The Pooks Hill Marriott, which is the closet hotel to NIH, has a special rate for Clinical Center patients. When we first went, in October of 2010, it was $89 per night, but I think that was up to $119 by our visit in May.
It's not possible, near as I can tell, to get that discount booking the room online. I always have called the reservations 800 number and booked the room that way. I've also found that you have to be a bit persistent and use the phrase "Clinical Center Rate" rather than simply saying "NIH." Evidently they have a variety of NIH-related rates (for conferences and such), not all of which are as inexpensive as the Clinical Center patient rate. I joined the Marriott Rewards program (which is free), and I think the reservations folk are programmed to be particularly nice to folks in that program.
Over very first trip up, Pooks Hill was full, so we stayed at a Comfort Inn up in Gaithersburg (Comfort Inn Shady Grove) and took the Metro down to the Medical Center stop. The hotel was fine, but the subway's only going to be good if you're into that sort of thing and ready to do some walking.
We met a Baptist minister on the shuttle to NIH one day who said he always used Priceline and asked for three-star hotels within ten miles of NIH. He said he'd stayed in five different hotels and never paid more than $100.
There's a shuttle from Pooks Hill, but, if it's a one-day stay, you can just drive down to NIH; there's free valet parking for patients at the front entrance to the Clinical Center.
That may be more than you needed to know. But, if I can provide any additional info about the NIH experience, please ask. I've been up four or five times, and stayed for two weeks for my Campath trial. I can even clue you in to a really great, really inexpensive Greek restaurant down in Bethesda.
Greg, 59, dx MDS RCMD Int-1 03/10, 8+ & Dup1(q21q31). NIH Campath 11/2010. Non-responder. Tiny telomeres. TERT mutation. Danazol at NIH 12/11. TX independent 7/12. Pancreatitis 4/15. 15% blasts 4/16. DX RAEB-2. Beginning Vidaza to prep for MUD STC. Check out my blog at www.greghankins.com