Beautiful Marco Island, the largest of the 10,000 islands near Fort Myers, offers several different lodging options. There are two popular chain hotels – a Marriott and a Hilton, along with numerous independent condominium complexes. However, on our recent spring break family vacation, we chose to stay at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts. The Marco Beach Ocean Resort offers all-suite accommodations with oceanfront access, and some of the best service in Florida.
Due to a flight delay into Fort Myers (about an hour away from Marco Island), we arrived at the resort well after midnight. Despite the late arrival, a friendly valet greeted us and helped us with our luggage and parked our car (valet is the only parking option available). Our room had received turndown service, and the sofa bed in the living room was already set up for the kids.
The rooms at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort are suites – ours had a king-bed room, a living room with pull-out sofa, and a small kitchen with fridge, range, microwave, and oven. Having two rooms is great for families, but the suites are pretty small with very limited drawer space. We had to leave our suitcases opened on the floor, making the room even smaller. The bathroom had a bathtub and shower, but only one sink – making our morning routine a little difficult with four people. But it was nice to have a separate room for the kids. We chose a basic garden-view room, and were pleasantly surprised to find that our room had a nice, lush, private patio area. Rooms on the higher floors have balconies rather than patios.
Marco Beach Ocean Resort is located on the beach side of the street, but it’s a small walk down a boardwalk to access the beach. Beach attendants are available to set you up with chairs, umbrellas, and towels. We spent most of our days on the beach and loved it. There’s also an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center at the hotel. At 3pm each day, servers descend on the beach with cups full of complimentary smoothies – a nice little treat after a long day in the sun.
The real draw to this hotel is the unparalleled service, from the cleaning staff to the front desk clerks. Every single person we came in contact with was incredibly helpful and friendly. Absolutely no need went unmet, and the service really made our experience.
The hotel offers several restaurant options, but seems to have just one kitchen. You can dine and drink at the Beachfront restaurant, the Poolside Bar, the Terrace restaurant, through in-room dining, or at the premium Sale e Pepe restaurant. We ate lunch on the beach almost every day, and enjoyed everything that we ate. Unfortunately, Sale de Pepe isn’t kid-friendly, so we weren’t able to eat there, but did enjoy dining at the Terrace Restaurant.
We didn’t know what to expect when we booked the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, but we were pleasantly surprised and plan to return.
Article and photos by Jodi Grundig of Family Travel Magazine.