When planning my family’s stay in Portland, Oregon for my daughter’s 13th birthday Twilight Movie Road Trip, I had some specific criteria. I wanted to keep stress minimal for my husband, who wasn’t exactly thrilled about driving hundreds of miles chasing down filming locations for a teen movie, so the hotel needed to be easy to get to, comfortable and relaxing, with close proximity to restaurants, parks – and Starbucks.
Of course it was important for it to be fun, kid-friendly and birthday-special. My youngest has special needs, so being accessible with convenient ammenties was a must. Andwe were bringing our Weimaraner and Chinese Crested dogs. Was a hotel in the city that checked all of my boxes too much to ask for? I was beginning to think so and thought I might have to find a compromise, that maybe we wouldn’t be able to stay in the city, or we might have to stay in a less comfortable place to accommodate the dogs. Then I found the Hotel Monaco on a Google search. It seemed to have everything I was looking for, plus lots of positive reviews. I booked our stay and hoped reality would match what I saw online.
The Hotel Monaco did not disappoint, even with my long list of requirements. Here’s our experience:
The Hotel Monaco is located downtown Portland with easy access to the freeway, and walking distance to shopping, restaurants, art galleries and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. They even have bikes you can borrow, completely in sync with Portland’s reputation for being environmentally-friendly. My husband enjoyed getting coffee and a fresh pastry from a bakery down the street while out walking the dogs in the morning, and it was nice to not have to load up my daughter’s wheelchair to go out for a nice dinner.
It’s also a central location for all of the popular things to do with kids in Portland, including kids activities like the Oregon Zoo, Oaks Amusement Park or the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). The concierge can help you put together plans for your Portland stay.
One step into the lobby and you know you aren’t in a typical luxury hotel. The decor has a traditional foundation, but the colors, patterns and accessories display a fun sense of humor. It has a boutique hotel feel that’s comfortable and welcoming. Everyone was friendly, everything was clean and well-maintained.
True to the decor throughout the hotel, the rooms feature a fantastic mixture of quirky prints and features within a classic framework that honors Portland. The whimsical lamp with duck feet that sat on the desk in honor of University of Oregon Ducks was a perfect example. You can’t help but smile when you walk into the room. We had a Monaco King Suite, with a separate bedroom, pull out queen sofa, two flat screen TVs and small breakfast table. The bedding and linens were very comfortable; even on the pull out. I saw a DVD player and gaming console, which we didn’t use. Ask about specifics when you book your stay if these are important features for your family. The bathroom was large, but had a standard tub with shower. The animal print robes in adult and kids sizes were fun and comfy. Our room had a window overlooking the city street below, but the rooms were quiet, with no city or neighboring dog noises being heard.
The amenities at the Hotel Monaco Portland are convenient and comfortable, including a workout room, business center, parking garage, and bikes for borrow start the list. Dosha Aveda Salon and Spa onsite means maybe you can get out for a little time to relax, and Red Star Tavern & Roast House features a wide-menu of delicious options that’s available in the restaurant or room service. We were starving when we arrived, but my special needs kid was tired and not up for going out, so we had room service; I ordered a gluten free salad, my family ordered chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, and hamburgers with french fries. Dinner was made complete with a piece of s’mores cake to share. Everything was fabulous, and it felt good to relax together and talk about our plans for the next day of our road trip.
Each child is greeted with a special Kimpton Kids welcome gift and are invited to happy hour in the lobby at 5:00. Juice and snacks are available for kids, along with coloring book activities and games like Trivial Pursuit. Meanwhile adults can enjoy a hosted wine and beer hour featuring specially selected local microbrews and wines by the glass. Your kids will love the cozy animal print robes waiting for them to snuggle up in for the evening.
Accessible rooms are available, make sure you ask specific questions about what your family needs for a good stay especially if you have a child with special needs. There are several room configurations and options in addition to ADA rooms. You may not need a dedicated ADA room, but have other criteria for a great stay. Have that specific conversation when you book your stay to ensure a good visit.
The Hotel Monaco Portland don’t just allow pets, they welcome any number of pets without size or weight restrictions for no extra charge. Need pet-sitting, walking or grooming services? The Hotel Monaco can arrange them.
They also take into account guests with allergies, so one floor is hypo-allergenic and 100% pet free. If you have specific allergies or needs, let them know so that they can best accommodate you.
I didn’t know this when I made our reservations, but the Hotel Monaco Portland supports Guide Dogs for the Blind, and they sell stuffed animal guide dogs to help raise money for the charity. My daughter is blind, so this was an especially nice surprise. The gave my daughter on of their stuffed animals, which she loves to bring with her and show everyone.
- HOTEL MONACO PORTLAND
- 506 S.W. Washington Street
- Portland, Oregon
- (888) 207-2201
For more information and photos, visit my blog.
Disclaimer: Hotel Monaco Portland provided my family and I with a night stay for our hotel review. The opinions and experiences are my own.
Karin Sheets is a techie, travel writer and mother of two teens, one of them with special needs. She encourages all families to live the adventure of life. Her personal blog is www.specialneedstravelmom.com and you can follow her @ionMyAdventures on Twitter or www.facebook.com/SpecialNeedsTravelMom.