Monte Carlo Resort and Casino – Las Vegas

During our recent trip to Vegas we stayed at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino for 3 nights. We booked the Spa Suite, originally for $115 per night thanks to my MLife membership, but as the dates moved closer and we kept checking, the price kept dropping, so we kept calling the MLife desk to re-price the stay and lower the total price. Finally, after I matched to MLife Gold thanks to my Hyatt Platinum status, the price dropped even lower, to $90 per night, and that’s what we eventually ended up paying.

MonteCarlo

Location:
The hotel is located between the New York New York to the South and Aria to the North. It is within walking distance to the Bellagio fountain (about 15-20 min), Caesar’s Palace and a few other signature hotels. For other hotels at the north end of the strip or to the South (namely Luxor and Mandalay Bay), I recommend driving or catching the tram to at least get a little closer.

Weather:
We went at the end of September/beginning of October, which is the high season. The prices are a little higher, but the weather is definitely bearable to walk around, in the low 70s and high 60s at night, and 80s during the day. Come to think of it, it was actually really nice. It is still dry Vegas weather, so you will need to drink plenty of water, put on lip balm to avoid chapped lips, and lotion to keep your skin from cracking.

Check-in:
Checking in was a bit confusing. With my Gold MLife membership, I had the right to an expedited process through a dedicated members line, but I couldn’t find the line anywhere. There were about 3-4 people ahead of us and a couple of clerks, so we ended up making the line and it only took a few minutes, but there were other times when we walked by and saw 15-20 people waiting in line to check-in. Up to the date we left, I couldn’t find the actual MLife line, and different hotel employees gave me conflicting answers. Sometimes there was a separate line with a sign that said “check-out”, so guests checking out would jump the line ahead of those checking-in. Sometimes the sign was changed to “Key Pickup”, and sometimes both lines said “Check-in”. Never “MLife” members, so to this date I’m still puzzled. They do have a VIP lounge right near the check-in counter, so we were able to get a couple of complementary glasses of wine and restocked our bottle water in our room fridge a couple of times.

MonteCarlo

The room:
The room itself was great and what we had expected as far as actual accommodations. The hot tub was amazing and had a nice view of the mountains on one side and partial view of the Strip on another. It was of a very large size, so it easily fits 2 adults comfortably, or 3-4 depending on what kind of fun you plan on having when you’re visiting Vegas. It made for a really relaxing time while in the room.

MonteCarloMonteCarloMonteCarloMonteCarloThe bed was comfortable. The suite had a small kitchenette with a bar and a couple of stools, and small fridge and Keurig machine with 2 k-cups and 2 complementary bottles of water.

MonteCarloThe one thing the kitchen did not have was a microwave and utensils. The missing microwave wasn’t a big deal. You already eat enough when you go to Vegas buffets as it is, but the lack of utensils was inconvenient as we bought a couple of yogurts and had to go hunt for spoons to eat them the next morning.

The bathroom only has one sink, which is odd for a suite. It does have a separate toilet area, which is convenient. The shower door has a small separation and water splashes out a bit, but not the end of the world as we know it.

MonteCarloMonteCarloThe main issue I had with the room was location, and I think the hotel really dropped the ball on this one. All Spa Suites and Diamond Suites, which are more expensive than standard rooms, are near the elevators, and all Spa Suites have connecting doors. The reason I was given by one of the front desk clerks is that people book suites and they book the room next door for their kids. I don’t like it when I’m given excuses or explanations that make no sense just to make someone go away. Parents don’t book romantic spa suite getaways and take their children to no other than Sin City and put them in the room next door. In my mind it just doesn’t work that way. The first morning we had an issue with our noisy neighbor, who jumped on a phone call for an hour at 7:30 a.m. and woke us up. We ended up switching rooms from the 20th to the 28th floor, which ended up being a lot more quiet, but still with a connecting door. It was a gamble, but hey, we were in Vegas.

Casino:
I can’t comment on the casino, as I never gamble (except maybe when the baseball season is going on and I bet on baseball). Not because of the proverbial “vice” or “morals” about gambling. I’ve just never been attracted to it, so I spend my time in other ways when I go to Vegas. You’ll just have to try the casino for yourself!

Food:
We tried the buffet just because we wanted to try a different option, we were pressed for time the morning that we went, and we found a cheap option. If you walk across the street from the hotel (where the large Coca Cola bottle building is), there is a Tix4Tonight office (and several others throughout the Strip) where you can buy the option of a cheaper admission by paying $2 per person. So we paid $2 for each me and my wife, and got the brunch $17.99 buffet for $8.99, a savings of $7 per person. If you want the cheap food, the option is there. I really don’t recommend it though. If you can splurge, walk over to the Bellagio, pay $21.99, and have one of the best buffets in Vegas. I will review that buffet on a different article. The Monte Carlo buffet just doesn’t cut it. The options are limited, the food isn’t of high quality, and the staff won’t even get you drinks, which you must get yourself. There are other restaurants and clubs on the property, but we did not try them during our short 3-day stay. The buffet was pretty much empty at peak lunch time. That should have been our first clue.

MonteCarlo

Facilities, amenities, etc:
The hotel has a $20 daily resort fee. The fee covers “free” internet (which your $20 pays for), the pool, gym, and other amenities. We did not use the pool, as we had friends who were staying at the Bellagio, so we went with them to that pool, which is much nicer and better maintained. With MLife Gold status, you have the ability to charge to your room when you consume at other MLife properties, which is convenient if you want to leave your wallet in the room. Our room had a view of the hotel pool, and we noticed that the hotel shadow covers parts of the pool for a significant part of the day, so this might be an issue if you’re expecting to catch a tan. From above, the pool just didn’t seem as majestic or nice as other resort pools. It just wasn’t appealing to the eye, although to be fair, we did not visit it. The pool does have a small lazy river, but we didn’t see many people in it, so I’m not sure if tubes were provided for use.

MonteCarloThe parking garage is behind the property (when facing the hotel from the Strip), and we never had issues finding parking on the first available level, which is the second floor. From there, there is easy access via a walkway into the hotel lobby via an escalator right when you enter the hotel.

MonteCarloThere is a CVS store one block north, so it is a good place to visit to buy some water, alcohol and other essentials for a quick breakfast in the morning if you want to save some money. There are even souvenirs at the store, so you can get all the souvenir shopping done and take it back to your room. There is also a Walgreens across the street, but crossing the Strip can sometimes be inconvenient, so I’d stick with the CVS instead.

Overall impression:
Some of the hotel common areas have seen better days, and there are some carpet stains and smudged elevator doors, but overall, the lobby and the casino areas are well kept, and the room we stayed at was clean, comfortable and had a reasonable price for a suite. It is a hotel I would not consider staying at again, but that is primarily because I am a light sleeper and the connecting room doors (especially in Vegas, where 70% of the people are always drunk) is a deal breaker for me. Since we want to try different options when visiting Vegas, we will probably end up staying at a different resort next time, but this hotel is good enough if you want to have a comfortable and reasonably priced stay during your visit.

MonteCarlo

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