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Stayin DC or Alexandria

New England
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190 posts
6 reviews
3 helpful votes
Stayin DC or Alexandria
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I am planning a trip for my husband and I and 5 children (ages 9-17) at the end of December for 4 nights. Because there are 7 of us will need 2 hotel rooms. Hotel requirements are a free breakfast, an indoor pool, and hot tub. I have points with Marriott so I was looking at The Residence Inn Captiol in DC and also at a few in in Alexandria. I know DC is the better location but I will have to pay out of pocket for some of the nights and Alexandria hotels are a lot cheaper than in DC.

My question is, how long is the Metro ride from Alexandria to DC? Would we regret staying that far out of the city? Would it be worth it to cut a day from our trip so that we can save money but still stay in DC?

I'd prefer to stay in DC but money is a factor. Thanks for opinions anyone may want to share!

16 replies to this topic
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1 193 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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It matters which Alexandria RI you are planning. The only one I would put on your list is the one by the King St Metro. It's well poised for access to DC and there's enough to do in Old Town Alexandria on it's own. It's nice to have good restaurants in walking distance.

Factor in transportation costs. The Metro fares really add up with 7 people. You might find that once you add up cost to get into DC that the hotel price difference isn't that substantial. I stay in Alexandria a lot for DC trips due to staying with family. We often find that ride shares or parking in DC costs less than the Metro for all of us.

Ditch the free breakfast requirement though. Our last Alexandria stay at the Embassy Suites had such absurd lines for food and then no where to sit that it just was unappealing. With so much in walking distance, I would much rather pay for breakfast than deal with mobs of people. There's a Whole Foods right by the King Street Metro Station and one of the Residence Inns. It's a great place to grab a super quick breakfast.

New England
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6 reviews
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2. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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Thank you for the repy!

I should have said I was looking at the Fairfield Inn and Springhill Suites (on Richmond Hwy) in Alexandria.

I was also looking at the 3 day or 7 day unlimited metro pass. I'm not sure if this is the sensible thing to do, especially since there are so many of us. Maybe I should start a new post about transportation. I've heard such bad things about driving in DC but most people are probably not a family of 7 and therefore aren't paying the metro costs that we would be.

I'm also wondering how long the metro ride would be from Alexandria to DC?

Thanks again!

United States
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2 711 posts
3. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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Metro will be having reduced service at least until the end of the year. Travel time longer than "usual."

Wilmington, North...
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4. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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My husband and I always stay west of DC at the Residence Inn Merrifield in Falls Church, VA. The Dunn Loring Metro is nearby, but we always drive into DC. Because there are three major arteries (Routes 29, 66 and 50) between Falls Church and DC, traffic is less congested than trying to drive in from the south. Takes about 30 minutes if you avoid rush hour, and not much longer if you don't avoid rush hour, which is usually lighter during the holidays. Free hot breakfast (we've never seen a line) and full kitchens for prepping food or storing leftovers. $5 onsite parking. It's in a quiet location and adjacent to a shopping center with a deli, a Five Guys burger joint, plus Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. Plenty more nearby if you wish to drive.

Edited: 23 November 2021, 23:31
United States
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5. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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Factor in parking once you get to DC each day.

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6. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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20 minutes, barring delays, via Metro, is what it would take from King St. to Air and Space. You can check out times via Google Maps or on the Metro's trip planner https://www.wmata.com/schedules/trip-planner/

If those are your hotel choices vs that RI in DC, there's not even a question that the DC one is the far better choice. Alexandria works in the Old Town area but those other locations are "meh".

Edited: 24 November 2021, 01:13
Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington, Washington DC
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7. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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If you stay in either the SpringHill Suites or the Fairfield Inn on Richmond Road in Alexandria, you are setting yourself up for a long (and costly) commute via Metro into DC.

First of all, neither of those hotels is within walking distance of the nearest Metro station, Huntington Metro. So you are looking at a 25-35 minute walk to get to the station in the morning and another similar walk at the end of the day to get back to your hotel. You can call the hotels regarding shuttles, but that service appears to have been discontinued. And even if there is a shuttle, you waste a lot of time waiting for them to show up.

Next, the time to get from the Huntington Station to the first station in DC, L’Enfant Plaza station in the morning is 21 minutes and the fare is $3.80 per person. If you want to go to go elsewhere, the trip will take longer and likely cost more.

So, you are looking at a commute of an hour each way and a cost of over $25 each way for your family of 7 should you stay in either of the hotels you listed.

Also, FWIW, those hotels are on a busy highway in a commercial/industrial area. It’s not the “Old Town” Alexandria that you may be envisioning.

Reston, Virginia
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Cost wise, you're definitely right that it'll be cheaper, but richmond hwy is not a great area(nothing to do, and while it's not dangerous per se, definitely not the safest either). On the bright side, there is a bus (fare included in metro cost) every 10 mins that pulls up in front of your hotel and gets you to the metro in 5, then 25 minutes to DC from there. It'd be around 8 dollars round-trip per person on weekend days, 4 round-trip on weekend.

Something in Old town Alexandria instead of Richmond hwy would be much much better though,

Reston, Virginia
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Also will you have a car. If so, and if it fits all 7 of you, then it's not the end of the world. Just park at the l'enfant plaza garage every day, as it's right off the highway and also close to the mall.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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10. Re: Stayin DC or Alexandria
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Everything about your situation points to “ stay in Washington , DC” as the correct answer.

And no one has even mentioned the weather yet. It may be freezing cold. A good reason to limit commuting time back to the hotel if everyone is cold and tired at the end of a day of sightseeing.

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