by Amanda Geronikos
“It’s like two hotels in one,” says Charles Hegeman, director of sales and marketing at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown. “During the week, it’s suits, ties and briefcases, but come weekends, the mini vans and strollers pull up.” Many hotels in Washington, D.C. are in the same situation — they see a mix of business travelers and families (especially during the summer months) — though not all are able to appease both crowds. “It’s a monument to our staff, who have the ability to wear two hats.”
We agree. We also believe it’s two hotels in one because the property resembles a boutique hotel, yet offers the creature comforts of a national chain.
Among our favorite features is the modernly furnished lobby, especially reminiscent of a boutique hotel, with a fireplace and fresh water, coffee and tea on offer. The bright lobby, furbished in hues of yellow, green and white, expands to an onsite restaurant and bar, where foodie-approved fare is served, yet kids are still welcome (and even eat free on select nights). And when you need them, the amenities you seek in a chain brand are there — rooms with mini-fridges and microwaves, a swimming pool, fitness center and free Wi-Fi.
For more information, read about Hilton Garden Inn.
Our Editor Loves
- Free Wi-Fi
- Indoor pool
- Kids eat free on Fridays
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The hotel offers a total of 300 guestrooms and suites, each outfitted with clean, comfortable furnishings, and all the necessities a family needs while traveling -- mini-fridges, microwaves and coffeemakers. Workspaces (which double as eating spaces), free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, irons and ironing boards and hairdryers are also provided. Most rooms have shower and tub combinations as well. Cribs are available upon request, free of charge; rollaway beds are available for a fee of $15 per night. Rooms can be connected, but you'll pay a premium for the convenience.
Tip: Request a room that doesn't face 14th Street, or a room on a higher floor, to avoid the sound of traffic. Earplugs are provided in all units.
Guestrooms include one king or two double beds, plus all standard amenities.
Suites feature slightly more space and privacy, with one king bed in a separate bedroom for parents, and one sofa bed in the living area for kids. There's one TV in each area, so nobody has to fight over what to watch either.
This hotel is all about location. It is a 20 minute walk from pretty much everything on the national mall and if it's inclement weather (or you're feeling lazy) it's about an $8 Uber to all those places as well. The hotel itself is clean, the staff is so kind and helpful. The restaurant was tasty and even stayed open later than 10pm for us and another family. We didn't use the pool or the gym. They had coffee available every morning which was actually decent. We had a room on the 11th floor at the end so it was very quiet. The hair dryer was actually really powerful, although the water pressure left something to be desired. There are a ton of delicious restaurants from quick bites to amazing sit-down meals within walking distance as well. It was in a very safe location and I would totally stay here again.
The restaurant in our hotel was being remodeled and so we walked the block and a half to the Garden Inn and they have a super breakfast buffet for $17.95. That's a great deal in D.C. Servers bring you coffee, juice etc. Bakery items, fruit of all sorts, pancakes, waffles, sausages, eggs, omelets .
The hotel has a small, indoor pool. It's nothing to write home about, but it's just enough of a reprieve for families after a busy day in the city (and with that in mind, pool noodles are provided). The pool is 5 feet in depth and is ADA-compliant. There is no lifeguard on duty.
The hotel offers several packages year-round just for families, including promotions that encourage them to get out and explore area attractions. There's also a Family Fun Package, complete with free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and a late-check out.
A few major D.C. attractions are within walking distance of the hotel, including the White House and Lafayette Square.
The hotel's beautiful lobby extends to the equally inviting Grist Mill, where breakfast and dinner are served daily. Breakfast costs $14.95 per person and includes cooked-to-order omelets and waffles, plus other standard fare, such as hot and cold cereal, fresh fruit and pastries. Dinner focuses on comfort food, with meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and more on the menu, plus cocktails.
Highchairs are available. The Grist Mill is open for breakfast 6:30 to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 to 11 a.m. on weekends. Dinner is served 5 to 10 p.m. daily, with the bar opening at 4 p.m. and closing at 11. Bonus: Kids ages 10 and under eat free on Fridays, with a separate kids' menu offered.
Room service is available via the Grist Mill, with the same operating hours.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is complimentary to all guests, in all areas of the hotel.
The hotel has an onsite, coin-operated laundry facility. Laundry detergent is available.
Next to the front desk, a gift shop offers snacks, beverages and other necessities you may have forgotten to bring.
The hotel has a small fitness center with treadmills, elliptical machines and some resistance equipment, plus water and towels available. It's open 24 hours.
A business center with a printer is open 24 hours.
Check-in is at 3 p.m. and check-out is at noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
When Congress is in session, Washington D.C., as a whole, is busy. Even when it's not, the hotel is packed with business travelers; in fact, about 80 percent of clientele are on business. July and August are especially busy times though, when both business and leisure travelers are in the city.
The closest airports are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. Rent a car or utilize public transportation to get to the hotel -- trusted options include SuperShuttle.
The only parking available is valet, and it $41 per day. Leave the car at the hotel and use the Metrorail to get around town -- the closest stop is just 2.5 blocks away.
For Mom and Dad
Enjoy a quiet dinner at the Grist Mill or if interested in leaving the hotel, try Founding Farmers (great for breakfast) or Zaytinya (tapas).