Smack dab between the busy center and south end of the Strip, Monte Carlo, which is home to the Blue Man Group, combines grand-style architecture with a fun and feisty attitude.
Elegant yet unpretentious, Mediterranean-inspired but not overly themed, middle of the action
Although this is a mid-range property, it has some surprising touches. For instance, the lobby surpasses expectations. There are stunning chandeliers overhead and fresh flowers on the countertops. Plus the hotel rolls out a temporary bar during peak check-in periods. If you should get stuck in line, someone else in your party can go order drinks. Or you can take turns snapping selfies with the scarily life-like statues of the Blue Men on display in the lobby.
Monte Carlo's pool area isn't as big as others on the Strip, but with five different swimming pools, a wave pool and a lazy river we think it's fabulous.
Two words: Coffee makers. (See below.)
With their dark color scheme and wallpaper, you won't be writing home about the rooms at Monte Carlo. However they are serviceable, well-priced (considering the location) and come with coffee makers (that's right, some hotels in Vegas still provide coffee makers -- and this hotel also has two Starbucks). If it's style and luxury you're after, splash out for a studio in HOTEL32 on the hotel's top (32nd) floor.
Keep in mind all rooms are non-smoking. If you light up in there, you'll be slapped with a $250 cleaning fee at checkout. Save yourself the trouble and smoke in designated areas in the casino.
Monte Carlo's valet parking service is split up in two different locations. Although you drop your car off and walk into the resort on the south side of the lobby, you'll need to head out a door on the north side of the lobby when you want it returned to you.
Monte Carlo's casino can sometimes seem dark, claustrophobic and smoky in comparison to the lighter, more open feel of the lobby.
What was previously easy access to the back of Monte Carlo from Frank Sinatra Drive isn't so easy these days. If you're driving, expect to encounter disruptions due to construction underway for an eight-acre park and 20,000-seat arena set to debut in 2016 along Rue de Monte Carlo between New York-New York.
Enjoy free live entertainment on Monte Carlo's Strip-facing, open-air BLVD Plaza. From late afternoon until late night, a rotating roster of live bands, solo musicians and street performers appear. You can even take free yoga classes out here on Saturday mornings (weather permitting, of course).
You can catch a free tram in Monte Carlo at the back of the Street of Dreams shopping area. It stops at Bellagio and in The Shops at Crystals. In this area en route to the tram is the quieter, less crowded Starbucks compared to the one in the food court.
At the entrance to Blue Man Group's theater in Monte Carlo, you'll discover an eye-popping LED-enhanced entry arch. This is one of our favorite places for a selfie.