Pillow Talk: MontBleu Casino and Resort
A year and a half had passed since the former Cesar’s Palace was taken over by the new ownership. The new owners promised to transpose this resort into an affordable chic lodging option at the end of the row of budget to high-end hotels and resorts lining South Lake Tahoe Boulevard before the highway turns the corner to head to the north shore of the lake.
Our excitement immediately began to diminish as our expectations dwindled. Had anyone put any love and care into this 440 room resort? It looked more rundown and ignored than when it did a year before.
It was basically Cesar’s Palace with a new name.
The renovations that were supposedly underway hadn’t taken place more than a year after our initial visit to the resort. The carpets were badly in need of replacing in the hallways and in the rooms. The walls needed a fresh touch up of re-gluing the corners of the wall paper and paint.
The small casino downstairs hadn’t changed. There weren’t very many new machines. A new ventilation system to suck out the cigarette smoke hadn’t made it to this casino.
The room was nothing to write home about. The main attraction in the standard size room was the view of the Sierra Mountains. Perhaps the hoteliers were hoping that would distract guests from looking around and seeing the view within wasn’t as attractive. The room hadn’t received a facelift in more than 20 years. The walls were speckled with stains. The furniture was terribly outdated with an old TV enclosed in an entertainment center with drawers and the safe. There was no wet bar or refrigerator.
The carpet in the room was alright. It wasn’t too worn, but it was on its way as it buckled with lumps in the center of the room. It was clear there was traffic in this room.
The two queen beds were comfortable, a bit soft for our liking, but not too soft.
There were plenty of outlets to plug in and recharge gadgets as well as a desk with two chairs to work or plan out the day’s events.
The walls were thin, pipes and neighbors could easily be heard during the night.
The bathroom is a decent size with an all in one Jacuzzi shower and tub that worked, but it was old; the tile was aged, but still was holding up well. It definitely didn’t inspire relaxing and taking time enjoying the in room spa.
The toilet was separate from the bath and sink area and a mirrored closet ran along the wall across from the toilet and double sink. The towels were average, not too large and not too rough, and plentiful as well as the wash clothes.
The toilet was a low-flow, so it took some time to get used to how slowly it flushed.
The products, Baronessa Cali www.calicosmetics.com were decent and came with the usual conditioner, lotion, shampoo, and hand soap, but went a bit further offering facial soap and a bar of scrub soap for bathing. The lotion was thick and actually protected my skin from the elements. Unfortunately, for a girl with long locks (Heather), the small bottles of conditioner and shampoo weren’t enough.
Internet costs $11.99 a day in addition to the room rate. The TV’s haven’t been updated. Got a drippy nose? Play a game of where the tissue is in the room. Hint: it’s hidden in the closet in the bathroom on the shelf on the right hand side. The room was absent of a refrigerator or bar.
The MontBleu is the last resort on South Lake Tahoe Boulevard on the Nevada side before heading to North Lake Tahoe. It provides easy access to Heavenly Ski Resort, the Edgewood Tahoe Lodge and Golf Course.
Entertainment & Nightlife
Other night life options are available close by.
The resort boasts of five restaurants (Café del Soul, MontBleu Café, The Zone, the buffet, and the 4 Diamond steak house Ciera) offering a casual to some of the best dining Tahoe has to offer.
Across the street and through Horizons Casino Resort and the woods is Edgewood Lodge that offers another delectable fine dining choice. A bit further down South Lake Tahoe Boulevard Harrah’s (the steakhouse on the top of Harrah’s is a popular sunset happy hour and romantic dining experience overlooking Lake Tahoe) and Harvey’s also offer casual to fine dining options.
It’s small and alright for a quick game before heading up to the room or out for the night. The casino floor doesn’t inspire the type of excitement expected from the hype.
Gag me with a spoon. The resort’s boutiques are stocked with the cheesiest outfits worse than Atlantic City. For an upscale destination, even at a mid-range casino and resort you think there were be a fashionista on board who would have some taste that didn’t come out of a thrift store or the red light district. The clothes on display are simply not what to wear. It’s a miracle any of the merchandise hasn’t gathered cobwebs and dust. Who buys this stuff?
The spa and salon are nice and comfortable, slightly above average in atmosphere and average services prices expected for spa and salon treatments.
Seriously, Mont Bleu needs “Hotels Impossible” or someone to come in and make this resort what it can be.
RATING: 2 = orange
(0 can’t sleep – 5 it was a dream)
CHECK OUT: $$ = $100 – $175
(lowest price for a single night in a standard room during high-season)
TYPE OF LODGING: Budget to mid-range casino and resort.
SWEET DREAMS: The unobstructed view of the Sierra Mountain’s.
WORTH THE SLEEP?: Had a good time, but I’ve slept better = zz
VIBE: White trash with entertainment options on the “D-List”.
SCENE: Don’t bother dressing up. You don’t want to attract the thugs circling the casino floor.
LOCATION: At the end of the strip of resorts on South Lake Tahoe Boulevard heading towards North Lake Tahoe. Close to Heavenly Ski Resort, across the street from the Edgewood Tahoe Lodge and Golf Course, and in walking distance to Harvey’s and Harrah’s casinos and dining and entertainment and shopping center.
ROOM: Unobstructed views of the Sierra Mountains.
BATHROOM: Spacious, but needs to be updated.
AMENITIES: The indoor pool allows for year-round swimming, two night clubs and a bar, five restaurants offering a variety of dining options and price points, but the only exciting food experience is Ciera Steak and Chophouse.
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