Having traveled a lot for work lately, I was delighted to learn I'd been booked at the Monaco for my most recent trip. The location was selected by our meeting organizer, but I'd had the Monaco on my "to-stay" list for several years (I visit Chicago almost every spring). It's location off of Wacker is ideal - close to everything one could want in the city, and proximate to all of the mass transit options as well.
Monaco is discreet from the street - located in an former hat factory, you might never know of the jewel that lies inside. I arrived at almost 11:00 p.m. and was warmly greeted by both the doorman and the person who checked me in. There was one small glitch in finding my Kimpton rewards number (you're a member, right? More on that soon...) but once that was located, I was delighted with my "raid the mini-bar" coupon and free wi-fi. My room was on the 7th floor in a quite little alcove, removed from the noise of the elevators.
Inside, my King room had everything I needed at my fingertips that night. Lamps with plugs in the base made it easy for me to recharge my various electronics, and a dock for my iPhone meant I could recharge it while listening to my own music and setting my own alarm. The bathroom doesn't have many places to set toiletries (my toothbrush kept falling into the sink and the hairdryer fell off the edge twice as I got ready for bed) but I have the same problem in my own home. :) The bed was scrumptious: huge, piled with white fluffy pillows and a billowy white down-alternative comforter. I did not have any sort of view (unless you count the side of a building as "view") but that also meant I didn't have any noise from the street or trains. I collapsed into sleep.
In the morning, I had *almost* everything I needed, except coffee. This is my second stay at an upper-end hotel that didn't include in-room coffee. I have read on other reviews that one can request an in-room coffee maker...I guess I wish that this was made clearer either at check-in or on the website when making a reservation (or even a sign somewhere in the room?). It seems like the more one pays for a hotel room these days, the less amenities (coffee, free wi-fi, bottled water, etc.) one can expect. A shame. That said, once I got up, got dressed, combed my hair, put on my glasses, and treked to the lobby for coffee, it was tasty. My shower was good and hot, and had ample pressure, and there were plenty of white fluffy towels to bundle into after. The minty Aveda shampoo helped me wake up nicely.
That evening, my colleagues and I enjoyed the complimentary wine reception, which also included a delicious watermelon and basil sangria. The bartender came and made a delicious cocktail with apple brandy, bitters, and grenadine that sang with flavors (and I enjoyed watching her work - she makes it look easy!). We went to dinner at nearby Catch 35 (recommended!) and I was happy to come back to my cool, cozy room at the end of a long workday.
On my last morning, I ordered room service that arrived exactly on time and piping hot. There was plenty of food and all of the condiments I needed; it was a great way to start the day (plus, coffee! In a ceramic mug instead of a paper cup! Lovely.). Checkout was seamless and I was off to my next adventure.
If you're not a Kimpton rewards member and travel at all, you should consider signing up. It's free, and the complimentary wi-fi alone is worth the couple of seconds it takes to sign up online. I enjoyed raiding the mini-bar (the $10 coupon got me some snack-size Snickers and cheese crackers for the train ride home) and am happy that my points are starting to accumulate for a free stay at a Kimpton property in the future. I would definitely use them to come back to the Monaco in Chicago! Thanks to all of the staff who made my stay so pleasant.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
June 6, 2012
I just shared with South Water Kitchen how Sarah's cocktail demo was appreciated by you and your colleagues- thank you for sharing that! How nice to hear! And, I love that Sangria- I'd be happy to share the recipe if you like, it's not too complicated. Thanks for all your kind words. I'm glad you came and found the amenities and such to be so delightful. My last bit of advice is whenever you need anything, at any Kimpton, you should always feel comfortable asking- it's in our culture to take care of your needs so we are always happy to bring up a coffee maker. We have signs in guest room bathrooms and we try to make it part of the check in "spiel" but on occasion it's missed, either way, we'd love to get you a coffee maker with some Starbucks right up to your room whenever you'd like.
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Many thanks again, and I am glad you came and we look forward to having you back.
Ryan Parker, Assistant General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.