Coming to D.C. next month with my boyfriend and we need a good hotel, somewhat centrally located where we can safely walk around. We're on a budget so nothing too expensive, but it would be nice to have a pool. Would love some ideas!
If you want a hotel with a pool, you'll probably want to stay at a larger chain hotel, but if you're able to overlook the no-pool aspect, I really love Hotel Helix, which is a Kimpton property. It was affordable (about $100/night when I went last year), clean, and just an overall very cool hotel. Their mini bar items are awesome and they have a 5-6 PM happy hour in their lounge where they have free wine for their guest. Oh, and it's very conveniently located. I was there for an event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and I was able to walk to it a few blocks away. Plenty of other things close by, too!
Since I live here, I don't use hotels often; however, I have a few times and always go to LivingSocial or Groupon - tacky, may be, but I've always found decent places for a lot less than usual, meaning, I can stay at nicer places that would not normally be in my budget.
When booking a place, just make sure you look at distance to a metro line. That will be important as DC, though walkable in parts, is a city that requires metro to really see fully (or a rental car, but driving in DC is fairly insane).