FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Kimpton Monaco Washington, D.C., Review

by Francis X. Gallagher

Nov 2, 2021
November 2021
Kimpton Monaco

PHOTO: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: I took a leisurely drive from Philadelphia on a Thursday this past summer to visit Kimpton Hotel Monaco, the site we selected for the 2021 FXExpress awards (see the recap on page 36). The drive was easy, and travers- ing from the Baltimore–Washington Parkway to the hotel was simple. The property sits across the street from the National Portrait Gallery — close to everything but a few blocks from the National Mall, so traffic is not as congested. The hotel valet took my car and parked it in the hotel garage, as I would not need it for the rest of the day. It was great to just pull up in front and not have to worry about finding parking in D.C.

The hotel is a historic landmark designed by Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument. The original building was completed in 1842 to house the General Post Office, which soon outgrew it. In 1855 Thomas Ustick Walter, also the designer of the U.S. Capitol dome, designed a new section. This construction was suspended during the Civil War. After the post office moved to a new location, the building housed many government agencies. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. The building stood abandoned from 1997 until 2002, when Kimpton turned it into the Monaco.

Check-in was swift and friendly. This was the period in July when Washington, D.C., dropped the mask mandate for vaccinated persons, so everything felt normal again.

GUEST QUARTERS: My room was on the third floor, and to get there I had to take the elevator and then walk into the other section of the hotel and down a wide hallway adorned with large shades hanging from the center, covering the lights. It made an impressive view. The entire building has very high ceilings, which helped keep the building cool before air-conditioning.

The large room had a king-sized bed to the left and a large lion sculpture above the bed to protect you while sleeping. To the right was a round glass-top table with chairs facing a built-in cabinet holding a flat-screen TV and a large bust of Thomas Jefferson. This made a good functional workstation, as I had to attend two Zoom meetings when I arrived. The table and the headboard had convenient power outlets and USB power sockets. Against the window sat an additional comfortable chair with a table/foot stool.

The bathroom was large with a tub/shower combo, a bowed shower curtain and great water pressure. Shampoo and amenities, by Atelier Bloom, were scented with basil, green apple and orange blossoms.

The room was comfortable, and the bed made for a perfect night’s sleep.

SERVICES/AMENITIES: I enjoyed dinner and drinks at Dirty Habit, the on-site bar and restaurant. There is also an outside patio, frequented by Washingtonians. Make sure you try the tuna tartare dressed with watermelon — it was out of this world! The following month we hosted our event in Kimpton Monaco’s Paris Ballroom, beautiful and full of history. A huge dome at the center lets in natural light; remember, this building was constructed nearly 40 years before cities were electrified. There is also another meeting space on the other side of the building, the Athens Ballroom — I am told both make great wedding venues.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

Dirty Habit offers the feel of outside — it is all glass — without being exposed to the elements.

The location cannot be beat: a short walk to nearly everything in Washington, D.C.

KIMPTON MONACO WASHINGTON, DC
700FSt.NW Washington, DC 20004
tel 202 628 7117
monaco-dc.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 21, 2024

New Beds and Restaurants in Boise, Idaho

There’s lots going on in Boise, including an impressive selection of new hotels. Stays at The Sparrow will immediately immerse you in a sense of place, thanks to engaging, infographic- style artwork in each of the 67 guestrooms. You’ll find a local coffeehouse in the lobby, a food truck on the outdoor patio overlooking Grove Street, and an outdoor fireplace inviting guests to linger and mingle. Authentic, local experiences include the Brewery of the Month program.

Why Buy Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:

June 2024
Jun 21, 2024

Saudi Arabia Fosters Sustainable, Regenerative Tourism Along the Red Sea

 My first experience of Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast now seems like ancient history. It was 1995, and I was visiting my ornithologist cousin and is wife. Getting into the kingdom wasn't easy; I needed sponsorship letters. and a pre-trip interview at the Saudi Arabian Embassy. When I arrived in the country, there was no tourist infrastructure. We toured by SUV ad often slept under the stars. Thus, one morning, we woke up on roll-out mattresses on a Red Sea beach 200 miles from Jeddah.

Daily
Jun 21, 2024

2 New Concept Bars Opening This Fall in Texas and New York

Add New York City and Austin to your list of bar-hopping cities with the highly-anticipated debuts of Brass Poppy and Bar Sprezzatura.

MORE TO TRAVEL

There’s more to travel than just getting there.

Daily
Jun 21, 2024

Virgin Hotels to Open First London Hotel in August

On Aug. 1, Virgin Hotels debuts its first London property. Set to open in the heart of Shoreditch, this hotel will mark the brand’s eighth Virgin Hotels location worldwide and the 17th property for the wider Virgin Hotels Collection.

Daily
Jun 19, 2024

Sofitel New York Embarks on Comprehensive Renovation

Sofitel New York recently announced a comprehensive refurbishment project, timed to the Sofitel brand’s 60th anniversary this year. The Manhattan property’s renovation, set to start in late 2024, will reach all facets of the hotel, including the 398 guestrooms and suites, lobby, meeting spaces, elevators, and corridors. Completion of the public areas is anticipated by fall 2025.

Fill Your Heart with Ireland

Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 18, 2024

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City Review

My husband and I recently enjoyed an overnight getaway at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The resort is a one-stop shop for an entertaining escape. We packed a lot into our one-night stay, and it left us looking forward to a return visit.