The total COMFORT of the place! A review of Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel
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!