I'm a big fan of the Kimpton chain. Like its other hotels, Hotel Monaco has a stunning, distinctively colorful interior that is a refreshing change from the beige on beige of business hotels. Yet the Holiday Inn that this hotel replaced in January still lurks in a few important ways.
GOOD: Gorgeous lobby and rooms; fantastic location; very clean; nice robes in closets; great bed; fantastic water pressure in shower; L'Occitane bath products; no street noise in rooms facing courtyard; balcony; free coffee and tea in the lobby; New York Times delivered to room!
BAD: Very noisy air conditioner; no Discovery Channel; heater for swimming pool broken; no door chain or latch (though there is a deadbolt and peephole); slamming of hallway doors by staff and guests; no bathroom blower vent!
Whoever Kimpton has hired to do its interior design deserves a raise. I was wowed by the lobby of the Monaco. I would never have thought that this deep aqua shade of blue would work--but it does. In the hallways and the guest rooms, you have lots of deep brick-red and dark brown. It all comes off as very rich, very calming, very exclusive. The room itself was fantastic; I've stayed in lots of nice hotels all over the world, and I can think of none that were decorated more pleasingly.
And the location! Right there near the water, near many great restaurants and all the charm of Old Town. If you're going to visit DC, definitely consider staying in Old Town Alexandria and driving or Metroing to the tourist spots. The only thing about this hotel is that the King Street Metro is maybe .75 mile away--but via a very pleasant walk.
Thus, given those attributes, it's a shame that the Hotel Monaco is nearly ruined by the rattling, clattering air conditioners the hotel inherited from its past as a Holiday Inn. And I'm someone who loves a gentle thrumming to fall asleep to. This thing would clamber on in the wee hours; I barely got any sleep.
If only they would move these a/c units to the bathrooms, for a much-needed privacy-sparing noisemaker, given the lack of any active blower-vent. The latter are also good for reducing the steam level, so that you can see yourself in the mirror after a shower.
To top it off, there was a lot of door slamming. I know; the hotel can't be blamed for the actions of its guests. But when I left at around 7:30 AM, I saw an employee leave a door at the end of the hallway--and let it slam shut behind him. Management, are you reading this? Train your staff to shut doors gently!
The TV was overall great, but there was no TV Guide channel, and the Discovery Channel was not working. We did get HBO, though.
The pool's heating mechanism was broken, and no one at the front desk mentioned this. I only found out when I went to the pool and stuck my foot in; the water was probably about 65 degrees--which feels really cold. I couldn't go in.
The fitness center is pathetic. Two treadmills, two elliptical trainers, a weird cable/pulley machine, and a rack of very small dumbbells. If you're a middle-aged, flabby business person, it's enough. If you're a youthful, athletic person who wants a real workout, it's not.
Despite these problems, I'm really rooting for the Hotel Monaco. And I think it could be a truly outstanding hotel if it were to fix these problems. But a noisy a/c is not merely an annoyance; it prevents the guest from actually sleeping--and no amount of beautiful decor can make up for that.
TIP: Park for $4 per overnight (if you get out by 8 AM) in the nearby municipal garage.
Great Thai food at My Thai, just down King Street.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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As Assistant General Manager of the Hotel Monaco Alexandria I wanted to write and thank you for the comments you provided regarding your recent experience at our property. As a new hotel in the community we are very grateful for the feedback of our guests. I was very happy to read about the positive aspects of your stay. I agree that the renovation is beautiful and we are very proud of the look of our Living Room and common areas. I’ll be glad to pass along your feedback to our design team; I think they deserve a raise as well.
While concerned about the negative aspects of your stay, I’m happy you shared them with us, as they allow us to continually improve our product. I am sorry about the frustration you had with the air conditioning in your room and assure you that our work continues in replacing and repairing the AC units in the room so we bring that matter to a fast conclusion.
I also want to thank you for your feedback regarding the noise in the corridors. Your direct feedback was the subject of a training session for our Guest Services and Housekeeping teams about the impact their behavior can have on a guest’s experience. We are certainly listening and we are acting on your feedback. I also want to let you know that just this morning we delivered a new heater for our pool to our roof via crane. We expect that issue to be resolved quickly as well.
WashDCman, thank you again for your feedback. I’m very happy that you’ve provided us with feedback to improve our hotel and even happier that you’re rooting for us. If there’s any further assistance I can provide regarding your stay, please don’t hesitate in contacting me at the hotel.
The Hotel Monaco Alexandria
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.