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Monte Carlo 9/9 - 9/12

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ffdawg, Sep 17, 2002.

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  1. ffdawg

    ffdawg Tourist

    Jul 9, 2002

    My Trip Report

    I never thought I’d be taking the time to write out a trip report, but since I’ve gotten so much helpful info from this board I thought I’d share the highlights and my recommendations from our 9/9 - 9/12 trip.

    POSITIVES: Monte Carlo, PF Changs (Aladdin), Kahunaville (TI), Monte Carlo, Aladdin breakfast/lunch buffet, Brewpub (Monte Carlo), Bellagio fountains (always spectacular), and the Monte Carlo.

    NEGATIVES: Garduno's (Palms), Fashion Outlet Mall (Primm)

    Flight left Seattle at 7:30am - early, but we wanted to maximize our time in Vegas. We’ve used LVL in the past to get from the airport to our hotel and enjoyed the limo ride for $4.25 pp, but this time were told that no limos are used for shuttle service anymore. We should have taken a cab, but were already at the counter so we purchased tickets for the shuttle bus and reluctantly boarded. The reason I prefer a cab or limo to the busses was confirmed for me. We sat there for aprox. 25 minutes waiting for the thing to fill up, then had to stop at three other hotels before getting to ours. For the same price, a cab is the better option.

    Arrived at the Monte Carlo and checked in. Didn’t expect the room to be ready that early and it wasn’t. When I booked online I called to request a mini-frig for the room and asked about upgrading to a strip view room - was told it was $20 per night. At check in I offered to pay $10 per night for the same room and was given it. These rooms are on floors 23 and higher and look North over the pool area. The view was pretty nice - Bellagio (and some of the fountain show), Aladdin, Paris, Ballys, Flamingo, Venetian, TI, Rio, and Palms - worth the $10 for me.

    Checked our bags at the Bell Desk and changed into our suits at the pool restroom and hung out there until the room was ready.

    Dinner that night was at PF Chang’s at the Aladdin. It was great. Highly recommended! Try the orange peel chicken! Appetizer, two drinks, two entrees, and tip was $41 - pretty good deal for such good food.

    We enjoy the Monte Carlo for many reasons. It is a newer property so the rooms are nice and the casino is laid out nicely and is well ventilated. It is very reasonably priced ($49/night). The food court is good for quick and inexpensive meals. The brewpub and microbrews are great. It has a nice pool. The tram to Bellagio is very convenient for visiting there and walking to the other hotels we like to visit to the north. The hotel itself is within walking distance to the main hotels and tram to the south. Good blackjack conditions (for a strip property) - plenty of $5 tables, dealer stands on soft 17, late surrender, no continuous shufflers, blackjack pays 3:2 (don’t EVER play a 6:5 game!). The drink service was great and most of the dealers are friendly and have personality.

    Played a LOT of blackjack this trip. Mostly at the Monte Carlo, but also at the Palms and the Mirage. I have basic strategy down pat, but usually only play $5-10 per hand. Ended up down $100 overall, but with my wife being up $50 in her only short blackjack session and being up overall on the slots we broke dead even. When you add in all the free drinks and that I got comped 2 free dinner buffets at the MC on our last day, I’d say we did quite well.

    My wife took the shuttle from MGM to the Fashion Outlet Mall in Primm on day two. She felt overall there were no great bargains. She said it did not have outlet prices, more like a slight markdown of regularly priced items. She bought a few things but would not make the 1 1/2 hour roundtrip again.

    Dinner the second night was at Garduno’s in the Palms. It’s a mexican place. Food was ok, service was not. We ate in the bar, though, and service in the dining area might be better. The Palms is a nice place with a cool pool area. Seems to be the place where the younger, hip crowd hang out. Lots of eye candy strolling around! Similar to Hard Rock. Ten bucks cover to get up to the Ghost Bar and no sandals or shorts, so that ruled me out.

    Went to the Aladdin buffet for breakfast on day three. Excellent food. We were there during the change over to lunch so got to sample a little of the lunch buffet as well which was also good. Service was poor - don’t like having to ask for more coffee at a breakfast buffet. I would eat there again, though, because of the food.

    Dinner that night at Kahunaville in the TI. Sat down in the dining area because we were kind of in a hurry and the wait to get service in the bar area would have taken too long. Entertaining show put on by the DJ and bartenders upstairs - even one Elvis impersonation, the only Elvis we saw in Vegas. Both service and food were very good. Had a coupon for free round of drinks with dinner. Was very glad I didn’t pay full price of $7 for my mai tai which may or may not have had any actual rum in it. We will probably eat there again as well, but I’ll stick with beer.

    For an extra $25 we were able to keep our room until 6:00pm on our check out day. Since our flight home didn’t leave until almost 10:00 it was very nice to have. Felt like another FULL day of breakfast, pool, lunch, shopping (for wife), blackjack (for me), before we had to shower and check out. Thanks to my dealer, got comped for two to the dinner buffet even though I wasn’t playing the $25 per hand required to be rated. The food there was slightly above average and the service was good. Probably wouldn’t want to pay full price to eat there again, but this just sealed the deal for us that we loved the Monte Carlo and will definitely be staying there again. Prior we’ve stayed at Bally’s, Mandalay Bay, and Venetian. This was OVERALL our favorite place. MB was awesome, but the location, no food court, and mainly high-limit tables, were negatives. The Venetian was beautiful, but we felt the rooms were kind of wasted space. We rarely set foot down in the lower section of our “mini-suiteâ€and with the high table limits and poorer blackjack rules (dealer hits soft 17), I doubt we’ll be back. Of the four, Bally’s was by far the worse. The only thing it has going for it is the location.

    When we purchased our airfare from Seattle via National for $150pp RT, we also received two free RT coupons to use anytime before the middle of next Feb. So, we’re already planning our next trip and looking forward to it!
  2. DAS4413

    DAS4413 MIA

    Aug 29, 2002
    Just the thin walls at monte kept me from ever returning again.Plunbing noise every morning was awfull.Its like sleeping in a commune.
  3. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Feb 24, 2002
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I'm a light sleeper--every owl outside at home wakes me up--but did not notice the thin walls at Monte Carlo AT ALL, personally we had no problems....
  4. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

    Mar 9, 2002
    Aurora, CO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the trip report! :cool:
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