I’ve traveled to Las Vegas approximately fifteen times. I’ve honestly lost count, so that’s just an estimate, albeit probably a fairly accurate one. Each time I’ve traveled there I’ve stayed at a different hotel. I enjoy seeing what each place has to offer, particularly compared to the others. Unfortunately, I’ve only been wowed once in all of my trips – THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay. But, on the other hand, that’s also because I tend to stay at more affordable middle-of-the-road places opposed to the big, fancy hotels that require the deposit of a major organ in order to afford it.
On this trip, as the birthday boy wished, we stayed at the Monte Carlo. I was excited to do so, since I always thought it looked a bit more like the nicer places, just with more affordable prices. The location was practically in the middle of the Strip, so most any other location was easily accessible from it. In today’s Vegas, though, that doesn’t really matter – everything is easily accessible with all of the trams, monorails, skywalks and cabs. It’s all right there at your fingertips, you just have to decide which little corner of town you want to explore.
On first blush, the hotel room wasn’t anything special when compared to any other hotel on the Strip. It looked clean and comfortable, although not terribly updated with an out-of-date tub television, so I was happy. That’s all I really cared about, since I would be spending most of my time out enjoying what Las Vegas has to offer instead of sitting in my room the whole time. As it turned out, thanks in part to a somewhat nasty hangover, I spent more time in my room than I had anticipated. So, because of that, I was able to get a different impression of the Monte Carlo than I maybe have any other hotel I’ve previously stayed.
After sitting in bed for much of one day, I can say without a doubt that the beds in the Monte Carlo are quite new and comfortable. They were very soft and the bedding was all clean and new. I was very happy to crawl under the covers each night, since I knew I’d get a good night’s rest. Well, I would just so long as my brother’s snoring was at a minimum. So, plus one to the Monte Carlo for good beds.
But, the beds and the room’s general cleanliness, were the only bonuses I ended up finding about the room. Nothing else seemed completely satisfactory, and quite honestly it was even below par for what I expected. First off, after a nice, comfortable night, I ended up having to take a shower crouched down thanks to a shower head that is built for someone just over five feet tall. And unfortunately this was done in a bathroom with no fan or shower vent, so the mirror was fogged up when I was done. This means a minus one for the layout of the bathroom for an even score, if you want to keep track.
Another minus came from the view and outside noise. For a hotel that’s in such a great spot in the middle of the Strip, the view was overall lacking. Yes, we faced the Strip, but I largely saw the roof of the casino extending out in front of me opposed to the bright lights that I’ve seen from rooms at other hotels and casinos. And even though we were back so far from Las Vegas Boulevard, I could still hear the noise from emergency vehicle sirens throughout the night. I noticed this at the Luxor, too, but I attributed it to the pyramidal design there.
I also didn’t like how the room’s air conditioning was turned off one night when I arrived back. My brother and I both like sleeping in an ice box, so we had it at the lowest possible setting with the fan on high. For some reason, housekeeping had turned it off while they were in there and never reset it. It’s possible they did this because it’s winter right now in Las Vegas, but I was annoyed nonetheless; I was uncomfortable while lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, and not happy about it since most casinos seemed to have the heat on and I was sick of dealing with it.
A big bonus came when I ate at my friend’s restaurant, though. Diana Edelman does public relations for d.vino Italian Food and Wine Bar in the Monte Carlo, and treated me to lunch one afternoon. I wasn’t able to eat much because of my hangover, but what I was able to put down was fantastic. The handmade noodles were amazing. I could easily tell they were made with care. The service was also fantastic, as we had several people helping us. I found it to be one of the best restaurants I ate at on this trip, which included at stop at Joe’s Stone Crabs in Caesar’s Palace, and would highly recommend it to anyone in search of a good Italian meal.
Thanks in large part to my lunch with Diana, I’d give the Monte Carlo an overall middle of the road rating. I would certainly recommend it to others, but will probably not stay there again myself due to my preference to stay at a different hotel on each visit. There were certainly things I think that could have been done better in the hotel, particularly in respect to the bathroom, but overall I liked the place and give it one thumb up.