George Washington University Inn
Housed in what started in life as a luxury apartment building, GWU Inn is usually classified as a luxury hotel, but generous promotions often put it in the budget category. It's a great opportunity to experience one of Washington's most delightful boutique hotels. Inspired by historic Williamsburg, Virginia, the rooms are furnished with reproduction antiques but deliver all the amenities of a modern hotel. These include two-line phones with data port, CD players, cable TV, and other goodies, such as free access to the local Bally Total Fitness, and umbrellas if it rains. The efficiencies and suites have fully equipped kitchenettes, and a new restaurant, just being planned as this is being written, is sure to be a winner. The GWU Inn just barely makes the Georgetown listing (it's ½-mile away), but it's the only hotel in this price range nearby. And happily, it's only two blocks from the Kennedy Center — so check out the free performances while you're there.