Boy, am I running behind! I’m trying to catch up on all the goals I set out to accomplish, one of which was staying at all 12 MGM properties in Las Vegas (in recognition of the Hyatt/MGM partnership) and reviewing them. Catching back up now with the next review in the series.
The 12 properties (with past and future reviews) are:
- MGM Grand
- THEhotel at Mandalay Bay
- Monte Carlo
- Signature at MGM Grand
- New York New York
- Mandalay Bay
Until Hyatt and MGM launched their partnership I had only stepped foot in the Monte Carlo once. It was a last-minute thing when two friends made the final table of the World Poker Tour Championship. I split a room with one of their fathers when I grabbed a last-minute flight to Vegas to watch them play the last two days of the tournament.
That was over a decade ago and my hotel taste has….evolved. For the most part, the Monte Carlo has not. The location, on the Strip between New York, New York and City Center, is very tough to get to via car on the Strip and even tougher to get to from back roads. That’s a big part of why I avoid it. There’s very little enjoyable about driving on the Strip.
Upon entering the lobby I saw a pretty hefty line at the check-in desk. That’s something fairly typical of my experiences at Vegas hotels over the year. They move at a decent clip but you’re still likely to wait in line longer than you want. Thankfully, the temporary Noir status I was awarded gave me access to the VIP check-in area, which is off to the side with the words “VIP SERVICES” on the smoked glass doors. The check-in process was quick and I was on my way to my room shortly thereafter.
My room was a standard room with a king bed, some soft seating and a small desk. The desk was definitely not purposed for the business traveler. The chair was like one my mother had in our dining room when I was a kid and the desk was quite small. Oh, and my room only had wired internet. I stopped carrying an adapter to get my Macbook internet when George Bush was POTUS (the son, not the dad).
The bathroom was basic, dim and austere, but clean.
The rest of the room wasn’t. There was some trash on the floor and plenty of carpet stains. A little surprisingly, the physical product was in worse shape than Luxor (more on that in a later post).
There are some newer restaurants and shops that are part of the Monte Carlo, but I’d lean towards choices nearby (think hidden pizza at Cosmo or Julian Serrano at Aria).
The hotel gym was well outfitted and a decent size. Given how many rooms a hotel like Monte Carlo has, I guess it can’t be oversized. However, it wasn’t anywhere near crowded during my entire stay.
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
The Monte Carlo wasn’t a hotel I would likely return to given that nicer hotels can frequently be had for the same price (and Luxor, which I preferred, is usually less). Monte Carlo is a Category 4 property in Hyatt Gold Passport which means 15,000 points a night. At that price, I’d redeem points at MGM Grand first. You can see my review on that property here. Their rooms are on the small side compared to newer Vegas properties, though comparable in size to the room I stayed in at Monte Carlo. And, they’re newly renovated. Oh, and they’ve heard of wireless internet.
As always, though, make sure you shop around for price before redeeming points. Plenty of cheap rooms to be had in Vegas.