Washington, D.C. Hotels

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A visit to Washington, D.C., offers something for everyone — from schoolchildren to history buffs to political junkies. While hotels in the D.C. area can be expensive, vacationers can save money because much that the nation’s capital has to offer is free: Its public museums, parks and historic sites — including the Smithsonian, the National Zoo and Arlington National Cemetery — do not charge admission. Visitors can choose the best hotels from a variety of categories, depending upon their own needs and desires: luxury boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfast inns, budget-conscious hotels and hostels.

You can find hotels in Washington, D.C., near the U.S. Capitol and other tourist attractions.

You can find hotels in Washington, D.C., near the U.S. Capitol and other tourist attractions.

Hotel Palomar

If you’re looking for a luxury boutique hotel, the 335-room Hotel Palomar (hotelpalomar-dc.com) is centrally located on Dupont Circle, a short metro ride from the U.S. Capitol and within walking distance to hip restaurants, bars and bookstores. The hotel features an outdoor pool — rare for D.C.– along with concierge service, a continental breakfast and evening wine receptions. Unlike many urban hotels, it’s also pet friendly as dogs are allowed. The hotel’s restaurant, Urbana, serves upscale Mediterranean food.

Embassy Circle Guest House

For a bed and breakfast, try the Embassy Circle Guest House (dcinns.com/embassy.html), another popular spot in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. A stay at the 11-room inn includes breakfast, afternoon wine and appetizers and parking. Tucked between some of Dupont Circle’s historic older homes and a short walk to Georgetown, the B&B is also a short walk from Embassy Row, where you can take a guided walking tour on Saturday mornings.

Days Inn Connecticut Avenue

Budget-conscious travelers may find the best bang for their buck at a chain hotel like the Days Inn Connecticut Avenue (daysinn.com), a block away from a Metro station and a short ride from the National Mall. The six-story, 155-room hotel, which was remodeled in 2009, is across the street from a popular pizza place in a safe section of Northwest Washington. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, a business center and high-speed internet. Parking is available for a fee.

Hostelling International — Washington, D.C.

Students or those traveling on a very tight budget may find a hostel their best bet. Hostelling International (hiwashingtondc.org) provides affordable accommodations in downtown D.C., just eight blocks from the White House and the National Mall. The hostel offers dorm-style and private rooms, and all the amenities you’d hope for in a hostel, including a pool table, laundry facilities, lockers and anti-bedbug covers on the mattresses. It also features free continental breakfast.


Jennifer Barrow has worked as a newspaper reporter since 2002, most recently at the “Houston Chronicle,” where she was a business reporter. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Yale University.


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