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Reviewed 20 December 2013

The Hotel Monaco Portland is among the best all-around hotel experiences I've ever had, in 47 countries over 30 years.

I've stayed in "flashier," more expensive hotels that cater to those whose sensibilities require more showmanship and sycophantic fawning. I've stayed in places that remember your bathrobe size, or promise to deliver an elephant ear sandwich at 3 a.m. on Christmas day. And I've stayed at places where the views are more breathtaking than urban Portland.

But for the spirit of friendliness, the unrehearsed joy of service, and a perfect downtown location, I found my first stay at the Monaco to be unsurpassed.

The service began weeks BEFORE my family (including my dog) arrived. Nicci (guest services) and her colleagues were on email, offering suggestions, inquiring in advance about our needs, and fulfilling every request.

The beds were large, and superbly comfortable. The decor, which some might find a tad "busy," I found to be pleasantly whimsical, in keeping with the overall vibe of Hotel Monaco.

More towels? 3 minutes. Rubberized bathtub mat? 3 minutes. Ice? "Gee, we're really slammed at the moment, I'm afraid it's going to be 4 minutes, sir." Restaurant and activity recommendations? Birthday greetings and amenities on the house? Don't even ask - they're just THERE. All served up with smiles and genuine cheer, by people who are obviously empowered to do their jobs well, and likely rewarded fairly for doing so: the ultimate signs of intelligent management.

And the price? Terrific bargains off the rack rates are available to anyone willing to explore the website a little, join the Kimpton rewards program, plan ahead and watch for last-minute rate changes. The staff was EXCELLENT at changing my rate when I found a better one based on a Kimpton promotional email - and yet AGAIN when I joined the Global Business program (again, all free and easy).

Our comfortably spacious Queen-Queen Suite was less expensive than many mediocre hotels.

If you love your pet, as we do, you'll find no better and caring people than those here at Monaco. Pet beds and goodies (yes, even your pet's name on the welcome board at the entrance) and the same welcoming attitude afforded two-legged guests.

Parking is pricey - no way around it. But the valet (or self-serve, your choice) parking is perfect for this busy downtown location. Don't bother trying to skimp here - ease your mind, pick up the phone, and your car will be warmed and ready at the front door. 3 minutes. (4 if they're "slammed").

What a real hotel should be, from top to bottom. Can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Don't be too hasty to "book UP" - get the room you need, then wait for a Kimpton email offering you larger and more luxurious upgrades for a fraction of the regular price (depending on availability, of course). There are MORE ROOM TYPES available than you will find at most of the large travel websites. The Queen-Queen suite, for example, isn't found on most of them. A corner suite on one of the higher floors will afford the best views.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank reispr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

We only spent one night in portland and wanted something central. This was a great spot to stay. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and the happy hour in the hotel bar was a great way to start our night.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ROBERT M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

Stayed here 5 nights in the grand suite. Love the boutique feel, crazy decor, dog-friendly, wine/beer reception, restaurant and front desk/doormen staff.

What went bad caught me by surprise, as I have never had such an experience in any other hotel I've stayed at: Housekeeping.

Second day we left to go shopping around 1pm (and made sure to remove the do-not-disturb sign). Came back around 5pm and found the room was untouched. Called housekeeping and let them know, they promised to get it done. Came back a little later and found the bed made, but not much else (still had towels on the floor, coffee mugs needing replaced, coffee packets needing replaced, and toilet paper roll was left on the bathroom sink. Called the front desk on this one and again promised this would be fixed. Came back later to find a housekeeping card in the door lock they forgot and while most items were taken care of, still had a towel on the floor.

Figured this was an isolated incident, but turns out it wasn't. For the next 3 nights we had to call the front desk to request basic things that housekeeping didn't replace like body wash, coffee packets, coffee creamer packets and stir straws. It got pretty annoying. The 4th day was another no-show. Left at 2 for a movie, came back at 7 and found the room completely untouched. Found out from the front desk that housekeeping leaves at 3pm, even though in the guest services book it says 5pm. Even with that, every other hotel I've stayed out they will call you to see if you still need your room cleaned. Didn't receive any of that here.

If it hadn't been for the housekeeping issues this would have been a 5-star review.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
9  Thank Shane G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

This hotel is very well located, within walking distance of the Portland Art Museum and some good restaurants. The Pearl District with its unique shops, galleries and excellent restaurants is a short streetcar ride away. My room was clean,small and quiet and the decor was unusual - I especially like the flying bird wallpaper. The bed linens are nice. Other things, however, need a little help. Going into the restaurant is like walking into a sports bar, with TV sets blaring. The lighting is harsh and the ambiance does not project good food. I nearly walked out but was too tired to walk down Washington to Jake's Famous Crawfish. The menu is limited and geared toward meat eaters, but the food was good and the wine list more than adequate. The parking fee - $38 for overnight - sucks.In order to have free wireless, the guest must become a "In Touch" member, a process that takes about 5 minutes but that shouldn't be necessary. But I would stay there again and I would recommend the hotel. However, I would advise my friends to eat elsewhere if they wanted a quiet, romantic dinner and to park overnight at the Smart Park for $15 max.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank laurgam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

My friend recommended this hotel over the Vintage Plaza. I took everyone's recommendations and joined the InTouch rewards program. I called ahead and let the hotel know we were celebrating a 30th birthday and made sure my InTouch # was associated with the reservation. I am glad I did the InTouch since we got free wi-fi, which worked very well in the room. I was a bit disappointed that all those perks people were gushing about here on TA.. were absent in our stay. Nothing special was provided for the celebration; and nothing about raiding the minibar or a bar credit "on the house".

Pros:
- Good location, 2 blocks from MAX rail, 2 blocks from Pioneer Square/Center.
- Comfy bed
- Good water pressure & lighting in bathroom
- Powerful Hair dryer
- Very friendly staff, although everyone in Portland is super friendly
- Overall clean room
- Can enter Red Star thru hotel, don't have to go outside

Cons:
- Bathroom floor had wads of long black hair left behind, ick!!
- Good size bathroom, but completely underutilized, sink counter had hardly any space, no storage above toilet, small stand is already used for towels
- 10th floor was a little noisy since there are banquet rooms in the center of all the rooms

Room Tip: Avoid 10th floor to avoid banquet halls
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ForTheExperience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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