Inexpensive alternative for visiting DC
I agree with other recent posters--great value. We're Marriott Rewards members, but were unable to find a place in DC that was reasonably priced and not booked June 18, so we expanded our search to Northern VA. Found a $99 rate at Crystal GATEWAY Marriott (don't confuse it with the dumpier Crystal CITY Marriott across the street). Comfy quiet rooms, metro access was very convenient. Didn't eat there, but used the pool/whirlpool/fitness center and found it lovely. Staff was attentive, even though there was a big convention there. We'll be staying here again.
One tip for families, or longer visits, if you plan to use the pool/fitness area a lot: request a room in the same tower as the fitness facility. There are two separate elevators and we were in the different tower--to get to the pool on 2 from our room on 6 we had to go down to 2, then through a loooooong winding corridor before reaching the pool area. Kind of a haul.
Also, when coming back off the metro, look carefully at the Marriott signs so you don't take a wrong turn--Crystal Gateway and Crystal City Marriotts are accessable via the same metro stop.
Met All Of Our Expectations
We stayed at the Crystal Gateway Marriott for 5 nights during the first week of November and really enjoyed our stay. The hotel met all of our accommodation expectations. Please note that the authors of the negative posts about this hotel are clearly confusing it with the Crystal City Marriott across the street which is a bit older.
We took the hotel shuttle from Regan National Airport, checked in quickly and painlessly and were impressed by our very clean and nicely appointed King room on the 8th floor of the North wing. We overlooked the busy Jefferson Davis Hwy. but could barely hear the traffic. In fact, during our entire 5 night stay, we didn’t hear the sounds of any other guests beside, above or below us, even though the hotel was very busy with conferences, etc. But the best feature of our room was the bed. I don’t believe I have ever slept on a more comfortable bed. In fact, I wanted to take it home but somehow think hotel management might notice it missing !
We selected this hotel because of its location directly on the subway line. There are about a dozen hotels in the Crystal City complex but only Marriott has direct access to the Metro without having to go outside. There is a clean, well-lit passageway leading from the Gateway Marriott under the Jefferson Davis Hwy. to the shops and restaurants of the Crystal City complex, and the subway.
The subway is modern, clean and efficient. The National Mall is only 3 stops away (on the Yellow Line), as is Arlington Cemetery (on the Blue Line). The Pentagon is only 2 stops away. Here’s an example of how efficient the subway is: On the Saturday morning of our stay, we decided to spend the day at the National Gallery of Art on the Mall. As we were leaving our hotel room, I glanced at my watch – it was 9:30 am. We were standing at the front door of the gallery waiting for the doors to open at two minutes to ten. Not bad – 28 minutes from door to door. I must admit, however, that a train was pulling into the Crystal City station as we were arriving. My only minor complaint about the subway is its dimly lit stations. I’m sure the designers were attempting to create a certain mood using indirect lighting throughout the system, but to me, it was too dark. There wasn’t even enough light for me to read my maps. One nice feature is the sign which tells passengers waiting at stations how many minutes until the next train arrives.
The only aspect of the Gateway Marriott that I cannot comment on is the food at the restaurants because we ate elsewhere. I’m sure the quality of the food there is good but hotel restaurant prices are geared toward diners who are traveling with fat expense accounts, and we are no longer that lucky. There is no shortage of good, affordable restaurants in the Crystal City complex. We particularly enjoyed a seafood restaurant there called McCormick & Schmick’s, and there are many more. If there’s nothing one likes at Crystal City, the Pentagon City Fashion Mall with its 170 stores and restaurants is only one subway stop away. For breakfasts, we strolled South on Eads Street about two blocks to 23rd Street where the Deluxe Diner serves a full breakfast for about one-third the cost that hotels charge.
On our final day, our flight home didn’t depart until 8:00 pm. so we had most of the day to tour. The Gateway Marriott has secure baggage storage for guests complete with a claims ticket, so we didn’t have bags to worry about. Although Reagan National is only one subway stop away, with two heavy suitcases we opted for the convenient hotel shuttle which got us there in about 10 minutes.
For cost-conscious travelers, there’s one further fact to consider. The hotel tax rate for Virginia where Crystal City (Arlington) is located is 10.25 per cent. The hotel tax rate for the City of Washington, D.C. is 14.5 per cent. This may seem insignificant but over the course of a five-day stay really adds up, depending on the size of your hotel bill.
In summary, this is a fine, well-managed, conveniently located hotel, and we look forward to returning one day.
My wife and I just returned from the July 4th weekend in D.C. and were very impressed with this hotel. After my extensive research on hotels in the D.C. area, I decided on the Gateway Marriott for 3 major reasons: the Crystal City Metro station is beneath the hotel, the hotel offers a free airport shuttle from Reagan National Airport (5 minute shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel), and I was able to get a rate of $99 per night through the Marriott rewards program.
A word of caution---Do not confuse this hotel with the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan Airport which is an older property (across the street from Gateway Marriott) in need of a renovation and overhaul. If you are trying to decide between these two hotels be sure the stay at the GATEWAY Marriott. The Gateway is much nicer and more updated.
We arrived at 12 Noon for early check-in and were told our room would not be ready until 2pm. Being a Marriott Silver Elite member I asked for an upgrade and was immediately given a room on the concierge level at no extra charge! (Be advised.....the concierge lounge is NOT open on weekends) The room was large and very clean. The bathroom was very nice with marble counter tops and plenty of space. After unpacking, I called the front desk and asked for a refrigerator and in less than 10 minutes a hotel employee was at our door ready to install the fridge. Great service!
Finally, the best feature of this hotel is the Crystal City Metro station which is a short 5 minute walk through a safe, well lit, air conditioned underground tunnel directly connected to the hotel lobby. This underground area also includes the Crystal Shops mall with various places to shop and eat including a Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and a Rite Aid drugstore/miniature grocery store which makes it very convenient to get bottled water, food, film, medicine etc. without paying the inflated hotel gift shop prices.
I just came back from four days in DC playing tourist. I decided to stay at the Crystal Gateway based on reviews in this forum. By and large the reviews are accurate. This hotel is incredibly convenient with the underground shopping and Metro access. The staff was very helpful and courteous. They fixed a loose toilet seat in my room before I even complained about it. The room was clean and comfortable. The clientele is largely business travelers, but there were a few families.
On the down side, this place is a little pricey. Drinks at the hotel bar are a bit more expensive than normal. The breakfast buffet at the Terrace is a little overpriced. Unfortunately the Teams Sports Bar and Grill is currently undergoing renovation. The parking garage is kind of tight if you have a larger vehicle and not very well lit. And if you're driving in to the hotel the directions are not entirely clear. The hotel is listed as being on Jefferson Davis Hwy, but the actual entrance to the hotel is on Eads St. Given the hotel's proximity to the Pentagon, all the different exits can get confusing.
If you can overlook all of that, then the shopping/dining choices and the Metro access make this hotel an excellent place to stay.
Worst Marriott experience
This was the worst Marriott we have ever stayed at. The first room we were assigned to stunk so bad like mildew we immediately asked for a different room. They moved us to a room where the airconditioning was so loud we couldn't even hear each other talking. They came and fixed it (or so we thought) and it was quiet until 1:00 am when it started making noises again. Finally after two days of trying to fix it, they said we needed to move to a different room since this required more than just a screwdriver. Needless to say our third room stunk like the first one. We tried getting a reservation at several different hotels but they were all sold out. We were stuck at this marriott for 8 days. What a nightmare. We would not recommend this hotel to anyone. It is a very old Marriott that they are trying to update. The only positive note, was the metro located right underneath the hotel.
Seamandrew's Arlington Page
I've only been to Arlington once and it was simply to spend the night at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. Someday, I'll have to go back and see more of this city.