Winston Aldworth checks into a business hotel a short stroll from the White House

Check-in experience:

Slick — as any half-decent business hotel should be.

What's in the neighbourhood: The hotel is right by Thomas Circle, a 10-minute walk from the White House. Head the other way and you're in The District, a hub for Washington's LGBT community and thus home to many good bars and restaurants. Opposite the hotel, you can access cheap bike hire on the city-run cycle scheme. Swipe your credit card and the bike is released; ride away and park the bike in one of the many lock-up racks around the city when you're done. All for a couple of bucks. Good bikes, too.

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Price: Booking through Expedia, you can get a deluxe room for $374.

Fellow guests: I was in town for IPW, the US tourism industry's big annual conference. But this hotel would be a classic for US businesspeople coming to the capital to deal with government agencies or hound their congressional representatives.

The room: I had 404, a functional, characterless space facing inwards on to the vast atrium (pictured), which meant, annoyingly, I never felt comfortable fully opening the curtains. All those years of Idaho farming lobbyists treading the halls has worn the carpets. In the bathroom, the shower faucet wobbled and the paint was peeling on the ceiling. Time for a spruce-up.

The bed: The best hotel beds feel like you're the only one who's ever slept in them. They defintely don't have indents shaped like Idaho farming lobbyists in them. This was one of the other kind.

The Westin Washington. Photo / Supplied
The Westin Washington. Photo / Supplied

Food and drink:

You'll get good burgers and beers at the hotel's lobby bar, a multi-televisioned spot which is recommended for fans of US sports and gasbagging with strangers.

Exercise: There's a well-equipped business travellers' hotel gym by the foyer on the ground level. But the best exercise option is to take a run on the streets of what is a gorgeous city for joggers. At reception, get yourself a joggers' map. It's a small card detailing two fabulous runs — there's a 5km course and an 8km course. Both running courses take you past the White House and the Washington Monument. I've used these Westin Hotels joggers' maps before and they're terrific.

Final word: A functional place for a business traveller to rest their head, but due for a refurbishment.

The joggers' map from the Washington DC Westin.
The joggers' map from the Washington DC Westin.

CHECKLIST

is at 1400 M Street, NW Washington, District of Columbia, USA. Phone: +1 202 4291700.