The Capitol Hill Hotel
The sunburns have barely faded and there’s still sand in the car, but already it’s time to start thinking about the approaching holidays; Thanksgiving is around the corner! Do you always travel because your Capitol Hill home is not quite roomy enough to host family? Do you host them anyway? Maybe you ought to review your options for a travel-free, houseguest-free, best holiday ever!
I didn’t always have a guest room. Before, my in-laws got the master suite while the proprietors of the Schoell Family Inn had to sleep on a leaky air mattress, which didn’t do much for our (my) disposition.
Meal times – preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for extended family pretty much keeps you stuck in the kitchen. Cook, clean, repeat. And now you’ve got to get in the family photo, your hair frizzy from the stove top and dishwater.
So what to do? Short of quickly adding on an in-law suite to your home, a hotel stay for them is a lovely option!
Capitol Hill Hotel, Take 2
I had a chat with the people of Capitol Hill Hotel, formerly Capitol Hill Suites, at 200 C St., SE, (capitolhillhotel-dc.com), right across from the Library of congress’s Madison Building. If you’ve been around long enough, you know that what it is now is not what it used to be. The hotel was renovated in 2008, but the public spaces were just redone again and the space has a charming, boutique hotel look and feel with a Federal Capitol Hill theme. (Sleeping rooms will be redesigned after the first of the year.)
Owners of the Hersha group, Neil Shah and his brother Jay, were deliberate in their purchase of this property. “From a business perspective,” said Shah, “the purchase decision was sound. The Capitol Hill Hotel has a distinguishing and enviable location as the only hotel on this side of the Capitol building. The hotel is embedded in this wonderful neighborhood.”
General Manager Ian Harvey says they are making a concerted effort to be a part of the community. As a socially responsible company, employees volunteer with DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, support local schools, and do their best to be good neighbors.
Families are welcome at the Capitol Hill Hotel. Sales Manager Aisha Derricott talked about a couple with kids who booked an extended stay while their Capitol Hill home was being renovated, and the hotel staff made sure their family had plenty of extra storage space. All guestrooms feature kitchens or kitchenettes and microwaves. – another reason why the hotel is great for families.
“We want to be the preferred hotel of the neighborhood and one that is fully invested in the community,” Shah said.
For all of the Hill’s independent contractors and writers who work from home, booking work space can be a great solution if you can’t concentrate or sound professional on the phone with the kitchen clatter and child noise in the background. Capitol Hill Hotel offers fully-equipped sleek spaces with iPod docks, TVs and AV equipment set up. Maybe a holiday office party without the office? Their Library Room holds up to 55 friends and colleagues.
It’s All About Us
Putting guests up on the Hill saves you from the tedious driving them back and forth. There are some nearby options for your family. I did a little comparison chart to see how four local, Metro-accessible hotels stacked up against one another, sorted by room size.
Prices are per night, based upon a room booked between Nov. 21 – 25, with 2 queen beds for 2 adults, 2 kids, and a dog, with parking:
Keep it Local
There’s no shame in having local pride, especially when it’s clearly the most important place in the nation! The Capitol Hill Hotel is bringing the neighborhood in – quite literally. They are working with the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop to hang local artists’ work in their lobby and other public spaces. The near future will see the Capitol Hill Hotel as host of book signings by local authors.
They are also working with the Hill Center, encouraging guests in need of large spaces to book at the Center, but also offering CHH employees a chance to take classes there. “We treat our associates like family and encourage our staff to exhibit that same care and attention to our guests,” Shah said.
So this busy holiday season, give it a rest, friends! Point your guests in the right direction, and maybe even get a chunk off your bill with a local rate!
Heather Schoell, a regular contributor to the Hill Rag, is now lucky enough to sleep in her own bed when the in-laws visit, which is quite often.