Back where it all began. Just a random thought that passed through my head as I drove into downtown Salt Lake City, prepared for my second stay at the Hotel Monaco. You see, just over a year and half ago, the Hotel Monaco would serve as my introduction to the Kimpton brand. I had never stayed at one prior to Salt Lake City and it has definitely changed me for the better.
Hotel Monaco is located downtown and is one of the easiest downtown hotels to find. For those who have not been to Salt Lake City, I have never experienced a traffic jam while visiting. The streets seem a little bit wider, the people seem a little more relaxed and the backdrop of those amazing mountains are just the icing on the cake. A quick turn off the main road and you are pulling in for valet parking.
As usual at a Kimpton hotel, the service is prompt and professional. Strike up a conversation with the valet or bell and you can learn all kinds of interesting things about the area, the hotel and quite a few other things. They might be the ones offering to carry your bags, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy of conversation. In fact, I would argue it makes them that much more worthy.
Into the lobby and past the dog bowl setup to welcome those of you traveling with pets. For those who don’t know, all Kimpton hotels are extremely pet friendly and they will usually go out of their way to make your four-legged family member feel at home. This is a stark contrast to many other hotels that look upon you and your pet with disdain as they swipe your credit card for a $75+ non-refundable deposit.
Check-in was a breeze and we were quickly welcomed as Inner Circle members and informed we received an upgrade to a one bedroom suite on the ninth floor. They also let us know about the dining options, hotel amenities and everything else needed for a great stay. After check-in the bell will ask your room number and meet you upstairs with your luggage, no need to wait around.
Hotel Monaco requires a long walk past the restaurant and down a hallway to get to the elevators. Perhaps this is by design, but I have a feeling it is simply due to the historic nature of the building. Either way, you’ll want to come right back down for dinner by the time you press the button for the ‘car’ that will take you upstairs.
Our room was spacious, clean and comfortable as you can see in the photos above. Though not as large as the spa suite we received as a complimentary upgrade the first time we were here, it was definitely big enough to accommodate our family. There was a separate master bedroom with a standard bathroom off to the side along with a living room that included a sofa sleeper.
Our welcome amenity, provided to all Inner Circle guests, was spot on as usual. Since Salt Lake City does not allow alcohol to be sold in the minibar of hotel rooms, the local beers that were provided were a welcome treat. We were given four cold beers, a pair called Evolution and two more called Squatters. Evolution was the only one I have tried so far, but it was delicious.
We had arrived early so we took some time to catch up on work in the room while we waited for the restaurant to open downstairs. At almost exactly 5:30pm local time, we headed down to enjoy dinner at Bambara, with Executive Chef Nathan Powers. We received a special treat from the chef for being Inner Circle members, a unique combination of avocado and scallops that was delicious. For our appetizer we had the Blue Cheese House Cut Potato Chips and my entree was the Three Little Pigs, a plate full of pork as you might imagine.
For dessert I had the Turtle Ice Cream Sandwich and Kandi had the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée. Needless to say that we were all quite satisfied by the time the check came, and not overwhelmingly so. One of the best perks about eating at a restaurant that carefully sources most of their ingredients is that the greasy full feeling doesn’t seem to appear. You are full, but pleasantly full. It is a welcome feeling.
The rest of our night was great, although we stayed in the room and mostly spent time as a family. Nothing extraordinary happened during our stay, but it was still memorable and perfect as many Kimpton stays are. Prior to learning about this hotel chain, a night in a clean and comfortable hotel was something special. It still is, but with Kimpton it is expected and nearly always delivered.
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.