Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Hotel Monaco's Fresh Whimsy

A San Francisco hotel sends stuffiness a-packin'.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    BRINGING IT: We're often told to bring it (though the truth of the matter is we usually think we already are). It's a human thing, ultimately, the bringing of it, but the sentiment could be applied to things of a distinctly non-human nature as well. Should a car bring it? If it wants to make a splash at the auto shows. Should a restaurant? If it wants to stay in business. And what of a hotel? Well, that depends, truly. If a hotel caters to a more buttoned-down business world, with straight-up meetings and conferences, perhaps going all out in the eye-catching department is a bit of a luxury. But if you're a hotel that's part of a hotel group known for being a tad outlandish? And you happen to be located in a famously free-spirited city plunk in the theater district? Not only should you be bringing it, you should practically stamp the words on every towel and sheet. Hotel Monaco, which is part of Kimpton, has not taken that drastic measure, but its recent refurbishment definitely ups its bringing-it cred.

    FRESH FRESCOES: All of the Monaco's 201 suites and rooms received a thorough reboot, as did the property's public spaces. What can guests expect? Some Art Nouveau flourishes, trompe l'oeil cabinets, and lively frescoes that take notes from the frescoes of yore but feel as if they could have been created in contemporary times. (They were.) Sculptures, artworks, silk pillows, and stripe-y things, like wallpaper, round out the decor. It feels a bit like you're on summer exchange, as an art student, and you're staying inside a museum, but you and your pals changed up some of the cobwebbier bits of the place overnight, making the whole thing relaxed, a little goofy, a little posh, dog-friendly (a Kimpton standard), and, yep, whimsical.

    And, look: You're probably never going to sleep over at the Fun Museum you've created in your mind, so Hotel Monaco is an excellent real-world choice. Check out packages and such here.

    (/blogs/worth-the-drive)