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.

Location

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.

Comfortable?

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.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
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
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

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

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits