The 8 Best DC Hotels on a Budget

Photo of citizenM Washington DC NoMa hotel.

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To find the best DC hotels on a budget (the budget: rooms available for under $200 a night), we checked the rates of each hotel on our list of the best hotels in DC. The results are wide-ranging, from quirky micro-rooms to stylish boutique hotels—with amenities you might not expect when shopping for affordable hotels in DC. (Hint: Dates immediately following holidays, such as July 5, and September 4, were often among the cheapest.) If you’re looking to save, here are the eight best DC hotels on a budget.

This boutique hotel chain—started in Amsterdam—offers “affordable luxury” with two DC locations: Capitol Hill and NoMa (pictured). The high-tech hotels allow guests to do everything from an app: check in, open doors, order food and drink (available 24 hours in the lobby), arrange housekeeping. even control special mood lighting in each room. All guest rooms are designed for a max of two adults with one wall-to-wall “XL” king-sized bed, wall-to-wall windows, blackout blinds, a rain shower, and more. The Capitol Hill outpost also has a rooftop bar. CitizenM Capitol Hill, 550 School St., SW; 202-747-2145. CitizenM NoMa; 1222 1st St., NE; 202-998-3851. We found rates as low as $159 a night and $134 a night, respectively.

This modern boutique hotel between Dupont Circle and 14th Street/Logan Circle has 226 rooms and suites, plus a restaurant (Gerrard Street Kitchen), a coffee shop (Bluestone Lane), and room service. Pets under 75 pounds can stay fee-free. The Darcy, 1515 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 844-489-9661. Rates as low as $159.

DC’s first micro-hotel, these low-frills accommodations are about half the size of traditional hotel rooms, but worth considering for travel on a budget. Situated between the Kennedy Center and George Washington University, the pet-friendly hotel’s rooms contain the basics: a private bathroom, Wi-Fi, a TV, and a choice between a king, queen, or bunk beds (the bigger the bed, the bigger the room). Plus, the restaurant houses an &Pizza, and a bar that offers a cheap happy hour ($4 beer and $5 wine) during the week. Hotel Hive, 2224 F St., NW; 202-849-8499. Rates as low as $185.

best DC hotels on a budget Hotel Madera
Photo courtesy Hotel Madera.

The pet-friendly Hotel Madera in Dupont Circle is DC’s top-rated hotel (by travelers) on Tripadvisor. Its daily amenity fee includes a welcome cocktail in the lounge, in-room coffee and tea from La Colombe, and access to its fitness center. Hotel Madera, 1310 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 202-296-7600. Rates as low as $197.

best DC hotels on a budget

Hotel Zena, a Viceroy property, is located on 14th Street at Thomas Circle. Self-described as “part hotel and part art gallery,” the 191-room pet-friendly spot “tells a dynamic story of female empowerment” (including a mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and an art collection that focuses on “the contribution and courage” of women.) In addition to a 24-hour fitness center, it’s got a ground-floor bar and small-bites lounge, a seasonal rooftop bar with a pool, and something called a Z Shed, which rents everything from Polaroid- style cameras to Jenga to Nintendo switches. Hotel Zena, 1155 14th St., NW; 202-737-1200. Rates as low as $195.

Formerly the Kimpton Palomar, this pet-friendly Dupont Circle hotel’s $30 “destination fee” includes, among other things, access to its 24-hour fitness center and a social hour of wine and cheese (a Kimpton holdover). The 335-room property also features an on-site Italian restaurant and an outdoor pool. The Royal Sonesta, 2121 P St., NW; 202-448-1800. Rates as low as $175.

best DC hotels on a budget

Another favorite among budget hotels in DC, Yours Truly may lack some over-the-top amenities (you won’t find a fancy spa or 24-hour room service or a rooftop pool), but it makes up for that with its bohemian chic styles. Plus, the hotel—which is in DC’s West End neighborhood, walking distance to Georgetown—is pet-friendly, the fitness center has Pelotons, and the dining options include a restaurant (Mercy Me), and one of DC’s most popular bagel shops, Call Your Mother. Yours Truly, 1143 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 202-775-0800. $197.

Amy Moeller

Fashion & Wedding Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonians. Prior to joining the Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.

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