Montecristo Vegas Cigar Bar
Caesars Palace is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a bang. Shortly after announcing that the original Roman Tower would be renovated to become the Julius Tower they announced a new bar. Montecristo Cigar Bar opened earlier this year to many positive reviews. I couldn’t wait to check it out.
I’m not quite a traditionalist but it seems strange when themed hotels open businesses that don’t fit the theme. In recent years it seems as though everything that’s opened Caesars Palace hasn’t fit into the box of the original theme. Montecristo Cigar Bar is no different.
There are very different environments depending on where you sit at Montecristo. The bar has multiple rooms inside the 4,000 square foot space. Before looking at the different rooms, there’s one thing that stood out above and beyond. The highlight for most visitors will be the state of the art ventilation system that almost makes it almost feel as though there isn’t any smoke. This system is a must for a closed environment like Montecristo.
I experienced 3 of the 4 sections that make up Montecristo on my visit. The first stop was to the humidor to choose a cigar. Once the stogie was selected I moved in the library and lounge area and finally the bar. Although I walked by the courtyard room on the way to the lounge from the humidor, I didn’t notice the room. Upon further review the courtyard seems like a room to smoke with a larger group. This visit was with a single friend and the huge leather chairs in the lounge were perfect.
The lounge section of the Montecristo Cigar Bar feels almost like a library or a den in an east coast mansion. The wood paneling on the walls and ceiling add warmth to the space and give it a very homey feeling. This wasn’t the home I grew up in. The lounge was comfortable and luxurious high back leather chairs and couches are complemented with different tables for cigars, drinks and snacks. This felt more like a smoking room or den in a mansion. This luxe, yet relaxing seating environment worked perfectly with the giant TV wall, which offered a little light and interest to the space.
The giant screen occupies an entire wall and can split into nine screens for football games or any busy day and night of sports. Montecristo is destined to become home of cigar smoking football fans on the Vegas Strip. This will also be a great venue to watch the first weekend of games during the NCAA Basketball Tournament (you may know this better as March Madness).
After finishing drinks and about half of the cigar my friend and I went up to the bar. Half of my motivation was to use a USB outlet to charge my dying mobile phone. Unlike most cigar bars in Las Vegas, Montecristo has a handful of video poker machines. This is great for people who would like to smoke a cigar but not have their smoke offend other people sitting at the bar.
The bar at Montecristo is operated by Caesars Entertainment so drinks are complimentary when playing video poker. The games started at $1 per credit instead of the quarter you’ll find at most casino bars with video poker. The pay tables are the same bad Caesars Entertainment video poker pay tables you’ll find at most bars at their properties.
Despite the bad video poker pay tables, I had a great time sitting at the bar chatting with the bartenders, the manager and my friend. The fantastic staff made this my new favorite bar at Caesars Palace. The Maker’s Mark on the rocks was 1.5 ounces poured from the bottle. Had I known the ice was as large as you see in the photo above, I would have only asked for one rock. Casino bar ice is typically small and 4 normal casino sized rocks does a nice job cooling whiskey, bourbon or scotch without watering it down too much.
The experience at the Montecristo Cigar Bar was the exact opposite of the awful service, torn up chairs, horrible complimentary drink policy and vile swill served at the Caesars Palace sports book bar. As it was explained by the bartender, in order to receive my first complimentary drink I had to play 6 hands of video poker at the maximum bet ($1.25 per hand, $7.50 coin-in for quarters). After that the machine would show her a green light when I was allowed another drink.
I didn’t stay for another drink. The Dewar’s was either not Dewar’s or the gun she used was filthy. The bartender at Montecristo would later say she probably served selected the wrong spirit. Either way the drink was awful and I left after drinking a bottle of water and don’t see a return visit in my future. Montecristo did not have similar gameplay rules for complimentary beverages.
The 400 square foot humidor is adjacent to the main bar at Montecristo. This is one of the largest humidors in Las Vegas. The humidor is probably the largest I’ve been inside and can store up to 1,000 cigars in a climate controlled environment. There’s a dedicated person to help guide you to a cigar of your liking.
I only smoke cigars once or twice a year and don’t consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to choosing the best fit for my tastes. I requested something affordable and mild. Unfortunately, I probably chose the kind of cigar that I asked for. The $18 cigar was so mild that I forgot about it shortly after finishing the smoke. My takeaway is that my sense of taste is strong. I didn’t notice much flavor in the very mild cigar. Lesson learned.
The biggest feature of Montecristo for this occasional smoker was the ventilation system I mentioned earlier. If you don’t smoke often the smell of a cigar will often linger on clothes and hair. There were about 10 people smoking inside Montecristo and I didn’t notice the lingering scent of cigars after leaving. In fact, my clothes didn’t smell like smoke at all the next day. This is a really great feature that you don’t have at all cigar bars in Las Vegas. Notably, the Davidoff Cigar Bar at Fashion Show Mall has similarly great ventilation.
Caesars Palace Las Vegas has constantly evolved over the past 50 years. A lot of bars and restaurant concepts come and go with few staying for a long time. I’m not sure what the expected lifespan is of a cigar bar in Las Vegas. Montecristo should be at Caesars Palace for the long term if great service, comfortable environment and excellent bartenders mean anything. Montecristo becomes one of the best casino bars in Las Vegas for video poker players who are also cigar smokers.