Stay: The Kimpton Hotel Monaco
Located At: 15 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Stay Here For: Great central location, thoughtful amenities, a nice view of downtown
At this point, I think it’s safe to say that I am no stranger to Utah. This past month I took my third business trip to Salt Lake City, and I am learning that I really, really like the feeling of returning to a place you’ve met before. I liked knowing which coffee shop to go to, which streets I need to walk down in order to squeeze in some sightseeing, and which meals I need to make sure I consume at which restaurant. I don’t get that feeling very often since I’m still exploring a lot of cities for the first time, but now that I have been to Salt Lake City a couple of times, it’s starting to feel like an old friend. And one thing that’s welcomed me back each time is the Kimpton Hotel Monaco.
I’ve only stayed in 2 Kimpton properties so far, but both times I’ve been impressed by how differentiated they are – the Kimpton brand is known for branding each of their properties as unique experiences. In my encounters, this has been true both times. Last year, I stayed at The Goodland in Santa Barbara and was completely charmed by the laidback, music-forward, indie vibe of the place (see my full review here). When it comes to the Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City, it’s safe to say you get a similar feeling of boldness. There’s just something about it that feels cool and different from the rest of the places you can Google in the area.
Probably the biggest selling point about the Hotel Monaco is its location. It’s located right in the middle of downtown – a short walk from Temple Square, the Capitol Theatre, City Creek Shopping Center, the Salt Palace Convention Center, and a bunch of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. If you are going to Salt Lake City to ski, I’ve also been told that the ski shuttles are just half a block away, too. Because of all of this, the view from the windows of the rooms are really special – a central city view with a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains beckoning in the distance.
Compared to The Goodland, the ambiance of the Hotel Monaco is a bit more subtle and classy, while still featuring punchy touches throughout. It’s perfect for business travelers and people who enjoy perks and thoughtful amenities. The lobby invites you in with colorful furniture in funky shapes, tons of mirrors, and games like jenga to encourage an even balance of work and play. The building itself is a historic bank building, and you can see touches of this apparent everywhere, in both the decor and the actual infrastructure, like the old school elevators which (I believe) are originals, and even the services offered, such as overnight shoe shining upon request.
The hotel is also super pet-friendly if that’s something you need to take into consideration!
EAT & DRINK
The Hotel Monaco has both a restaurant and bar on-site, as well as a full room service menu. The restaurant, Bambara, is a New-American style spot that has really good reviews and seems to be well-liked within the community. While I haven’t eaten there myself, the place is always packed starting around 11:30 am pretty much every day.
The bar, which is called The Vault, is a nice spot to grab bar food (from the Bambara) and good cocktails. It’s simple yet chic and I found it to be a nice way to start my evenings each time I was in town. While they have a good cocktail menu, I am a sucker for sticking to a nice mezcal paloma and some house-made chips, both of which I’ve ordered both times I’ve been here.
Last, but arguably most important, the hotel hosts free coffee and tea in the mornings, and a free wine reception every single evening in the lobby (can I get a hey hey?). Just know, if you get free wine from the lobby, you can’t go and sit in The Vault with it (and vice-versa), as I learned the hard way. As is expected, Salt Lake City’s liquor laws are stricter than most, so keep that in mind.
The rooms are quirky yet sleek, with dramatic, tall headboards and statement lamps as the focal piece once you walk in. Other thoughtful touches help to complete the space, like a yoga mat (the hotel offers free yoga classes twice a week), luxe bath products, and 2 fuzzy robes in the closet. Additionally, the hotel offers a service where if you are missing or in need of something, such as a coffee maker, a hair straightener, or a nail clipper, all you have to do is contact the front desk. Depending on what it is you need, they will either provide you on loan, give it to you to keep, or even go out and get it for you if it’s something they don’t keep stock of.
Though I only spent 24 hours in Salt Lake City on this past trip, I loved coming back to the Hotel Monaco and its wine receptions, yoga mats, and fun decor. If a central location and a hip hotel that will make sure your needs are addressed is what the doctor ordered, then this is definitely the place to be.
Booked your hotel and need to plan your itinerary? Read up on my recommendations for a weekend trip to Salt Lake City and Park City here.