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Kid & Pet Friendly Hotel Located in the Heart of Portland, OR – Hotel Monaco

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We recently headed down to Portland, OR for a little mini vacation at the end of our Spring Break & our goal was to just explore the city & look for ways to have fun as a family around the town. In order to truly experience Portland, we wanted to stay right in the heart of downtown and find a place that was not only centrally located but a place we’d feel comfortable staying with our 2 girls. The Hotel Monaco of Portland definitely fit the criteria and it’s a hotel that I would love to go back to again in the future as our kids had a blast staying there.

If you’re thinking of heading to Portland for a little getaway with your kids, definitely check out the Hotel Monaco – you won’t be disappointed!

Reasons I loved the Hotel Monaco:

Unique Style:

My first impression of the Hotel Monaco was that the style was so fun & unique, very similar to a smaller boutique type of downtown hotel, yet they still had all of the modern conveniences & luxuries to enjoy with your family. Everything from the lobby to the hotel room to the hallways with cute little couches had such a cool, eclectic style to it & it felt very cozy. It definitely was an upscale hotel yet you didn’t feel that it was too fancy of a hotel to take your kids. I wish we’d had more time to just enjoy relaxing in one of the many sitting areas.

The Hotel Monaco is also known for their animal print bathrobes – another unique aspect that makes it different from your typical hotel. Our girls loved wearing their bathrobes all around. They had animal print bathrobes for the adults, too – too bad we didn’t have someone to take our family picture in our animal print bathrobes. ;)


Definitely one of the best reasons to head to the Hotel Monaco is their central location as they are right in the middle of Portland in the Pearl District and so many restaurants, shopping centers, sightseeing locations & more are all located within a few blocks. You can also ride public transit or use one of their complimentary bikes to check out the city beyond where you can walk.

  • Hotel Monaco is just 2-3 blocks away from Pioneer Courthouse Square & the main shopping center of downtown Portland, Pioneer Place Mall. This means that there is tons of shopping all within a few blocks of the hotel. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do any shopping, but if we headed back there again, it would be so nice to let the kids rest or hang out for a bit with daddy in the lobby, while I did a little shopping on my own (moms definitely need a little bit of shopping time to ourselves that’s for sure!) 
  • If you would like to bike around the city, the Hotel Monaco provides bikes for guests at no charge to explore the city. It’s just about 6-7 blocks to the waterfront parks, too, which would be a pretty ride along the river.
  • Located about 5-7 blocks away from the famous Powell’s bookstore (we ran out of time to head there – I’ve yet to go, but heard so many great things about it & they also have a free storytime on the weekends, too)
  • Within walking distance to numerous popular restaurants – Mother’s Bistro, VooDoo Doughnuts, Mamma Mia’s & much more!
  • Easy to find transportation – you can easily get around Portland by taking the streetcar, the Max train (light rail system), walking or biking everywhere. Even with 2 little girls (ages 6 & 4), we had no trouble heading out to eat or sightsee by walking to nearby restaurants, just a few blocks away, or taking the Max train to further destinations.  The closest Max stop was just 2-3 blocks away from the hotel at Pioneer Place Mall. From the Max, you can then really explore downtown Portland & the suburbs as well.


  • Take the Max train to Washington Park, a popular destination in Portland for visitors –  visit the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, World Forestry Center, & Hoyt Arboretum). By taking the Max to the zoo, you can save $1.50 off each zoo admission, too (another way to save).


  • Art time & Wii play time during the daily Wine Hour – Every day, they offer a Wine Hour from 5-6pm. Even though, this was mainly adults when we were there, they offered goldfish snacks for the kids & then had a special section of the room just for the kids. They had art easels with real, hard canvases & paint available for the kids to paint their own masterpieces. {Our girls now have their canvases hanging in their room in their art corner.} My only suggestion would be to bring an old t-shirt or old clothes as they didn’t have any art smocks & these are real paints & paintbrushes (not watercolors).  One day, they also had a Wii game system out for the kids to play, too.


  • Can request to have a complimentary goldfish in your room – this was definitely the highlight of our visit at Hotel Monaco for our girls! They loved our goldfish, “Kindle”, as named by my oldest. Our girls have always wanted another pet (we just have a cat) & this way they could experience what it was like as a special treat on vacation. :) All you have to do is just ask for a goldfish to be in your room when making your reservations or you could ask at the front desk when you arrive if you forget to ask beforehand.


  • Kimpton Kids Pack – each of our girls got a little backpack full of goodies to keep them entertained – yoyo, deck of cards, bubbles, finger puppet, coloring book & more.

The fact that the hotel thought of special touches like the little backpack for each child,  the unique experience of having a goldfish in the room, and setting up a special kid area while the parents are relaxing is really what makes the Hotel Monaco stand out in my mind. You can tell they have put a lot of thought into what would excite kids about their hotel & make it unique from other hotels.


 If you are traveling with your pet, the Hotel Monaco is definitely a place that loves animals & strives to make pet owners feel welcome. Here are a few ways that they do that:

  • Welcome sign for pets as you enter the lobby – each pet guest will have their name written on the Welcome sign, which we thought was a cool personal touch!
  • Doggie treats at the lobby desk
  • The resident loveable dog, Timmy, hangs out in the lobby by the concierge’s desk, which definitely contributes to the casual, relaxed atmosphere of the hotel
  • They will provide food & water bowls & a dog bed in your room for free. Plus your dog will get a bottle of water & treats, too
  • They also provide cleanup bags in case you forgot when you take them to do their business outside. {The only thing I didn’t see is how close any parks were to the hotel – I do know Pioneer Courthouse Square was just 2-3 blocks away, but I don’t know if there were any other closer parks if you need to make a late-night trip outside}

Ways to Save at the Hotel Monaco:

If you’re considering checking out the Hotel Monaco, here are my best tips for ways to look for a discount or spending less while at the Hotel Monaco. Due to the central location, it really is a great hotel to travel to without a car & rely on public transportation to tour around the city & surrounding areas.

  • AAA Members – save up to 10% off the best available rate for lodging
  • Small Groups – save up to 30% off  based on availability
  • Kimpton In Touch Program – Sign up for the Kimpton In Touch loyalty program (free to join) and you’ll be notified of special promotions & discounts by email. You’ll also receive FREE wifi if you’re a member, earn reward nights, up to $10 off items from the mini bar, $30 in-room spa credit & more. Make sure to read the fine print, though, for eligible stays.
  • Check Website – Keep checking the Hotel Monaco website for special promotions & discounts. You may find discounts if you’re able to book your trip out by a month or two. On the other hand, you also might find a discount for a last-minute stay as well.
  • Follow on Facebook & Twitter – We always recommend following your favorite businesses on Facebook and Twitter as this is a great way they can get in touch with their followers for last-minute discounts, special social media promotions & more.  {They do not have a specific Twitter page for just the Hotel Monaco, but you can follow @KimptonPDX for info on all the Kimpton hotels in Portland.
  • Travel without Car – One of the expenses of staying at a hotel right in the heart of a city is the cost of parking. Downtown hotels, such as the Hotel Monaco, do charge for valet parking.  It was $38 for overnight parking. However, we arrived in the late afternoon & then checked out the next morning. They then let us keep our car parked in the underground lot all day until we arrived back in the late afternoon/early evening after spending the day at the zoo and they didn’t charge us for another day. This way we were able to experience the fun of taking the Max train (which our girls loved) & not have to pay for additional parking & gas to get to the zoo by leaving our car at the hotel. If you’re looking to visit Portland by airplane or by train, the Hotel Monaco is a great option because of its proximity to so many restaurants, shopping places, sightseeing locations, nearby mass transit options & more. If we were heading down to Portland for the weekend again, I would most definitely look into taking the train down & just exploring the city by walking or taking the public transportation options, since it is so easy to get around when you stay at a hotel like Hotel Monaco right in the city.  {Every so often, Amtrak offers sales to/from Seattle – Portland for $16/each way. You could check out the Bolt Bus line, too, which offers tickets as low as $1/each way to/from Seattle – Portland.}
  • Discounts for eco-friendly transportation – the Hotel Monaco offers 50% off parking fees for all hybrid vehicles and complimentary electric car charging for guests as well.
  • Check out sites such as Groupon and Living Social as they have been featured on daily deal sites in the past.

 Have you ever stayed at the Hotel Monaco in Portland – what was your experience like?

Disclosure: The Hotel Monaco of Portland provided me with a night’s stay in exchange for me sharing my thoughts & opinions about the hotel. However,  all opinions are completely mine  – we absolutely loved this hotel!  See our disclosure statement for more details.

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