Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago
What We Love
- A nightly lobby wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. every evening
- So pet-friendly it verges on doggie daycare (think turn-down treats and no size restriction)
- Free (upon request) spa tote bag for use during your stay, filled with a yoga mat, Pilates rings and core strengthening bands
What To Know
- There is no dedicated hotel spa, though in-room massages and facials can be arranged
- WiFi is free for those who sign up for the free Kimpton Karma Rewards program
- The “Forgot It? We’ve Got It!” program will supply you with anything from lip balm to cell phone chargers, if you call the front desk
- Eco friendly
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This circa 1912 property, perched one block south of the Chicago River, started life as a hat factory. And that suits the Monaco — part of the playful Kimpton hotel brand — just fine. Following through on the theme with lots of Mad Hatter whimsy, the 191-room hotel kicks things off with a reception area and living room lounge that features day-glo photos of women in fanciful headgear, funhouse-size wing chairs and Deco murals. The valets get in on the act with their own hat tricks; depending on the season they’re decked out in earflap trapper hats, straw boaters or newsboy caps.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms add to the quirky romp with white leather chaises, looping carved wooden headboards and a spinning color wheel of gold-framed mirrors, scarlet carpets and red damask drapes. Even the standard King Deluxe Rooms are airy by Chicago standards, at 332 square feet, but the gentle rise in price to the Mediterranean Suite buys you a separate living room, along with epic, cushion-lined window seats that could pass for cupboard beds. Standard bathrooms feel cramped, though the granite countertops, C.O. Bigelow toiletries and animal-print robes, cheetah to zebra, keep the party going.
A functional fitness center features free weights, stationary bikes, treadmills and supersized hula hoops. There’s a nightly lobby wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. and the hotel’s South Water Kitchen sits just off the lobby. The homey restaurant doesn’t try to compete with all the local Gold Coast contenders, but it does do right by its Midwestern comfort food menu, which includes a very meaty plate of bourbon-braised pork belly dished up with bacon mac and cheese.
In the Area
Sitting just south of the Chicago River and just west of Michigan Avenue, the Monaco straddles the North and South Loops. That means you’re within easy striking distance of most major Chicago attractions: Navy Pier, the theater district and North Michigan Avenue’s luxe lineup of shops. The hotel’s concierge can help you book a private charter tour of the Chicago River, for a floating view of the city’s sleek modernist landmarks. If you want to stay firmly grounded, though, head south to Magnolia Bakery for a cup of the banana pudding. Then walk over to the Art Institute of Chicago, where the Modern Wing, inaugurated in 2009, showcases work by Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe, and the terrace of the Terzo Piano restaurant, headed by master chef Tony Mantuano, overlooks Millennium Park.
How to Get There
My girlfriends and I come to Chicago every year and sometimes twice a year! We ALWAYS stay at the Monaco! The service is unparalleled! This is a boutique style hotel (more intimate than your larger hotels), the same staff is there every year and they remember us!! They have complimentary bikes you can ride to the river! The rooms have just been renovated and are awesome! They have delicious fruit Infused water in the lobby! Complimentary coffee and wine hour! Very clean, and just flat out perfect! Great convenient location overlooking the river! Super close to Starbucks and Millenium Park (the bean) and Wildberry Cafe (best breakfast in the city)! Ron, Thomas, and our bellman (see pic) went ABOVE and beyond to make our stay perfect!
We stayed for one night, Saturday to Sunday. The room is spacious and beautifully decorated. The bathroom is clean and spacious, the shower a delight (so is the cozy bathrobe). The staff is incredibly attentive and friendly.
As three women who wanted to explore Chicago for a short weekend trip, Hotel Monaco was a great choice: it's central such that you can just walk to the magnificent mile, and the commute to Amtrak/Greyhound was short. Also, as we shared a double room (with two twin beds), 130 USD in total is a great price for being so central. We started up the weekend with a drink at the affiliated restaurant (very nice itself, although we found the breakfast options a bit too heavily priced). As the weather was cold and snowy, we ended up not going out late at night but staying in, chatting and enjoying a movie. As the room itself is so cozy, this was actually the perfect way to enjoy the evening.
The water is heavily priced (7 USD for a bottle...), but there's 7/11 just across the street. I appreciated however the free coffee in the morning!
Our room was facing the street - the traffic was not an issue, but if you're a light sleeper you might find the close metro distracting.
Our first stay at this hotel in Chicago for a weekend of dining and entertainment. I would highly recommend this property for a boutique hotel with pleasant staff, great location and very eclectic room decor, especially 13 and 14 floors. Nice restaurant and bar with good raw bar and cocktails.
I love the Hotel Monaco. My family and I have been regulars for years. The rooms are in the process of being upgraded. But almost all of the have lovely window seats, and the view of the river is nice. The new restaurant is a great addition; but what stands out to me at the Monaco is the service. Antonio, Jonathan, Ronald, and Phylicia are the best—and always willing to help. The Monaco is great for business trips as well as for weekend getaways. I highly recommend.
We almost always stay at Kimpton's when traveling and chose the Monaco this year for our annual trip to Chicago for the holidays. The lobby was typically fabulous with all the great Kimpton treats of daily happy hour, free coffee and afternoon hot cocoa. Our room was very dramatic and fun with two huge window seats and oversized windows with dramatic views. We had a double queen room and were traveling with our grown children and we did not feel cramped in the least. My one disappointment was that the bathroom was designed to be accessible and as such had a very small shower stall but a huge open floor space with a drain in the middle. As the shower was designed to work well with a wheel chair, there was no baseboard to provide a partition and the room was easily flooded. We learned to make a little berm with extra towels to provide a barrier. It ended up being fine, but we did miss the more typically stylish look and convenience of a Kimpton bathroom.