Exploring DC with Modus Hotels

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The One Washington Circle Experience

By the time we rolled into Washington DC, the Great US Road Trip was into its fifth and final week.

Coupled with the fact we’d just made the marathon 10 hour (without stops) drive from Nashville, we were feeling understandably saddle sore and weary by the time we found our accommodations and found a place to park the Mustang.

Despite this weariness, I was quite excited to see the hotel. I’d partnered with Modus Hotels for our two nights in DC, and was intrigued to see what a ‘lifestyle hotel’ was.

One Washington Circle is (obviously) located on Washington Circle, putting it at the beating heart of the US capital. Emphasizing health and wellness, the all-suite hotel provides local jogging maps and complimentary passes to local gyms and yoga studios to its guests – a feature we were in no shape to capitalize on after our long day on the road.

What we did capitalize on was the luxurious suite we’d been afforded. Check out the view from our balcony below!

The suite featured a fully equipped kitchen (complete with the ability to order groceries to stock it), a large living/dining space with accompanying grand piano, two bathrooms, and a massive King bed that I could easily have shared with Hogg.

I didn’t – I made him sleep on the fold out bed, but I totally could have shared it without any risk of unwelcome bonding.

one washington circle suite
The impressive suites at One Washington Circle were a welcome retreat after a long day’s driving. Image courtesy of Modus Hotels.

Too tired to do any exploring, we contented ourselves with a little late night dueling piano shenanigans and some locally brewed beers courtesy of the hotel’s management. What a nice treat after a long day cramped up in the car with pro-wrestling podcasts for company!

one washington circle welcome
Caramel popcorn and some local beers as welcome? Yes, please!

Perhaps the best thing about One Washington Circle was its central location, putting us just a short cab ride (or walk, if we weren’t so lazy) from major local attractions like the National Mall and the White House.

The one drawback to our stay was the combination of a late arrival and an early morning tour. We didn’t get to experience the hotel as I’d have liked, but what we did experience was amazing,

A DC Food Crawl

The highlight of our first day in DC was undoubtedly a Washington DC food crawl with Carpe DC Tours.

I’ve written at length in the above post about the experience, but it really was a fun way to learn more about the city than just its political history.

It was a fun way to experience DC through different eyes, having already done the memorials and Smithsonian on my previous visit in 2012.

ben's chili bowl half chili carpe dc
One of the best chili cheese dogs I’ve ever had. Perfect serving size for a busy day’s eating too.

Avenue Suites

We moved to another Modus property for our second night in DC, taking the short walk down the street to Avenue Suites.

The two are literally a five minute walk apart, with Avenue Suites maintaining the same standards while managing to have a totally different feel to its sister property. Located on the very fringes of the city’s Georgetown district, it has a more breezy and West Coast feel to it than One Washington Circle.

avenue suites washington dc entry
The entrance and ground floor of Avenue Suites has a really trendy, Hollywood theme. Photo courtesy of Modus Hotels.

Our room here was a comfortable twin setup, with a pair of queen sized beds, a separate sitting area, and the same warm welcome we’d experience at One Washington Circle – albeit with a bottle of good white wine rather than local IPAs.

avenue suites dc twin room
The most spacious twin room I’ve ever been in. Photo courtesy of Modus Hotels.

Another highlight of the hotel for me was it’s comfortable lounge area, which spans both indoor seating and outdoor seating in a cute little garden area. I tried to snap artsy photos of both, but neither turned out especially well, sadly.

DC by Night

Being so close to the National Mall made it easy for us to get out and explore the various monuments for which Washington DC is famous, and with our day filled with a food tour – we did this by night.

Guided by one of Hogg’s former study abroad buddies, we spent a few hours wandering the darkened paths between the towering statues and moving tributes that comprise this fascinating corner of the city.

From the iconic Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument to lesser known but no less beautiful monuments such as the haunting Korean War Memorial, it’s a really fun walk even when it’s dark out.

Hell, I especially enjoyed it at night, as you didn’t have to contend with crowds of people when it came time to snap a photo or two.

The downside, of course, is that night photography on an iPhone can be tricky business. Even with a good night photography app (I like Cortex Cam), it’s difficult to capture the majesty of these towering edifices and do them justice.

Washington Monument at night
Phallic? Perhaps. But an impressive monument all the same. I’m just glad no Super Mutants tried to shoot me as I drew near.
lincoln memorial at night
He wasn’t lecturing me about how to win a public speaking competition, but Honest Abe made an impression.

Never Enough Time

Like every other stop on the Great US Road Trip not named Las Vegas, we didn’t have nearly enough time to do DC justice.

We didn’t have time to check out the Smithsonian and could only manage a rushed tour of the Capitol Building, but managed to enjoy the US capital all the same.

A huge thanks to Modus Hotels for helping to make the visit possible. I only wish we’d had more time to avail ourselves of the properties and their on-site restaurants!

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