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“Interesting Place to Stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Monaco Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel

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Monaco Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   700 F Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20004 (Downtown / Chinatown)   |  
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3rd Suite Night Free!
Ranked #30 of 135 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
218 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
“Interesting Place to Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2007

This is a very interesting hotel. The colors and decor is unique and comfortable and I had a good time staying here. I will say that if you are a family or tourist who wants to be close to the National Mall, the Hotel Washington or Williard Intercontinental would be much better of a location. The Monaco is nearer to Ford's Theater and the shopping district/China Town than to the monuments. To get to the Washington Monument or White House is probably a 20 - 30 minute walk through the city at a good pace. Booking directly through the hotel can sometimes be cheaper than booking through a discount sight. This is a Kimpton property which tend to be geared towards the business traveler offering a free wine reception, an optional $50 upgrade to 'taller rooms' (which I loved because I am 6'3) and a lot of upscale ammenities at a medium price. The bed was big and comfortable. MAKE SURE that you BRING A SWEATSHIRT and sweatpants because the air conditioning is almost comically cold at this hotel. It honestly was enough to keep my ice in the bucket unmelted for almost an entire day when left out. There is no way to make it warmer in the summer and the room will stay at a very cold 60 degrees even if you open the windows if you can. The check in desk is a MESS! Whenever you check in or out ... you can pretty much guarentee there will be a problem of some kind. Its never easy although as incompetant as the desk staff are, they are at the very least friendly and nice. Even the concierge tends to be very uncertain about even the most simple of questions. However, this is the type of hotel where you feel you get your money's worth and it is very unique and different from the normal chain hotels. It is a fun place to stay and focuses on a younger and hipper business crowd. I would recommend it even through its quirks. However, I request the same room each time I go because I know I will like it and I've heard horror stories from other travelers about the size and location of their room.

  • Liked — The unique quirkiness of the decorations, colors and style of the hotel.
  • Disliked — The front desk can't ever seen to get anything right and always take forever.
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1,256 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (321)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2007

This hotel is very trendy it used to be a Post Office. It was fun and close to the sites. The staff was attentive and nice. They provided us with good directions.

Others complained about the room size but we had a king size (bed) room and it was plenty big enough.

  • Liked — It was trendy and staff was nice
  • Disliked — Elevator was slow
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Cambridge, MA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2007

First, DO NOT allow them to place you in a below street level 1st floor (basement) room!! I had reserved an UPPER FLOOR Mediterranean Suite online for my 17 year old nephew and me, having read the reviews about how small the rooms are and what the basement is like.

Despite my request, we were put into a basement suite, and the basement is every bit as bad as you read about. The musty damp hit us as soon as we entered the chilly basement hallway. The smell was so strong it was like fumes, in the room as well as the hallway. The hall was dim, with dingy decor consisting of (literally) a lump of dried moss in containers in the hallway tables. Rooms were small, very dim lighting, and we could not open the curtains completely because then passersby could see into the rooms.

I went to the front desk and requested to be moved to an upper floor, as I did not want to spend $300+ a night for such discomfort. They agreed to move us for the following two nights of our stay, but the first night we had to stay in the basement.

The next two nights were MUCH better on the upper floors and I felt we got what we paid for. Brightly lit, warm, hallways free of mustiness and with flowers in the containers instead of just moss. Bright lamps lining the ceiling along the hall, and well lit rooms where we could open the windows to get sunlight. The rooms even seemed larger and the jacuzzi tub in the bathroom also had a window with blinds for additional sunlight. Even with a wedding going on down the hall, rooms were quiet.

The Monaco should shut down the basement level entirely as it is completely unacceptable and uninhabitable. When we arrived, the front desk clerk asked discreetly if we had been there before. We said no, but probably should have said yes, and don't put us in the basement!

The Poste restaurant was way below par -- stay away. Decor nothing special, and the dishes second rate. The only good experience with it was having breakfast delivered to the room, which was delicious and completely unlike the other meals. Go for the breakfast at Poste, but skip the rest.

The doormen and bellmen were helpful, always ready to help with luggage and getting us a taxi. Concierge was also helpful. We enjoyed the eclectic design of the lobby, very pleasant. Fitness room was excellent, with flat screen TVs attached to the machines and plenty of windows, towels and cold water to drink. 24 hour fitness room and 24 hour room service was a plus.

In short, this is a good place for your money and the location can't be beat, as long as you stay out of the basement.

  • Disliked — Basement rooms
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Fla.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2007

It all depends on what's important to you. If you want excellent location for walking to all the sites, museums and the metro right across the street, extremely accommodating staff, spotless room, comfy bed, interesting blend of old architecture and newish decor, plenty of hot water, right in the heart of lively neighborhhood with lots of cafes and restaurants and a local farmer's mkt on thursdays -- then Hotel Monaco is just the thing for you.

If you want -- or need -- a larger American-sized bedroom, furniture for unpacking your clothes. soundproofing to block out sounds from the hall, HBO/premium channel s on TV, room for working or entertaining guests -- then you will be disappointed in the Hotel Monaco.

Having read reviews on this site, I knew to ask for a quiet room NOT on the first floor and NOT in the ballroom wing, and I was accommodated -- even upgraded to a king bedroom. There were weddings going on over the weekend but I didn't hear a thing.

.

  • Liked — Location, staff, great showers, cleanliness, high ceilings
  • Disliked — Size of rooms
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2007

Currently staying here for business. I was put in a basement room (they said there were no others available). My feeling is that if you're going to put someone in a basement room, you should let them know that when you book. I had other options in DC and I would have chosen one of them.

The room is tiny and dark. The pillows are foam, not down. Requested a down pillow and after two hours it hasn't arrived. Called room service and no one answered. When I inquired of the front desk they said "both of them are out delivering food to customers." They called back after about 10 minutes. Told me it would be an hour before I could expect my food as they were very busy.

I should have known better, as I had a similar experience a year or so ago with another Kimpton Hotel in DC, the Hotel George. This is the last time I will stay in a Kimpton Hotel. It appears that they're trying to create a funky vibe by repurposing buildings as hotels, which is fine, but then at least get the service right and be honest with your guests when they book. I can't imagine that anyone likes being in the basement.

Only good point is free internet access, but I would have gladly paid the $10 charged by other hotels to have avoided this experience.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rocky Mountains
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2007

I was visiting DC with my 8 year old to visit some of the tourist sites and wanted a well located hotel easily accessible to restaurants, the sites, and Union Station and in a safe neighborhood. It certainly met that requirement. A metro stop was essentially just across the street, along with museums and plenty of restaurants, and even a movie theater. The White House and National Mall were within walkng distance, although after the first day we relied on the metro because of the extreme heat. There was a CVS behind the hotel for incidentals, a Starbucks on the next corner, a Barnes & Noble within walking distance and countless other things.

The room was small, but adequate, although because of the odd shape of the room, I suspect it would have seemed bigger with fewer tight spaces if it had been in a more traditional shape, Everything was clean and in good repair. The bathroom had a shower stall (albeit roomy) rather than a tub, although that was fine, and in fact preferable, for me. We didn't have any problem finding spots for a luggage that was out of the way, although there was less draw/closet space for clothes than I am used to--if we were staying much more than 3 nights we would have been hard pressed to put away all our clothes. I also was not able to locate an outlet that didn't require moving furniture to get to it (outside of the bathroom).

It fulfilled his label of boutique hotel. Located in a what was originally the first DC post office, it is in a building consistent in style with so many of the museums and government buildings, which gives a spacious feel to the public areas. The hallways were very wide; the ceililngs were very high; and there was a bust of Thomas Jefferson on top of the armoire in our room. The highlight of the hotel for my 8 year old were the 2 goldfish we were able to request as room companions during our stay. The concierge was helpful and when we arrived at 11 am our room was ready and we were able to check in several hours early.

And here is why it got an "ok" instead of a higher rating. I was traveling on a budget (hencing purchasing on Hotwire) but the Hotel Monaco puts a $100/night hold on your credit card for "incidentals"--an amount I was not informed of at check in. More than I had experienced with other hotels through Hotwire. More than I had budgeted for daily spending. Because we basically just needed a place to sleep and shower and were away all day, we did not spend any money at the hotel, and when I realized what had happened, it put somewhat of a damper on the rest of the trip.

So, overall it was a good hotel for my needs--and if you are willing to spend more money I'm sure there are bigger rooms to be had---but be forewarned if you are a budget traveler buying through Hotwire or similar prepay sites.

  • Liked — Hotel conveniently located to restaurants, tourist sites, and metro.
  • Disliked — Policies regarding prepaid stays.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore USA
Level Contributor
77 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2007

You'd better like the person you stay with, as you're going to be VERY close to them in a standard room at the Monaco. The bathroom is right opposite the bed, so close that they had to install a sliding door so it didn't bang into the bed when opened.

But the building is elegant and romantic, the staff charming, the Happy Hour a pleasurable bonus. Best of all is the location, opposite the National Portrait Gallery, next to the Spy Museum, close to the Mall and just a block away from the MetroCenter subway stop.

Perfect for a single or for a short stay. And bring you Cd's and tapes, as there are players in the rooms. Exercise Room is good; no pool.

  • Liked — The location and the staff
  • Disliked — the cramped bedroom
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monaco Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 700 F Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Downtown / Chinatown , Penn Quarter , Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#18 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#19 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#31 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#37 Business Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Monaco Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The luxury Hotel Monaco Washington DC, centrally located in Penn Quarter, occupies the former General Post Office and is a National Historic Building. Built in 1839, this recently renovated beautiful marble building has a stately grace that is matched by the hotel’s exemplary service and luxurious amenities. From the comfort of elegant guestrooms, you are steps from the bustling Poste Moderne Brasserie, Verizon Center, the Smithsonian, National Mall and a plethora of museums. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Monaco Washington Dc
Kimpton Washington Dc
Monaco Hotel Washington Dc

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