We don't travel with a dog (our cats prefer to stay at home) but were surprised at how many guests at the Monaco in Alexandra, VA had dogs, well - behaved dogs at that. I've since read that Alexandria is a very dog-friendly town and that many lodging places accept them.
I liked sitting in the comfortable lobby here watching the canines. When I say the lobby is comfortable, I mean it has couches that you literally sink into, wonderful side chairs, ottomans, and a cozy fireplace. There are toys for the kids in the lobby too. And did I mention there's wine at 5 p.m.? Very nice.
The only thing we were uncomfortable with was the size of the room. My husband and I are not little people. By the time we got our four bags and ourselves into the room it was snug. I like having a nice arm chair in the room. Not here. The furnishings and decor are avant European -- a large foot stool is the closest we got to a sitting chair. We thought we asked for a king-size bed, but got a queen. We let that go because it may have been our mistake.
There's no coffee pot in the room (European style, I guess) but there is coffee in the lobby. Don't look for any packaged sweet rolls for breakfast here, because there's no breakfast. I liked that because I don't find the "free breakfast" at most hotels all the good. Next to the Monaco there is a nice La Madeleine. And there's a pharmacy across the street.
The room and bathroom were very clean. We didn't get housekeeping every day because we left early each morning and returned around 4 p.m., just about the time housekeeping was getting around to us. That was not a big issue to me. I just mention it in case it is to others.
The desk was helpful and friendly, as were the doorman and staff. The first night the AC went on instead of the heater (it was cold). Maintenance was at our door within 2 minutes after we called and replaced the batteries in the thermostat. No problems with AC or heat after that. There is a free shuttle to and from Reagan National airport. When we arrived the shuttle was in the shop but the hotel paid for our cab ride.
The Monaco is in Old Town and is within walking distance to the related historic attractions and the Torpedo Factory. The station for the Metro into D.C. is about a mile away. The Old Town trolleys go to the Metro station but they don't start until 10 a.m. If you want to go into D.C. earlier than that, you either need to be prepared to walk a mile to the station or take a cab.
Next time we go to D.C. we will probably stay closer to the Metro station, not because we didn't like the Monaco but because we are morning people and like to go into the city early. Also, there's a great Whole Foods near the Metro station. We would have eaten every meal there if we'd found it sooner. The restaurants in Old Town are ok, but not as good as Whole Foods in my opinion.