The Hotel Monaco Washington DC is a four-star luxury boutique hotel situated in Washington DC, US, in the historic Tariff Building. The hotel opened in 2002 and achieved the AAA four diamond award from 2003 to 2009, and was voted one of the top 80 hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.
The hotel was created through the architectural transformation of the Washington DC General Post Office building. Originally designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, it was completed in 1842 as the city’s first all-marble building. US architect Thomas Walter created the design for the extension on the north facade of the building, which was completed in 1866.
Hotel Monaco was fully restored between 1999 and 2002 and now shows the historical significance and architectural grandeur of the original landmark building. The project is the result of a joint venture between Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group and the US Government body General Services Administration-Portfolio Management.
A $2.5m renovation of the hotel was completed in 2009. This included redevelopment of guestrooms, the lobby, lounge, meeting rooms and event spaces.
Design Atelier, a California-based interior design entity, also participated in the revitalisation process by providing interior design services.
The Hotel Monaco project was the result of a joint venture between Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group (Kimpton) and the US Government body General Services Administration-Portfolio Management.
On 9 September 2010, the hotel was acquired by the Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a real estate investment trust, for $74m. Approximately $39m for the acquisition was funded through Pebblebrook’s initial public offering. Kimpton, however, continues to manage the hotel.
Hotel Monaco Washington DC accommodation
The 183-room Hotel Monaco Washington DC is located within walking distance of the National Mall in Penn Quarter, by the Verizon Center and Washington Convention Center, in the heart of downtown.
It has 183 rooms, including 16 suites ranging between 325ft² and 1,275ft². The suites and rooms are categorised as Mediterranean, Robert Mills and Majestic suites, and Queen Deluxe, King Deluxe, Double Deluxe and Monte Carlo guestrooms. Every room features original vaulted or segmented arched ceilings and a blend of eclectic yet comfortable furnishings.
The Majestic suites located on the fourth floor can be converted into one or two-bedroom suites. Each suite features a dining table and sitting area for six guests. Other features include a couch that converts to a queen-sized bed and a full bathroom with Jacuzzi.
The six Robert Mills suites honour the original architect of the hotel. These suites are located on the corners of the building and feature 20ft vaulted ceilings with ornate moldings and over 600ft² of space. Suites include a private bedroom with a king-sized bed, spa bath and separate shower.
The Mediterranean suites feature a private bedroom with a king-sized bed, a spa tub and shower. The separate living room accommodates six guests and offers a couch that converts to a queen-sized bed.
The Robert Mills and Mediterranean suites include a living room that can accommodate a maximum of seven people. The living room has a couch that can be converted into a queen-sized bed.
‘Tall Rooms’ are available that feature 90in king-sized beds and higher-positioned showerheads to suit tall guests. The hotel is also pet-friendly. Known as the Guppy Love service, guests can borrow a goldfish for their room for the duration of their stay.
Room services and amenities include cordless telephones with voicemail and two-line data ports, in-room refrigerators stocked with gourmet treats, Aveda toiletries, in-room safety deposit boxes that can hold laptops, five-disk CD players, DVD players and Nintendo consoles.
The Poste-Moderne Brasserie houses the hotel’s main restaurant and bar. It is situated adjacent to the hotel and serves traditional US cuisine as well as a variety of wines. The restaurant offers seating for 174 people and follows eco-friendly practices.
Hotel Monaco has 7,000ft² of meeting area, which includes two meeting rooms that provide seating for 300 guests and 200 guests. For smaller meetings, the Tokyo Boardroom provides seating for 16 people in a boardroom setting.
The hotel offers high-speed internet access and a variety of other guest comforts such as a complimentary evening wine reception and a 24-hour business centre.
The Majestic Hotel Suites located on the fourth floor can be converted into one- or two-bedroom suites. Each features a dining table and sitting area for six guests. Other features include a couch that converts to a queen-sized bed and a full bathroom with jacuzzi.
Construction and design
The Hotel Monaco Washington DC project was the result of a partnership between the federal government, which sought to restore the Old General Post Office that had fallen into disrepair, and a private developer, who wanted to turn the building into a profitable commercial venture.
In 2000, a design team was able to preserve the structure with the main post office area converted into the lobby, the mail-sorting pavilion a restaurant and guestrooms adapted to preserve the building’s historical integrity.
Both clients were able to adapt the architecture in a way that allowed continued community use of the building.
The architect for the project was Michael Stanton Architecture with the associate architect being Oehrlein & Associates Architecture.