It has always been a goal of mine to take my children to Washington, D.C. when they were learning about American History. My daughter (14) just finished US History in 8th grade, and my son will take it in a year, so this summer was the perfect time to go. In fact, a trip to Washington, D.C. inspired our whole #Austin 2 Boston 5 week road trip that we took.
Now I have to be honest, when looking to book a hotel, it was overwhelming where to stay when visiting the area. There was so much we wanted to see in both DC and the surrounding areas. So for us, it was easier to split the stay into 2 locations – both at amazing Kimpton properties.
Our first 2 nights, we stayed at The Monaco in Old Town Alexandria, a Kimpton property before moving into the city to stay at Hotel Madera (another Kimpton property). I have heard so many great things about Kimptons, so I was excited to experience it myself. Let me tell you up front, it did not disappoint.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria is located right on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. Alexandria sits across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., a bit south of Arlington, VA. It was very convient to get into D.C. – took less than half an hour by Metro or 20 mins driving. There are even water taxis less than a few blocks away that will take you into the city.
I found the area charming. The cobblestone streets of Alexandria were quiet enough to give you a chance to take a deep breath and relax. We really enjoyed being outside of the Metro area of D.C. and were able to get to know Alexandria a bit one afternoon, as the Monaco is walking distance to all the local sites. You can even grab a bike from the hotel to explore the area further.
A Room Tour
We stayed in a gorgeous Monaco Loft Suite during our 2 night stay. Our room was split into two-levels, giving us a living area downstairs and a bedroom with king sized bed upstairs. The couch made out into a full size bed, so there was plenty of sleeping space for the 4 of us.
The rooms are beautifully decorated in a modern feel with bold colors and lots of light. Even though you are staying in a historic part of town, the playfulness of the rooms pulls you away from the stuffiness most of these downtown buildings have.
Lastly, I have to tell you about the bathroom in our suite. For a weary family who has been road tripping for the past 2 weeks, the large, soaking jet tub was a welcome site. It also had a huge shower that was very relaxing.
More with a Kimpton
As I mentioned, this was our first stay with a Kimpton property and I was blown away – really. I have stayed in tons of hotels and rarely am I surprised and delighted with accommodations as I was with the Hotel Monaco Arlington. Let me set the scene for you…..
We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon after spending the day at Mount Vernon and touring Old Town Alexandria. The skies had just opened up as we were driving over, so it was pouring as we arrived. A valet rushed out with an umbrella and grabbed my kids to walk them over to the door before coming back for me. He graciously got all of my luggage out while I was under cover.
The lobby of the Hotel Monaco is like walking into a very comfortable (and beautifully decorated) living room and it was happening at 4pm! Apparently it was Happy Hour…for all – adults, kids, and furry friends (Kimpton is a pet-friendly hotel chain). People were sitting on couches and standing in corners visiting with each other with a glass of iced tea or wine (lemonade & cookies for kids). Dogs were in laps and kids were playing with an X-Box in the corner. It was a lovely scene to walk into as everyone was relaxing and really enjoying themselves.
When we arrived in the room, we were greeted by Goldy – our pet goldfish for the stay. To keep you from getting lonely, Kimpton properties will bring you a pet goldfish to enjoy in your room (if requested). My kids totally dug that!
Lastly, I love that Kimpton properties will bend over backwards to help make your stay that much more enjoyable – if you need anything – really anything – they will do their best to help get it for you.
Jackson 20, an “all-inclusive” restaurant is located at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria and was a treat to dine at. Just peeking in when we arrived, I was a little nervous to take my kids here as it appears to have more of an upscale atmosphere and all we traveled with were shorts & tees. I inquired at the front desk and they assured me it was a “come as you are” restaurant.
Named for sociable President, Andrew Jackson, Jackson 20 offers comfort foods with a twist. Think slow cooked beef brisket or BBQ spare ribs, sumptious mac & cheese, and delicious banana pudding. All served in big, cast iron skillets or platters, you can really dig into your meal with out feeling out of place. They also have a great kid’s menu that featured healthy options. Jackson 20 was delicious and I was so appreciative of a nice, hearty dinner and not a plain-jane hotel meal (or worse…..fast food!).
What we Liked About Hotel Monaco Alexandria
- The welcome atmosphere we felt from everyone – we were bedraggled and tired and no one gave us a second look but rather greeted us with a big smile.
- Large, spacious rooms
- Animal Print bathrobes
- Happy Hour for Adults & Kids
- Our pet goldfish for the stay
- The Ultimate Pet Friendly hotel – providing complimentary pet toys, beds, food and water bowls, disposable waste bags, and hosting a Doggy Happy Hour on Tuesdays
- Complimentary PUBLIC bikes to tool around town on
- Heated outdoor pool that features Dive-In movies on weekend nights
- Easy to get into D.C. via the Metro, water taxi or car – there is a free shuttle to the Metro station
What You Need to Know About Hotel Monaco Alexandria
- You are 30 minutes away from the Mall in Washington, D.C. so plan accordingly.
- Self parking is available, however I believe it was the same or slightly higher than Valet. It was very easy just to pull up on King Street and let the bellman help you.
- Wireless internet is available for $12.99 per 24 hours. However, become a Kimpton Karma Rewards member and get complimentary high-speed access on all devices during every stay.
- The MiniBar in the room is stocked with fun treat and gifts – like an adorable stuffed animal – be aware if kids open it up.
- The Old Town Alexandria bus runs right in front of the hotel. The stop is about a half a block away. This free shuttle will take you to many stops in the city, including the Metro station.
We had such a great stay at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria. I know I am just raving about it, but honestly, it was one of the best hotel chains we stayed at on our road trip. While the small boutique hotel was appealing, I have to say, the friendly employees – from the valet to the front desk to my server in Jackson 20 – were so welcoming that they truly made the experience wonderful. After this stay, I will absolutely be looking for a Kimpton property in every city I visit.
Here’s a quick clip of all our favorite features of the Hotel Monaco Alexandria:
Posted by R We There Yet Mom? on Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Disclosure: My family was invited to stay at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria and were provided with a complementary stay. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.