In DC, I stayed at the Hotel Monaco. The stodgy exterior belies a hip interior. It’s another of the new style of boutique hotels, complete with quirky offerings such as a goldfish brought to your room upon request and leopard-spotted terry-cloth robes.
It was this quirkiness that got them into trouble– I was happy to see they offered a complimentary yoga basket, with mat, strap and block, since I’d forgotten to pack my mat. But when they were out all three days, I was more upset than if they had never offered it. I suspect if they had simply pulled the yoga table-tents when they ran out of baskets, they might have had fewer cranky guests. After all, if you don’t expect it, you can’t feel badly not to have it.
on the plus side
- good coffee
- aveda spa products
- a variety of pillows of different firmness. I think this was calculated.
- turndown service included a chocolate fish and turning on the radio softly to jazz. nice
- q-tips and woolite in the bathroom. I always need and never remember q-tips.
- huge comfy bed.
- loaner umbrellas at the front desk.
- three ways to get internet– ethernet, wireless and TV. wireless didn’t work, so I was happy for the redundancy.
- martini glasses and shaker.
- wine hour in the lobby with nice nibbles.
on the negative side
- honor bar was inaccessible except by moving furniture. The bedside table actually kept the door from swinging wide enough to allow the drawer holding food to open.
- DC closes at 10 on a Sunday. one cannot get food out in the world. when I called room service at 10:30 after wandering the streets, they were out of half the menu.
- aforementioned yoga angst.
- the most unusable shower/bath toggle I’ve ever seen. I’m sad I didn’t photograph it. Not only did it have no affordance, but it was stiff and hard to pull when slippery. Which is what wet things are.
it’s funny– I’m not sure it was a particularly worse experience than the Hotel Lucia: jazz on the radio, comfy bed, good TV, cool old building. Yet I left not-delighted. I guess it’s the old saw– always underpromise and overdeliver.