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“Behind Facade and Gimmicks, Flaws” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel

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Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Old Town)   |  
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Ranked #5 of 50 Hotels in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Behind Facade and Gimmicks, Flaws”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Stayed at the Hotel Monaco, Alexandria in March 2013. Our accommodations were a Mediterranean Suite connected to a Loft Suite. Had a delayed response in our accommodations requiry but the GM, Matthew Hurlburt, was quick to step in and rectify. Let me note that Mr. Hurlburt is a hands on manager and does not hesitate to communicate directly with his guests. It's a shame that some of the staff does not share his views on service.

Facade:
I was contacted 2 days prior to our arrival via email by a guest service manager asking if we needed anything let would enhance our stay. Overall, we got the impression that the hotel was very guest oriented thru our communications with staff and the website.
Reality:
Pulled up to hotel in taxi, I had to unload luggage for 4 people while the doorman watched me as he was more concerned with valet parking, I assume it's more of a financial incentive for him to cater to the valet parking.
Checked in at Front Desk, waited 10 minutes for bellman. Bellman explained it was very busy. This is not an excuse for hospitality workers as I am paying the same rate whether it's busy or not. As part of my rate is for service, unless you are willing to decrease my rate at "busy" time, don't even use this as an excuse.
Facade:
Wine Hour at 5:00pm each day.
Reality:
This just turns the lobby into a zoo at that time.
Facade:
Companion Goldfish
Reality:
Requested one for my daughter but was told there was no more available. Um, this is one of your signature gimmick, it's like going to Starbucks and then being told there was no more coffee.
Facade:
Chic / Eclectic design
Reality:
Look closely, lamps were of poor design, loose sockets. The overall "mood" lighting throughout the property gives the impression of trying too hard to be hip.

Overall, due to the limited options of accommodations in Alexandria and the monopoly that Kimpton have in the town, their hotels are probably the best options that you have. I would most likely stay in DC or National Harbor next time I'm in town. As in reading other reviews for the Kimpton properties in Alexandria, it seems to be their MO to comp guests wines/snacks when there are issues. In my opinion, I rather have things right the first time. The concept behind Kimpton is good, the issue is in the delivery.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear jo2er,

Thank you for choosing us for your family weekend here in Old Town Alexandria, and for the kind words about me in your post. Unfortunately we fell short on your stay and I am very sorry about that.

You are absolutely right, the fact that the hotel was extremely busy that weekend is no excuse for not providing excellent service. As many travelers remark here, our staff welcoming them upon arrival at the Front Door and offering assistance is an essential piece of our service that helps us attract more and more customers each year. We will certainly not lose sight of that and will use your feedback to strengthen our commitment to it.

Please reach out to me directly if you do decide to provide us another opportunity to serve you in the future, I'm confident that we can provide you with a great experience and exceed your expectations.

Thank you and take care,

Matt
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1,302 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (319)
Date | Rating
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English first
Poughkeepsie, NY
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

After staying in Dec 2012, we broke our NC-NY trip in half by staying at the Monaco Alexandria in March 13.
To my previous review, I can only add that once again we asked for and received an upgrade, and this time we did attend happy hour -- not only complimentary red and white wine, but also complimentary sake with apples and complimentary Manhattans, mixed on the spot. I had my first in about 40 years, and it was good: mixed about 2:1, with a hefty dose of bitters to cut the sweet vermouth's sweetness. We splurged on breakfast in the room: delivered graciously and on time. When we called for help with our bags on leaving, the bellhop was so prompt that we had not yet zipped up the last bag

Room Tip: I have not been in a standard room; every time I have been offered an upgrade, generally at $20, and...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Weyden,

So glad to have been your hotel of choice in the D.C. area during your North-South trips this winter! Thanks for coming back after the first visit, and we hope there will be many more!

It was nice meeting you on this last stay, please reach out to me at anytime if I can help in the future.

Take care and safe travels,

Matt
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

When another Kimpton hotel overbooked our stay we were rebooked at The Monaco. When your normal hotel experience includes Hampton Inns and the like, stepping into the Monaco was a great fun new experience. The staff was friendly and helpful. It was a pleasure to see a hotel with an open animal policy. We did not bring our pup with us so we had a non-animal floor and did not notice any animal smells. The hotel offered services including a companion goldfish for your stay and complimentary wine service from 5-6 each night. It was a fun hotel and would stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Dbycoach,

That hotel's loss was our gain I guess, at least it is all part of the Kimpton family! Glad you enjoyed your stay here and thanks for taking the time to share your comments here.

Hope to see you back again soon!

Matt
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dover, pa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

The hotel is very nice, but do not go there unless you like dogs. There is a "Dog Happy Hour" on Tuesday evening (and maybe another night) where owners come for drinks and bring there dogs. Also our room was equipped with a dog pillow and water pan. At 6AM we hear a dog bark in the room next to us.

The room was nice, minus a coffee maker (Found out later you must request it), but had a slight dog smell. Bottom line: if you love dogs go there you will like it. If you do not care to have dogs around your hotel - stay away!

Great location for touring Old Town, which if you do, get a Key To City booklet at Visitor's Center for $9. Go to Gadsby's Tavern for lunch and have the Cod. Coupon from you Key book gets you $5 off, and free entrance to places around the city. Well worth the $9. Also ask for free 24 hour parking pass. Can get two times. Great!

Room Tip: Ask for one away from dogs!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Dover2400,

Thank you for choosing us while on your trip down to the area, and for the kind words regarding the hotel and location.

I'm sorry that you felt overrun by dogs during your stay, and for our mistake in having your room preset with a dog bed and water bowl. Certainly this error did not help in making your feel that we were more concerned about four-legged guests than you! I sincerely apologize for that.

Our adjacent restaurant, Jackson 20, does host a Doggy Yappy Hour on Tuesdays/Thursdays starting next week and running through the summer which has become a popular attraction for some of our guests as well as locals who like to have a glass of wine during their evening stroll.

We do keep one floor pet-free at all times and can place you in a room on that floor in the future if you prefer. Please do try us again and let us show you how much we value your business! My email address is matthew.hurlburt@hotelmonaco.com, pleaes contact me at anytime.

Thank you and take care,

Matt
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Philadelphia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Hotel Monaco in Alexandria impressed and satisfied. My husband and I drove from Philadelphia for a little getaway to D.C. We booked the "blossoms & blooms" package on a wednesday night for $165, which included parking & a complimentary cherry blossom soap. When we pulled into the town of Alexandria, specifically King St., where the hotel is located...we decided to spend our first day there, instead of trekking to downtown D.C. We spent a few hours exploring & shopping. Unique Irish, tea & spice and clothing shops, as well as stores like Anthropology, Bluemercury and the Gap are all nearby. We walked to the waterfront and toured around the Torpedo Art Center...an open artist studio, which was free and welcoming. We then returned to the hotel & took advantage of the hotel's free wine hour (from5pm to 6pm)...they were also serving sake to coincide with the cherry blossom festival. We then moved on to La Tasca, a Spanish restaurant a block away had $4 sangria and complimentary paella. Then we had a reservation at PX, a traditional 20's style speakeasy...three blocks from the hotel with the best drinks I've ever seen or had!

The hotel was clean, staff was polite & efficient and the space of the room was perfect. The only reason I did not rate it excellent is because we had trouble sleeping in after our night out. The hotel is dog-friendly and our next door neighbors dog barked constantly from 9am to 10am. I did call the front desk to complain and soon after, the barking stopped. Overall, I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the courtyard.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Jnacb427,

Thank you for choosing us for your little getaway! Sounds like you all did a great job of exploring and experiencing Old Town Alexandria. There is so much to do and see right outside our front door, we are very fortunate to be located where we are.

I'm glad that the Front Desk was able to help with the situation regarding the dog in the room next door, although I apologize for the inconvenience that caused. We do have a pet-free floor if you prefer for your next visit.

Thanks again and safe travels!

Matt
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I stayed for business but was very pleased with the hotel. The location is in the heart of old town and about 20 minutes to DCA. The room is spacious and the bed is comfortable. The walls are a little thin but not particularly noisy.

One feature that really struck me as a differentiating point, there were a ton of dogs of all different sizes and they catered to kids/families. In the evening there were games and kids gathered around the fireside. They put chalk boards in the families rooms. They have chalkboards and books at check in. As a mom, it was really cool to see. It's a hip hotel that even us married with kids can enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear REDRENSINK,

Thank you so much! We work hard to welcome kids to the hotel and recognize how making them happy can make the parents happy!

Thanks for staying with us, hopefully next time you can bring the family with you!

Take care,

Matt
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Westerville, Ohio
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Unfortunately, there were too many issues to review above 'average'. No clean towels at the pool, no safety equipment at the pool for young children (vest or floaties), lots of promises to deliver things that came up short (pool closed when signage stated it would be open, programs highlighted on marketing materials for children not available). A great location if you want to be right in Old Town, which is a great place to stay/visit. Very child and dog friendly. Wishing our stay would have been better.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerMattHurlburt, General Manager at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Mackey66,

Thank you for your review, and for the kind words about our location and child-friendly approach. It is dissappointing to hear that we did not deliver on all of the amenities and services that would have made your stay more enjoyable however. I'm sorry about that.

We have purchased extra items for the pool and addressed the hours of operation as well, thank you so much for your feedback. Please do come give us another try when your travel plans bring you back to this area.

Take care,

Matt
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Additional Information about Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Alexandria > Old Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Alexandria
#3 Green Hotel in Alexandria
#3 Family Hotel in Alexandria
#3 Luxury Hotel in Alexandria
#5 Business Hotel in Alexandria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 241
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Monaco Alexandria, in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, is a luxury boutique hotel with rich design. Discerning travelers will appreciate the sumptuous décor, top-notch service and eclectic sensibility that this Kimpton Hotel provides. The hotel aptly reflects its historically rich surroundings, adding contemporary comforts for a memorable stay near Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon and all of Washington DC’s many attractions. Conveniently adjacent is the exceptional Jackson 20 restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Monaco Alexandria Kimpton

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