Last month I attended Tahsir and Omar’s TravelCon II in Las Vegas — an all-day conference on manufactured spend. The event was held at the Monte Carlo hotel, and while Tahsir had a sweet multi-room suite at the Aria, I chose to stay at the host hotel.
Monte Carlo is a bit of an oddity among the MGM properties in Las Vegas and has been undergoing significant renovations and additions in recent years. It seemed like a good opportunity to book my first stay.
The casino sits on the Strip with the hotel in the back. The distance isn’t a problem as many hotels are built further back, like Aria, Bellagio, and MGM. But there’s not a lot to draw you in. For a long time Monte Carlo just had a small fountain out front. Now there are several restaurants and bars, including Diablo’s Cantina and Double Barrel Roadhouse, which has live music. Lots of construction is still going on as MGM builds a huge arena and shopping district between Monte Carlo and New York New York. Once this opens, Monte Carlo’s main lobby will be very convenient.
All of this makes it more appealing to stay at what remains a pretty solid mid-market hotel. I was able to pay $50 a night to stay here with a $75 dining credit (on a two-night stay) when other MGM properties were going for $100 or more. True budget hotels like Excalibur can be around $20. This was probably better than that, just not luxurious. It’s a good pick if you plan to spend most of your time outside the room.
Elite Recognition and Check In
All members of Hyatt Gold Passport with Platinum or Diamond status can request a match to corresponding status with M life, MGM’s casino loyalty program. Hyatt Platinum members (which you can get with the Hyatt Visa) receive M life Gold, while Hyatt Diamond members receive M life Platinum.
However, I have invitation-only M life NOIR status. Even though I arrived at the hotel around 9 AM, the agent at the VIP lounge was able to find a room for me on the 30th floor and provide a complimentary early check-in.
Even though most readers won’t be NOIR members, I wanted to bring it up because I thought Monte Carlo did an even better job than when I’ve arrived at other hotels on the Strip, and so any kind of status might be helpful. I’ve observed, for example, that some higher end hotels only admit NOIR and Platinum members to their VIP lounges, but Monte Carlo will also let in Gold members. It definitely helps expedite the check-in process, and there’s often free coffee and water (sometimes snacks).
I received two complimentary beverage coupons when I checked in, and at check-out the agent immediately increased my F&B credit to $75 (which was my recollection) even though his system said $50. When we had some difficulty getting a reservation for 30 people for dinner, the agent in the VIP lounge looked into it and sent a text message a few minutes later saying everything was arranged.
This was definitely the best customer service I’ve ever had in Las Vegas.
I mentioned that the exterior has seen many changes. The hotel itself has had some improvements, too, with the renovation of the top floor to create Hotel 32, a luxury hotel-within-a-hotel. However, the main property is still a solid mid-market hotel that reflects its discounted price.
My room resembled a Hilton Garden Inn or a Crowne Plaza. It was clean, comfortable, and quiet. That’s about it.
The bathroom was probably the more dated area. It could have used a renovation, but that’s why it was only $50. I thought I got what I paid for.
I even had a view of Tahsir’s suite at the Aria. 😉
Looking down I could see the pool, and during the day there was some thumping music coming from some day club. It was never a problem at night when I wanted to sleep. I’m not sure that this pool area gets much sun even during the summer months, but it does have a small wave pool and river pool if you like those features.
If I have one piece of advice for Monte Carlo to improve, it would be the hallways. There were few decorations, and the carpet was pulled up in some areas. My room was fine. I thought the build up to the room, as I walked through the hallway, was the biggest detraction as it just felt so bare.
From the Monte Carlo you can easily walk to the Aria through a pedestrian bridge or take an automated people mover to the Bellagio. This makes it convenient to visit two of the more popular casino resorts while staying at a budget-friendly hotel.