While I would have liked to have stayed smack in the thick of Washington D.C. on my most recent trip there, prices to do so at any number of Marriotts (we’re Marriott Rewards members and whenever possible try to stay at one of its brands) were exorbitant. It didn’t help that it was President’s Day weekend, which in the United States is a peak travel time even if it’s during the dregs of winter. And so, I “looked across” the Potomac River to neighboring Virginia and settled on a Residence Inn in the non-historic, not so pretty Arlington. (I’m not knocking Arlington but it’s nothing but construction and buildings being built for the sake of being built.) I found $99 rates at the Residence Inn Arlington Rosslyn and I was sold. Ninety-nine dollars a night versus near to $200 a night; you can see how easy it was to make my decision.
Many people are against staying at hotel chains like Marriotts when traveling as they feel you don’t get an authentic experience. Well, in my oh so humble opinion, when you travel to a destination to see all there is, you’re not going to be spending too much time at the hotel save for sleeping, bathing, and perhaps putting your feet up for a few minutes so the fact that the rooms look identical whether you’re in Arlington, Virginia or Arlington, Texas doesn’t bother me.
While Alexandria, Virginia is a much prettier area when compared with Arlington as its roots date back to the 17th century, it is farther away from Washington’s city center which is why I decided against staying there again. (On my visit to Washington D.C. in 2009 we stayed at a Residence Inn there.) I think the biggest draw for staying at the Residence Inn Arlington Rosslyn is that it’s less than a five minute walk to the Rosslyn Metro station which has two lines (the orange and blue) running through it. Between the two lines, trains run continuously, making it less than a 15 minute ride to Washington’s prime attractions.
Even though the official check-in is not until 3 PM, we were able to get into our room after arriving about 1:30 PM on a Friday afternoon. I had requested a room on a higher floor and even though these requests are not guaranteed, we were indeed given one on the 11th floor (there were 12 floors in all). We didn’t have much of a view save for other neighboring buildings, although we did look out onto a partial view of the Potomac.
For anyone not familiar, the Residence Inn is geared more towards extended stays and all rooms are outfitted with a full size refrigerator, microwave, and two oven burners. Therefore for any families looking to do minor cooking and other food preparation as a means of saving money, they’re ideal. We had a studio as it was just the two of us but suites are also an option at the Residence Inn. The room, while certainly clean, could stand a renovation or two as some of the furnishings and areas of the walls were a bit worn.
A buffet style breakfast is complimentary at all Residence Inns and usually lasts for about three hours with the starting time later on weekends. Everything from eggs, a type of breakfast meat, cereals, fruit, yogurts, breads, and even a waffle maker is featured. As I had mentioned before, President’s Day weekend is a peak travel time and it appeared that the Residence Inn was near to capacity so the breakfast room was somewhat of a madhouse each morning although the kitchen staff did their best to replenish the food. There is a fitness center on-site, along with two computers with Internet access and printers available for guest use.
Parking is available in a garage that’s beneath the hotel although it’s limited in terms of space. Luckily we were able to secure a spot although I’m sure there would be ample public parking garages nearby. Another reason to recommend staying in Arlington if you drive to Washington-we paid only $14 a day to park versus parking right in Washington which costs $40 a day.
The popular Georgetown district is only a 15 minute walk from the hotel and is home to a plethora of shops and restaurants although don’t be like me and go late Saturday night for dinner and expect to find a table.
Staying right in Washington would certainly be preferable to staying elsewhere in the area, yet if you’re more interested in spending money on other pursuits (eating out, shopping) sometimes it’s better to stay a bit further afield and use your money where you want to.
Residence Inn Arlington Rosslyn
1651 North Oak Street