I took my wife to Denver for a ?babymoon? and a chance to relax for a few days. I decided to stay at the Hotel Monaco Denver after a perfect experience with the Hotel Monaco Chicago last year. I debated staying at the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek, but ultimately was persuaded by a rate which included a continental breakfast (more on that later) and the special attention we had received at Monaco before. In short, at the Hotel Monaco in Chicago, we were overwhelmed by the service and attention to detail, which surpassed what we were used to?and that experience persuaded me to stay at the Monaco in Denver.
The hotel has a good location and is located one block off of the 16th street Mall. We easily walked all over downtown, and the free RTD Mall shuttle is a great convenience.
My wife had a prenatal massage at the Renaissance Spa in the hotel. She was happy with the massage ($90 for 60 minutes) and had a great experience. She said the spa was nice. I found out later that the spa has a ?happy hour??from Monday through Wednesday, spa services are 20% off from 9-11 and 1-4. Being a thrifty person, that would have been good to know.
Lastly, when we received our bill, we were charged for valet parking which we did not use. Lori, the manager, did fix the bill. Another disappointment was that the business center was not free to use (the first 15 minutes are) and it is $.49 to print each black and white page. Lesser quality hotels I have stayed in (Courtyard, Fairfield Inn) have free business centers with free printing. This seemed rather cheap to me, especially when the Hotel Monaco is not a cheap place to stay.
All in all the stay reminded me of a stay at a Marriott--a nice hotel, adequate service, but nothing special. It wasn't until the last day of our stay that a doorman actually opened the front door for us. I never saw a concierge at the concierge desk, and there was a noticeable lack of personnel in the reception area. To compare, in Chicago, you could not get near the front door before someone opened it for you and there was always at least 2 people at the front desk and a concierge. Another disappointment was we rented a car to take a day trip, and I pulled in front of the hotel to pick up my wife--the valet asked me to move the car, even after I explained I was a hotel guest there to pick up my pregnant wife. Also, we never received our goldfish, which while crushing to our stay, was strange. In Chicago, they turned down our beds at night and left mints, but that never happened here.
To sum, the hotel is perfectly nice, and in any other circumstance, I would consider this a great stay, but my prior experience with the Hotel Monaco Chicago had me expecting extraordinary quality in the hotel, a higher level of service, and a more friendly, welcoming environment. For the price ($164), I expect more attention from the staff and a very high level of hotel quality. There seemed to be a shortage of staff, and no one (except the server at the wine hour) was overly friendly. You might ask ?why didn?t you complain?? First, we are not ones to complain unless something is seriously wrong. Second, no one ever called us or stopped us to ask how our stay was. If they had, I would have told them about my disappointments. (Once again, at the Hotel Monaco Chicago, someone called the first night to make sure our room was satisfactory and we were happy). For a hotel that touts itself as a Top 500 World Hotel, the stay was nothing special. I want to be clear, this is a nice hotel, and if you are used to staying at large chain hotels (Marriott, Omni, Westin, etc) you won?t be disappointed and won?t notice any difference in quality. However, if you have stayed in a Kimpton Hotel before, you have certain expectations of quality and service, and at the Hotel Monaco Denver for this stay, those expectations were not met.