Kid friendly (children's pool, high chairs, cribs)
A bit far from tourist attractions at National Mall
Extra fees for gym use, Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking
Room decor can feel dated and generic
No mini-fridges in rooms
The upper-middle-range Washington Hilton, DC's third largest hotel, has a staggering 1,070 rooms and massive meeting and conferences spaces. The vibe is somewhat impersonal, but the hotel offers a huge range of amenities: a coffee shop, two bars, a restaurant, gift shop, a big gym hosting workout classes, a car rental desk, a FedEx shipping and printing center, and an outdoor pool with a kiddie pool. Rooms are spacious, clean, and tasteful, if a touch dated, with flat-screen TVs, ergonomic desk chairs, and room service (but no mini-fridges). The biggest downside here are the extra fees for things like Wi-Fi, gym use, parking, and breakfast. Located north of Dupont Circle, it's also a bit far from tourist attractions, and the metro is about a 10 minute walk. Marriott Wardman Park offers a similar vibe, but it's closer to the metro.
Massive conference hotel -- somewhat impersonal, but loaded with amenities
Washington Hilton is situated in a massive beige building with two wings that cup spacious courtyards. With over 1,000 rooms and extensive conference and event facilities, this is the third largest hotel in D.C. The somewhat business-oriented chain hotel has a bit of an impersonal vibe, though decor was overhauled in most of the common areas in 2010 and is tasteful and well-kept. The lobby features patterned carpeting, white walls, and long reception desks, with lines roped off to form queues. The huge range of amenities are a good bonus for busy travelers, and the gym is especially nice. Tourist attractions are a bit of a hike, so the main crowd here is business oriented, often attending events on-site, but kid-friendly amenities attract families, too.
On busy Connecticut Avenue between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle
The hotel is situated along Connecticut Avenue, a main drag that runs through the heart of Northwest D.C. It's about a nine-minute walk to Adams Morgan (to the north), known for its nightlife, and 14 minutes to Dupont Circle (to the south), a lively, gay-friendly neighborhood full of restaurants, shops, and embassies. Most of D.C.'s government offices and corporations are at least a mile away, closer to downtown, and monuments and museums on the National Mall are over two miles away (about 20 minutes by metro or a 15-minute drive), making this hotel more convenient for business guests at on-site conventions than tourists. The hotel is about a 10-minute walk to Dupont Circle Metro station (red line), while Dulles International Airport is about a 38-minute drive, without traffic. Valet- and self-parking are available on-site, but the extra fees are pricey.
Clean, spacious, comfortable rooms -- but some dated decor and limited amenities
Rooms are big, clean, and tasteful, though somewhat dated (they weren't included in the 2010 revamp). Generic chain-hotel decor runs throughout, such as patterned wall-to-wall carpets, cream-colored wallpaper, and dark wood furniture. Simple bathrooms have beige tiled walls and combination showers and tubs. Rooms include 32-inch LCD TVs with premium channels like HBO, desks with ergonomic chairs, laptop safes, and coffee machines, plus irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, and nice Peter Thomas Roth individual toiletries. But mini-fridges don't come standard, and Wi-Fi costs an extra fee. (Joining the hotel's free membership program can secure free Wi-Fi, however.) Guests in Executive Rooms get access to the Executive Lounge, which includes a basic breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Suites can be huge and might feature living rooms, dining areas, and kitchenettes.
Huge range of amenities, but extra fees can be annoying
This massive hotel has a big range of amenities, including business services, dining, and wellness facilities -- though extra fees can be a pain. There's a restaurant, lobby bar, sports bar, and coffee shop. The hotel serves an extensive daily breakfast buffet, but it costs an extra fee, and room service is available into the evening.
The fitness center is large and as well-equipped as some membership gyms, with treadmills and ellipticals featuring individual screens, free weights, bar bells, and a separate wood-floored exercise room for gym classes like CrossFit and spin. Use of the health club, though, costs a daily extra fee. The hotel also an seasonal outdoor pool surrounded by loungers plus a kids' wading pool.
Other on-site conveniences include a gift shop, an exclusive Executive Lounge, a spacious courtyard with fire pits, and even a FedEx print and copy shop and on-site car rental desk. Meeting, conference, and convention facilities are extensive -- there's over 110,000 square feet with rooms of every size, including a ballroom that can host over 2,500 guests.
The hotel offers ATMs, currency exchange, concierge service, and kid-friendly amenities like cribs, high chairs, and kids' menus. Pets are allowed for an extra fee. And extra fees can pop up in other places, too: The buffet breakfast, parking, fitness center, and even Wi-Fi don't come standard with room rates. (Guests can join the Hilton's free membership program to secure free Wi-Fi.)
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