This past January, when I was researching hotels in the Fort Myers area for our spring break family vacation, I came upon the Marco Beach Ocean Resort. It had fabulous reviews on TripAdvisor, but I couldn’t find any information about how kid-friendly it is. I sent a quick inquiry to the hotel and was assured that plenty of families stayed there, so we decided to book our spring break there.
We had primarily planned to visit the beach – located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, so I wasn’t as concerned with kids’ clubs as I was with the general atmosphere of the hotel. We loved our stay at the resort, and would definitely recommend it for any family that wants to visit Marco Island.
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Review of the Marco Beach Ocean Resort
Marco Beach Ocean Resort is an all-suite hotel located right on the main road (S. Collier Blvd) on Marco Island. If you aren’t familiar with Marco Island, it’s an island (accessible via a bridge) located on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s about an hour south of the Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.
The hotel only offers valet parking, which is sort of a mixed blessing. While it’s nice to have valet parking, it’s kind of a pain to get your car from valet every time you want to run out to get some Starbucks or ice cream. We ended up only getting our car once per day, and ate all of our lunches right on the beach. Make sure you bring along plenty of small bills for tips if you plan to take your car out frequently.
Service at the hotel is amazing – definitely on par with high-end hotel chains like the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton. This isn’t surprising considering the resort is AAA four diamond resort). Even after our midnight arrival (thanks to a very delayed flight), we were greeted with a smile by both the hotel valet (who also helped us bring our luggage up to our suite) and the front desk clerk. The friendly staff definitely added to our stay.
The sofa bed in our room was already set up too – so we could just get the kids in their pajamas and go right to bed. Over the course of our stay, everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful – from the valets to the concierge. The valets always offered directions and restaurant reservations each time we took the car out.
The Rooms at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort
The Marco Beach Ocean Resort offers all suites – all of which feature a pull out couch for kids and a full kitchen (one and two bedroom suites are offered). There were two televisions in our suite – one in the living room and one in the bedroom. This was especially important as we were there during the Boston Marathon bombings and while we wanted to catch up on the news, we didn’t want our kids to watch.
It was also great to have two rooms since the kids go to bed earlier than us, but the suite was very small (especially with the couch pulled out). The only drawers to put clothes was a small lingerie dresser in the closet. We had to keep the two suitcases fully packed and stored on the coffee table in the living room.
It was still worth having the suite, and I’d stay there again, but I wish there were just a bit more space to put things and to move around. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen in case you’d like to prepare meals in your room. The grocery store was a short drive away, so it’s definitely worth doing some shopping so you can save money. Free WiFi is offered.
We had a garden-view room and were pleasantly-surprised with the little private patio area that we had. Higher-level rooms have a small balcony and we saw lots of people enjoying their breakfast and coffee on them. It was a nice, relaxing spot for our family.
Room amenities include hair dryers, iPod docks, turndown service, morning newspaper, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities. There are several different room types available, including the one-bedroom we had, a two-bedroom suite, and accessible and hearing accessible suites.
Amenities at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort
As the name suggests, the real draw at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort is the beach. While the hotel isn’t directly on the beach, you just have to walk down a small path to get to it. I saw some complaints online about this, but it was no problem at all for us.
Beach attendants set up umbrellas and chairs for guests in the morning, and you can get lunch and drinks delivered right on the beach. We spent almost every day sitting on the beach, and found it to be so relaxing, even during the busy spring break season. Parasailing and other water activities can be scheduled right from the beach. It’s worth staying at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort just to get this access to the beach!
I always love the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast, and Marco Island’s beach is one of the nicest. It really is beautiful and relaxing.
The Marco Beach Ocean Resort also offers a rooftop outdoor pool, located on top of the parking garage. While I preferred the beach, my kids really loved hanging out at the pool. Food and drink service is also available poolside.
There are several restaurants on property, including a high-end restaurant Sale e Pepe that we didn’t check out (it’s not kid-friendly, although I’d probably dine there with older tweens/teens). We did eat breakfast at the Terrace restaurant on the first day, and the view and food were both excellent. There’s also a poolside bar and the Toulouse Lounge. Room service is also offered if you’d like to eat in your room (or maybe even on your patio).
We also ate almost all of our lunches by the beach – the fresh fish sandwich was my personal favorite and I had one almost every day. If you plan to spend most of your time at the beach, you’ll probably find that eating at the beach is the most convenient option.
We did enjoy going off property in the evenings for dinners. There were a few spots within walking distance, but in most cases, we took our car and drove to a nearby restaurant. Here are some of the best restaurants in Marco Island that we enjoyed.
The resort also offers an on-site spa, but we (sadly) didn’t visit it. It offers a number of spa services, including body wraps, massages, and facials as well as steam rooms and sauna. There’s also a fitness center, with cardio equipment and and weights. The resort also offers a small shop in the lobby. If you want to play golf or tennis on your vacation, there are nearby options that can be arranged with the resort concierge.
I’d definitely recommend a stay at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort – both for a family vacation or a couples retreat. There was plenty to do in the area beyond the beach too (like the Dolphin Study Eco-Tour and Cruise that we took). We actually considered staying an extra night, but the hotel was unfortunately sold out. To learn more, visit their website. You can see more reviews here.