I often stay at the Monaco in Seattle, because it is pet-friendly, but this was my first experience with the Portland location. Overall, it was great, with a couple of provisos.
First, the decor: This hotel looks like it's been decorated by a clown. Not a metaphorical clown, but a clown in the circus! Fabrics are lavishly printed and luxurious. Wall coverings are yellow and red striped and animal prints abound. For bathrobes, you have a choice of cheetah or zebra! So, if you are a mid-century, minimalist, W kind of girl (like I am, mostly) this may not be your cup of chai, but for me it was a fun, exuberant change of pace. At least the decorator had an idea which she wasn't afraid to execute, rare in these days of boring good taste.
My 6th floor suite was quiet and beautiful, with L'Occitane toiletries and a charming stuffed bear on the bed. Usually, I harden my heart to stuffed critters for sale but this bear was really cute, so cute I was tempted to buy him and bring him home with me (the first time this has ever happened). Perhaps I was just missing my dog... Be that as it may, I also like the cashmere-like throw, excellent for a quick read or rest without having to unmake the bed.
Room service was swift and gracious and the food from the adjacent cafe was excellent. There was a lively (but not too loud) bar scene there, perfect for a meal alone. While I was there, the usual afternoon wine reception in the lobby (which was packed!) was augmented by $2 martinis or cosmopolitans, your choice. Your drink contribution went to a worthy charity. What a deal!
I only had two problems at the Monaco. First, housekeeping was problematic on two out of the four days I stayed there. On day one, I left the "make up this room" card on the doorknob at 8 a.m., then came back at 2 p.m. to find the room uncleaned. I called housekeeping. When the staff person came upstairs, she seemed slightly surly and asked if I "still" wanted my room cleaned! She seemed somewhat surprised that I "still" did. I had to vacate for the cleaning crew, which arrived at 2:45, when I'd planned on a quick nap before going out again in the evening. On day two, I decided to speak to the cleaners who were out in the hall to make sure they knew I was going out and would clean my room promptly. There were two cleaners in the hall and both of them said that cleaning my room was not their job. The woman whose job it was could not be found. They suggested I call housekeeping. I did. The phone rang and rang and rang until I finally gave up. I then called the front desk and explained the situation. Not sure exactly what happened, but when I got back that afternoon the room had indeed been cleaned.
Problem #2: I was sharing a room with my college roommate, so I booked a suite, hoping I would be able to work and make phone calls to the East Coast while she slept in, but the design of the suite made this impossible. The French doors from the bedroom to the sitting room were flimsy and looked like they'd be hung as an afterthought. The sheer, transparent curtains on the glass were useless in terms of blocking the light and the sound from the sitting room. Consequently, when I got up at the crack of dawn as I always do (three hours earlier than usual, since I was on East Coast time) my friend had to wake up, too. Which kind of obviates the reason for spending the extra $$$ on the suite.
Update: less than 24 hours after sending a version of this review to the Monaco, I got a very nice note back from the manager, offering to personally book me an upgrade on my next visit. Apology accepted! Will stay there again in June and let you all know what happens...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4-diamond Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland, offers an ideal sanctuary in downtown Portland, Oregon. Centered in the city’s cultural hub, this luxury hotel was named as one of the world’s Top 500 Hotels by Travel + Leisure magazine and is honored by TripAdvisor travelers as a Top 25 Hotel in the U.S. in 2012 (#9). Enter this unique boutique hotel and enter a world where everyone is warmly welcomed and pampered. Adjacent to the hotel is what some say is downtown Portland’s best restaurant, Red Star Tavern & Roast House. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Monaco Portland Kimpton