Business Trips, Featured, Featured2, Hotel Reviews, Travel, Washington D.C.

Washington DC and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco


A couple of weeks ago, I had to go to Washington DC for a work meeting.  The meeting was good–lots of discussion of climate change impacts–but exploring DC was even better.  My mom came out to meet me and we had a great time when I wasn’t working.  She had a great time exploring by herself during the day and we would meet up to explore more when I got off the Metro.

One of my favorite parts of big cities, is the public transportation.  I love riding the subway.   I love riding the subway so much that I chose a hotel (Hotel Monaco) that would require a half an hour subway ride and  because the hotel was beautifully historic.

Historically beautiful.

I also chose this hotel because I had never stayed in a Kimpton property and I had heard lots about them–they have personal yoga studios they deliver to your room (yoga mat, bands, videos), they have a nightly wine social, interesting restaurants, and animal print robes to wear.  All of these things sounded very cool to me.  I was excited to take advantage of these unique perks.

Not to mention the Hotel Monaco was right across the street from the National Portrait Gallery,National Museum of American Art,  the Spy Museum and a Metro stop.  A great location, for sure.

The hotel was beautiful.  Huge!  Old!  Glamorous!  The hallways seemed to go on forever –so if you aren’t a walker– you should make sure you get a room close to the elevators.  I didn’t mind.  As I walked the halls, I  pretended I was Michelle Obama, wandering the halls in the White House, thinking about solutions to world problems.  Feeling important and royal.

The rooms were very nice as well.  Modern decorations combined with a little bit of an antique feel.

I especially enjoyed the bust of some person (Is it a past president?  Mr. Kimpton?  A video camera?)  staring at me while I slept.   I would have been creeped out–but my mom was there to protect me.

They had the animal print robes.  I never tried them on.

I called about the yoga studio and they never brought it to me.

The room had a lot of little nooks and crannies–largely because it was an old building made into hotel rooms.  I kept finding food wrappers and garbage in these nooks and crannies.  Either my mom was raiding the mini-bar while I was away or the housecleaning staff just kept missing the stuff. There was also a huge stain of the carpet right at the entrance to the room.  You would think that would have been replaced.  The entire place is elegant but then you enter a dirty room–which is kind of off putting.

I ordered my requisite room service and was very disappointed.  I know that room service is expensive but $50.00 for a glass of wine and a turkey patty on greens–was not worth it.  After that experience, I didn’t try their restaurant.

I did go to the wine social in the lobby a couple of times.  Not only did they have wine and beer but one day they were giving out lavender margaritas.  The lobby was a great place to just hang out–very eclectic furnishings.

All in all, I enjoyed my stay but it definitely wasn’t my favorite hotel.  I mean, it was beautiful and in a great location –(The above image is a sculpture from the museum across the street.)–but the little things–the garbage in my room, the dirty carpets, the non-responsive lobby staff just kind of bugged me.  I need to try out another Kimpton property-because I really want to like them.

If you are staying here or anywhere nearby, I highly recommend eating at Oyamel, about two blocks away.  I was there because I had heard the guacamole was the best ever–and it was true.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera.  There is also a great organic gelato place around the corner on 8th.  Yum!  My mom and I ate gelato everyday.  Because we are junk food junkies!