The first night of my recent trip was in a standard room at the Monte Carlo. I have stayed there a couple of times a few years ago and enjoyed it and have spent a decent amount of time there recently while staying at Aria and Bellagio. They have updated the room slightly since my last stay so it was time for a return trip to see how things have changed in the past year and or two.
I arrived on a Sunday around 2PM and the lobby was absolutely packed. It took well over a half hour to get checked in. There are individual lines for each desk clerk but with the amount of people waiting, the system quickly fell apart. They definitely need to improve their queue process when there are large crowds. After finally making it to the Front Desk, I was given a 2 queen bed room on the 14th floor overlooking the back of New York-New York. Not the most spectacular view but I have had worse in Vegas. The room is pretty standard with a desk, 2 chairs, a nightstand and an armiore/TV stand. The room itself is largely unchanged from my last stay in December 2009. The only real difference is the TV and armoire have been replaced with a flat-screen TV and smaller armoire and new linens are on the beds. The bathroom is also unchanged with a single sink and combo tub/shower. The fact that the room is virtually unchange really showed in the room I had. The chairs and desk were pretty beat up. The walls had many scuff marks on them including a huge one right between the 2 beds. The carpet is getting a little tired as was the hallway leading to the room. The bathroom is also unchanged with a single sink and a combo tub/shower. The biggest complaint, however, was the horrible TV service provided on those new flat-screens. Not only isn't it in HD, it was barely even watchable through all the fuzz. I know they don't want you in your room but not even being able to catch the local news is pretty weak. With all that said, the room wasn't really terrible - pretty much inline with most other older, mid-priced joints in town. I guess I have just been spoiled staying at all the newer places on the Strip!
As for the rest of the resort, they are billing themselves as "Affordable Luxury." I guess it sounded better than "Slightly above average!" There is a good collection of decent but not over-the-top expensive restaurants including longtime Vegas favorite, Andre's and The Pub microbrewery plus a large food court for quick eats. The pool area is a step above most but not quite top 5, sort of like a "mini" Mandalay Bay with a lazy river and wave pool but on a smaller scale. The casino is about what you would expect on the Strip with limits much more affordable than its neighbor, Aria. I did play a little machine play and did OK, milking the drink service which was definitely hit or miss depending on location.
All things considered, the stay at Monte Carlo was perfectly average for an average Strip hotel. The room, while a little disappointing to me, was on par with what I have gotten at similar places like Luxor, Flamingo and Bally's on recent stays. The older mid-range places are starting to show their age and the economy has caused them to defer maintenance longer than they normally would have in better times. Like I said, I have become a little spoiled lately staying at Cosmo, City Center and Bellagio so when I stay in an older room, I definitely notice it. None of the issues I had were deal-breakers but if the cut-backs on everyday maintenance continue for much longer, it's eventually going to take it's toll.
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