Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Alexandria
... Towering over the simple white stones are gigantic oak trees, dropping the last of the autumn leaves into the sprinkling of snow. There are strict policies for what families can leave on the graves, regarding flowers and wreaths. Mum and Dad walked back through it that evening when two semi trucks were delivering one green Christmas wreath with a red bow to each of the 400,000 national graves. I may have harped on about this cemetery but I think it explains a lot about the ...
... first person I went on a serious road trip with. Brunswick, ME to Mt. Rushmore and she did all the driving since I never bothered to learn how to drive stick shift (I knew my laziness would come in handy some day)
We finally made it to Alexandria and Sara arrived home at nearly the same moment - perfect timing! We entered her apartment to find out we would be spoiled again with delicious Carnitas tacos with all the fixings. My compliments to Chef ...
... assume that's how the rest of the Empire was ruled too... Next up was the civil war. Abe Lincoln getting voted in with 40% of the popular vote meant a pile of Southern states wanted nothing to do the united nation as Abe wasn't big on the whole slavery thing. He went to war to keep the country ahem, united. Sounds mightly similar to how Britain wanted to keep hold of America, but this war is A Good Thing. Funny how history is written by the winners. Speaking of little is mentioned ...
... sold McDonald's food (the exception was one pizza and about two BBQ rolls but even still you had to order them from McDonald's staff!)
Our D.C trip ended at the airport with a spot of Airport Olympics. Some of my work friends will know of this game as we sometimes play it in Singapore and Malaysia just to break things up a bit! We managed to play a round of the "Customs line" race. It really is simple, you just join different ...
... and setting of the Korean War. The 38th parallel, granite to symbolize the rice fields, the bushes and trees to show the varied terrain. The Korean War is called the "forgotten war". 37,000 American soldiers died in the 3 year long "conflict" as it was never declared a war. We had a little extra time so we made a stop at the Albert Einstein statue and the Canadian consulate. The Einstein statue was a fun photo op and the Canadian consulate ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel
Overall a wonderful getaway
Very clean. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Their complementary shuttle service was a big help as we travelled around the area. The location is unbeatable. There are dozens of great restaurants within walking distance (we enjoyed Cafe Salsa and La Tasca). The rooms were nicely decorated, and the beds were very comfortable. We had 2 issues during our stay. It appearred that some of our TV stations didn't come in. This did not get resolved, but we were too busy enjoying Old Town to bother with it again. Later we realized that our A/C unit wasn't working, and this time it was fixed when we got back from dinner an hour later. So there were some hits and misses.
Make sure you eat next door at Jackson 20. It's traditional Southern fare with new and exciting innovations. It was a thoroughly enjoyable meal in a great atmosphere.
A good hotel, but needs some ironing out...
I made this reservation in order to visit some friends in DC, and because the cost ($99 per night) was much better than anything I could find in DC. In general, this was a nice hotel, as long as you expect 3.5* service. The hotel has been operational for about 2 or 3 months, and it turns out that the grand opening was the first night I showed up; unfortunately, I had other plans for the night, and either there was some sort of snafu in the communication between the hotel and me, or they were likely very busy and forgot to put up the Inner Circle preferences (I did have sparkling water, a little fudge, and some fruit on arrival, so I can't say it was bad).
a) Free wireless
b) Flat screen TV in room
c) Very reasonable rate - excellent, in fact
d) Area is very safe, even at night. Quiet residential neighborhood, which was nice compared to the hustle and bustle of DC.
e) L'Occitane toiletries (they rank quite high on my list)
f) Bold, but not particularly loud decor
g) Very comfortable robes, quite expressive
h) Complimentary use of umbrella - came in handy because it rained two of three days I was there.
a) Wasn't too thrilled with the courtyard upgrade - it faces into the center of the hotel, but there was a tent-like tarp over most of it!
b) Very small L'Occitane bottles - they were 1/2 the size of the ones in the photo tour.
c) Water pressure was adequate, but barely so - and I was on the 2nd floor.
d) Issues with Inner Circle preferences
e) Check-in was a bit slower than I expected
What to be alert for:
a) While the hotel offers a free shuttle to the King Street Metro, it can take a while (25 minutes) to get from the Metro to the hotel, especially if you arrive during a crowded time. It's about 15-20 minutes by foot (just under 1 mile).
b) The nearby area is quite expensive.
Great Hotel, Great Location
First I want to thank rafab1 for the Travelzoo tip! It just so happened I was going to Alexandria for the weekend and I was able to book this hotel for $99/night which is probably close to $75-$100 off the regular price.
This is a very nice hotel. If you have ever stayed at a Kimpton property, you already know of the eclectic style. If you don't mind the different patterns in the decor, then book this hotel when you are in Alexandria.
We were in a corner room and throughly enjoyed the room and amenities. Kimpton uses eco friendly products.
The beds are comrfortable. The bathroom was nice with great towels, wonderful water pressure and plenty of hot water. The staff is really nice and everyone speaks to you each time they see you. You also can't beat free high speed internet in the room.
There is a $20/day parking charge which is cheap compared to NYC, and San Francisco.
The hotel is in a great part of town. Just a few blocks from the waterfront and surrounded by great shops and restuarants. There is a drug store about 1 block away for last minute items.
The only complaint I had was with the valet service. They were a little slow for my taste. I called to have my car brought around before my husband and I left the room. However, we wound up waiting over 20 minutes before my car was brought up and that was after my husband said something to the valet. He took my ticket, but never gave it back, nor did the young man who brought my car around have the ticket. They had to issue a new ticket. That wasn't the problem for me. The issue was I called in more than enough time and still had to wait 20 minutes for my car.
Other than that little incident, Everything else in this hotel was top notch.
Enjoy your stay.
Newly Opened Hotel in Alexandria
The newly opened Hotel Monaco is a large property that has been completely rennovated. While the decore is a little loud and garish for Alexandria, the staff is nice, the rooms comfortable and the service good. The room service menu is limited but I think they are still getting up to speed. The parking is expensive ($20 per day) but otherwise a good value at $166 per day through Expedia.
The First Lady was eating at the restaurant during our stay.
My spouse and I stayed at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria VA for several days on a recent trip to Washington D.C. It's really nice. The hotel had been open only about a week before our stay. The location is in old town Alexandria, so you can walk to shops and restaurants easily. We needed to take the Metro into D.C. each day, so we took the hotel shuttle to the Metro station each day, Upon returning to Alexandria, it's probably easier to take a cab back to the hotel and not that expensive considering the convenience.
The hotel decor is really fun and elegant--kind of Alice in Wonderland goes to the Casbah--and would appeal to both men and women. It's urban, hip, colorful. The room has a flat screen tv. Furnishings are top notch. The bathroom is nice.
The service during our stay was perfect. One incident--we had a room off an interior courtyard, and unfortunately loud music was playing somewhere one night for the entire night. The next morning I complained at the desk to the manager. He apologized profusely and immediately, said it was a problem with the sound system, and that it would not happen again--apparently one of the glitches in the opening week. He said he would reduce our charge that night by what I considered a reasonable amount. Later in the day when my spouse and I were in the hotel lobby, the manager again approached us and apologized again.
So, I was satisfied, and I was more than satisfied with the service the other hotel staff offered during our stay. Everyone was very pleasant and accommodating.
I would definitely recommend this hotel. We had an introductory room rate; unfortunately I guess the normal rates will be much higher.
Hotel Monaco is a Winner!
We stayed at Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton hotel, for four nights in early February of this year. Not only was the hotel offering "grand opening" discounted rates at just over $200/night, we'd found even deeper discounted rates via TravelZoo.com. We paid $169 for Wednesday & Thursday nights, and $99 for Friday and Saturday nights. The hotel had only been open for about a week when we arrived.
I'd like to first say that Old Town, Alexandria is a wonderful place to stay. If we had never ventured into Washington DC on the entire stay we would've still had a great mini-vacation. You can walk for a mile in any direction and really enjoy yourself. Old Town is architecturally beautiful, it's historic, has great shopping, restaurants and bars. Special nods go to both the bar (and bartender) at Restaurant Eve, and the New Majestic. Also, the fantastic Le Madeline, a casual French bistro, directly across the street, was one wonderful meal after another - breakfast-lunch-dinner. Can't say enough about this restaurant.
Back to Hotel Monaco: the staff tells us that this had been a Holiday Inn and that Kimpton spent a full year and a large amount of money, completely revamping it. The hotel's décor (in Kimpton tradition) is funky-chic-elegant. The lobby is a vivid, deep teal/turquoise with various sofas, chairs and tables, arranged in cosy groupings, throughout the area. Nicely done.
There was a profusion of hotel staff - some at check-in, some as doormen, at concierge and just standing around waiting to be of service.
When we arrived at the King Street Metro Station, we called for the hotel's complimentary shuttle service, which arrived within 10 minutes. We availed ourselves of this service every day, and the drivers were invariably courteous and helpful.
Our hotel room was a standard room and not a large room, but oh, what they've done with a small room. They managed to make the most of the space and turn it into a very cool, modern and luxurious room. Top-of-the-line bedding, heavenly pillows (which we chose from the "pillow menu" when we reserved the rooms initially), and a very plush mattress. The two windows were not very wide but were tall and well appointed with curtains and sheers.
The flat-screen TV was large, clear and easy to use, with a good amount of cable channels to watch.
There was room in the stocked mini-fridge for our extra items -- a few bottles of water and a bottle of wine. We didn't need to ask for wine glasses as they come standard with the room, as do plush, animal-print robes (available for purchase at the end of your stay - too pricey, I thought.) The bathroom is bright, clean, and equipped with high-end sundries - L'Occitaine -- a very nice touch. Water pressure was fantastic in the shower and a heat lamp, in addition to other lighting, is just outside the shower/tub.
We all have our quirks - things that are important to us and seem to make or break a good hotel stay...one of mine is lighting. And I'm happy to report that everywhere in the hotel room, both the room itself and the bathroom, has dimmer switches - aah.
Our one problem - and this was a big one - was the heat. While they did a good job in renovating most of the hotel, the heating/HVAC likely wasn't one of them. The heat (which was needed as the afternoon waned and evening began) was just not working properly. We called "maintenance" to come up both on our first night, and then the second day of our stay, when we finally told them that we need a room with consistent heat.
We got first a call from the manager on duty and then a personal visit from him, along with another staff member, to move us to another, upgraded, room - a Mardi Gras room - slightly larger than a regular room, but with a lovely balcony overlooking the new interior courtyard - and a well-working heater. We were very pleased with this arrangement.
My husband had overheard another room of guests discussing a similar problem the following day with the manager, and they also had been moved to another room, so this is probably one of those problems that need to be worked out at a new hotel.
The restaurant at Monaco, Jackson 20, is a nice-looking restaurant, but my husband and I were stunned at how very loud and noisy it was - -we just couldn't bring ourselves to stay for dinner - people were literally shouting to be heard - but seemingly enjoying every minute of it! The bar looked lively and was very crowded each night we were there so they must be doing something right.
In all, we had a very positive experience at Hotel Monaco (especially at the prices we paid) and would definitely stay there again.
LOVED THE HOTEL MONACO!
Decided to try the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria VA this weekend and we were very impressed. It is a pet friendly hotel (we brought our two small dogs with us - the first time we've traveled with them).
The hotel has only been opened for a few weeks.
The decor is fantastic! Very cool, hip, a tad unconventional - which is a pleasant surprise...certainly has a wow factor.
Upon arrival, Eddie assisted us with parking our car and introducing us to the hotel and staff. He couldn't have been more friendly. Rico was the bellman and was young, friendly, helpful. In fact, every staff member we came in contact with was very friendly.
Our room decor was equally hip and fun. Room is large, bed was very comfortable. Bath was nice - good lighting, nice amenities.
We got the "introductory rate" (new hotel) of $159. per night. A great deal!...have stayed at NYC hotels of equal quality at three times the rate. Yes, it is Alexandria and not NYC, but still.
We will DEFINITELY stay here every time we come to Alexandria! The location can't be beat - right in the middle of Old Town near all the shopping and dining establishments.
We didn't have the chance to try their restaurant/bar next door because we had other dinner reservations at Vermilion (excellent, by the way) but we noticed it to be a mob scene - we can only guess it's been well received and will give it a try next time - at least for a drink....so many good restaurants in Alexandria...so little time!
I Want to Go Back
I travel 3 weeks out of a month on business, i have stayed in a lot of hotels. The Hotel Monaco is a wonderful place. This was my second stay at The Monaco. I loved the first visit so much I had to come back. The rooms are large, bright and the beds make you feel like you are sleeping on a cloud (Sealy Posturepedic Dynasty Plush). I pulled the sheets up to see who made this marvelous bed. I had a room with a balcony which open onto a courtyard. Truly this hotel feels more like home than any hotel i've stayed in. All the staff are very helpful and pleasant. The resturant attached has a great breakfast and dinner menu too. There are some kinks because this is a brand new hotel, but you can't beat the atmosphere at the Hotel Monaco. I will definately return again and again.
The total COMFORT of the place!
Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, VA just opened in January 2008. It has a few kinks (which I'll mention later) but there are many good things to say about it.
First, it may be one of the most comfortable hotels I've ever stayed in. The bed was terrific - firm mattress, but cushiony padding and duvets, a bunch of great pillows. Interesting and comfortable decor - sort of Confederate officer uniform with purple highlights. The doorman does, indeed, wear a purple uniform - velvet, no less! But somehow it works.
There's a big fireplace with fire in the lobby, and comfortable seating that begs you to sit down for a conversation.
The metro is about 8 block away, but in my opinion, the hotel's location couldn't be better - right in the center of Old Town Alexandria, near the town hall and beautiful historic homes, the Torpedo Factory Arts Center, the Potomac, awesome restaurants (including Restaurant Eve, one of the best in the Washington, DC area, right around the corner.) Great shops and great walking, pretty lights in the trees at night, friendly people.
I asked for a high room away from the elevators, and that's what I got. Nicely decorated, beautifully maintained, and they work hard on keeping it quiet - the doors close with just a gentle snick.
The hotel restaurant, Jackson 20, was very nice - sort of "cleaned up" southern comfort food. It has an interesting wine list, including "20 for $20" - 20 wines for $20 a bottle. A couple of Virginia wines were included for those interested in a smaller carbon footprint. The place had just opened 5 days before, so they were still working on refining the service (our waiter was a little over eager.) The staff still looked a little "deer in the headlights," but who could blame theM? Laura Bush was one of their first customers.
As far nits for the hotel - the lobby was much too warm, the valet didn't know how to start my Prius, the lobby staff was a little rough around the edges - all easily fixable. I'm going to go back in a month or so. I can hardly wait!
Thoroughly Enjoyed the Hotel Monaco
Stayed two nights at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria, February 1 - 3, 2008. Paid $135 per night plux tax. Overall, our experience was excellent and we would definitely stay there again.
Arrived Friday night at 9pm and checked in immediately with no problems. Lobby is not large but is very nice and well-decorated in the way that only hip, boutique hotels can be. It sounds crazy, but the teal green walls, black and white furniture, and purple rugs work together very well. And of course the purple velvet suits worn by all the employees complement the color scheme nicely.
Our room was on a high floor and away from the elevator, as requested. Rooms are around 400 SF and feel spacious. The rooms also have the hip feel to them - brown carpet and grey walls, star-shaped mirror, etc. In fact, this is one of those few times that the picture of the room on the hotel website looks exactly like the actual room. There is no difference whatsoever between what's shown on the web and what you get.
Bathroom was particularly spacious and impressive. Marble everywhere and Kohler fixtures. Plenty of towels and a very nice hair dryer which my girlfriend appreciated.
Other ways the hotel stepped up:
- They provided us with a handheld steamer at no charge so that I could get the wrinkles out of one of my suits. When I called downstairs they delivered the steamer within about 10 minutes.
- When we got back from the bar about 2am on Saturday night, we thought the restaurant would still be open (it had just closed). The shuttle driver drove us to a late-night food spot about 15 minutes away, no questions asked.
- Yes, the hotel is in the heart of Old Town, but it's far from the Metro stop. Luckily, they'll give you a shuttle ride to and back for free.
- When my friend checked in at 6pm on Saturday, they still didn't have his room ready. Took another 30 minutes for it to be prepared.
- Service at the hotel bar/restaurant was poor. The atmosphere was great, but the service was lacking. Took us forever to get drinks and they were still wrong.
Overall though, this is a great hotel. Would highly recommend it to anyone needing a hotel in Old Town, especially since it's only been open a couple weeks. I'm sure that once some of the kinks are worked out, issues like we had with rooms being ready late and bad service at the bar will be taken care of.