bring an air mattress (a good idea since the hotel doesn't rent rollaways). The King Suite is 436 square feet, the Double Bed Suite is 466 square feet. Corner upgrades of nearly 500 square feet are available for an extra nightly fee.
Each guest gets a free breakfast at the large buffet, which saves a chunk of money but not necessarily time. On a busy weekend morning -- say during the Cherry Blossom Festival -- the hotel serves upwards of 1,000 breakfasts between 7 and 10:30 a.m. Del Russo admits lines can be long, so if you want made-to-order worms, be an early bird. In addition to the free breakfast, guests can enjoy two hours of cocktails, sodas, and snacks at the manager's reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and room-service pizzas for cheap. The servicable in-house Finn & Porter restaurant is open daily; better dining selections within walking distance include Oya, Zaytinya, and Acadiana.
Add up everything that comes with your stay at the Embassy Suites, and you get a good value. The hotel finished a nearly $8-million renovation in 2012, replacing worn out furniture and uninspired decor in all guest rooms and in the lobby area. The hotel's darker pallet has a more contemporary feel than previous furnishings, which were bright and uncomfortable. Rooms also have more electrical outlets, energy-efficient lighting and ventilation fixtures, new microwaves, and flat-panel TVs.
At the end of the day, the Embassy Suites offers more for your money than other area hotels like the Grand Hyatt and Washington Marriott. Consider it a good bet at a fair price where travelers can enjoy the fruits of organized labor.
Located on the border between downtown D.C. and a compact section of the city called Penn Quarter, the Embassy Suites Hotel is a safe, convenient option for both business and leisure travelers -- full of restaurants and shops (well-known franchises, mostly), but still close to the major sights (the White House is just a short walk away). The once-seedy section of town has, in recent decades, been revamped by urban renewal projects -- the most recognizable of which is the Verizon Center sports arena, about six blocks away. Other nearby attractions include the International Spy Museum, FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Ford's Theatre, the National Archives, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Theatre. Skirting the neighborhood are Chinatown and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center; just south lies the National Mall and all its attractions.
A couple of blocks to the convention center
Five blocks to the White House
The closest Metro stop, Metro Center, is three blocks away; the McPherson Square stop is five blocks.
1.2-mile, 12-minute walk to the center of the Mall (Washington Monument, WW II Memorial)
1.1-mile, 10-minute walk to the Smithsonian Institution
1.5-mile, 15-minute walk to the U.S. Capitol
1.7-mile to the monuments on the southwest Mall, such as the Jefferson Monument and the FDR Memorial;15-minute cab ride
Two-mile western monuments on the Mall (Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial); 20-minute cab ride
1.4-miles to Union Station; a 10-minute cab ride
6.5 miles to Reagan National Airport, 20- to 30-minute cab ride; 30- to 40-minute trip by Metro
27 miles to Dulles Airport, 45 to 60-minute cab ride
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