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.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Dec 2, 2022

AKA West Palm Beach Opens in Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.

Discover Seoul’s Sustainable Side

Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.

Daily
Dec 2, 2022

Heart of the South

Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.

Daily
Dec 2, 2022

El Museo Del Barrio

As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.

United’s 100 Percent Green Commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2050

United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.

Daily
Dec 2, 2022

Fairmont Gold Reopens at Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown

Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.

Press Releases
Dec 1, 2022

Global Traveler Announces 19th Annual GT Tested Reader Survey Awards

The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

December 2022
Dec 1, 2022

Rich in History: Explore Gilded Age Mansions and More in Newport, Rhode Island

Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.