We are in the process of planning a trip to Washington D. C. We have stayed in numerous properties around the area that met our expectations; however, we are thinking about staying somewhere different for this trip. I'd be interested in comments about the Marriott Marquis and/or the Renaissance Downtown. If you have stayed at either of these locations or have a preferred hotel in the area, please share your comments.
I have tried a number of options in DC and have stayed near DuPont Circle and also near the convention center.
Here are my reviews:
Renaissance DuPont: Pretty good location but at least 5-6 blocks to metro, rooms are small, hotel feels a little tired but not bad overall, free breakfast in lounge but its not that great to be honest.
Marquis by convention center: Good proximity to night life, walking distance to a lot of things and metro is 2.5 blocks, rooms are new and nice but also a little on the small side. Noise in rooms can be an issue. The lobby bar is vast and nice. Plenty of seating selection. I would stay here again but feels more like a convention crowd, (the convention center is literal connected. A little further north than most may want, but it depends on what you want to do, pretty good walking distance for nightlife.
Air B&B: 22 Decatur Place NW, Listing name: Prime Kalorama/DuPont: Host = Michael
English basement that has been converted and in a great area of the city. Super clean and plenty of room for 2. Nice quiet super modern place that is just a 10 minute walk to the DuPont Metro. Worth the extra $.
razorbackfan the new Renaissance is (quite) large and relatively institutional compared to the exquisite, Insider-favorite, the Mayflower.
Some additional reading:
Broader advice here:
...in my humble in opinion you can not go wrong choosing either of these hotels!!.....the marriott marquis and the Renaissance are both absolutely beautiful hotels!!...with all the best ameneties..while in DC, make sure to go to all of the amazing free museums!!...also riding the subway is a must do as well! ...very clean and safe even for children! ..also going in august is a perfect time becasuse government is not in session!
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel was a great fit for me. I enjoy running/walking and this was a great location to start and finish during my most recent stay. Close enough to walk/run to nearby attractions and a metro stop within one block of the hotel for longer trips. Parking was convenient, the concierge lounge was great, the gym was extensive but get this, no pool or spa! I was surprised, but it wasn't a deal breaker, I'd definitely return.
Have you stayed at the JW yet? It is probably the most centrally located Marriott property in DC, next to perhaps the Mayflower. I did a walkabout this year in its massive lobby. Quite impressive, but alas, I can't speak to the rooms. I've read a few complaints about small sizes. I'm always looking for a bargain, and have been extremely happy with the Cap View Ren and the Crystal City Marriott. Both properties have decent CL's and both have treated us well, even when staying on points or at bargain basement rates. Two weeks ago, we were upgraded to an executive suite, sitting room, living room, dining room, two bathrooms, master bedroom at Crystal. At Cap View Ren, they keep track of your stays and pride themselves on welcoming guests back. Crystal is on top of the blue/yellow Metro line, Cap View does a free shuttle every 20 mins.
I do not recommend Key Bridge if no car. Schlepping luggage to/from Rosslyn metro station was no fun and the property is old and tired.
If money were no object, it would be the Ritz, hands down. DC first, Georgetown second. DC Ritz is actually on my hotel bucket list.
Also, with the merge, there's the W Hotel or Westins.
At the end of the day, maybe you will chose Mayflower after all. Rooms have been renovated. They're totally different (and you might like it, might not). The hotel has been rebranded as an Autograph property.
Hi there razorbackfan. I stayed at the Marquis in the summer of 2014 and I agree with berlyg that it is a beautiful hotel, BIG and beautiful. All the staff members I came in contact with were efficient and very friendly; the lobby bar was way too big and loud for me and the Club Lounge had some of the best food offerings of any lounge I’ve been in however it was totally overrun with screaming kids and very, very crowded. The lounge staff had a very difficult time keeping all the food replenished; a glass of wine at the Honor Bar was 10 dollars which I thought to be rather steep. I prefer a quieter setting for a hotel and I know I won’t go back to the Marquis.
I stayed at the Renaissance downtown many years ago but I don’t feel I can comment about it given my visit was quite awhile ago.
I’ve seen others comment about the Mayflower and I have to agree; it is a favorite of mine. I have stayed in the remodeled Autograph Collection rooms but I've not yet been in the new Concierge/Club Lounge. However I just looked at the photos online for the Mayflower and pluto77, it does look like the fireplace stayed. YAY!! I love that lounge.
My other favorite hotel in DC is the Courtyard on 9th and F near the Convention Center. Yes I know it is a Courtyard but the location is great, the staff is great, I usually request a room on the 10th floor overlooking F Street, they have been remodeled and are very nice; refrigerator, microwave, walk-in shower. There is a Gordon Biersch restaurant attached to the property and many other fine restaurant options within walking distance, not to mention all the museums etc. It is housed in an old bank building which I love, stately and elegant.
I have stayed recently at Marriott at Metro Center and it is fine with a good location.
When the rates downtown are too steep I stay at the Gateway in Crystal City and take the Metro downtown. I really like the Concierge Lounge at the Gateway.
The Renaissance Capitol View in Arlington was mentioned also and I agree it is a very nice property; my favorite aspect of it is that the CL overlooks DCA and one can sit and watch planes take off and land. I was in heaven.
And speaking of bucket list hotels The Willard would have to be mine. I was in a room many years ago for a birthday party but have never stayed overnight there. It is an IHG property and I do have some points I should use for a stay before they expire. The Willard’s location is wonderful and the hotel is steeped in history.
When I stay in DC I typically stay at one of the Crystal City Marriotts, usually the Crystal Gateway. I like them because I can take the Metro from DCA or the Metro Flyer from IAD to the Metro and come up and then walk inside to get to either property. Then Metro anywhere I need to go. Also many restaurants in Crystal City, mainly chains. However I recently stayed at the Georgetown Marriott on 22nd in order to be with colleagues. Within walking distance of either the Foggy Bottom or Dupont Circle Metro stations. I liked the Concierge Lounge a lot and many good restaurants in the area. Try the Pizzeria Paradiso. One downside is there is construction behind the property but since I was gone during the day it wasn't an issue.
I will watch this thread and maybe pick up some tips for future trips.
For anyone who might be in DC on this date, this looks like a fun and interesting event at Edgar Bar and Kitchen, Mayflower Hotel...
We are soo excited to announce our Third annoual "Taste for Toys" holiday toy drive. On December 17th, bring a toy and enjoy a complimentary reception from 5-8pm hosted by top culinarians and mixologists. All toys will be donated to Children's National Hospital. to make reservations,please call 202-570-8096 or email email@example.com
I was at the Mayflower in Washington DC for the Taste of Toys (thanks for the info pluto77); not sure why I didn’t ask if any other MRIs were going but it was fun and interesting. Admission to the event was a toy; I brought two, a Barbie Doll (my favorite when I was young) and a Tonka Toy Missile Launcher. All the toys went to Children’s National Hospital. The tasting was held in the Edgar Bar and Kitchen and there were a number of different stations with chefs from the Mayflower and other Marriott hotels and small plates to sample. I tried the short rib with celeriac puree, a scallop dish, a bison ragu with pasta, a blackened chicken thigh with a sweet corn cake and spicy red cabbage slaw. There were also many little fancy desserts. Everything was quite tasty.
The hotel lobby was beautifully decorated for the holidays; and this was the first time I had been in the Concierge Lounge since it's remodeling. The furniture was a bit more modern, the carpet a bright fuchsia, other than not I didn’t notice any drastic differences; the fireplace and coffee table books were still there. The food was great as usual; one night it was huge, meaty pork chops with Indian-type spices, mixed mashed potatoes (sweet, Yukon gold, and Russet; I made the same recipe for our family Christmas Eve meal and everyone loved it). The lounge also had the usual tossed salad, cheese, two different kinds of dip, crackers, mixed nuts, and a variety of fancy little desserts. One of the best CL lounges and I LOVE that hotel.
And of course my favorite views, DCA landing and taking off.
Landing to the south (below)
Taking off to the north, White House below.
And finally below, the National Cathedral, taking off to the north.
You're welcome, pluto77. Say, have you heard of any more MRI get-togethers planned for the Mayflower in the near future? Or anywhere in the DC area for that matter.
We were in town back in early November and met up with vaboywnder and eklektech. I don't know about the near future, but I plan (merely hoping at this point) to be back in town the 2nd weekend in May or the 1st weekend in Aug (preferably both, but if I can only do one or the other, I am leaning towards August) and also sometime in Oct (can't remember the date, I think it's the 3rd week) when we will be in the area to visit Williamsburg.
It would be great to have another Insider meet up in DC.
The Renaissance is a very comfortable hotel. As another poster has stated, it feels a bit dated when compared to the other area Marriott hotels and the rooms are a bit small. I used Uber to get around so being a couple blocks from the metro was no big deal. Traveling for work, I don't mind that size one bit and frankly, the lobby is very modern and the Risika west end across the street is a great restaurant. I'll go back for certain. Have not yet stayed at the Marquis but schedule to be there in 2 weeks. If you're sight seeing, the JW is a prime location...
Thanks to everyone for all your recommendations. We stayed 3 nights at the Marriott Marquis and 3 nights at the Renaissance Downtown.
We enjoyed our stay at the Marquis. The M Lounge is open 24/7, including the week before Christmas. It is large; however, guests still ended up sitting on sofas with their plates on their lap especially when the closing time for breakfast was near. In the evenings when no appetizers are served (Friday and Saturday), canisters containing pretzels, nuts, M&M's, malted milk balls, jelly bellies, Hershey's kisses, etc., were available and quite a temptation. A pasta dish and something else I don't remember were served along with chips, cheese & crackers, etc. on the Sunday night we stayed at the hotel. It was adequate, but not really anything special. We were on our way to a night tour and just stopped in for a few minutes. Our room was clean and comfortable. It was facing the back of the hotel so we did not hear all the sirens other guests have mentioned. The view was not good; however, we were told a new Courtyard will be built on the lots behind the Marquis. The lobby was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed looking at (and smelling) the gingerbread house.
There is a CVS in the block behind the hotel which we visited numerous times due to our luggage being delayed for four days. The employees there were very helpful.
While we enjoyed the hotel on this trip, I do not think we would enjoy it if was crowded. I shudder when I think about how crowded the M Lounge might be during a convention.
Our last 3 nights were spent at the Renaissance Downtown which is visible from the Marquis. I knew they were close, but didn't realize how close until we saw it. I also hadn't remember that we had stayed there on a previous trip. We got a "Snowflake" rate of $79, so it was an excellent value. The lounge was closed during the week before Christmas, but we were given vouchers for the breakfast buffet which was very nice. Our room was clean and comfortable. I was originally disappointed that it faced the courtyard in the rear of the hotel, but decided that was probably the quietest side of the building. We would stay there again if we got a great rate; however, I do not think it would be worth $300+ which is what they charge in the spring when we were considering staying there. All hotels in the area are much more expensive in the spring.
We were happy with our choice to stay in these hotels and will certainly consider them on future trips.