I am headed to DC with my family again this summer and am thinking of staying downtown for the first time so I thought I might see which properties are recommended (and also writing down my thoughts like this helps me to compare and decide even if nobody chimes in.)
JW and RC are above per diem, so I've already ruled them out. So, I'm pretty much only looking at Marriott or Renaissance brands since they are the only remaining properties that would have a lounge (CY does have some convenient locations though, so maybe I should reconsider.)
So, I guess here's what I'm looking, as ranked by TripAdvisor "Just for me", along with my thoughts:
Washington Marriott at Metro Center - "Indoor swimming pool closed for renovation" (but OTOH none of the others have pools at all.)
Marriott Marquis - Shiny and new. The Dignitary Bourbon bar I've heard good things about and might meet some friends at. No pool.
Mayflower Renaissance - Seems to be the favorite of a few forum members and good reports of upgrades.
Renaissance Downtown -
Marriott Georgetown - First forum post I found about it was not promising.
Renaissance Dupont Circle - Decent forum review
I'm kind of leaning toward the Mayflower due to the good reviews, potential for an upgrade, and that will get me the R badge. Also, it's geographically the center of the bunch.