As I write this, I’m dreaming of the Gulf of Mexico sunsets from our room at the Marco Island Marriott that we left just last week. Look how glorious this view was from our gulf side room:
My family and I did not take it for granted that this was our view every night for five days while we stayed at the Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa.
I grew up going to Sanibel Island, just north of Marco. But hubby’s a loyal Marriott customer so when he suggested this vacation in February, I jumped at the chance. We’ve had an epic winter here in Philadelphia with more snow in one year than we’ve had the last several winters combined. I was so ready to get out of the land of snow and ice and get some Florida sun on my face.
Marco Island is just an hour’s drive south of the Ft. Myers Airport. It was an easy cruise down in our Cadillac SRX and all four of us were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the resort and Marco Island were.
One of the things I was curious about was the shelling. Sanibel is famous for it’s shelling and I was hoping to get my kids into doing a little shell hunting too but I had heard mixed things about how it was to shell on Marco. You can judge for yourself from our photo – this pile is just from our first morning out! (Can you tell I love the “minis”, as we call them?)
We also found sand dollars, star fish (that were all alive so we always helped them out and threw them back) and other cool finds that had washed ashore from the ocean floor.
We had a great room that was plenty big enough for the four of us. Not only did my husband and I have a king bed, but we had a pull out chair that was a twin for one son and they brought a rollaway twin for the other. This photo doesn’t do the room justice too – it was very spacious.
Besides being totally entertained just with the beach & pools, the Marco Island Marriott has tons of daily activities for your kids. Each day they post a list of activities that you can participate in throughout the resort. Some of the activities are free, some aren’t. We painted a sun catcher ($3), took the Shelling and Boat Tour ($195 for a family of 4) and rented paddle boards and kayaks (varying prices). My husband and younger son went the one night to the “Dive-In” movie by the pool.
Sample of Resort Activities:
I was desperately in need of a vacation and what I liked about the Marco Island Marriott was that it had something for all four of us. Activities for the kids, two pools, a glorious beach… and then of course sunshine, a quiet chair and a margarita for me. Sometimes your body & mind just need to get away from it all, you know what I mean? This is definitely a great place to do it.
We all enjoyed the Sailing & Shelling Tour, which I mentioned above is $195 for a family of 4. They take up to 6 passengers on each boat but we had it to ourselves on the morning we went! Captain Shannon even let Cole (7) take turn driving the boat which is a memory he won’t forget anytime soon.
This picture below is my favorite shot from the entire trip. This was literally our first day down there and as I took this, over two feet of snow was falling back in our hometown. I just love everything about it. The blue sky, the waves, the happy drink for me (hubby was sharing one next to me) and the kids content and playing quietly in the foreground. This is what it’s all about, right?
Other things worth noting – the food at the Marriott was great. We barely left the resort and pretty much tried all of the restaurants. We spent a lot of meals at Quinn’s – casual and situated right on the beach. Cole’s favorite food was fried artichokes from Pazzi’s and hubby and I loved the meal we had at Kurrants, which I would say is the “fancy” restaurant in the hotel. (Amazing fish and amazing desserts!)
I liked that it was an off the beaten path location. We’ve been to Orlando tons and I love Orlando but I liked that the Ft. Myers airport was quiet and easy. I liked that there weren’t too many people at our resort and best of all I liked that we had nothing to do but sit and relax for several days. We’ll definitely be back to this hotel.
For more info: Marco Island Marriott