So, I have to come clean at the onset. I love Washington DC. Even though I’ve lived in a few places across the USA from Pennsylvania to Texas, my heart always returns to Washington DC. This may be because when I lived there it was my early twenties, my first stint in grad school, or the city where I stumbled upon my husband (it was a karaoke bar…he sang Bon Jovi…how couldn’t I fall for that…sigh). It also may just be that it is a great city. And even though so much of it hasn’t changed, in the years since I’ve lived there, the one thing that strikes me is just how much it has changed. That being said, when looking for a hotel for a weekend getaway, my husband and I chose one in a location we knew from our days living there (yes, it was a long time ago, don’t ask).
So, along the metro’s red line is where we found the Embassy Suites, Chevy Chase. And to this momma, any time a hotel has the term “suites” in its name and it’s a true suite with real doors separating sleeping spaces, I am all in. Every. Last. Inch. (BTW, why do hotels even call those rooms with “alcoves” a suite anyway? We all know it isn’t. It’s just a slightly bigger space. But when your children go to bed at 7 p.m., that’s no help. None. Seriously.) This hotel seemed like the perfect spot. Out of the city, but not totally out of the city (a number of our friends have moved out of the city proper, so being closer to the edge of the city was a benefit for us) and right on the red line (which is where the zoo is (and all (mostly) our old stomping grounds are)). It, in effect, was the sweet spot.
While I wanted to love this hotel, all in all, I have to admit I would probably stretch my wings and head either downtown or more out of town for our next trip. The main issue facing the hotel is the same issue that makes it appealing: it is part of a mall. That’s right. A mall. A mall with a CVS (yay late night candy shopping), a World Market (because I always need to buy more whimsical notebooks or napkins for the house), and a Starbucks (because I’m a mom and I need it to go with the wine I just bought at World Market). So, there are some pretty impressive positives to staying at this hotel.
But that mall aspect? Oh it isn’t without it’s down side as well. All the hotel room doors open into a central atrium overlooking a mall below. The mall is small, so not too noisy (unless your room is located right above the restaurant), but for a mother with children who can scale smooth, vertical surfaces in an instant just for kicks, it’s enough to cause some sweaty palms and heart palpitations. And the restaurant on the third floor? The one with a small, six inch high piece of plastic between the edge of the table and the sheer drop to the floor three stories below? That one? Yeah. It’s there. Just like that. A glaring deathtrap for any toddler. This. This is why I don’t recommend this hotel.
But there’s more to consider when searching for a hotel. Perhaps your children are a bit older and know better than to climb over everything that is remotely vertical. Perhaps they’re so young the thought of walking, let along climbing, is far beyond your worries. What then? Well read on for a comprehensive list of some pros and cons.
All in all, this hotel does the trick by being a suite. But what makes it intriguing is the same thing that makes it somewhat less than practical (and quite a bit unsafe).
Note: Hotels are based on a four level scale: Child Centered, Child Friendly, Child Accommodating, Unsuitable. A Child Centered hotel is a hotel in which the child’s comfort, happiness, etc. is paramount. A Child Friendly hotel has those implements in place to create a fun atmosphere for the child, though it is not the apparent mission of the hotel to continuously do so. A Child Accommodating hotel is that hotel where it will assist the parents in making the child comfortable at the parent’s request only. An Unsuitable hotel is a hotel that has no accommodations suitable for a child or the cons of the hotel make the hotel dangerous for the well-being of the child.
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