Top 5 family-friendly Washington DC hotels

Washington DC and Disney World have something in common: both destinations require a lot of walking. And I mean, a lot. But here’s where they differ (aside from the obvious): approximately 90% of kid-friendly attractions in Washington DC are free. Try getting that deal at Disney! Why do I make this unlikely comparison? To emphasize the importance of picking the right Washington DC hotel. Without a doubt, your DC lodging will be the most expensive part of your trip. Many families decide to book hotels outside the city, as far away as Maryland or Virginia, and take the Metro in to see the sights. While this can save money, it will not save your tired feet, and it will take away from your touring time.

Do yourself a favor and stay at one of the following DC hotels in the heart of the action. You’ll spend more, but if you book through TripAdvisor, you can get some pretty good deals, plus you’ll save on museums, tours, and entertainment your entire visit! Note: parking fees will be high at all the below locations. We highly advise not renting a car.


1. Grand Hyatt Washington DC

We spent four lovely nights at the Grand Hyatt DC Washington DC while exploring the sights last July. What makes the Hyatt our top pick? It’s only four blocks from the Mall and five blocks from the White House, it has numerous dining options on-site and nearby, and…wait for it…it has a the Central Metro station in the lobby. Grand Hyatt guests have access to a fitness club and indoor pool located in the same building (though the pool is small, it’s a nice amenity), and it offers the Hyatt Grand Club. If you’re not familiar, Hyatt Grand Clubs are absolutely worth the upgrade (it will cost you approximately $75 extra per day). The Grand Club is open all day, and puts out a full breakfast, full lunch, snacks, and dinner appetizers (that can work as a full dinner, depending on what your kids will eat). Desserts come out at night! Of course, you won’t be in the hotel to take advantage of each meal, but it can pay for itself with breakfast and bottled waters alone.

2. Embassy Suites Chevy Chase Pavilion

Renovations are currently underway at Chevy Chase Pavilion, but even while construction is ongoing, this hotel is a great pick for families. It’s located directly on the Red Line at the Friendship Heights Metro stop, and no one does a free breakfast better than Embassy Suites. There’s an indoor pool and exercise facility, and while it’s further off the beaten path than the Grand Hyatt (you won’t be walking to the Mall), you’ll get big bang for your buck in the large rooms with sleeping areas separate from living areas.


3. The Hay-Adams

If you want to go the luxury route, or simply want the best DC location money can buy, head to the Hay-Adams. The first time we stayed here, I was a young girl, and gullible enough to believe the staff member who convinced me the hotel got its name because Jefferson would look out his White House window and yell, ‘Hey! Adams!’. Ok, not true at all, but the Hay-Adams is within shouting distance of the White House. The views are fantastic, the hotel is charmingly historic, and you’ll feel like royalty…American style.

4. Hilton Garden Inn Washington (downtown)

The Hilton Garden Inn is located on 14th, within walking distance of the Mall, Capitol, and White House (though not as close as the Grand Hyatt or Hay-Adams). You do get one big perk, however: free WIFI, which is rare in downtown hotels. Also excellent for families: refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms. Go ahead and make your own breakfast or evening snacks in-house! An indoor pool rounds out the family-friendly amenities.

5. Marriott Residence Inn Washington

We love Marriott Residence Inns! The downtown Washington location is in the Federal Building area, only two blocks from the Mall and one block from the Metro. You’ll get a free hot breakfast every day, and lower rates for longer stays. You’re half a mile from the Smithsonian museums, and suites are the norm, allowing families to spread out. We walked past this Residence Inn as we walked back and forth to the Mall from the Grand Hyatt, and looked at it a bit longingly!


Wherever you decide to stay in Washington DC, be sure to take advantage of the many Smithsonian museums, take a day to tour the national monuments, take in a festival or two on the Mall, and tour the US Capitol and White House. Yes, all the above are free of charge! Now, go save 25% on your hotel when you book through TripAdvisor