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By E.C. Gladstone

Bad news has a way of traveling faster than good. When the Monte Carlo suffered an accidental fire back in January, both travelers and locals heard the Strip resort had to close down for repairs. But the closing only lasted a few weeks, and to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of its demise had been greatly exaggerated.

Today, the AAA Four Diamond casino resort is open for business, and in many ways, better than ever. I know, because I just enjoyed a two-night stay there myself. In the spirit of the European resort it’s named after, Monte Carlo is unpretentiously elegant at every turn, while still a bit more manageable than the fanciest Strip resorts.

My room had clean, classic design, with attention to the details that really mattered, like a pillow-top mattress, soft sheets, a rainfall showerhead and bath amenities including mimosa and vine flower lotion and sweet pea massage bar soap.

MontecarlocasinoOff the full-spectrum well-designed casino floor is the showroom of legendary Las Vegas magician Lance Burton, whose family-friendly show includes illusions from sleight of hand to levitation, with a bit of drama and lot of humor. A different kind of fun can be found at Diablo’s Cantina, with dancing on the rooftop deck, drinking (creative cocktails and a huge tequila selection), and dining (try the carnitas tacos).

But the Monte Carlo experience would be incomplete without a visit to the intimate dining room of Andre’s (AAA four diamond), where I had an exquisite gourmet meal including a perfect Dover Sole sautéed Veronique, excellent wine pairings, and an unforgettable dessert soufflé. Afterward, my date and I enjoyed Andre’s cozy cigar and cognac bar.

Centrally located on the Strip between Tropicana Avenue and Flamingo Road, the property — which will be excellently positioned come 2009 when the massive City Center project opens just next door — also offers all the expected resort amenities: a fun pool area, wedding chapel, spa, gym, salon and access to the Shadow Creek golf club. And the hip Brand Steakhouse, which just opened, is sure to draw a sexy Sin City crowd.

Insider tip: For all your travel and convenience needs, there’s a 24-hour CVS/Pharmacy just adjacent to the Monte Carlo on the Strip.

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E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and continues to
interview many top Strip entertainers and behind-the-scenes players for
VEGAS Magazine. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely

Tagged: Las Vegas

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