Marco Beach Ocean Resort
Luxury for less is always best!
Hotel Personality: Cautiously Lavish
The experience really starts when you drive over the bridge onto Marco Island. The first thing that I thought of when I arrived at the hotel was just a haven for relaxation. This is in part due to the island itself being extremely low-key and unpretentious.
Walking into the room, I felt like I had just won the lottery. To say that the room was huge would be an understatement. Aside from the size, the best part about this room was that there was a small kitchen (complete with cooking utensils)! This is perfect if you want to run to the grocery store (very short distance from the hotel) and pick up some wine and food to throw your own sunset "wine-down." The room itself has a separate bathroom, living room and bedroom. The bedroom felt a bit small, but that was probably just because the humongous king-sized bed took up a good portion of the room, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The bathroom, on the other hand, was large but almost too “homely.” The bathroom just lacked the panache that you would find in an upscale hotel.
I ordered twice from the hotel’s featured restaurant Sale e Pepe, and both breakfast and dinner were pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I had breakfast out on the balcony of my room (check out the pictures). Again, I stress that the kitchen might come in handy if you don’t see anything on the menu that tickles your fancy but still want that in-room dining experience.
Stay away! The Spa facilities and service at this hotel are absolutely terrible. Those of you who have visited the Spa at other hotels and resorts would notice immediately that there was several things not right about this "Spa." My negative opinion formed quickly when I got down to the "Spa" floor, which also happened to house a conference room (kind of puts a damper on a relaxing environment). I had to use a house phone to dial the front desk to get someone down to the Spa to let me in. The next faux pas came when I was waiting in the "relaxation area" for my treatment, and saw the therapist cleaning the room I was to be in. This cleaning involved simply moving one of the massage tables out of one room and into another. Lastly, there were over-the-top fake candles and flower petals in the treatment room. I thought the entire experience was a joke. I wasn't able to enjoy my treatment at all because I was busy preparing myself for someone to jump out with video cameras and tell me I got "Punk’d."
For the great beach location and size of the room, the Marco Ocean Beach Resort is a steal. This hotel is perfect for the stylishly frugal and the cautiously lavish. I just wouldn’t visit the spa. If you choose to visit this hotel, call in advance (as soon as you make the reservation) and request a room on the highest floor. This will ensure that you have a great view of the gulf.
-Know Before You Go-
The closest major airport is an hour away, so prepare to drive
Marco Island is kind of sleepy; go to relax not to party (you won’t find one here)
You’ll find great shopping in Naples, FL about 30 minutes from the hotel
Wi-fi is complementary
Overnight valet parking will set you back $18 per night