It has everything a tourist or wandering traveler could ask for - tennis courts, swimming pool, comfortable and carpeted rooms complete with the first-run movies on the color television set. They don't even charge for ice.
But for a number of young Washington Redskins these days, the Dulles Marriott is nothing less than a heart-break hotel, even if the team does pay the bill and adds $26 a day for meals. The next knock on the door could just as easily be a Redskin hatchet man as a waiter from room service. Every ring on the telephone sets off a thumping heart. You never know when there will be a call to "bring your playbook over to Redskin Park."
It is that time of year again, the momentary calm before The Final Cut tomorrow, when the Redskins and every other NFL team must lop seven more bodies from 50. They are allowed to add two by the end of the week to make the regular-season roster limit of 45.
But there are also heads attached to those bodies, and the next 48 hours are a trying, traumatic time, a period of sleepless nights and tension-filled days. Don Hover, a Redskin rookie linebacker from Washington State, has all the symptons.
"I really didn't get any sleep at all last night," he said. "You just feel so disorganized.You don't know if you'll be here or if you'll be gone. Should I go out and get an apartment, or do I stay in the hotel? What's my future? What do I do if it doesn't turn out the right way?"
Hover is living in a single room at the Marriott, and for the last week, his wife Tonya and 2 1/2-year-old son Andy have been with him. Wife and child flew in from the state of Washington last Sunday and, says Hover, "It's probably worse for them.
"My wife is six months pregnant. Just not knowing has really made it hard on her. She really can't stand being disorganized. We don't have a car here, so we're kind of stuck in the hotel. We stay in the room quite a bit, watch television. Our son is very disoriented. The time change has affected him. He stays up really late."
The Hovers did manage to borrow a car last week and went apartment hunting. "But you can't tell them if you'll take it or not because you just don't know," he said.
When Hover was attending meetings and practices at Redskin Park last week. Tonya and Andy mostly stayed in the room, took short walks around the hotel grounds or made brief visits to the pool.
"She came here because we figured that if I made it through last week's cut (down to 50). I'd have a pretty good chance. If I was to get cut now, we just figured we'd stay in Washington for a week, see the sights and go on back home."
Just down the hall from the Hovers, rookie wide receivers Larry Franklin and J.T. Smith share a double room. Franklin insisted yesterday that he is cating and sleeping as well as ever but, "I'm kind of nervous about it.
"Two weeks ago they came looking for my roommate, Nate Jackson. You see the man (as in batchet man, played by Dick Myers, assistant general manager) coming and you kind of just say. 'Oh no, I hope it's not me.'"
Smith was sitting in the Redskin locker room late last Tuesday afternoon when he spotted Myers coming toward him. "I wasn't looking for J.T.," Myers recalled yesterday, "but as I walked around the room I could see his eyes following me everywhere I went.
"Finally I went up to him and said, 'J.T., relax, go home and get a good night's sleep.' You never saw anybody look so relieved."
Relief will come some time late tomorrow afternoon for the palyers who survive the final cut. But some players insist they will make it emotionally no matter what happens.
"I look at it like this," said safety Don Harris, who answers the phone with a slick "Marriott penthouse" and shares a hotel room with lineman Donnie Hickman. "Whatever the Man Upstairs has planned for you, that's what's gonna happen. So why worry?
"I've got a car, so I can get out of this place. Saturday I went down to D.C. and met a guy I went to school with. We played a little tennis. Last night I came back and watched a football game. I watched the Patriots (yesterday) and hopefull I learned something that will help me next Sunday, if I'm here. You have to believe that you will be here.
"I was on injured reserve last year, so I didn't have to really go through it. I hurt my thigh early in training camp and one day George (Allen) came u to me and told me they'd put me on injured. I never even played a preseason game. It was kind of easy."
For Mike Hughes, an offensive tackle, last year was the exact opposite. He had survived until the final cut, and was confident that he had played well enough to make the team.
"I was sitting and eating breakfast in the coffee shop and getting ready to go to practice," he recalled. "Then I got a call that Coach Allen wanted to see me. He told the situation, and that was it."
Hughes sat out the year, hooked on with the New York Jets for 1978, then came to the Redskins in a trade only last week.
"Now it's that time of year again and it's a tough situation," Hughes said. "You want to stay so badly, you want to paly some ball and you know a decision is being made by somebody else that is going to affect your whole future.
"You try to do things that keep your mind occupied. I'm going over to Mark Murphy's apartment this afternoon. We might play a round of golf or go to a movie. But I'm not going to worry about it.
"Last year was a shock to me, yes, but it sure didn't kill me. That's how football is. It's a numbers game, it's an insecure profession.But I also know there's other things I can do with my life, too."