Often referred to as the birthplace of America, Philadelphia has tons of fun things to do for both kids and adults. It makes a great road trip stop or a weekend getaway, so my family and I decided to hop in the car to check out all that the city has to offer.
Philadelphia is a very walkable city, so a centrally-located hotel was a priority for this trip. If you’re planning to check out Philadelphia’s historic attractions (and you absolutely should), you can’t beat the location of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia.
I spent 4 nights at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia and in this post, I’ll go over everything you need to know about this property, including its location, amenities, restaurant, and how to book a room using IHG Rewards points.
Table of contents
- Elite Benefits and Check-In
- Parkview Room
- Food and Beverage
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Elite Benefits and Check-In
- Parkview Room
- Food and Beverage
- Final Thoughts
What is that famous saying? Location, location, location! If there is one thing you can’t fault the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia for, it’s location.
The hotel is right in the heart of Old City (aka the historic area of Philadelphia), just steps from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. I could literally see the line for Independence Hall tickets that forms each morning from my window.
If you’re flying in, you’ll love that the Kimpton Hotel Monaco is located only 25 minutes from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). You can take a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft from the airport to the hotel, then you can easily explore Philadelphia without needing to rent a car.
Hot Tip: There are 2 Kimpton locations in Philadelphia, so don’t get this hotel confused with the other location, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia.
You can expect to pay between $200 to $350 per night at this hotel. When I booked, cash rates were about $220 per night or 34,000 points. Since IHG Rewards points are worth about 0.5 cents each, this was actually a pretty good redemption (~0.65 cents per point value). I was saving up for a different redemption, so I opted to pay the relatively low cash rate and was able to save some additional money through enrolling in an Amex Offer!
If you have an IHG co-branded credit card, your fourth night is free when you book with points. For this property, that means you could book 4 nights for only 102,000 points, giving you ~0.86 cents per point in value.
Hot Tip: Keep in mind that IHG hotels don’t have a set awards chart, so the price in points can vary. While the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia usually costs about 32,000 points per night, I’ve seen prices as high as 58,000 points per night.
Elite Benefits and Check-In
It never hurts to have hotel elite status, however, IHG elite status benefits leave a little to be desired. I have IHG Platinum Elite status from my IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is a mid-level status in the IHG program. Benefits of Platinum Elite status include a room upgrade, priority check-in, 50% bonus earnings, and a welcome amenity (“Raid the Bar” at Kimpton hotels).
After arriving at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, I proceeded to check-in. There was no priority check-in line and the front desk area was small, so it could easily get loud and crowded. There were 2 other parties checking in at the same time that I was and I was standing practically shoulder to shoulder with the guest next to me.
Because of my IHG elite status, my room was upgraded automatically to a Parkview room that overlooked Independence Hall. Unfortunately, information about the Raid the Bar amenity and the nightly wine hour wasn’t shared at check-in, so it’s always good to familiarize yourself with your hotel’s amenities before you arrive so you don’t miss anything.
Kimpton advertises kid-friendly amenities, including a welcome gift, but despite my daughter being with me at check-in, this welcome gift was never offered.
While the check-in experience didn’t do a great job at highlighting all the hotel had to offer, the lobby was absolutely gorgeous, so it was all good.
Hot Tip: If you’re visiting with the whole family, check out these fun things to do in Philadelphia with kids.
Raid the Bar
IHG Rewards elite members get a welcome gift upon arrival at Kimpton Hotels — a $10 Raid the Bar credit or bonus points (400 or 600 depending on your status). I chose the $10 credit since 600 points are only worth about $3.
Unfortunately, the staff never volunteered this information to me (I had to ask), so if you weren’t aware of the $10 credit, it could very well go unused.
The minibar is located behind the desk in the hotel’s lobby.
Every Kimpton hotel has bikes (and now scooters for kids) available for guests to borrow free of charge. Unfortunately, the only mention of this benefit was a small blub in a letter I received at check-in.
I didn’t have a chance to use the bikes during my stay, and I imagine they don’t get much use since the staff doesn’t seem to promote this perk to guests.
Nightly Wine Hour
Every Kimpton hotel offers a nightly complimentary wine hour for all guests. While I was aware of this service, the information was never shared with me by hotel staff so this benefit probably goes unnoticed by many guests.
In-Room Yoga Mats
Kimpton hotels offer yoga mats in every guest room as one of the brand’s wellness perks. I love this idea, however, my room did not have a yoga mat available.
Morning Coffee and Tea Service
Morning coffee and tea service was provided in the lobby each morning — 2 carafes of coffee plus hot water and tea were available, however, there was no decaf and the only milk options were individual packs of half and half.
I felt this really fell short of what a coffee and tea service should offer at a boutique hotel that costs over $200 per night. Adding a small carafe of decaf and a couple of additional milk selections (whole, skim, or a non-dairy option) would be an easy way to elevate this service from okay to excellent.
Valet parking was $55 per night or $35 during the day. Self-parking was available for $26 per night with in-and-out privileges at a nearby garage.
Wireless internet was free to all guests at Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it was so slow I ended up turning off my Wi-Fi for the duration of my stay.
There was a nice-sized gym open 24 hours a day located on the second floor that had everything you would need for a great workout. There was cardio equipment including multiple treadmills, bikes, and an elliptical machine. A rower, weight machine, and free weights were also available. The room was bright and clean. At the time, there was a maximum of 6 people allowed in at a time, and when I checked it out it was totally empty.
All Kimpton hotels are pet-friendly. Pets of every size and shape are welcome and there’s no pet deposit required.
One of the most exciting parts of Kimpton hotels is the design aesthetics and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia did not disappoint. From the moment I opened the yellow door to my room, I knew I was in for a treat.
This 350-square-foot Parkview Room with 2 queen beds was decorated from top to bottom in a whimsical, eclectic style and I loved every bit of it.
From bold wallpaper (including the inside of the closet) and graphic floral carpet to the red lacquer dresser, no part of my room was left untouched.
The whimsical designs didn’t stop in the closet, which was covered in fun wallpaper.
Be sure to spend some time enjoying the closet wallpaper, which had a fashion theme.
While the technology wasn’t incredibly impressive, plenty of plugs were available to charge phones, tablets, and other gadgets.
The room’s desk included more plugs in addition to plenty of water bottles in case you got thirsty (although at $8 a pop, it’s probably a better idea to grab some water at a nearby convenience store).
The room’s 2 queen-sized beds were very comfortable and offered a great night’s sleep. There’s 1 caveat to that great night’s sleep, though. Since our room overlooked Independence Hall, it also overlooked the clock tower and bell which rang every hour, on the hour. While it wasn’t a problem for me, my husband, who is a light sleeper, woke up numerous times to the bell ringing in the middle of the night.
Yellow pocket doors opened up to the bathroom which was decorated with a great graphic navy and white print wallpaper.
Individual-size Atelier Bloem hand soap and lotion were available on the bathroom counter.
Large pump bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were located in the shower.
If I had to get nit-picky, I would say that the shower felt like it could be in any hotel bathroom in Middle America. Next to the colors and patterns found in the rest of the room, the plain beige tiled shower seemed boring in comparison.
While not the most spacious bathroom I’ve ever seen, it was clean and functional.
Like most of the hotel industry, daily housekeeping appears to be a thing of the past (at least for now). I was told, however, that because I was staying more than 3 nights I could request that my room be made up with 24 hours’ notice. I requested the service halfway through my stay and was happy to come back to a freshly made-up room.
Food and Beverage
Red Owl Tavern
Red Owl Tavern, located next to the lobby on the first floor, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. On Saturday, the restaurant serves brunch and dinner and on Sunday, only brunch is available.
While the menu didn’t blow me away, I really enjoyed the breakfast. Like many hotel restaurants, I thought it was a little overpriced, but it was convenient and the food was quite good.
Stratus Rooftop Lounge
Stratus Rooftop Lounge was located on the 10th floor of the hotel. There was an inside bar and lounge area with additional seating outside on the rooftop. The lounge features local DJs, international cuisine, and craft cocktails. Reservations are required.
Status is usually open Friday and Saturday nights, however, it’s currently only open to private events.
Overall, I thought the service is where the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia fell flat. While I understand that some things like the limited housekeeping services are COVID-19 related, there’s no excuse for not sharing the hotel amenities with guests upon check-in. The coffee service was mediocre, as well.
The good news is that these are all relatively small and easily fixable problems. If this hotel can step up its service just a bit, it will be a real gem among Philadelphia hotels.
On a positive note, I did receive a text after checking in to see if I needed anything. This is always a nice touch and comes in handy if any problems arise during a hotel stay.
As restrictions ease around the country, COVID-19 protocols are also easing in hotels. The hotel staff was still wearing masks and there was plexiglass up at the check-in desk, however, social distancing was not being practiced.
A letter provided at check-in said that all guests are required to wear a face mask while in public, however signs in the lobby stated that they weren’t required for vaccinated guests.
Hand sanitizer was available throughout the hotel, including at the front desk, in the restaurant, and with the morning coffee service.
While there were a few small misses in the service category, overall, I liked the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. I really appreciated the whimsical and colorful design aesthetic throughout the hotel and the location was second to none.
If you’re visiting Philadelphia and are looking for a hotel that’s centrally located and within walking distance to lots of attractions, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia will definitely fit the bill.