Monte Carlo or NY NY – Huge Changes

Monte Carlo or NY NY in Las Vegas (comparisons). Huge changes are taking place in the South Strip area between Monte Carlo and New York New York, to the point that their location will probably be the new ‘must-visit’ place on the Vegas Strip, at least for a while. If you plan to stay at Monte Carlo, you may need to know that in scroll down this page because you may have to consider a few potential issues before booking.

New Park New Theater New Arena on the Vegas Strip

The last year or so has seen the opening of the brand new ‘Park District’ roughly between New York New York and Monte Carlo; it’s a ‘real park’ (with beautiful natural trees, long modern waterfalls, cooling areas, host dining, entertainment and much more), an outdoor promenade connecting Monte Carlo and New York New York; it boasts modern, huge shade structures which are not only a visual feast but also an effective cooling area, allegedly cooling the temperature by 10 degrees!   The outdoor promenade is also serving as a pathway to the new 20,000-seat arena.  The current 5,000-seat theater located at the Monte Carlo hotel-casino is getting a $100 million dollars revamp, schedule to be completed by late 2016.  Monte Carlo itself will change its name, allegedly, to reflect this area’s transformation.  I absolutely loved the sitting area shaded by the beautiful trees and adjacent to the long waterfalls.  It created a truly resting area, both physically and psychologically; I loved sitting area, it refreshed me physically and in every other way.  All of this is undoubtedly rejuvenating the South Strip area and may make it the focus of the Strip, next to the the Linq area; but in 2020 there may well be another huge surprise, rumored to be called Paradise Park.  Yet, these new Strip attractions are different so they will attract different clientele, and the world will keep coming to Vegas for different reasons… 🙂

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As per which of these 2 Vegas resorts you should choose (NYNY or Monte Carlo), it depends on what you value most; we make some practical comparisons below which will hopefully help you make the best choice for you:

Rooms – Monte Carlo or NY NY?

The rooms at NY NY are of many shapes and sizes, depending on which ‘tower’ you’re in; read the size details of the room you are considering on their own website because… Some of those rooms are very small!  However, we have stayed at some huge rooms as well, mostly corner rooms, for truly affordable prices; all in all, NYNY has good affordable rooms which come in great variety.  Monte Carlo has average standard rooms (they used to be quite barren and badly kept, but they were remodeled somewhat lately) with relatively small windows.  Neither resort’s standard rooms have ceiling to floor windows nor really large windows, unless you are in a corner room.  If you plan to stay at Monte Carlo: you may need to know that this resort is undergoing major changes; it’ll be split into two new resorts (NoMad Vegas and MGM Park), a complete transformation expected to be completed by the end of 2018 – we’ll talk about this in the coming months but for now, you may need to bear in mind that any resort under such major transformation may affect room availability, potential noises and even the availability of facilities.  This may not be the case with Monte Carlo, but we would recommend you phone the resort before booking to ask if there may be changes which may affect your stay during your specific dates.

Amenities – Pools (Monte Carlo or NY NY?)

Note: the pool areas at Monte Carlo are being remodeled; they are actually under complete construction; so, if this matters to you, before you book you should phone and inquire exactly when the pools are going to be opened again and when the construction is schedule to end.  Check our ‘Real Vegas Videos‘ page for a view of the construction!

  They both have small pool areas but Monte Carlo’s (when it was open) had more variety, with a small and crowded wave pool and a volley-ball section (the latter 2 sections are open during high season, not in winter); Monte Carlo’s pool area was also incredibly noisy with loud music: not a place to relax.  Relaxing is not something that comes to mind with many pools areas in Vegas during high season, but in this case neither resorts have a ‘tropical, green, relaxing-looking’ pool area, the one at NY NY has no greenery and it feels like completely surrounded by cement (bluntly put) following the urban theme.

Amenities – Monte Carlo or NY NY?

Both very similar in size and equipment; both decent with enough cardio and weight equipment of good enough quality, though the rooms are not the most exciting.   Both close at 8pm (double check this with them directly because they can change hours overnight), which is actually relatively generous for a Strip resort.  Aria’s stunning fitness center closes at 10pm (!) and MGM Grand has a 24-hour cardio room (fabulous!), but generally speaking fitness facilities with the MGM group close at 8pm, whilst with Caesars Entertainment Group (in Vegas) they close at 7pm or even 6pm, which is ridiculous; Tropicana’s also closes at 7 pm (ridiculous, regardless of what the obvious reason is, namely forcing us to stay longer in the casinos).

Food and Restaurants (Monte Carlo or NY NY?)

They both have food courts though not necessarily ‘affordable’ (maybe Monte Carlo is slightly better in this regard; we found pizza to be very expensive at NY NY, though good); if you eat a lot going to a buffet may be a cheaper option (depending on which buffet). Of the two, only Monte Carlo has a buffet, which is average; however, you can either easily walk to the MGM Grand buffet (which has improved in the last few months) from NY NY or – if you stay at Monte Carlo, take the tram to the Aria buffet or even the Bellagio buffet, both very good.  Both resorts have high-end restaurants, but Monte Carlo has – perhaps – even better ones (and very expensive!).  You can take a look at our brief best gourmet restaurants in Vegas list.

Monte Carlo or NY NY: Location

Both in a good location, though slightly different: NYNY faces MGM Grand, which is a great resort with great events and a very popular night club (Hakkasan), as well as one of the top buffets in Vegas (improved from the past).  If you plan to be where Bellagio, Caesars and even, further up, Mirage and Venetian are, Monte Carlo is slightly better in that you can use the tram which leaves from behind the resort and go to Bellagio; from Bellagio you can explore mid Strip or walk to Mirage/Venetian (stay on the left side as you walk Northbound from Caesars, since the walkways on the right are ridiculously narrow and you’ll end up walking through many casinos out of desperation).  But there’s more: 

Casino and Atmosphere (Monte Carlo or NY NY?)

Both mediocre and relatively small casinos; NY NY can be very noisy at times (but not always), possibly trying to emulate some busy, loud streets of New York.  What we particularly like about Monte Carlo in particular, however, is that I can easily be on the Strip if I want to because the casino area you have to walk through is not huge and the layout is not maze-like.  Again, MGM Grand is across the street from NY NY and its large casino has now improved greatly; it’s also next to the cheerful and huge Excalibur casino (I often win there, and always have great fun playing there, so it’s one of my favorites, especially since they improved their gambling rewards). Monte Carlo is next to the Aria casino (I never win there so I can’t say I like it even if it’s large and modern), but if you are a penny slot casino-lover and plan to walk to the best casinos in Vegas, your choices may be more limited.  However, with the new transformations at play, there will be changes and we will post them on this site as they take place; we may even post them on our Vegas Videos page.