My holiday in the Pacific Northwest is nearly over and so I have started reminiscing over the many great experiences I had in the past two weeks. One of my highlights was visiting Seattle, known as the city of coffee, so you can imagine I was very excited to be there. Spending the night at Kimpton Monaco Hotel made my visit to Seattle even more memorable!
I have to admit that before my trip to Seattle I was not familiar with the Kimpton Hotel Group. I haven’t travelled much to the US in the past 10 years. Kimpton is one of the largest chain of boutique hotels in the United States and nearly all of their properties are located in North American cities (with the exception of Cayman Islands and Amsterdam).
I spent a long time researching Seattle hotels before booking one. I chose Kimpton Monaco for two reasons: the bold, playful design of the rooms; the location.
Hotel Monaco is located at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Spring Street in downtown Seattle, within walking distance of Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. It is very close to King Street, the train station I arrived to in Seattle from Portland. A $5 Uber ride got me to the hotel, which I was happy to pay to avoid dragging my heavy suitcases up Seattle’s hilly streets.
The hotel is also 5 minutes away on foot from Washington State Convention Center, so if you’re in town for an event (as was I, visiting the Coffee Expo), Monaco Seattle is a great base.
Hotel Monaco has been named by Conde Nast Traveller as one of 25 best hotels in the Pacific North West, so I was expecting good things — I was not disappointed.
The lobby is bright and bold with yellow and blue details, dazzling wall decor, comfortable sofas, high ceilings with hanging chandeliers. The reception staff was welcoming, friendly and helpful.
The rooms at Monaco Hotel play up with the boutique look of the lobby. There is funky wallpaper in the bedroom and bathroom, mix-matched furniture, bold fabrics and a beautiful window seat to curl up in while gazing at the city.
I stayed in one of the Premier Rooms located on the top three floors of the hotel (reserved to Executive guests). My room was 250 square feet with a Queen bed, Italian Frette linens, a living room area and city views. It is a spacious and comfortable room. There were two downsides for me: the living room didn’t get enough natural light and there was no ceiling light either; and the wardrobe was on the small side.
Plus: every Premier Room has a Keurig single-serving coffeemaker, definitely a benefit for coffee addicts like me.
Much like the wardrobe, the bathroom was also a bit small. I personally would trade some living room space for a larger bathroom.
I did love the Atelier Bloem botanical bath and body collection, it’s really good and smells amazing. It was created exclusively for Kimpton Hotels by skincare gurus Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz and I am now considering buying online!
All Kimpton Hotels offer extra perks to their guests which give a big advantage to Monaco Hotel compared to other Seattle hotels in the same category.
For example, all guests can enjoy complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby; use the complimentary city bicycles; join the nightly wine hour; use free yoga mat in the room; enjoy free WiFi throughout the hotel.
Guests can also use – free of charge – a wide range of items that you might have forgotten or were not allowed in the hand luggage. Just to name a few: re-sealable plastic travel bags, straightening iron, mobile chargers, contact lens solution, stain remover wipes, nail clippers or deodorant.
Kimpton Hotels also welcome cats, dogs, and pets of all sizes at no extra charge. I don’t have pets myself, but I know this is a huge perk for many people.
The Restaurant: Outlier
Kimpton Hotels are famed for their farm-to-table restaurants and creative chefs. The Outlier restaurant at Monaco Hotel was opened this month, after an extensive revamp (replacing the former Sazerac).
Outlier has an industrial and retro look with grey uneven floors, warehouse windows into the outdoor patio, metal shutters and tables and a large open kitchen with wood-fired oven. This is also where breakfast is served in the mornings (not included in the room price). The Outlier Bar offers extensive craft beer, cocktail and wine lists.
Chef Shawn Applin‘s A La Carte Menu features the finest Pacific Northwest ingredients with plates meant for sharing and pairing with a cocktail from the Outlier bar.
Our waiter Charles was amazing and really helpful in suggesting the perfect dishes to order (as well as giving us the history behind ingredients and dishes). The dishes we tasted, prepared by Sous Chef Michael Broughton, were outstanding!
Vadouvan Curried Carrots, Dates, Pistachio, Smoked Sheep’s Milk Feta, Yogurt was the star dish. I have possibly thought about it every day ever since eating it.
Roasted Beets & Burrata Cheese, Young Lettuce, Shaved Chioggia Beets, Black Walnut Vinaigrette was fresh and tasty, although not as complex a dish as the curried carrots.
I loved the Rockfish Bo Ssam main course. It’s a very large dish meant to share between 2 or 4 people. You are meant to scoop out the fish (roasted in the wood-fired oven and delicious) and make your own lettuce wraps with fish, fresh herbs, sprouts, kimchee and house made condiments (pineapple sambal and housemade kimchi were my favourites). It’s a take on a Korean dish traditionally made with pork.
We finished our dinner with a light and fresh Vanilla Cheesecake, Raspberry Gel, Fresh Raspberries, Chocolate Hazelnut Streusel.
Paired with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the whole dinner was fantastic (I usually like to try local wines, but on this occasion I couldn’t resist a glass of my top favourite wine). It was one of the best meals I had in two weeks of travelling through the Pacific North West.
I wish Hotel Monaco had a complimentary spa and a larger fitness centre (the current one in the lower ground is too small and doesn’t have windows). They would have made my stay absolutely perfect. Overall, I did enjoy this hotel: it is welcoming, friendly and beautiful in a perfect location to explore Seattle. I definitely hope to stay at a Kimpton hotel again in the future.
Disclaimer: I received a media discount for my stay at Kimpton Hotel and a complimentary dinner at Outlier. All opinions are my own.