Hello travelers and wanderers! I’m so excited to tell you about my long weekend experience with Kimpton Hotel Monaco in one of Pittsburgh’s nearby cities, Washington DC! You may have seen my post from November 2021 discussing my experience with the luxury Suite, Drink & Be Merry package at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. Based on that stunning experience, I knew I needed to visit another Kimpton hotel! With my love for DC and its proximity to Pittsburgh (only a 3-4 hour drive depending on traffic or the FASTEST plane ride ever), I knew Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC was going to be my next Kimpton experience.
I’ve been a fan of DC ever since I was in grade school, because of its rich history and the fact that I was a bit of a nerd when it came to history trivia. Fun fact: I used to know all of the presidents in order! Since those years, I have grown to love DC not only for its historical monuments and museums, but also for the top-tier dining, community experiences, and young professional energy. When my friend and I decided on a weekend for our getaway, we immediately booked with Kimpton. If you’re familiar with the DC area, Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood.
The day we arrived at Hotel Monaco DC, we were greeted by the valet staff who assisted us with loading our bags onto the bellhop cart and ushered us to the check-in desk. We had arrived approximately 2 hours before check-in time on Thursday afternoon. Upon arrival, we asked if the hotel would be able to store our luggage until our room was available and their response was, “let’s actually see if there is a room available for early check-in.” Nothing speaks like Kimpton’s staff going above and beyond to accommodate their guests. After a quick 15-minutes during which we soaked in the regal and elegant decor of the lobby, we were alerted the room was ready! The staff escorted us along with our luggage, to our room on the 4th floor.
On our way to the room, the hallways and corridors showcased the stunning details of the hotel. From the bust above our room’s entertainment center, to the molding along the staircases, to the view of the courtyard where weekend morning yoga would occur, everything was exceptional. Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC truly felt as though it had captured all of those reasons I adore DC and bottled it up into their hotel.
I finished up my workday after settling into the hotel room and then we headed off to get some pre-dinner drinks! A short 10-minute walk from Hotel Monaco DC is Urban Roast, an adorable coffee shop, bar, and restaurant with as many aesthetic photo ops as the blogger in me could handle. After snagging some happy hour shooters and fun cocktails, we headed back to the Kimpton for our dinner reservations at their lobby-level restaurant, Dirty Habit.
Oftentimes, travelers discredit hotel restaurants because, well they are hotel restaurants. I will tell you firsthand, DO NOT underestimate the excellence of Kimpton hotel restaurants. They have style, class, an array of beverage selections, and fantastic meals. Dirty Habit was no exception to this trend! The low lighting and high ceilings made this dining experience very chic. To start, we ordered a bottle of Chardonnay to split. Our waitress was extremely knowledgeable about the standout dishes at Dirty Habit and had completely sold me on working the scallops into my meal on some level. Ultimately, I decided to add the scallops to my entree instead of ordering the scallop starter. My meal was the risotto which was hands down the most flavor-rich risotto I’ve ever had. The creamy risotto base paired perfectly with the local mushrooms, juicy beets, fresh mozzarella pearls, and seared scallops. I would truly eat this meal every week if I could. My friend ordered the Pan Roasted Atlantic Salmon with crispy potato salad. She loved the variety of textures and flavors from this non-traditional pairing! After dinner, we headed up to our hotel room 2 floors up from Dirty Habit, which proved EXTREMELY convenient with the inclement weather that night, and relaxed for the remainder of the evening (PS: the complimentary in-room robes are a cozy little blessing).
Friday morning I logged on to get some work done, and the Hotel Monaco DC wifi supported all of my Zoom video and audio connections fully, which is often hard to come by in a remote work environment. The hotel also had a small business center on the second floor with some computers and a printer, however, I preferred working at the round table in my room. We headed around the corner from the hotel for a quick lunch bite at Matchbox and then returned to the Kimpton to finish up the workday.
After logging off, we wanted to walk to the National Mall to look at some of the classic monuments. When we headed out of the Hotel Monaco DC lobby, we noticed a lively little evening occurring on a blocked-off portion of the street adjacent to our hotel entrance. Naturally, we strolled over to see what was going on. What we stumbled upon was the Plus Ultra Entertainment Pop of Spring Block Party! This adorable community event was free to the public and featured live musicians, food vendors, video game booths, photo booths, swing set tables, and movie screenings. We soaked in the sun and listened to music for about an hour just steps from our hotel.
Now it was time for the NATIONAL MALL. Every time I hear someone say that I always think they are talking about shopping and have to remind myself the National Mall is the name of the walking path that connects all of the major monuments. Only a 13-minute walk from Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC, we headed to the Lincoln Memorial! This is by far my favorite monument. I don’t know what it is about the Lincoln Memorial that always draws me — the beautiful view of the Washington Monument in the reflecting pool? The Gettysburg Address etched into the wall when I used to have the first 2 paragraphs memorized? The fact that it was in iconic scenes in the show Scandal, Forrest Gump, and My Date With the President’s Daughter? The world may never know.
After walking around for a while, we caught a ride to Georgetown for dinner at Yelp Top 100 Restaurant in the US to Dine With, Il Canale. This traditional Italian fare was phenomenal. Caprese, focaccia bread, gnocchi made from dough mixed with ricotta, pistachio cannoli, and espresso — an unmatched Italian experience. It was clear why Il Canale had found its place at spot number 40 on the Yelp Top 100 list for 2022.
The late evening lead us to a 4-city exclusive activity, the Bridgerton Experience! I’m telling you DC serves up EVERYTHING. This experience is currently only available in Los Angeles, Chicago, Montréal, and DC. I will have a post going live specifically recapping the Bridgerton Experience on my website in the coming weeks. We attended the last session on Friday so we finished around 11 pm and headed back to Hotel Monaco DC. When we got back, we noticed an event going on in the ballroom at the end of our hallway (the balloon arch was an easy giveaway). If you’re looking to book a wedding or other event at Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC, visit their site here for more information. The beautiful ceiling and staircase pictured at the beginning of the article are located on the side of the building leading up to the entrance to the ballroom, so there will be optimal photo opportunities.
After another well-rested night of sleep, we woke up with plans of visiting my favorite museum, the National Archives. This is the museum that is home to some of the most important historical documents in American history — the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, etc. Being only a 4-minute walk from Hotel Monaco DC, these plans were perfect! Unfortunately, our day pivoted and we were unable to make it, but I recommend everyone visit the National Archives if they get the chance! Additionally, Hotel Monaco DC’s proximity to the various Smithsonian museums was equally as convenient.
All in all, my DC experience embodied all of my favorite things about the city: historical monuments and museums, top-tier dining, community experiences, and young professional energy. My trip would not have been nearly as enjoyable without the convenience and attention to detail of Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC and its staff. By combining the historical feel of the nation’s capital with the deliciousness of their chic restaurant, Dirty Habit, and proximity to community events and iconic pieces of history, Kimpton Hotel Monaco DC is the full package. I cannot recommend booking with them enough for your next trip to Washington, DC. Happy travels!