8 nights in D.C. for under $500 (and a lot of points)

Day 1 – The Hamilton Crowne Plaza (Points & Cash rate 15,000 + $60)

The Hamilton has a central location in Washington, D.C. with easy walking access to White House and Metro station at McPherson Square. I received complimentary internet access and 12th floor lounge privileges as a Priority Club Platinum member. The lounge was quite small with seating for about 14 people in an open space directly outside the elevators. There was an evening honor bar, appetizers, sodas and water. In the morning there were breads and muffins, cereal and juices. No hot items. 


  • Published rate = $279 (+14.5% tax) = $319.46
  • My Points & Cash rate = 15,000 points + $60
  • Value of points redeemed = $17.33/1,000 points

The floor map indicated I had the smallest room at the top of the hotel on the 14th floor. The room at the Hamilton was comfortable for one person. There was insufficient space for a second suitcase in the room. 

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza, Washington D.C.

The room seemed adequately decorated and featured a window that opened. The window view looked out to an office building of the same height with a slight view of McPherson Square. 

The Hamilton bedroom

The internet at the Hamilton was so slow that I could barely work during the morning hours I tried to post my blog. 

The Hamilton desk

Day 2 – The Westin Georgetown – category 4 Cash & Points ($60 + 4,000 points) 

The Westin Georgetown is not actually in Georgetown, but fairly close. This was my favorite geographic location in the city of the places I stayed. The hotel is a short walk into Georgetown or to the restaurants around the Dupont Circle area. Several hotels are located here with the Park Hyatt and Fairmont Washington, D.C. on other corners across from the Westin Hotel. One to two blocks to the east are several other chain hotels including the Embassy Suites, Marriott Washington D.C., Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C. and Renaisssance Washington D.C. 

The Renaissance was the only hotel of these that looked to have anything at all resembling a happening atmosphere during my visits if bar life and lively lobby ambience is to your liking.

The Westin Georgetown room seemed twice the size of my room at the Hamilton and the hotel placed me front and center with a picture window city view. The internet was quite speedy at this hotel. The lowest room rate was over $300 after tax for a Thursday night. My room is the center room with open curtains 3rd floor from top. 

Westin Georgetown, Washington D.C.

Westin Georgetown view of Fairmont Hotel (left) and Park Hyatt (right).

Day 3 – Grand Hyatt Washington, D.C. $99 Parlor Room only special rate (Friday night) 

My vacation in D.C. suddenly went into survival mode when I developed a fever on Day 3. I seriously wondered if I would make it on the Metro train without passing out. An escalator collapse at Metro Center on Friday afternoon turned a five minute Metro ride into a 30 minute ordeal. 

I booked a Parlor room only of an 1,140 sq. ft. conference suite with the condition that there would only be a couch bed for sleeping. At check-in I was given a complimentary upgrade to the Regency Club floor and a regular king-size room. I kind of expected to receive the parlor room and the bedroom of the conference suite as a Hyatt Diamond member, but I was in no condition to debate rooms and I gladly took the Regency Club room and headed to the 12th floor where I promptly passed out on the bed. I actually think I stayed in bed for 20 of the 22 hours I was at the hotel. 

The Grand Hyatt is one of my favorite hotels in the city of the 15 or so I visited. The large atrium lobby has a bit of a wow factor. 

Grand Hyatt Washington D.C. atrium ceiling

The Grand Hyatt lounge had hot food in the evening, but I was on a carrot diet. There were also hot breakfast items in the morning. 

Grand Hyatt Washington D.C. atrium lobby

Day 4 – Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill Washington D.C. 

AAA rate = $98.15 including breakfast. 

The best feature of this hotel is its location near the Capitol building. I received an 11th floor Regency Club room. The room was small and the hotel was by far the most crowded hotel I stayed at during my D.C. trip. This place was overrun with children. 

Aside from the value for a weekend stay with breakfast and the location, there was little else that impressed me. The shower water temperature required constant adjustment to alternate between lukewarm and blazing hot. The Regency lounge was incredibly small for the size of the hotel. An interior facing room can be quite unattractive with views of concrete and other rooms and fortunately I had an exterior room. 

The hard wooden bed frame is a shin bruiser that beat both my wife and I multiple times as we rounded the bed corner. 

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Washington D.C.

There is one room where the Capitol Building can actually be glimpsed from the Hyatt Regency through the glass windows of the adjacent building.

View of U.S. Capitol from Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.

Day 5 – The Willard – an InterContinental Hotel (free night from Sweet Dilemma Fall 2010 promotion)

The Willard has history, elegance, style, grace, and a non-functioning room thermostat if 74 degrees is not to your liking.

I really thought the room heat at the Willard might kill me. The stifling room motivated me to take a walk around the monuments at midnight.

Lincoln Memorial

The phone call from my wife wondering where I was wandering in the middle of the night around Washington, D.C. with a fever came with my reply that I was standing in the Lincoln Memorial. She was not pleased. The engineer came around the room at midnight and reactivated the AC unit. I tossed and turned all night anyway despite finally having cool air.

The Willard, InterContinental Hotel

My wife and I both agreed that the Willard had the softest towels we have ever felt in a hotel.

The Willard bed

Unfortunately the bed at the Willard was the least comfortable bed during our stay in Washington, D.C. The bed shaking every time I coughed, which was constantly, kept Kelley disturbed throughout the night. I could not sleep.

Despite wanting a second night at the Willard to avoid changing hotels again, I opted to move next door to the W Hotel in search of a better bed.

W Washington D.C. (left) and The Willard InterContinental (right)

Day 6 – The W Hotel Washington, D.C. (SPG category 5 award = 12,000 points)

My wife likes W style. Personally, I find the hotel brand overpriced and the typical room much too small for a luxury hotel. The bed was comfortable and we both slept well after a restless night at the Willard.

The shower had an interesting drain that basically was a long crack along the width of the tile for water flow out. We ended up using half the towels in the room to mop up the leaking water flow out of the shower stall onto the bathroom floor.

W Hotel Treasury Building room view

Day 7 and 8 – Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. (Gold Passport category 6 = 22,000 points/night)
Needing a place to cozy up to a good bed with some space and breakfast pushed me to book the Park Hyatt for the last two nights in D.C.
The Park Hyatt room had the best lighting, the largest towels and delicious complimentary breakfast as a Diamond member. I was disappointed that the room we were given was not much of an upgrade, but after a trip to Trader Joe’s for supplies, we spent most of the time in bed for two days until our flight back to California. The Town Car ride was a comfortable bonus perk of the Park Hyatt (anywhere within 5 miles of hotel) and too bad we only used it for a ride to the Metro station.

Park Hyatt room amenities

The Tea Cellar - Park Hyatt Washington, D.C.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Oy, sounds like you had the flu, what a way to spoil your trip. Hope you are feeling better.

  2. @Chuchairen – Thanks for pointing out to me a bullet point was missing for Crowne Plaza.

    I am still suffering from ‘flu brain’ after ten days of sickness.

    Crowne Plaza was a Points & Cash rate of 15,000 + $60. The 15,000 points saved me $260 off the lowest published rate of $320 after tax. That is how I came up with the value of points at $17.33 per 1,000.

    This is an example of why I generally book Points & Cash rates rather than redeem points only.

    A Crowne Plaza reward night is normally 25,000 points.
    Spending $60 to buy 10,000 points increases my redemption value from $320/25 = $12.80 per 1,000 points redeemed to $260/15 = $17.33 per 1,000 points redeemed.

    And the points only cost $6.00 per 1,000 points to buy with the Points & Cash reward.

    This strategy conserves points for future Priority Club reward redemptions.

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