Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland
What We Love
- Quiet rooms in the heart of downtown
- Dedicated floor of hypoallergenic guestrooms with a gluten-free honor bar
- Seamless service: cheerful but not cloying, solicitous but not aggressive
- Free bike rentals, morning coffee/tea
- Wine happy hours from 5 to 6 p.m. daily
- Read more about what to see and do in Portland, Oregon in our magazine section
What To Know
- At 6 a.m. on Thursdays hotel staffers offer a running tour of the city
- Shop tax-free at neighboring boutiques and department stores
- Central downtown is more of a business haven than a hipster ’hood
- While the property is ultra pet-friendly, you’ll have to walk to find a green space for Fido
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Bold and playful, the Hotel Monaco updated its historic 1912 digs with an unexpected mishmash of colors (orange, plum, kelly green) and patterns (geometric carpets, checked chairs). The guestrooms follow the Portlandia TV show’s motto, “Put a bird on it,” with walls covered in pen-and-ink drawings of birds in flight. Eclectic touches include a seven-foot mirror decorated with a landscape painting, and a lamp base made from a pair of cast metal duck feet. The crimson and violet lobby invites lingering with cozy seating areas and a life-size Jenga set by the fireplace.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms are Wes Anderson meets Tim Burton, with oversize antique-style headboards enameled in orange, and a pleasingly dizzy mix of prints, from plaids to checks to botanicals. Floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings offer plenty of natural light. The only off note in the standard rooms and suites is the spare bathroom, which has a ho-hum shower that can be touchy about temperature.
King of the trendy upgrade, Hotel Monaco stocks the closet with a Gaiam yoga mat, delivers a free “companion goldfish” upon request, offers free WiFi to members of the Kimpton’s Karma Rewards loyalty program and loans out bikes for guests to cruise this two-wheeling city. The hotel excels at creating an in-house community far more intimate than one would expect in a 221-room property, thanks largely to the nightly wine happy hour, from 5 to 6 p.m. Although there is no on-site spa, the property offers in-room services via a collaboration with nearby Dosha Salon and Spa.
In the Area
Eat your way through this celebrated food town with breakfast at Tasty N Alder (don’t miss the biscuits), lunch at the street cart Nong’s Khao Man Gai (it serves a single, undeniably perfect chicken-and-rice dish), and dinner at Little Bird Bistro (French fare, Northwestern ingredients). Browse for hours at Powell’s City of Books, break for a “drinking chocolate” at craft chocolate haven Cacao, and meander the gorgeous stores in the city’s new shopping arcade Union Way, including Quin and Danner. With a 1,500-bottle whiskey collection, it’s no wonder Multnomah Whiskey Library is so popular. To secure a seat, arrive at opening time, 4 p.m.
How to Get There
We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel for a business trip and had a corner king bedroom. The location was in a great part of town, accessible to many restaurants and sites by hired car. The staff was friendly. The gym was very nice and had a good selection of weights, and a Peloton bike. The rooms were well maintained. We also got another king room for our son who came for the weekend. His room was equally nice. I would stay here again!
My wife and I stayed here for a few nights at the end of an Oregon coast trip and I just have to say, the staff can not be beat! Upon check in they immediately inquired as to our interests and ended up booking us a dinner Ressie at the chef’s table of a gloriously good restaurant. What a great job identifying what we wanted out of the trip and acting on it proactively! I wish I could remember the associate’s name, because he deserves a raise, but everyone was truly friendly.
The lobby was warm, welcoming, and comfy with a free wine and snack happy hour every evening. This was accompanied by live music and the hotel made good selections to fit the space’s motif, generally calm music. The lobby also had constant water availability, though they did seem to take the morning coffee station down early. Parking is a tad expensive on site and it’s valet only, so we chose to park down the block for half the price, since we’d either have to walk or wait on the car anyway.
The room itself, we were in a King one room suite, had a large very comfy bed, and a full sitting area with couch. We loved the typically Kimpton-funky décor as well. The bathroom was spacious and felt luxurious. We didn’t work out of the room, but could have easily with ample work-space and tons of power. There was a fridge, but it was filled with mini bar items, so not usable for leftovers etc.
As far as the neighborhood goes, if you want to east well and love hotel bars, this was the place for you. There were tons of small-medium boutique-y hotels to pop into for a drink and some of Portland’s best food was right around the corner (including the food truck scene, though that is diminished form what it once was.) However, it’s a high traffic, tourist-centric area, and lacked some of Portland’s claim to weirdness, in some ways the neighborhood was just like any downtown area in any major US city.
Regardless, if back, given the staff we’d stay here again.
I spent three days here recently with my father and sister, and all three of us enjoyed our stay tremendously. The evening social hour, while brief, sets a convivial tone that makes you feel as if you are coming “home” when you return to the hotel. And the location puts you in the heart of downtown, where both the center of town and the riverfront park are within easy walking distance.
Although not included in our room price, we loved breakfast at the Red Star Tavern, located on the first floor of the hotel. The menu is not extensive but there is some version of just about any breakfast favorite you could want, but with extra flavorful touches. Those travelers who have an American Express card may wish to look at booking through their portal — we were able to get a substantial credit for incidental charges due to a special they were running.