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When you spend 23 days at a resort, you get to know the place pretty well. The hidden local places to eat, the shortcuts and backroads, and nearly every hotel staff member welcomes you by name and remembers your favorite things. You build relationships and explore places the average one-week tourist doesn’t typically experience. Let’s just say I’m basically a Marco Island expert now.

As many of you know, I recently spent my short residency in Marco Island running back-to-back incentive programs. Admittedly upon being asked if I wanted to go to Marco Island for this length of time, I had to Google it. Being a California girl and not familiar with the East Coast, I didn’t know where Marco Island was! I saw pictures of white sand beaches and stone crab claws and agreed to do the programs right away.

Upon further investigation, I started to get nervous. What do you mean the Marco Island Marriott is under major renovation? And there’s only one “health food” store on the island? Where do people go out at night? And where are the workout studios? I only see one yoga studio and wont personally have a rental car!

Well thank you Marco Island for proving my concerns to be ridiculous. Yes, it is under renovation but you would barely even notice. Yes, there is only one “health food” store on the island but all of the grocery stores have plenty of great options too. Yes, there’s basically no nightlife but you’re so wiped out from being in the sun all day who even cares. And yes, there are little to no workout studios but Marco Island Marriott offers classes and the beach is your gym anyways!

I can wholeheartedly say I enjoyed my time at the Marco Island Marriott. Sure 23 days might have been a bit of a long time (anyone would miss their friends and sleeping in their own bed), but it truly is a special place. From the staff (who honestly completely made the trip for me) to my 3 mile daily beach walks to the amazing seafood, I look back fondly at my time here.

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

The Resort

This 664-room hotel is not small by any means, but also is spaced out well enough so it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly crowded. The Balinese inspired design creates a tropical vibe that closely resembles many Hawaiian hotels I have visited. Located right on the beach, there are also two pools so water rats will never get bored. The Marriott is very family friendly so bring the whole fam! Once the new tower opens, that tower will be adults only for those looking to take a break from the kiddos.

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

The Room

I had one of the renovated rooms and it was quite comfortable. There was plenty of space (and trust me I brought a lot) and the light colors were inviting. I loved the balcony and spent many hours out there sipping my morning tea, catching some rays, and watching the sunset at night.

My favorite aspects of the room were the good-sized refrigerator, lots of bathroom counter space, built-in features in the closet, and the huge shower.

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Activities

Marco Island Marriott is fit for both the active and relaxation seeking vacationer. Enjoy a variety of daily activities or curl up on a lounge chair with a good book… whatever you fancy!

Get active on the beach with the free use of volleyballs the Marriott provides. Tired of being on the hot sand all day? Grab a kayak or rent a jet-ski and head into the water for some Gulf Coast fun. Or you can head to one of the 2 private 18-hole golf courses located nearby. The world is your oyster.

For the fitness fanatic, try one of the many fitness classes on-site ranging from beach yoga to cycling to Pilates to resistance band training. What’s unique about these fitness classes are that some are taught by a live instructor and some are taught via video in a room. I tried both kinds and ended up being alone in one of my video classes which was nice! 2 fitness classes are included in the resort fee per room per day, if you opt out of the resort fee they are around $20 each I believe. There’s also a normal gym for hotel guests as well as a gym located inside the spa which you can use if getting a treatment or attending a fitness class. I liked the normal hotel gym better because it had windows.

If you’re looking to unplug and relax, spend your time at the spa. It has its own pool and whirlpools so you can get away from the riff-raff and hang out somewhere more serene. Indulge in a spa treatment or hide away in the hydrotherapy baths and saunas.

Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Food & Beverage

If you’re looking for casual Italian fare, 400 Pazzi’s is your place. I absolutely loved their Farro & Arugula Salad, but any of their pizzas looked delicious as well.

Sushi lovers rejoice because there is an incredible sushi spot right inside the hotel. Although Korals may be in the lobby bar, don’t let that steer you away. I highly recommend the Marco Roll and the Sunset Roll.

Last but certainly not least, Quinn’s On The Beach offers beachfront dining with a family friendly feel. Don’t miss the Marco Island Salad, Quinoa & Black Bean Burger, or Smoked Brisket Tacos.

Other restaurants on property I did not dine at are Maia (breakfast buffet & themed dinner buffets on the weekends) and Ario (more upscale, globally inspired dining). There’s also a coffee shop with food to-go (the hummus wrap looked great) and a frozen yogurt shop (minimal vegan options).

Marco Island Marriott Resort

Likes:

  • Location right on the beach was ideal and only a couple miles away from the Esplanade and other restaurants.
  • All the staff members! Some have been here for over 20 years so you know they love their jobs. (Huge shoutout to my lovely banquets staff and concierge!)
  • Food at meetings & events – the food was top notch plus they were incredible with dietary restrictions and exceedingly accommodated all of our guests.
  • Not hard to get beach chairs – don’t need to wake up early just to secure them (different story for the pool though).
  • Resort fee includes two fitness classes per day, even beach yoga!
  • You can do your own laundry, so pack some quarters and detergent. Definitely beats hefty hotel laundry prices.

Dislikes:

  • Wifi was not the greatest… at all.
  • Construction for the expansion/transition to a JW Marriott. It wasn’t too noisy when I was there, but it could get worse.
  • The in-room coffee… I can’t. Worst in-room coffee I’ve ever had.
  • Inconsistency in room cleaning times big time… One day it would be 9am and the next it would be 6pm then the next noon.
  • Although it was expected, there are not many cheap dining options nearby. My advice is to head to the grocery store and stock up.

Check out my blog post on my 10 Favorite Things About Marco Island!

Safe travels y’all!

Best,

Chelsea Rose Martin