When to Visit
Washington, DC has two distinct busy seasons. The first is from mid-January to June when Congress is in session. The city is packed with business visitors during the first half of the year. This is compounded by families and school groups visiting from mid-March to June. The city's famous cherry blossoms emerge during this time as well, making Washington, DC a particularly alluring, if busy, destination. Congress is in again from the second week in September until Thanksgiving, bringing a new surge of people to DC.
If possible, plan your visit around the end of August or the beginning of September. Crowds are at their lowest during this time, and hotel rates take a dive during these weeks as well. July is another option if you're looking for low crowds, but the weather is hot and humid, which is part of why the capital is so empty during this month. Winter is another low season for DC, but the weather is typically a deterrent, particularly for leisure travelers. You can find freezing temperatures and the occasional snowstorm during winter.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Washington, DC:
Washington by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Washington, DC. You can use these illustrations to determine the most cost effective dates to make a reservation in Washington for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Washington, DC
4 Star Average Prices: $195.51
If you're looking for elegant hotels in Washington, DC with exclusive amenities, you have several options that take hospitality to new levels. Book a room at the Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square and enjoy complimentary in-room mineral water, a fully stocked mini bar, and a soothing rain showerhead. Book in-room spa services for a truly pampering experience, or head down to the ICI Urban Bistro for a contemporary bite with a French twist.
For a boutique experience, try The Jefferson where you can lounge in front of the fireplace in the private book room or peruse the extensive collection of art and historical documents on-site. Elegant dining options at The Jefferson include The Greenhouse, Plume, and Quill.
The Fairfax at Embassy Row offers stunning historic accommodations. Elegant features like original crown molding and floorboards, cherry wood furniture, Fili D'oro linens, and Frette bathrobes offer an opulent experience. On-site dining is available at The Capitol Room. Formerly The Jockey Club, this location has hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, and John and Jacqueline Kennedy.
The Omni Shoreham Hotel has served the elite of Washington DC since 1930. The hotel sits on 11 expansive acres just four blocks from the National Zoo. It offers a picturesque pool, spa and health club, and elegant on-site dining at Robert's Restaurant. Head up to your room and relax in style with your granite-topped wet bar, stainless steel bathroom fixtures, and plush bedding.
With a room at The Dupont Circle Hotel, you'll find so many elegant amenities you may never want to leave. Heated bathroom floors and a spacious walk-in shower make any morning routine a pleasure. Soft 300 thread count Irish linens beg you to lounge in bed. Head down to Café Dupont for local organic dishes with French-American flair.
Whether you're interested in lounging poolside or perusing stunning art during your stay, you can find luxury accommodations in DC that will suit your needs.
Cheap Hotel Options in Washington, DC
3 Star Average Prices: $141.48
Planning a budget trip to Washington, DC can be easier than you might think. If you're looking for low-cost accommodations where you don't have to sacrifice space for affordability, the Best Western Pentagon-Reagan Airport offers spacious suites and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet. The Comfort Inn Ballston helps you pad your budget by providing a complimentary breakfast each morning.
The Days Inn Alexandria is another cheap hotel option in the DC area. This is an ideal pick for business travelers with complimentary shuttle service to the Van Dorn Metro Station and free Wi-Fi in both the rooms and the lobby. A continental breakfast and morning coffee in the lobby offer a convenient start to the day that won't put a dent in your travel budget.
The Days Inn Washington DC/Connecticut Avenue puts you within just three miles of the White House, Smithsonian Museums, and Washington Monument. An on-site Italian Restaurant and complimentary Wi-Fi offer added perks for this budget pick.
Other picks with some of the lowest prices in DC include Econo Lodge Takoma Park, Days Inn Arlington Pentagon, and Red Roof Inn Washington DC – Oxon Hill. Though these options have fewer amenities, they can offer a handy solution for parties who need to keep their travel budget as small as possible.