Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This tired-out property has underwhelming rooms and older facilities -- that it is trying to fix -- but still, the rooms are filled.
The 532-room Holiday Inn Washington - Capitol needs some serious freshening up. Though the hotel recently began bringing its facilities up to date, this property hasn't had a full revamp in a long time. Guestrooms are in the process of receiving new bathrooms (good, but they really need a full overhaul), and the lobby, lounge, and restaurants finished renovations in early 2012. Room renovations appear to be on the horizon for 2014 and, until then, it's worth it to explore other options in the neighborhood.
Presumably because of its location near the Mall and the low prices, the hotel is consistently booked by the business/government crowd, large groups, and families. Guests seem to ignore the dank fitness center and spend their time utilizing the free lobby Wi-Fi or the decent business center. Guests are allowed free access to the facilities at Gold's Gym, three blocks from the hotel. The on-site bar, continental restaurant, and a cafeteria-style eatery are middling at best, but offer convenience in a neighborhood where restaurants are scarce and most are closed on weekends. The on-site Starbucks, however, is always bustling.
Mediocrity also reigns in the guest rooms, which are on the small side (usually about 220 square feet, though some can be a little larger) and just serviceable. They have mini-fridges, coffeemakers, jacquard bed sheets, flat-screen TVs, and Holiday Inn's trademark pillow menu. Plus, there's only wired Internet access in the guest rooms.
For a better option in the same price range and in the immediate neighborhood, the Residence Inn Capitol Hill offers oversize rooms with kitchenettes, more up-to-date facilities, and free breakfast. Those not intent on sleeping in this area should consider the very affordable Washington Plaza, where the vintage appeal is intentional.
This government office district is a ghost town on the weekends -- without many food and entertainment options -- but steps away from the Mall and some of D.C.'s finest museums.
The Holiday Inn Washington - Capitol is on the corner of C and 6th Street, a block and a half from the Mall. The immediate area is filled with 1970s era office buildings; across the street is the Department of Education building; next to that is FEMA. It's hardly picturesque, but the hotel fits right in. During the weekends, guests are likely to feel a little isolated, since even the small selection of fast food joints and convenience stores like CVS are shuttered. On the plus side, the area is exceedingly quiet at night and provides easy access to the monuments on the Mall, plenty of museums, and the U.S. Capitol.
Even at or near these low prices, leisure and business travelers can usually do better than the Holiday Inn Washington - Capitol, which has small, dated rooms, overpriced food, and a dank fitness center. Renovations in 2011 and 2012 to the lobby, lounge, and restaurants have helped, but they generally fall just short of transforming the property. If a location near the Mall is important, try the Residence Inn Capitol Hill, which offers oversize rooms with kitchenettes, more up-to-date facilities, and free breakfasts.
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