Our third night in Portland was spent at Hotel Monaco. Let me say that there has to be some rather impressive interior design the competition will need to evaluate because this is my new favorite hotel. The eclectic mix of high fashion interior design made me become an instant fan with the exceptional service by the staff as well as the atmosphere. A sweet musk aroma that captured me every time I was exiting the elevator or entered the building. This intriguing aroma made me want to package it up in a bottle to take home! Other highlights I would like to mention about the hotel include free wine and beer tasting on Thursdays, as well as zebra and leopard print bath robes, Aveda bath products and the support of being eco-friendly expressed with recycle bins in the rooms. This was probably every eco-friendly, high end fashion specialists dream hotel….meeting those standards, I vote yes on behalf of my fellow urban fashion colleagues. What type of hotel do you prefer or enjoy?
Not only was this the first hotel on the trip with bath robes(I couldn’t believe the past hotels didn’t accommodate this especially with their ratings), but they were in my favorite patterns. Also not to forget to mention the bright colors as well as houndstooth pillows(another favorite), used in the room made it a welcoming experience for me. I felt like I was at home.
Patrick and I went downstairs during the time of happy hour, the front desk informed us about upon checking in. When we stepped off the elevator in the lobby we were overwhelmed by the amount of people and their dogs(and the lovely aroma :)! Yes dogs. The event was for pet owners and their dogs; accompanied with free wine and beer tasting from local companies. We thought we were in the wrong area and walked over to the restaurant in the hotel.
As an experienced server, I observed the service of the restaurant and noticed the tension a gentleman was trying to reserve while serving an overbearing amount of tables for one person. Later he came to our table and introduced him as our waiter. We asked him about the happy hour and he said it was in the lobby with the event. Since we were already seated drinks were ordered for the convenience and we skipped the free samples.
I started watching our waiter more because something was bound to happen drastically, I could see it when he was communicating verbally and non-verbally to customers. A few times I noticed him begin to serve a drink and the customer communicated with him as if it wasn’t what they ordered. I even called out my lemon drop when it was being served across the room to another couple. A few minutes after the mix up, our drinks were served on a tray splashing with a mixture of other spilled drinks sharing the tray. Within a matter of moments all the drinks were spilled in front of our table. My sympathy went out to the gentleman and I wanted to help him out. I knew exactly the feeling of being overwhelmed serving tables and how embarrassed he felt. I also predicted his frustration would carry on through the rest of the activities until a new day at work began.
We anticipated visiting the Pearl District for the First Thursday, but I think our tiresome had reached is peak. After our cocktails in the lobby restaurant, we returned back to our room and I decided to work on some items on my computer. Before I knew it, Patrick was sound asleep and I was trying to stay awake. I knew if I took a nap I wouldn’t wake up until the next morning and miss the Nurses album release at Holocene. We missed First Thursday but arrived at Holocene as some of the first guests for the show.
First act from the lineup was music from the laptop and turntables in the main area followed by some new favorites of mine from Portland, referred as “Inside Voices”. We sat on the bench right next to the where the band was playing. I think I counted about 4 cameras taking pictures during the performance on the opposite side of our seats….so if you happened to find a male and female in the background in any reviews with pictures of the show, email us links!
“Inside Voices” provided more of an alternative campfire collective performance with their setup on the floor in the main room of Holocene. For those of you unfamiliar with this venue, the atmosphere is low-key with a clean modern garage/gallery appeal. The main room is used for artists with a smaller numbers of followers, while the adjacent room with stage is available for the events with anticipation of larger crowds; such as the Nurses. If you are unfortunate to be able to squeeze in with the crowd of the larger room or prefer not to be swaying back and forth with the other fish in the sea, the sound at Holocene is amazingly available throughout the entire venue as if you were standing in the front row. I experienced this first hand on this visit to find my partner in the main room and noticed how great the sound presented itself during the last song of the show.
After the show I introduced myself to the “merch girl”, whom I think she referred herself as Aaron’s girlfriend from the Nurses. Apologies for not catching your name-but thank you for the t-shirt and vinyl! I had talked to Aaron to sign my vinyl and a follow-up on the email I sent his management prior to leaving Boise for an interview. He told me that their schedules became unexpectedly crazy because of the album release and family visiting. Patrick accompanied me with my conversation and provided a business card for Aaron to write his number. He was interested in an interview for my radio show if our schedules worked accordingly before our leave back to Boise. Unfortunately this was the last time we got to speak with him, because of other items on our agenda and time constraints. Thank you so much for your time Aaron, and I hope you will play in Boise soon!
We didn’t stay at Holocene too long because we had our conference call in the early morning to meet the time preferred with our business partner on the east coast. Instead we drove back to our hotel and rented a movie alongside with room service. At this time I would like to highlight another spectacular service provided by my new favorite hotel: 24-hour room service.