Rarely ever do I get an opportunity to enjoy a six night stay anywhere but such was the case this week when I would arrive back in my old home city of Washington and stay from Saturday until Friday at the Hotel Monaco, at 7th and F Street Northwest. This trip would be a mix of pleasure business and business business as the weekend would be spent scouting wedding venues and vendors with my fiancée and the week would be spent conducting Hotel Lobbyists’ normal business affairs.The Hotel Monaco does hold a special place for me as I had actually considered it for my own wedding at one point and it was one of seven hotels that I was charged with selling in my former employ. The most majestic of the Washington Kimpton Hotels, the Hotel Monaco pushes the envelope with respect to what might be considered a boutique hotel.
With a grand façade on four fronts, the Hotel Monaco occupies an entire city block in Washington bordered by 7th and 8th Streets as well as E and F Streets. It’s in the very center of the vibrant Gallery Place neighborhood. Streets here are lined with some of the city’s most celebrated entertainment venues like the Verizon Center , Shakespeare Theatre and Wooly Mammoth Theatre, as well as the areas most acclaimed dining establishments. It’s the “Times Square” of Washington with the streets wonderfully lit and busy from morning ‘til night.
Yet the Monaco’s charm goes beyond its impeccable location. A handsome federal building which at one time which housed the nation’s postal depot, the Monaco was a unique restoration project unto itself. Because of its status as a National Historic Landmark, the architects needed to be extremely careful of what was touched during the reconstruction. Guest rooms, which existed as former offices, had no bathrooms, and because the ceilings were protected by statute, small cubes within the rooms were designed to leave the ceilings untouched while still having restrooms in each room. Hallways are incredibly wide and distinguished, rooms have unusually high ceilings, and yet the lobby space and restaurant space have retained Kimpton’s signature boutique coziness.
As with all Kimpton’s, guests may revel in the brand’s complimentary wine hour each evening. In six nights, I did not partake, however I was keen to use the complimentary wi-fi while people watching on several occasions.
Perhaps the only downfall to this property is that for a building this size, there is a seriously limited amount of meeting space here. The two large function rooms are stunning, particularly the Paris Ballroom with its dome and pillars, but the space is consumed quickly and groups looking to meet with several breakout rooms will not find much success here.
Nevertheless, a great hotel in a superb location that has historically been very good to me and I’m sure will continue to be over the coming years.
On the web – http://www.monaco-dc.com