Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Amazing Staff

The Hotel Monaco in Chicago had the most amazing staff of any hotel I've stayed at in years.  As I mentioned when I wrote about checking in the front desk staff was incredibly nice and very helpful.

Every person on the staff smiled whenever I walked by and asked if there was anything they could do for me when appropriate.  A smile goes a long way.  After checking in and finishing work I never felt any sense of stress.  The comforting demeanor of everyone at the hotel helped.

Another act of kindness game from the staff came from housekeeping.  The house keeper noticed I had an orange gatorade in the trash and kindly bought me a new one and left it by my door one night.  What an amazing and thoughtful act.  It came in handy, as I had a bit much to drink that night.  Take a look at her note:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hotel Monaco Lobby

The Hotel Monaco lobby was host to a lot of awesomeness.
  • Every morning there was hot coffee service...
  • The hot coffee was followed by iced coffee in the afternoon...
  • which was followed by a nightly wine tasting at 6. 
All of these were nice little amenities.  The lobby had plenty of seating for these nice little social gatherings or if I just wanted a place outside of my room to chill and/or meet people.

Here are a few pictures.  First is looking up from one of the comfy chairs while I was sipping on some coffee.

Next up is a picture of one of the coffee tables and chairs across the room.  There was a couch to the right...

... and a chaise lounge and a couple of chairs and tables to the left.

Amazingly enough this only makes up about a third of the lobby.  There was free wifi and plenty of outlets for a laptop had I wanted to work here.  I would have spent a lot more time here if I didn't have a suite.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hotel Monaco Suite Bathroom

Considering that there was a sofa bed in the living room it was interesting that the only way to access the bathroom was through the "master bedroom."

Is was also interesting that this suite had such a huge bedroom and such a tiny, but sweet, bathroom.  There was no room to really move as there was just enough clearance for the door to open and not hit the jacuzzi, sink or toilet.  Here's a look at the inch of clearance between the door and sink.

Stepping back you can see the sweet marble counter top, mirror and flooring.  It was tiny, but pretty. 

The bathroom had one superstar and it was the huge jacuzzi that I was afraid to get into, because I didn't think I'd get out.  It was about 3 feet deep with room for about 10 of your closest friends.

Here's a look at how deep this bad boy was.  I would have had to step up to get in.  No thanks.

Behind the door were the shower and toilet which, combined, took up less space than the jacuzzi.

I'm probably more into bathrooms than most.  I would rather have a foot less in the bedroom and a foot more in the bathroom just to breathe a little.  Size aside, the awesome cleaning staff always had the room cleaned with fresh towels.  My toiletries were always placed on a wash clothe.  Good service and nice little touches like this are what helped make my stay at the Hotel Monaco so great.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hotel Monaco Suite Bedroom

The Bedroom in my suite at the Hotel Monaco was massive.  In addition to sleeping I spent a good amount of time hear just sitting and relaxing.

There was an awesome chair and ottoman in the sitting area which was great to relax and read news on my iPhone or a book.  There was an outlet to keep the phone charged and a table to rest my coffee on. 

I even turned the TV in the direction of the chair to watch a little.

Looking from the chair out to the bed area you can get a good idea of just how big the bedroom is.  Nice!  The bed was comfy too. 

The only thing missing was an iHome or place to plug my phone in so I could listen some jams, but I turned on one of the kimpton yoga channels for gentle noise.

On my last day in Chicago I noticed that there was a pretty cool sitting area in the window of the bedroom.  I don't like heights, so you'd never catch me here, but I thought this was another nice touch.

The bedroom was really awesome.  I don't tend to spend much time where I sleep in a hotel, but this was a different kind of trip with a different kind of sleeping area.  My love continues for the Hotel Monaco.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Living Room

The suite at the Hotel Monaco was amazing and it all began with a couple step entry.  The closet was the first thing I saw and it was a nice size and included a safe.  It also had animal print lingerie and robes available for purchase.

Straight past the closet was a nice deep chair that became my home away from home for this trip to Chicago.

The chair pointed out to a huge flat screen TV that, unfortunately, did not have any HD reception.  This was the low-light of the room, but not a big deal.

There was a good sized coffee table set in between the chair and TV and against the window was a large sofa.

Here's a closer look at the soft green material and red pillow.

The couch was comfortable to sit and lay on for watching TV, but because it had a pull-out bed the edges were a little hard.

Last, but not least there was a work station with plenty of outlets for all technology I would have.

The desk would also double as a dining table for two.  I cleared the desk and called for room service provided by the South Water Kitchen.  20 minutes later a pulled pork sandwich arrived.  This was the fastest room service I've ever had.

The pulled pork sandwich was excellent as was the Rogue Ale.  I left the tray outside after my meal and it was gone about 30 minutes later when I left my room. 

The fantastic service I was greeted with at check in was brought to room service.  As the great service at Hotel Monaco continued throughout the week I was less in awe and just happy to have it. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Introduction to the Suite

...Somewhat less frazzled than 10 minutes earlier I headed up to my suite at Kimpton's Hotel Monaco.  Based on the website I expected small, but nice.  To my surprise the suite I received was quite perfect in size for a solo traveler with a cooler than me, modern design.

An introduction to the suite will begin with the basics of the rooms.  Upon entry, there was a healthy size living room with a sofa couch, chair, 46"(?) flat screen TV and a work station that easily doubled as a dining table with a work chair and club chair (shown below).  Here's a look at half of the room. 

After the living room was the huge bedroom with king bed, 42" TV, dresser, reading chair and ottoman. 

Off to the left in the bedroom was the all too small bathroom.  Actually, the bathroom would have probably been a good size, but the jacuzzi was huge and took up more space than the toilet and shower combined.  Imagine that this jacuzzi is easily 3 feet deep after the step up.

Up next a more in depth look at each room...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Checking In

When I arrived at the Hotel Monaco I was greeted at my cab by a bellman who greeted me kindly and asked for my name.  He asked how I was and asked for my name, which was a first from a bellman.  He walked my bag to the desk and passed on my name.  The woman behind my desk was very cheerful and had a warm and inviting smile.  (Side note: she would greet me by name every time I walked by the desk, nice touch.)

I was a little frazzled when I was checking in as I wanted to review a 200 page report so I could enjoy go out and enjoy Chicago.  I arrived at noon, knowing check in was at 3, I was just hoping that a room would be ready.  Unfortunately the room I had on hold (King, non-smoking) wasn't ready.  Not knowing there was a Starbucks on 3 of the 4 corners of my street, I asked if there was somewhere I could go to grab wifi and a cup of coffee so I could download and review the report.  She clicked away a little more and smiled. 

There was a suite available right then and there for no additional charge!  I was stoked!  Not only would I have a suite, but I could review this report and get to town! 

Even further, she pointed out that there was iced coffee available in the lobby or she could send up a coffee maker!  I was now doubly frazzled and declined both.  I figured I would bang away the report and go find some coffee. 

I headed up to the room and was floored by the suite...