January 23, 2017

Hotel for Dogs: An Overnight Stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco

Kimpton has long been recognized as a pet-friendly hotel brand. We’ve stayed at a number of Kimpton hotels over the years and I’ve always noticed the water bowls in front of the hotel and the furry friends roaming around in the lobby (on leashes, of course).

Since we adopted our dog, Fife, in August I’ve been wanting to stay at a Kimpton to experience the pet-friendly atmosphere first-hand. So, over the weekend, Fife and I, along with two of my daughters, piled into the car for an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Alexandria, just outside Washington, DC.

HM-elevator

Going up to our room after we checked in at Hotel Monaco.

I’d never stayed overnight in a hotel with my dog before so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Hotel Monaco. When we first arrived, we did see the water bowls in front of the hotel, though Fife just walked on by. I think he was more eager to see what (and who) was inside the hotel.

At check-in, the front desk agent gave us several dog treats (which Fife quickly devoured), a green pick-up bag and a sign to hang on our room door that read “Caution: Pet at Play” to let housekeeping know that Fife was inside when we were out sightseeing or eating at the restaurant. The front desk also had plenty more pick-up bags available on request.

Pet perks we received at check-in for Fife.

Pet perks we received at check-in for Fife.

We checked in at Hotel Monaco at 4:30 pm in time for the Kids Hour, so there were plenty of snacks, like gummy worms and chocolate-covered pretzels, and games for my kids. Even better, we arrived just before the start of the Wine Hour at 5 pm. We ate snacks, played Connect Four and did some people-watching as Fife greeted the other furry guests as they arrived at the hotel.

With all the dogs coming and going in the lobby of Hotel Monaco, I was a bit worried about Fife (or any of the other dogs) attempting to mark their territory, but  not once did I see that happen. Have you ever been to a PetSmart? I see dogs marking in there all the time. All. The. Time.

Enjoying snacks and Connect Four in the lobby of Hotel Monaco.

Enjoying snacks and Connect Four in the lobby of Hotel Monaco.

Nope, no peeing in the lobby, just lots of love from guests, as well as other dogs and owners. There were quite a few kids there too, and kids love petting dogs, so Fife was in heaven. He probably could have hung out in the lobby all night long just meeting and greeting the other guests.

Fife getting all set up in our room at Hotel Monaco.

Fife getting all set up in our room at Hotel Monaco.

Before we headed out to dinner at the in-house restaurant, Jackson 20, we took Fife up to our room. By this time, the hotel had delivered two dog bowls for food and water, as well as a dog bed. Actually, since Fife is larger than average, they brought two beds just in case. As a quick side note, you can bring any size dog to stay at a Kimpton, large or small, at no extra charge. That’s a nice perk.

The kids loved Jackson 20 and playing tic tac toe on the kids' menus.

The kids loved Jackson 20 and playing tic tac toe on the kids’ menus.

The food at Jackson 20 was delicious. The front desk agent suggested the spare ribs and they did not disappoint. It actually takes five days to prepare the spare ribs, so they almost literally fall right off the bone. No knife required. Delicious. Meanwhile, the girls ordered kids meals, which came with ice cream. Even better, we ordered 12-Minute Cookies, which are about as warm and fresh as you can get. Amazing.

The spare ribs at Jackson 20 are kind of a must.

The spare ribs at Jackson 20 are kind of a must.

When we returned to the room, Fife was there waiting on his dog bed for one last walk before bedtime along the streets of Old Town Alexandria. He slept well. We slept well. I would definitely bring Fife to a Kimpton at another point in the future. It was just very relaxing and easy-going. The staff and guests expect to see dogs in the hotel, which in turn quickly puts the dogs at ease, in my opinion.

At the end of the evening, Fife got some water and was ready to turn in.

At the end of the evening, Fife got some water and was ready to turn in.

Disclaimer: My kids and I were hosted by Hotel Monaco Alexandria. However, I was not compensated for this article and all views expressed here are my own.


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