We spent 5 days in Washington, DC last week while my daughter attended a youth summit. Since our family went from 4 to 6 in just the past 2 years, I now approach having to book a hotel for us with trepidation. Reasons include having to accomodate an infant, a 2 year old who absolutely needs cold milk 24/7, a teenager and preteen who want space and entertainment, and a husband who just wants to be comfortable when traveling with four kids. I know it won’t be much longer before I will need to book 2 rooms instead of one to accomodate my family.
Are you in the same boat as me? I’d love to hear how you navigate hotel stays with a big family!
Back to our trip. I ended up booking our stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, Washington, DC Downtown. I’m a Hilton Honors member and am always checking area Hiltons first. This HGI was only a few blocks from the summit location and the amenities and location were perfect in suiting all of my family’s diverse needs.
We booked a King Suite, which included a living room area with sofa sleeper and a separate bedroom with a King bed. This was perfect because my two oldest are used to sharing a bed when we travel and my husband and I already share our King bed at home with our littles (don’t judge!). Who knew a sectional sofa in a hotel room (first time I’ve seen this in a hotel!) would get my older kids so giddy! It was easy to set up for sleep and helped provide even more seating for our large family!
There was a “hospitality” center complete with a small fridge, microwave, single-serve Keurig coffee maker, and water. This was so convenient. Believe me when I say we packed the fridge with tons of leftovers from when we ate out. We actually saved so much money this way, and in Washington, DC, that’s a miracle! Because of our leftovers, we were able to call the front desk and request room service to send some plates and silverware. Within 5 minutes we had plates, cloth napkins, and silverware sets. It was so convenient!
The bedroom was very spacious! It had a TV (not shown), window, chair, and table. There is plenty of room for a suitcase stand, crib, etc.! It was so nice not feeling like we were tripping over all of our “stuff”!
There were some extra cozy touches to our room including boxes of chocolate, a bathroom, and a pair of slippers already set up for one of us to use!
It was so relaxing to dive into this bed after a long day of walking around DC!
The bathroom was very clean, large, and appointed with our favorite Neutrogena products.
Downstairs was the Grist Mill restaurant, which is where we ate breakfast every morning. We bought the room rate that included breakfast (Note: The room rate breakfast special only applies dine-in and not room service). The breakfast was a buffet with your usual hotel buffet offerings. However, there was an omelet station every morning that was delicious! Each day they had a special omelet of the day that I couldn’t wait to dive into. Omelet specials included crab, swiss, and spinach one day and even ancho chile sausage and veggies another. Well worth it!
Another PLUS to staying at this hotel that I hadn’t EVER experienced at other hotels, is each day a dinner special at the Grist Mill was advertised. The daily specials were always neatly posted by the elevators on our floor. One evening we chose to eat dinner at the Grist Mill because they were serving $5 gourmet hamburgers!
There is a beverage station in the downstairs lobby. In the mornings they served coffee and tea (pictured), but during the day they offered cold water with lemon and orange slices as well as cookies (during my entire stay the cookies were always these oatmeal cranberry cookies). I didn’t realize how much I miss being able to pour myself hot coffee or tea any time of the day, but I guess that is what the Keurig is for in the room.
We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to check out the hotel pool (which I heard is rare in DC!) or fitness room because we underestimated how busy and exhausted we’d be. If we didn’t have a 3 month old, we probably would have visited the pool at least!
Aside from the hotel amenities, one of the biggest advantages of staying at this hotel that made it perfect for my family is the location–it was very ideal and here’s why:
Metro stops are just a few blocks away: Depending on where you are trying to go, there are two metro stops within a few block distance (one stop being a Metro Center). So if you want to leave Penn Quarter during your stay…it’s easy peasy!
- Other options: Big Bus Tours has a stop only a block away. The concierge also told us of another bus tour/route that literally had a stop one block over, but my sleep-deprived mom brain can’t recall the name of it…so ask the concierge (which is a person standing at a podium right at the hotel entrance).
Walking to the major sites is doable, but oh my feet! We aren’t fit, and we pretty much walked everywhere, with a double stroller in tow! I’m sure you are more fit than we are, so this won’t be a problem for you….haha!
Estimated walk times (Again, this is coming from two already exhausted parents of 4 including an infant who haven’t worked out in a decade):
- White House-10 min
- National Monument-20 min
- Memorials-Good luck…30 min+
- American History Museum-20 min
- Chinatown-15 min
- Newseum-25 min
- Capital-30 min+
Many family-friendly, quick-service, and affordable options to eat nearby:
- Cosi-flatbread sandwiches, salds, and soups
- Pret A Manger-Organic coffee and grab-n-go soups, salads, and sandwiches
- Five Guys-burgers and fries
- McDonalds-burgers and fries
- Au Bon Pain-Soups, specialty salads, sandwiches, and pastries
- Pizza Pinos/Cafe Cantina-Pizza and Mexican food…yup, both in the same spot!
- Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken-gourmet doughuts and super yummy fried chicken…we loved it!
Affordable Parking and Quick Valet Service-Parking in DC can be super expensive and I found the valet rate extremely reasonable ($41 was actually cheaper than a lot of hotels I had seen in the area). The valet service was extremely quick and we always got our car within 5 minutes each time.
CVS is a block away. This came in so handy as half my kids got a fever and we easily picked up meds and other essentials throughout our stay!
My only issue with my stay here was that the wi-fi seemed to work best from the living room area. If we were in the bedroom, we kept losing the wi-fi. I’ve never had an issue with spotty wi-fi at a Hilton hotel, so this was surprising to me. However, I was trying to work as well during my stay and it was difficult for my wi-fi to not be reliable. I’m sure it would have worked if I had an ethernet cable and connected to the direct port, but I’ve never had to bring one when I’ve traveled.
Overall, it was an enjoyable stay with a super-friendly staff (especially at the Grist Mill and valet service). If you have a larger family, I highly recommend this hotel to meet your needs for a stay in Washington, DC!
Disclosure: I am not professionally affiliated with Hilton and did not receive any compensation for this post. The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.