Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The Monte Carlo offers reasonable rates for a Strip hotel, but little in terms of Strip glitz.
The 3,002-room Monte Carlo occupies a middle ground on the Las Vegas Strip. It's not a high-concept extravaganza or luxury resort -- the building's neoclassical facade, reminiscent of the actual Monte Carlo's Place du Casino, is as close as it gets to having a "theme." Yet it's not a sketchy Strip dive either. For a reasonable price for a prime location, guests get a pleasant, though small, pool complex, the usual large casino, and a choice of eight restaurants, including a popular Strip-side Mexican eatery and a steak house.
The entertainment falls short of other Strip hotels. The real drawback, however, is the dated and drab rooms. The Monte Carlo has renovated its top floors, rolling out a new boutique hotel, Hotel32. But many of the standard rooms are still badly in need of refreshing.
The Monte Carlo is in the southern part of the Strip, the densely-packed, 3.5-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos. New York, New York, home to the popular roller coaster, is directly to the south and Bellagio, with its famous, free fountain shows, is to the north. (But keep in mind that the Strip hotels are widely spaced, making for long walks.) The Showcase Mall is almost directly across the street.
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
Standard rooms have updated technology, but are a little unexciting for Vegas.
Standard rooms start at 400-square-foot, and are called Deluxe rooms. The hotel also offers three types of suites, and Hotel32 on the top floor has suites ranging from studios to two bedrooms, all outfitted with high-tech gadgets and luxe features. Rooms have contemporary decor without being as over-the-top as other Vegas hotels, using darker red and wood tones.
The three pools include a wave pool, a lazy river pool -- both great for kids -- and the lagoon pool. There's also a hot tub. A small number of cabanas with flat-screen TVs can be rented. Food and drinks are available at the adjoining pool bar, and there is a DJ booth and sand volleyball court.
The large casino could easily be confused with almost any other casino on the Strip. It has a sports book betting area, blackjack tables, high-limit room, and, of course, slot machines. Vegas newbies may appreciate the hotel's free craps lessons every day.
Three pools will please the kids, but with no sharks, lions, or pirates, the Monte Carlo lacks a signature attraction that will wow them.
With the option to connect rooms and the kid-friendly lazy river pool, the Monte Carlo is a decent choice for families in search of affordable accommodations on the Strip. Cribs and rollaways cost a nightly fee, and the hotel staff can help arrange babysitting. The in-house food options include a food court with McDonald's, Sbarro's, and Subway.
The hotel lacks, however, the kind of over-the-top attraction -- like the pirate ship at Treasure Island, the shark reef at Mandalay Bay, or the volcano at the Mirage -- that can elevate a Vegas hotel from family friendly to family fantastic.
With no cheeky theme or luxury touches, the Monte Carlo doesn't dazzle. The amenities don't go beyond the basics, and rooms are nice, but not as exciting as other Vegas hotels. Guests who are attracted to the 3,002-room Strip hotel by the reasonable rates won't necessarily be disappointed, but they may not be excited either.