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
I was with a group of friends - hotel was chosen because of the location, which was great. Pillows were comfortable. We loved the window seating and layout of the room. The check in staff and doormen were wonderfully friendly. The lobby was nice.
The only 2 drawbacks were 1) in a double room, only one bed had a nice comforter - the other was basically a sheet. 2) we had requested 2 rooms with river views. Although both rooms had the same number, only the higher floor actually could view the river.
I would recommend and stay here again.
The valet service is expensive as you can imagine at that location but the staff were exceptionally nice and helpful. The hotel is chic and clean. Room was spacious though not designed too well (sitting at desk is opposite direction of TV)
The bathrooms definitely need updating for a 5 star hotel. I was in the hotel less than 12 hours total yet my door was knocked on 3 times for cleaning. If you know someone is checking out at noon, clean the room after they leave! Location is a plus but my room's view was the side of the next building. I was hoping to see rIver since it is located so close to it.
I stayed at the Monaco Hotel in Chicago as part of a 7 city cross-country birthday celebration that spanned 9 Kimpton properties. It ended up being one of my favorite stays of the trip!
Checking in was a breeze- the charming older lady that helped me was extremely nice and greeted me like an old friend. Being an Inner Circle member, I was upgraded to a suite and given a wonderful little welcome amenity (a meat and cheese board, bottle of wine, fruit, bottled water and some baked goods.)
The decor of the room/hallways was a little dated but everything was immaculately clean and the bed was warm and comfortable. The best part of the suite, however, was the huge, beautiful window seat. Sitting there in my bathrobe with the heater cranked up watching the snow falling was a delight!
I’ll definitely be back!
Service was exceptional, rooms were large and staff was very friendly and helpful. Less than a block from Michigan Ave and the Chicago River. Would recommend to family and friends and will stay here again.
The location is perfect/close to many food options, the hotelstaff were very attentive & helpful, and our stay was very enjoyable. Our kids really loved the cushions by the window w/ the nice river view!