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Recommended hotels along DC metro lines?


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One of my teens and I will be flying into the DC area next month.   My teen will be attending a camp in Bethesda.  Should I stay in a Bethesda hotel or elsewhere in the DC metro area?   Any favorite hotels near metro stops?   

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I'd stay in Bethesda or near Friendship Heights if I were you - or maybe Cleveland Park - the two giant hotels at Cleveland Park are really nice, but I've never heard any bad things about the ones clustered around Bethesda or Friendship Heights. If you go much further out, there aren't that many hotels that I know of. You can go closer in and there are hotels near the zoo and around Dupont and so forth, but if you're going to have to take the metro to Bethesda, you don't want to be on the other side of the city or the Red line, so I'd just look at places along that bit of the line.

Just FYI that there's a lot of work on the metro being done right now. They're using the diminished ridership to do some projects. Even my never-affected by shutdowns green line has the whole northern end shutting down for a couple of months for platform improvements. I don't think there are major red line projects this summer, but just so you know to check.

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Not a specific name, but a tip. I usually look for hotels on Priceline and switch it to show in map view. That way I can move it around, try different areas. You can also have it filter by neighborhoods. Then I compare the options to reviews on TripAdvisor to see if they could be good for me. Personally, I like hotels that provide breakfast (which right now is often bagged) and have a hot tub, so I limit for that. You'll want to call to confirm if you're filtering for features, because some areas have closed hot tubs and pools due to covid. Me, if I have a nice pool/hot tub and good food, I'm set. :biggrin:

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We have stayed at the Washington Marriott at Wardman Park near the zoo and right by the Woodley Park Metro stop. It's a huge hotel often used for conferences. Close to a strip of restaurants and the zoo.

Near Dupont Circle, the Fairfax at Embassy Row has a more traditional style. Comfy beds and rooms. Fairly close to the Dupont Metro stop.

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We stayed at the Embassy Suites Chevy Chase and loved it.  The metro is literally downstairs so you don't even have to leave the building.  But this was 8 years ago (or around then), so not a recent stay. 

 

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A few questions.

Do you know if the camp is walking distance to a Bethesda metro station?  If not, are you planning on taking the bus, or renting a car?  PM me if you want to name the camp and I can tell you. 

Are other family members coming?  I would, in general, say to stay walking distance.  The metro is great, but it's still time consuming.  If you don't need it that's even better.  On the other hand, if the plan is that your teen goes to camp and you take younger kids to places downtown, then I'd prioritize staying close to the other locations, and have your teen hop on the train.

Also, are there amenities you'd use?  I know my kids would prefer a hotel with an outdoor pool.  Some people might like to be close to lots of restaurants, or a tennis court, or something.  
 

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1 hour ago, BaseballandHockey said:

if the camp is walking distance to a Bethesda metro station? 

The other way to do that is to ask google maps. You just put in "metro near _________" and it can do it just fine. I do it for much more quixotic things like radio towers. :biggrin:

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1 hour ago, BaseballandHockey said:

A few questions.

Do you know if the camp is walking distance to a Bethesda metro station?  If not, are you planning on taking the bus, or renting a car?  PM me if you want to name the camp and I can tell you. 

Are other family members coming?  I would, in general, say to stay walking distance.  The metro is great, but it's still time consuming.  If you don't need it that's even better.  On the other hand, if the plan is that your teen goes to camp and you take younger kids to places downtown, then I'd prioritize staying close to the other locations, and have your teen hop on the train.

Also, are there amenities you'd use?  I know my kids would prefer a hotel with an outdoor pool.  Some people might like to be close to lots of restaurants, or a tennis court, or something.  
 

The camp is at a conference center about two miles from one of the Bethesda metro stations.  We will either take a bus or the conference center shuttle to get my teen there.  The camp is residential, so once he is checked in, he will stay on site.    

I could stay at the conference center hotel, but would rather have easier access to mass transit and meal options.  Teen will be with me for the first night, after that I will be alone.  I plan to do a few touristy things and a lot of relaxing.  

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25 minutes ago, Sherry in OH said:

I plan to do a few touristy things and a lot of relaxing.  

Then it sounds like you might want to find a locus for what you want to do. There's nothing worse than realizing you want to do things on the opposite side of a big city. 

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2 hours ago, Sherry in OH said:

The camp is at a conference center about two miles from one of the Bethesda metro stations.  We will either take a bus or the conference center shuttle to get my teen there.  The camp is residential, so once he is checked in, he will stay on site.    

I could stay at the conference center hotel, but would rather have easier access to mass transit and meal options.  Teen will be with me for the first night, after that I will be alone.  I plan to do a few touristy things and a lot of relaxing.  

That changes my answer.

Bethesda is probably a lovely place to live.  It's a bland, affluent suburb, filled with things like well regarded schools, and lots of kid activities.  But it's not a place I'd want to spend a vacation.  I'd go further into the city for that.  

What is your idea of relaxing?  I'd make different suggestions depending on whether you want to tae a walk in a beautiful part of the city, or sit by a lovely outside pool, or try some restaurants with varied cuisines.  

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4 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

 

What is your idea of relaxing?  I'd make different suggestions depending on whether you want to tae a walk in a beautiful part of the city, or sit by a lovely outside pool, or try some restaurants with varied cuisines.  

All of those sound lovely.  

I find parks and other green spaces relaxing. I also like visiting museums.  My tentative thoughts are an excursion to a garden, possibly Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Garden or the National Arboretum, and visiting some of the museums and gardens along the National Mall.  The National Zoo is also a possibility.  My plans are subject to change depending on what reopens, the weather, my energy level, and whether or not I can get tickets for what is open. (I would really like to go to the Botanical Garden.)  I do not like to be out alone after dark in unfamiliar areas, so expect to spend a fair amount of time lounging at my hotel with a book.   I will have four entire days plus most of an afternoon and evening to myself.   

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sherry in OH said:

All of those sound lovely.  

I find parks and other green spaces relaxing. I also like visiting museums.  My tentative thoughts are an excursion to a garden, possibly Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Garden or the National Arboretum, and visiting some of the museums and gardens along the National Mall.  The National Zoo is also a possibility.  My plans are subject to change depending on what reopens, the weather, my energy level, and whether or not I can get tickets for what is open. (I would really like to go to the Botanical Garden.)  I do not like to be out alone after dark in unfamiliar areas, so expect to spend a fair amount of time lounging at my hotel with a book.   I will have four entire days plus most of an afternoon and evening to myself.   

Just FYI that you'll likely have to get an Uber to get to Kenilworth or the Arboretum - both are pretty inaccessible by public transit. But Kenilworth is GLORIOUS when the lotuses are in bloom - something that the populace of the city seems to have finally discovered. And also, even though they are literally adjacent, it takes a good 15 minute drive to get from one to the other because their entrances are on opposite ends of the earth. If you like outdoor spaces more, you can easily rent a bike from a lot of locations. A lot of people bike the arboretum. It's pretty large.

Honestly, I think you're fine in Bethesda. The main thing you'll want is to be near the metro, not far out, and close to food options and in a comfortable spot. Bethesda is fine for that, though so are the Woodley Park or Friendship Heights hotels. If you want to be more in the city, stay near Dupont.

Also, just FYI - all those areas are super safe. Including after dark.

Edited by Farrar
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Posted (edited)

If you can stay closer in, we really liked our stay at a Marriott property downtown/convention center area. Super quick walk to the metro. Lots of restaurants within walking distance. It seemed safer there than my stay several months later in College Park, MD with my daughter who had been accepted to grad school at U of MD. 

Edited by popmom
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