Posted June 14, 2014

Urban Biking — We’re Definitely Along for the Ride

Travel Tips

Bike in Lobby

Welcome to day four of our “7 Days of Suiteness” celebrating our new blog. Today’s topic: Bikes. We love them. Our COO, Mike DeFrino, rides his bike between his home in Marin and our office in San Francisco. He wears funny tight pants, we assume because it makes him go faster, and we affectionately refer to him as our CBO — Chief Bike Officer. Others of us with shorter distances also opt for bike lanes over carpool lanes, but we usually wear regular pants. Anyway, urban biking rules. We happily loan them to guests at every hotel around the country, and it’s the topic of today’s focus on what we think makes like sweet.

It’s no secret that here at Kimpton, we roll in style (leopard-print robes anyone?). This applies to our snazzy bike program, too. Seriously, it’s off the chain (sorry, we couldn’t resist). In the nation’s capital, Ed Virtue, General Manager of D.C.’s Hotel Monaco, can often be seen taking a spin around the town’s storied monuments and iconic memorials. He’s really digging this two-wheeled mode of transport, and he invites guests to come along for the ride.

Ed believes that urban biking provides an excellent way for guests to see the city and get a little exercise en route (and we’re all about wellness here). Worried that you don’t have the navigational skills of Magellan? Never fear; Monaco guests can checkout GPS systems that provide turn-by-turn directions for desired destinations or preloaded routes. Competitive cyclists can rev up the action quotient and race against Ed’s times on programmed rides. (Beat the boss, and you win a prize.) Better yet, Wednesdays translate to “Bike with the GM day,” meaning you get this knowledgeable, loveable local to personally lead you down the happening streets of Georgetown or along historic Pennsylvania Avenue.

Since we’re forever on the hunt for inventive ways to make visitors’ stays more convenient, more feel-good, more eco-friendly, and more fun, last summer we debuted a fleet of chic wheels at all our hotels. We partnered with San Francisco-based PUBLIC bikes to custom-design our rides: Cherry-red, European-inspired, street-cruiser bicycles, available to all our guests at no charge. Talk about sweet!

In true Kimpton style, each hotel across the country has put its own spin on our bike program. For example, at Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, an “Urban Wine Trail” package allows guests to coast between the area’s local tasting rooms. In Seattle, guests at The Alexis Hotel, Hotel Monaco or Hotel Vintage can follow a biking itinerary that suggests a fantastic route for tooling around some of the Emerald City’s hottest sites and hidden treasures, from the downtown aquarium to a sprawling urban park.

Whether commuting or exploring a destination, we say bikes put a check in the plus side of life. What makes life sweet for you?

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