When exploring the nation's capital city, where to stay can be an overwhelming decision, given the enormous number of great choices for lodging in Washington DC. Whether you want a grand, historical luxury hotel, or just cheap hotels in Washington DC, DC lodging options are plentiful. There are also accessible hotels in Washington DC's neighboring states Virginia and Maryland. If proximity to major attractions is most important to you, consider Washington DC hotels downtown in areas near Capitol Hill and the National Mall. If you'd rather stay somewhere with a more home-like feel, try the Woodley Park or Dupont Circle neighborhoods. And if you crave a wide range of shops, boutiques, and antique dealerships, Georgetown is probably for you. If you want to feel the very power pulse of the city's political culture, stay on Capitol Hill near Union Station.
Family Hotels Washington DC
One stop for power players and tourists alike is the Phoenix Park Hotel, just two blocks from the Capitol building. The Phoenix resembles an Irish manor house from the 1700's, down to its antique furniture and fine wood craftsmanship. Politicians migrate here, including guests Dick Cheney, John Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dennis Hastert, and Howard Dean. Among hotels in Washington DC, the Phoenix Park is known as the center of Irish hospitality. The hotel's internationally renowned Dubliner Restaurant and Pub is one of Capitol Hill's most popular and boisterous bars.
Quintessentially Washingtonian amongst hotels in DC area, the Watergate Hotel offers a unique lodging experience in its beautiful location along the Potomac next to the Kennedy Center. The Watergate Complex features a variety of upscale boutiques and shops. Guests should also make an excursion to nearby Georgetown to the selection of specialty shops, boutiques, and stores there.
Washington DC Hotels Downtown
Another standout for DC lodging, The Jefferson's Beaux-Arts-inspired historic hotel enjoys a central location in the nation's capital. Just four blocks from the White House, the property debuted in 1923, and displays its collection of vital manuscripts signed by Thomas Jefferson. The dining room at The Jefferson has always been favored by Washington's power elite, among them heads of state, presidents and celebrities from around the world. Cozy, intimate, a lit by a crackling fire, The Jefferson's Lounge's decor features many historic prints and caricatures from the 18th century and beyond.
When The Madison first opened its doors in 1963, President Kennedy christened the hotel as "Washington's Correct Address." The Madison has since been honored to host every President since, proving the President's assertion and the hotel's esteem. Every guest at The Madison is treated like family. Even the doormen here are historical institutions, having been in service for over forty years. They have their own followings, and a wealth of history to share. The Madison's fine dining room, The Federalist, modeled after Dolley Madison's parlor, is a staple amongst Washington insiders, featuring American fare from local producers.
If you are traveling with pets and seek lodging in Washington DC, try the stylish Hotel Monaco, which occupies what was once Washington DC's General Post Office Built in 1839 by Robert Mills, the same architect to design the Washington Monument, The Monaco is a completely renovated Registered National Landmark all-marble building. Lofty, arched ceilings define the luxurious space in each guest room, combined with highly selective, yet varied, interior design and furnishings. Like visitors from another time, enter through the carriageway and dine on the courtyard at the Poste-Modern Brasserie, after you enjoy complimentary wines at the evening welcoming party. In addition to having pet food on its room service menu, the Monaco provides dog walking maps and disposable walking bags, and even provides and cares for a complimentary goldfish to keep you company in your room!
These are but a sampling of tried and true hotels in Washington DC, and their rates vary. Cheap hotels in Washington DC do exist, but if money is your primary concern, you might want to look to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs along the Metro lines.
Image: Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation