Stepping out to Old Town Alexandria on one of the first fair weathered days brought me to another Kimpton gem, the Hotel Monaco Alexandria. Opened in 2007, the continued standard of service and personality welcomes you into this lobby with open arms, garish patterns and beautiful textural chaos. Interior designer Cheryl Rowley conquers Civil War chic with rich teal walls, black lacquered floors and paisley prints. Interesting casino carpet keep your eyes moving and the conversation upward and flowing.
What brought me there was the kick off for the Michel Collins Gaelic Football Team 2010 season hosted by Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S, Michael Collins, and City of Alexandria’s Mayor, Bill Euille. Irish folk music in the steps of Donegal fiddle tradition kept young couples and Irish pride at the center of attention, while older generations demonstrated the rules of Gaelic football to enthusiastic eyes.
Paired with the Hotel Monaco is the Jackson 20, which is headed by Executive Chef Dennis Marron, who also oversees The Grille at Morrison House. Along with Chef de Cuisine, Derek Simcik, you’ll find this menu is reliable, memorable and local.
Over at the bar, Kimpton’s Principal Mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout, paired with Woods Morrison and Mumtuz Rauf, bring us New World reminders with exciting new infusions. Open your senses with the”J20 Manhattan,” made with Bulleit Bourbon, Lustau East India sherry and bitters. Try it with crab deviled eggs or the shrimp corn dogs.
Take a trip down to Old Town Alexandria and discover this hotel lobby. Create your own page in American history. It’s worth every cobblestone.
From April to October, the Monaco offers Alexandria’s beloved “Doggie Happy Hour,” a favorite of both locals and guests who are invited to gather twice a week to mingle with each other and Charlie – the hotel’s resident four-legged “Director of Pet Relations” who oversees pet guest satisfaction and daily pet operations.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria
480 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314