Hotel Tour – Hotel Monaco, Portland, OR


Photos © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

It turns out, my job involves a lot of travel. Whether it be traveling for tradeshows, art events, signings or meetings, I end up out-of-town nearly 25 weekends a year, sometimes more! Now, I love to travel, I love exploring new places, chatting with new people, trying interesting restaurants, and yes, I have a penchant (and quite a collection) for those tiny hotel soaps and shampoos. I do not love being away from my home and family so much, being out of my excersise routine, eating in airports and just the general 'catch up' that being out of my routine requires. After awhile, no matter how much you love to travel, travel for work starts to take a little toll and your inner homebody starts to crave some attention. Instead of daydreams of leisurely weeks at sunny exotic beaches with cabana service, you find yourself concocting fantasies of sleeping in your own bed, with a full-sized pot of coffee waiting for you, quality time with your washer and dryer and full afternoons of working in the garden and organizing closets. Sexy right?

So it is a delight when every now and again you find something really special during routine travel. Now, I do not often do hotel tours, but could probably fill a whole blog with them alone. I love fancy hotels. I love regular hotels with fancy details. I love it when my needs in a situation are cleverly anticipated. I think it's because I love customer service and how very simple and lovely it can be to work hard to make people feel welcome, and hotels are the perfect storm for that opportunity. The Hotel Monaco (a Kimpton Hotel) is the perfect example of how very lovely the experience can be.

Not long ago, I began going out of my way to stay at Kimpton hotels, because in my experience, they 'get it'. For the most part, I have been totally happy with my decision thus far. When she heard I was going to Portland, Amy, our production manager, suggested I try the Hotel Monaco. “You'll love the lobby.” she smiled.  So I booked it, and for $106/night, I thought it was worth a try!

When I walked in, very late at night after a trans-continental flight to an absolute oasis of fuchsia and gold with as many Moroccan-inspired details as one could pack into a room I smiled from ear to ear. She was right. It was breathtaking! Opulent and approachable (it's dog-friendly!), cozy and cosmopolitan… I could have just curled up on the divan and stayed right there!

But wait! There was more. The visual delight did not end in the lobby. Oh no! They had (it seemed) designed one of their guest rooms specifically for me! Moi!? Oui.

I. Mean. Seriously. Two kinds of striped wallpaper, pattern everywhere, a headboard fit for a maharaja…Oh! There was more “happy” packed into this one little room than I could shake a stick at!! I was in hog heaven. And I stayed there until I checked out 4 days later. The service was excellent, the coffee? top-notch, location was not to be beat and please, if you stay here, under no circumstances should you miss the complimentary wine & cheese hour in the lobby from 5-6pm. It is a blast!! Thanks Amy for the rec!!

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