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“Bland” is a dirty word in Las Vegas. And its one that was often lobbed at the Monte Carlo hotel, the name of this property before it was given a $550 million makeover and reemerged as Park MGM. Was that massive outlay worth it? Well, the hotel now fits in far better with its surroundings, which include The Park outdoor entertainment space and T-Mobile Arena. And the guest lobby is more contemporary, having added an enormous sculpture of tree roots emerging from the center of the ceiling; that art work, along with fresh flowers and lots of bright, natural light,  brings the  park indoors. The guest experience is also more high tech. Gone is the standard walk up registration, replaced with kiosks with touchscreen tablets so you can check in with minimal human interaction if you so choose.

Going all in on the park theme, the newly renovated rooms are named after birds: Skylark, Nightingale and Nighthawk—and are done in either rich red or warm green tones. Walls are adorned with lovely little details such as smaller pieces of framed art, photos and knickknacks rather than the standard giant frame-hotel art that you’ll usually find over the bed. It’s meant to evoke city apartment living, and you wouldn’t be faulted for feeling like you’re staying at an AirBNB rather than a giant mega resort, even in the standard 400-square-foot rooms.

The recent changes also brought in more cosmopolitan choices for on-site eateries. Already open is pretty breakfast-and-lunch spot Primrose, as well as Chicago favorite Bavette’s Steakhouse. Perhaps most intriguingly, Las Vegas finally gets its own Eataly on the Strip side of the property; 2019 brings in Los Angeles wunderkind Roy Choi. The final piece of the puzzle is the  boutique, hotel-in-a-hotel addition, NoMad, which will sit in the top floors of the towers, set to open at the end of 2019.