Hotel Monaco :: Portland
Nestled along the bustling SW Washington Street thoroughfare, Portland’s Hotel Monaco, is a strikingly unconventional luxury boutique hotel. Outside, its picture windows, bright marquee, and red carpet await your arrival while inside a mix of rich colors and wild patterns simply make you smile and wonder what else Hotel Monaco has up its sleeve. The hotel is located in downtown Portland near the artsy Pearl District, just blocks from the world-famous Powell’s Books, and steps from Pioneer Courthouse Square. Owned and operated by the award-winning Kimpton Hotels, Hotel Monaco resides in the 100 year-old building formerly occupied by the historic flagship Lipman-Wolfe Department Store. Hotel Monaco chose this year’s centennial celebration to completely renovate the interior of the 221-room hotel.
All guest rooms at Hotel Monaco are nearly 550-square-foot one-bedroom suites. San Francisco designer Gino Castano – who has said Portland’s gardens and seasons played a significant role in his designs – successfully married vibrant and whimsy textiles with a busy “bird in flight” wallpaper throughout. From the bedroom to the bathroom, each space featured chic and quirky furnishings and accessories. It’s almost ostentatious but it all works together brilliantly. This ornate design continues throughout the hotel, including the lobby, which is clearly influenced by nearby Pioneer Square’s “living room” – a space for the public to gather in and use. Hotel Monaco generously hosts a wine and beer hour each night in its lobby.
The staff throughout Hotel Monaco were outstanding. Prior to our arrival, I received a “Live like a Local” rundown of the city’s best eats and sights recommended by the hotel’s staff and concierge. The handsome boys manning the front door and valet were always quick to suggest a place to drop-in for lunch or offer up directions to sights outside of the city. These same boys were very tight-lipped when it came to guest privacy. They refused to give up the goods when I pressed about a certain professional sports team who was also staying at the hotel during my visit.
A hotel stay isn’t complete without room service. Located adjacent to Hotel Monaco, Red Star Tavern & Roast House offers 24-hour room service to hotel guests. Late night dessert and hot tea were in order after a long rainy day of shopping and sightseeing. I chose to sample the restaurant’s housemade blackberry-lime sorbet and the Butter Rum mousse with a brown butter biscotti. I thought both were right for the price at $3 and $7, respectively.
Other highlights from Hotel Monaco include the fleet of complimentary bicycles to tour the city. If it weren’t for the rain, this California girl would have gladly cruised around the city of roses making a stop at Voodoo Doughnuts for a Maple Bacon Bar or along the Willamette Riverfront loop through the heart of Portland. I also loved that the gorgeous green bathrooms were stocked with eco-chic products from C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries and a cozy signature Hotel Monaco leopard printed robe waited for me at the end of each day.
Hotel Monaco is perfect for the traveler who wants to experience Portland’s rich history while indulging a little unconventional luxury. If the hotel is good enough for the visiting NBA team and – allegedly, a well-known British rock band – by all means it’s good enough for me! I definitely suggest you make a reservation to stay at Hotel Monaco the next time you visit the Pacific Northwest.
Hotel Monaco :: 506 SW Washington Street :: Portland :: (503) 222-0001 :: www.monaco-portland.com
Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own. Photos credits: Wendy Nielsen