WASHINGTON—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has completed a multimillion-dollar redesign of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC.
The building, a National Historic Landmark and the original General Post Office in the district, has undergone a redesign of all spaces, including the hotel’s living room-style lobby, corridors, 183 guestrooms and suites and three meeting and event spaces. This fall, Dirty Habit will debut onsite as a luxe new restaurant and bar with a social scene centered around crafted cocktails, social plates, design and an expansive urban patio.
Built in the 19th century by Robert Mills, the designer of the Washington Monument, and Thomas Walter, one of the architects of the U.S. Capitol, the four-story, all-marble building underwent an internal transformation to become Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC in 2002.
Today, Hotel Monaco’s new bold design, reimagined by San Francisco-based Paletteur, pays homage to the building and city’s classical architecture along with deep roots in American politics and history while honoring the hotel’s unique fusion of traditional and contemporary, according to the brand.
Entering Hotel Monaco’s grand lobby, there are hints of the city’s Neoclassical Greek and Roman style visible with juxtaposition between the new and old, according to the company. Design elements include bold green walls, Murano glass chandeliers, and furniture that has built-in outlets, as well as a color palette of burnt orange, gold, silver and dark blues. The hotel also offers a new art installation inspired by the nearby National Portrait Gallery featuring original drawings by Michael di Cosola.
The hotel’s bar was designed to resemble a modern, salvaged chest of drawers that nods to the hotel’s playful vibe, according to the company. The living room’s showpiece fireplace is flanked with a bronze eagle and lion relief, above which custom black framed mirrors hang layered on top of one another, bouncing light from the ends of the room.
On either side, mirrored obelisks surround the fireplace, an homage to the building’s architect. The centerpiece of the space, however, is a signature life-size, 230-pound steel lion sculpture by artist Brian Mock prowling nearby the restaurant entrance, which was crafted from recycled materials into a visual representation of the building’s adaptive reuse and stately nature, according to the brand.
The 183 guestrooms and suites feature a five-ft. lion head architectural medallion that is a nod to the magnificent friezes and motifs found on many government buildings in the area. To complement this design element, the color palette and materials throughout the guestrooms are warm tones of plum, champagne and royal blue.
Beds feature bronze faux leather folding screen headboards with Greek trim details, and Kimpton’s signature Frette linens are swathed with a lavender throw featuring scrollwork details. Carpet inspired by architectural ironwork seen throughout the district adds stately accents. Furnishings, such as a new armoire, are detailed with warm-toned oaks designed after classical European residential pieces and juxtapose a dark gray, ebony and polished chrome finishes in the room. Large hanging globe sconces were inspired by the promenade at nearby Union Station.