The Crystal Gateway is the granddaddy of Crystal City hotels, packing almost 700 rooms into one nicely appointed building. (As if that's not enough, there's another Marriott directly across the street.) Enter the lobby through a revolving door large enough to steer a car through, and you find an area filled with pleasant Oriental prints and screens, overstuffed chairs and opulent-looking carpets. An attentive staffer greets you and leads you to your room -- a blessing since the hotel is big enough to require a guide to help you find it. Most rooms have bay windows, a very nice touch that lets light spill into rooms that are done up in a heavy dark-wood decor. Road warriors will be happy to find surge-protected outlets for power cords and phone lines right on the desk. The hotel literally sits on a Metro stop, providing good access to downtown tourist spots. It is also connected to a mall that makes the entire Crystal City underground easily accessible. -- Bill Frischling
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