Room Reaction: Compared to our room at the Hermitage, the Exclusive Seaview room at the Monte Carlo Bay resort was much more spacious, with a modern style (we even liked the orange color scheme) and featured a balcony overlooking the resort's pool, the neighboring Salle des Etoiles and of course, the gorgey Mediterranean Ocean.
Amenity Madness: Our room had a rubber seahorse in the deep soaking tub, Cinq Mondes toiletries, hot tea and coffee maker, pricey minibar offerings, slippers, a giant flat-screen TV and of course, the plug panel. The bed linens were soft but not as plush as we'd like.
Internet Connect: The biggest letdown of the hotel was its internet offerings. We paid 10 Euros for one hour because we couldn't stomach the 24-hour rate of 20 Euros. The business center had an even crazier pay-for internet plan.
Public Spaces: The hotel has four restaurants on site, as well as its own small casino. It's also got three nightclubs adjacent including the popular Jimmy Z's. There's not much of a lobby scene as most people tend to relax at one of the restaurants overlooking the pool or water. And clearly, the place to be here is the pool, which we will tell you about tomorrow.
Hotel Spa: The hotel features a Cinq Mondes spa which offers pretty standard treatments at resorty prices. There's also a salon and gift shop with cute but expensive swimwear and something called Smet.
Location, Location, Location: The hotel's location is great because it's right next to the water. But it's also a bummer anytime you want to head into "town." The Monte Carlo's city shuttle system stops out front of the hotel and buses do arrive and depart frequently, but still, you have to wait for a shuttle bus each time and you have to pay. (We recommend buying a multi-ticket pass as soon as you get there.) The hotel has its own shuttle system but that seemed to run far less frequently. Of course, you can always walk to wherever you need to go as really, Monte Carlo is not that big at all.
Bottom Line: The Exclusive Seaview rooms start at around 500 Euros a night but we paid 319 Euros instead after booking through the Kiwi Collection. The room included a tasty breakfast each morning in the Blue Bay restaurant, as well as 50 percent off golf and tennis fees but also a 50 Euro credit to use towards the final bill. Considering that nearly everything costs a hefty extra fee at the hotel, the 50 Euros was a nice gesture but didn't really help out with the bill.
If you're looking for pooltime and modern rooms, the Monte Carlo is the place to be. Plus, the views are truly incredible. Just be prepared for all those resorty "extras."
Stay tuned tomorrow when we splash around the hotel's awesome pool area.