Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I suppose since I went on and on about how great the Clift by Starck was a few weeks ago, I should also give you a peak at where I actually stayed in San Francisco, a hotel I would have blogged about first if I hadn't been staying just a few feet away from a Starck hotel. 

The Hotel Monaco is a Kimpton Hotel.  Bill Kimpton is a man I have much respect for...almost as much as Starck (actually I don't really think respect is the correct word to use for how I feel about Starck, a man that regularly poses without a shirt on to advertise his furniture).  Anyway, Kimpton pretty much invented the 'boutique' hotel as we know it today.  The W and such hotels would likely not exist without Kimpton, well, at least not as we know boutique hotels...although Ian Schrager was only a few months behind Kimpton with the whole idea and may well have come up with it on his own.  But Kimpton was first, and gets his dues.  His whole premise for the boutique hotel was to create a great design, dining and bar experience with 'rooms on top'.    The whole point was not the room but the experience of being in fabulous spaces where the locals actually wanted to come and hang out.  So he created the first boutique hotel in San Francisco in 1982, and the whole idea took off instantly.  Some years later he created a boutique hotel chain- the Hotel Monaco- with locations in many cities across the country.  Many have followed in his footsteps. 

So, while not quite a Starck hotel, I was also excited to stay in one of the original boutique hotels located in the city that gave birth to the idea. 

And it lived up to expectations, with great lobby areas with a definate nod to the late great hotel designer Dorothy Draper (in my opinion- bold colors and oversized neoclassical and baroque elements):

A very cool resturant and bar:

And of course very tiny rooms.

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