Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hotel Review: Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Let me first start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of Kimpton Hotels and their portfolio of properties never fails to impress me.  During my stays, I've come to expect 2 things from Kimpton: 1. Top-notch personalized customer service and 2. stunning rooms with interesting decor.
The Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia was no exception.

Cost: Rates this summer can be found for as low as $162/night but generally are in the $200 range.

Location: For a casual visitor to Philadelphia you really cant get a much better location.  The hotel is literally across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  In fact, while touring Independence Hall, I could see the hotel out the window of the room where the declaration of independence was signed.

Room: I was booked into a standard king but as an Inner Circle member I was upgraded to a Spa King.  At check in they gave me the option of an Independence hall view room or a Spa room; being a sucker for awesome bathrooms this was an easy choice.  The most interesting thing about the room was the wall paper.  I think in any other environment the wallpaper would have clashed but in this room it felt right at home.  The bed was super comfy and provided an excellent nights sleep.  The highlight of the room was a large soaking tub which I utilized several times throughout my stay.

Facilities: I didn't have a chance to check out the gym, but I did have brunch in the restaurant, Red Owl Tavern.  The food was of the typical american gastro-pub variety and nothing that I had especially stood out.  I opted for a burger which was good but not memorable.  The decor of the restaurant was rustic and very appealing so if staying here again I would probably grab a drink at the bar but eat elsewhere.

The rooftop lounge Stratus was super cool.  One side had a gas fire that extended the entire length of the bar.  There was also some indoor seating for rainy or cold days.

Extras: As an inner circle member i ended up with the above mentioned room upgrade.  In addition my welcome amenity was AMAZING.  I had emailed the front desk prior to arrival saying that I enjoyed beer and cheese.  I ended up with a couple bottles of hard to get brews from Russian River as well as a chunk of aged gouda from a local gourmet food store.  Another amenity that many if not all Kimptons offer is free bike rentals.  This was very handy for getting around town.

Summary:  With its trendy rooftop lounge and amazing customer service (not to mention eye-catching rooms) I think this hotel will see me coming back whenever I am in Philly.  The standard rates are on-par with other luxury hotels around the city but the charm, location and service here makes it the easy winner.

Unique decor

Amazing tub and shower

Exterior and entrance to Red Owl Tavern

Inside the main entrance

Red Owl Tavern

Stratus rooftop lounge

Evening Turndown service, complete with a candy cane heart

Our inner circle welcome amenity

Free bikes to ride around town

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