24-Hour Room Service: Hotel Monaco, Seattle, USA

Can there be a better way to arrive at a hotel late on a hot afternoon than for someone to welcome you with a cold beer? After a trip through the mountains of Washington state, and a couple of hours' tangling with Seattle's rush-hour traffic, I turned up in the chic, conspiratorial foyer at 5.40pm.

Despite my dishevelled appearance, I was warmly greeted by the Hotel Monaco's always-smiling reception staff, who pointed out that the nightly happy hour was in full swing, and before 6pm I could enjoy a complimentary drink. Bliss – though in half measures. Rather than being given a whole bottle of beer, a half-glass was carefully poured. On the dot of six I went to ask for a top-up, but the staff could not be seen for dust.

The Hotel Monaco is part of the Kimpton chain, which has city-centre Monaco hotels in seven large US cities. I had previously stayed at the Chicago Monaco, which proved outstanding, and that's why I splashed out on a night at the Seattle version.

The sense of understated style was the same. But by the time I checked out, I felt that the happy-hour experience summed up the Monaco: well-intentioned, yet stopping short of delivering a joyful experience.


Hotel Monaco Seattle, 1101 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101, US (001 206 621 1770; www.monaco-seattle.com) – as good a claim to be in the middle of downtown as anywhere. Pike Place Market, complete with the original Starbucks, is a few blocks north-west, and the rejuvenated Pioneer Square area is a few blocks south.

Time from international airport: 28 minutes by frequent bus 194 to University Street – an underground station for buses one block away.


You won't be sleepless. "Comfort" involves more than just the quality of the mattress, which was perfectly fine. It also covers the warm colours that soothe your stay – and the welcome fact, for the weary traveller, that you need not learn a new technological regime to do something simple like switch the light on, rather than performing tricks with cards and electronics. For a US hotel, though, the room was distinctly compact, and you wouldn't want too many members of a Seattle grunge band partying in there, too.

Freebies: besides the small beer in the lobby, a modest and unexciting range of toiletries. Oh, and I was loaned some shoe polish and a brush to shine up my footwear after a long trip.

Staying in touch: free Wi-Fi (more generous than many US hotels, which demand $10 or more), direct-dial phone, and TV with far more channels than a normal person would ever need.

The bottom line

I paid the "web special" rate of $277 (£145), room only. This requires advance booking at www.kimptonhotels.com and is non-refundable. Usual rates are significantly higher.

I'm not paying that: the Green Tortoise Hostel is just along the road at 105-and-a-half Pike Street (001 206 340 1222; www.greentortoise.net), and has dorm rates starting at $25 (£13), including breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

Suggested Topics
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
footballSporting Lisbon take on Chelsea as Manchester City host Roma
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
businessForbes 400 list released
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    Day In a Page

    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn