Located in upscale Dupont Circle, just a short walk from some of D.C.'s best restaurants and nightlife, the Courtyard doesn't look dazzling, but its 156 bigger-than-average rooms, helpful staff, small indoor pool and Jacuzzi, well-equipped fitness center, quality independent restaurant, and nice perks (like free coffee, cookies, and Wi-Fi) make it an excellent choice.
In 1998, Marriott transformed the the former headquarters of the National Rifle Association into a 165-room Courtyard. The advantage: space. In what was once a basement shooting range is now a great gym, pool and Jacuzzi area. The standard guest rooms (renovated in 2004 but updated in 2007) are a very generous 400 to 500 square feet (either a king or two queen-size beds) -- much bigger than the standard rooms at the more historic (and more expensive hotels) in the area, like the Fairfax and the Jefferson hotels, and about on par with the standard rooms at some of the most expensive hotels in the city, including the Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons.
Still, you don't have to give up comfort and convenience by staying at the Courtyard. Beds are very comfortable -- thick mattresses, 300-thread-count sheets, quilted down comforters, and lots of oversize pillows -- and the TVs are large, 32-inch LG flat-screens with premium channels. The independently owned Nage Washington, D.C., just off the lobby, has a small bar, kids' menus, and provides room service. The hotel's location, near Dupont Circle, offers a large selection of places to eat and drink. Service is profesional and courteous -- the porter even ran out in the rain to hail me a cab -- and while the hotel doesn't have a concierge, the front desk staff proved to be helpful when I asked about local restaurants. All around, the Courtyard is a great hotel -- especially considering its rates.
The Courtyard is located just off of Embassy Row, around the corner from the National Geographic Museum and directly across the street from the National Capital YMCA (and its great fitness facilities, accessible by a free day pass from the Courtyard). Lots of must-see historic sites are within easy walking distance, but while the immediate area around the hotel is bustling with nine-to-fivers during the day, it can border on eerily desolate at night. For a night on the town, however, not only is it near the restaurants and nightclubs in Dupont Circle, it's also just two a short walk to the 14th Street Corridor and its fresh new restaurant and bar scene.
Around the corner from the National Geographic Museum, which has great exhibits geared toward children
Five-minute walk to the Dupont Circle Metro subway station
About a three- to five-minute drive (about two miles) from the from the White House and center of the National Mall, which includes the Washington Monument, the World War II memorial, and the Smithsonian Institution
15-minute, 2.5-mile, cab ride to Union Station, D.C.'s major train station served by Amtrak and commuter rails
Six miles to Reagan National Airport, a 20- to 30-minute cab ride or a 30-minute Metro trip to Dupont Circle
27 miles to Dulles International Airport, a 45- to 60-minute cab ride
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