The Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino has, arguably, been the most underachieving property in Las Vegas. The hotel has a near-perfect location in the middle of The Strip, a superb theater space and one of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite Vegas sports books and poker rooms. And yet the hotel has never generated much of a buzz or loyal following. Somehow the property falls into that lost space between being too expensive to be considered for budget accommodations and too bland to be considered luxurious.
The Hotel32 could change that . . sort of . . . maybe.
The Hotel32 is the Monte Carlo’s new boutique sub-property located, logically enough, on the resort’s 32nd floor. The idea for the Hotel32 was literally born from fire. In January of 2008 flames gutted the top of the Monte Carlo forcing the resort’s owners to consider how they wanted to rebuild. They decided then to develop the Hotel32 concept.
Being the technophiles we are, here’s what first caught our attention about the Hotel32: their virtual concierge!
Every Hotel32 guest is provided with a red, branded Apple iPod touch to use during their stay. From their iPod touch guests can access a website that puts all the hotel’s service at their fingertips—order show tickets, a spa treatment or room service, make dinner reservations or request room cleaning. Guests can also fill out a personal profile. Tell your iPod touch what sort of pillows you prefer (there are 12 (!) types to choose from) and what you’d like in your hotel minibar and the hotel staff will make it so.
(One note here: Virtually every press report identifies the Hotel32′s virtual concierge as a software application. It is not. It is a website that looks like it is an application. The advantage of this is that Hotel32 guests can use their own iPhone or iPod touch to access the virtual concierge without having to download an extra program).
Hotel32 offers more for tech lovers beyond the virtual concierge too. Most rooms come with an iPod dock, a Nintendo Wii video game system, a Blu-ray player and an HDTV set (some as large as 65 inches!). The higher-end rooms have TVs in the bathroom and a cool centralized controller that can adjust everything from the temperature to the lights to the television(s) to the drapes.
But the Hotel32 isn’t all gadgetry. The goal of the hotel is “to make everyone feel rich and famous.” To that end, the hotel picks their guests up at the airport in a limo and personally escorts them to their room. (There’s no standing in line at a Hotel32′s check-in desk; there is no Hotel32 check-in desk). Guests also have exclusive access to the Lounge32 and complimentary 24-hour butler privileges.
The room rate for the Hotel32′s cheapest accommodations, a 400 sq. foot studio, start at $250. For almost half that you could stay in quarters at the Bellagio that are nicer and over 100 sq. feet larger (though that wouldn’t come with the limo pickup, the butler service or the feeling of exclusivity that Hotel32 offers).
A one-bedroom, bi-level, 1,200 sq. foot suite at the Hotel32 will set you back at least $600. For around the same price you can get a slightly more posh one-bedroom, bi-level suite at The SKYLOFTS at the MGM Grand that’s 200 sq. feet larger and also comes with the limo airport pickup, the 24-hour butler service, the Blu-ray player and has the advantage of being at a property with one of the best swimming pools in Vegas.
So that leaves the virtual concierge as the most compelling reason to stay at the Hotel32. For those who live on their iPhones that’s probably reason enough. For the rest of you, the Hotel32 makes for a cool, but not superlative, Vegas boutique hotel option.
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