I recently traveled to Washington D.C. and needed a place to stay close to Reagan National Airport. Looking at the map, there are plenty of hotels just outside the airport, in the Crystal City area of Arlington, VA. Since I needed a Hilton stay to keep my points alive, I found a good rate at a Hilton Garden Inn that was perfect for my needs. Turns out besides being a great hotel near my conference, this is a great place to stay if doing some sightseeing in Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas.
I tend to like where Hilton Garden Inn fits in the Hilton portfolio. Their hotels have amenities that business travelers like, such as a desk and reliable Wi-Fi, plenty of power plugs in the room, comfortable beds and a restaurant on-site. They’re like Hilton’s version of an Courtyard by Marriott. You know what you’re getting, nothing different but everything you’d need.
2020 Jefferson Davis Highway
The Hilton Garden Inn is very close to Reagan National Airport. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to walk from the airport to the hotel. The hotel does have a shuttle service but you need to call the hotel when you land and they’ll tell you to wait at the hotel shuttle pickup area. For me, that meant waiting in a plexiglass bus shelter in 90 degree heat for twenty-five minutes until the shuttle arrived. I could have taken an Uber but I wanted to see how long the shuttle would actually take.
The 248 room hotel was built in 1968 but was just renovated in 2017. The hotel was previously a Radisson but the renovation has made the hotel look fresh and new.
Upon entering the hotel, the front desk agents quickly processed my reservation and thanked me for being a Hilton Gold member (because of my AMEX Platinum card). I was given a room on a high floor and told about the breakfast in the lobby every morning, which was part of my Gold Benefits. Even though I arrived before noon, I was immediately given a room when I checked in. My room was on the seventh floor.
Just a few doors down the well lit hallway was my room, 729.
I was traveling by myself for this trip so I opted for the one king bed room. Not that I need a king size bed for just me. I’m accustomed to only have about 1/4 of our bed at home between Sharon and the dog taking up the rest 🙂
It was a pretty basic room but everything was there. The wall mounted A/C worked almost too well and I wished I had brought my warmer pajamas.
The desk, TV stand, coffee nook and drawer area was standard issue. The desk chair looked to be flimsy but in fact was very comfortable. As usual, I never turned on the TV for my entire two night stay so I couldn’t say how it was.
One nice thing about the room was the number of plugs, both power and USB, that were all throughout the room. These were the options on the desk between the lamp USB plugs and the power/USB outlet on the wall.
I really liked the simple but effective way they separated the garbage and recycling without having to add an extra can to the room.
There was a chair and ottoman near the window that I never used besides having to climb over the chair to turn the lamp on and off.
I received a bottled water as part of my amenity gift as a Gold member. I drank both of them during my stay and was never charged for the extra one. There was also a Keurig coffee maker that I never used because of the lack of milk available.
The bathroom was a little small with room for a toilet and shower. I appreciated the totally enclosed glass shower stall which meant the shower curtain wouldn’t be blowing on me for my entire shower and also meant the floor wouldn’t get all wet like when there’s only a half a shower door.
The breakfast area off the lobby served a full buffet with a cook to serve omelets. The food was quite good but not if you were in a hurry. Because it was a seated affair, the servers insisted on seating you and taking your drink orders (like coffee). Then when you were done, you had to flag one of them down to get a check. Since the breakfast was part of my Gold benefit, I only had to sign it to my room and the charge was removed. It still took ten minutes to get the check because there were only two people working the room on a Saturday morning. The next day I just grabbed a coffee from the Starbucks across the street.
The hotel is in the middle of a bunch of office buildings and hotels. This is definitely a business area and not very scenic. However, you’re really close to the Washington Mall. It was a $10 UberX ride for me to get from the hotel to the Washington Monument. It was $12 to get a ride back from Capitol Hill to the hotel. I could have taken the D.C. Metro but I was in a hurry to get as much sightseeing done on the way there and I split the ride on the way back. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to stay near Washington, this would be a great option.
We’ve stayed in several hotels around Washington D.C.. While I’d rather stay at the Park Hyatt or The Willard Intercontinental, I don’t always have the points to do things like that. It’s just as acceptable to stay at a basic hotel just outside the city and pay a $10 Uber fare than overpaying to stay within walking distance to a few sights. All I needed the room for was a place to stay at night. I’d consider this hotel, or others in the area, the next time we’re visiting Washington D.C.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary