Finding posh, yet affordable accommodations in the heart of D.C. isn’t impossible, you just need to do your research and be willing to move around. Trendy boutique hotels abound in the city, but they carry hefty price points early in the week. Efficiency hotels are good alternatives for Monday through Wednesday and you can end the week with a bang when rates lower at the chicer hotels Thursday through Sunday.
Below is a breakdown of how I managed to stay in three North West D.C. hotels for seven nights in late July under $1000.
I started my journey later in the week, which allowed me to stay at this trendy Kimpton outpost sitting in a strip of restaurants and services in Dupont Circle for a reasonable price. The Palomar Hotel is a block from Rock Creek Park and across the street from the best bagel shop in town.
The rooms at The Palomar are cool and stylish featuring high-end minimalist décor in bright colors. The spacious quarters are furbished with a sizable desk, a dresser and a large closet containing comfy robes. The restrooms are mid-size and include a a bathtub.
Amenities at the hotel include a pool, a full fitness center offering fresh fruit, towels and disposable headphones, and complimentary wine happy hour in the lobby from 5 PM to 6:30 PM. Plus, the hotel’s intimate bar/restaurant, Urbana, serves delicious appetizers and specialty cocktails.
By Monday, all the Kimpton hotels ranged around the $300 mark per night and the Pod hotel was perhaps the only hotel under $200 in D.C. proper. Located just mere steps from the buzzing Chinatown area, this efficiency hotel is perfectly situated for visiting the Smithsonian museums and the National Mall – all of which are within a 20-minute walk.
The catch here is the small size of the rooms, which staffers refer to as “pods” and are the reason for the considerable price cut. Pod hotels offer efficiency rooms that stir clear from including “unnecessary” items found in average hotel rooms. Think closet, iron, robes, bathtubs, and such. Instead, the pods are minimalistic and make use of every inch of space. The bed frames offer storage room for small bags and shoes underneath and there are hooks and ledges cleverly placed around the room.
What The Pod lacks in space, it makes up for in perks. Even though the hotel is equipped with a mid-size gym, patrons get complimentary access to the neighboring Washington Sports Club fitness center and Sculpt DC, which offers yoga and cycling classes a short 8-minute walk away. If you’re travelling on business and don’t feel like working at the minute desk in your room, you can use a nearby shared workspace free of charge.
While the Pod doesn’t have a restaurant, the trendy Crimson Diner lives right at the lobby and offers American classics from 6 AM to 11 PM.
Thursday – Friday
The Westin in Foggy Bottom $150/night (with tax)
1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC, 20005
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By Thursday the rates for upscale hotels had gone down, so I went back to an upscale hotel in Foggy Bottom. The Westin has a glamorous and mature ambiance, the friendliest staff I encountered all week and it’s smacked right in between Dupont Circle and Georgetown.
The rooms at the Westin are mid-sized, elegant and minimalistic. My 7th floor suite was packed with a king-sized bed, an armoire, a mid-size dresser and a desk, and it rendered ample street views. The star of the room was the restroom, which was equipped with a large tub, a separate shower and a private room for the toilet.
Amenities at the Westin include a full size gym with complimentary fruit and headphones and aromatherapy towels; a pool; a courtyard and two restaurants: Bóveda offers Mexican fare and opens for dinner, and The Caucus Room, which specializes in French cuisine and is open all day.