More about Marco Beach Ocean Resort
Baby Ritz? Not quite.
If you're looking for an extremely rude front desk manager (Jeff), incompetent staff, stained carpet in your room, a beach that's not white and soft but instead cuts your feet open, water that's horribly murky, a room without a view, horrendous mosquito infestation, a $100 meal for 2 that leaves you starving, sales people who will say and do anything to get you into their "luxury" hotel (Melissa and Samantha) but will treat you like garbage when you get there, an extremely boring island with zero entertainment, a teeny tiny swimming pool, elevators that break down and force you to climb stairs to get where you need to go, an island community that goes to bed at 9 p.m. every night, where the finest food in town is at a joint called Ne Ne's, having threatening voice mails left on your cell phone because you didn't sit in their "luxury" resort all day long and wait on them to call about your room that wasn't ready when you got there, and having to share a room with your friends because the highly intelligent front desk staff cancelled their reservation when 2 days prior to arrival the reservation was confirmed....but not one person to claim responsibility or try to make up for the mistake...then you will LOVE the Marco Beach Ocean Resort.
If you are still considering staying at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort after reading this post, don't let them charge you more than $150 a night (that's how much we paid for ours)....it is definitely not worth a penny more....The Marriott looked nicer anyway.
Management ruined my vacation
First of all, let me say. I chose this resort because of all of the glowing reviews I read on this site. From the moment we walked in the door of this resort, we were treated horribly by the front desk staff. Don't get me wrong...as a whole...it is beautiful. But if you don't pull up in a Mercedes, the front desk will not bother trying to make your stay "magical." Our rate was $150 per night (don't pay more than that...it's not worth it)...much less than most rates given...and they were full...so they wanted to get rid of us to make room for higher paying guests. Our trip was seven days total...four days at Disney World and three days at Marco Beach Ocean Resort. Disney knows how to make you feel special...Marco doesn't. They wrongly cancelled our reservation...for the record...we called to confirm three days prior to arriving...and we had a room...but when we got there...no room. They just refused to admit their mistake. I understand that there is always room for error...because human beings run this place...but they would not take ANY of the responsibility for this mishap. Then they wanted to raise our rate. We spent well over two hours at that desk trying to figure things out. They just would not attempt to make us happy. It was a dreadful experience. Management avoided us and Jeff...apparently the front desk manager treated us poorly to say the least. As for our room that we got, albeit after two hours of arguments...it was fine. There were giant stains on the carpet. We had to call and request an ironing board, and we could hear EVERYTHING the people above us were doing. As if the check-in weren't bad enough...they authorized $600 in charges TWICE on our debit card. They held $1200 in funds from our bank account for a room that was costing $300 total for the two nights. We had to go to the front desk twice to get this cleared up...and guess what??? They wouldn't admit that they ran our card twice. We finally got them to call our bank and they FINALLY admitted it after we had already checked out. The first night we were forced to share a room with our friends we were vacationing with...unfortunately our friends were put out too...this also did not bother the management. They just did not care. This was Marco's fault and they would not own up to it. They also made no efforts to make us feel that they wanted to be there. My husband and I travel all of the time for his job. We've taken large groups all over the world and we have never been insulted like this before. I do have to say, however, that the bell staff was very empathetic...they were wonderful. The front desk staff and management could use some beginner courses in customer service. Calling this hotel the "Baby Ritz" is a definite overstatement. I've been to the Ritz and Marco Beach Ocean Resort doesn't even come close.
We were drawn to the Marco Ocean Beach Resort following its glowing reviews on Tripadvisor. Following 5 nights at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, we were looking forward to a few days at a sophisticated hotel on the beach. Given that our room rate was dearer than at the Ritz Carlton, we were even quietly confident that we were in for a real treat.
Our first impression wasn't that favourable - the front desk staff were not particularly welcoming - the bell boy's uniform was dirty and another member of staff helping out was far from smart, with his shirt hanging out.
Now on to our room - our first reaction was how small and how dark it was. The living area had far too much furniture crammed into it and the bedroom was particularly dark (it only had one small window). Despite its talk of high quality cabinetry, the wardobe had a white 1970's style formica chest of drawers in it, taking up much of the space (in fact we couldn't even open the top drawer as it banged into the side of the wardrobe!). If you are trying to escape household chores, don't book a one bedroom suite - as these don't have dishwashers. There is no honor bar and all drinks had to be requested from the "stocked refreshment cabinet" (room service to you or me!).
However, our real disappointment came outside. Although our room did undoubtedly overlook the ocean, the hotel is set back from the beach and there are several low rise buildings between it and the beach. In our case we overlooked a swimming pool of a neighbouring hotel and several low-rise condos. The swimming pool itself was far too small and I can imagine gets very busy when the hotel is full.
Coming from a Ritz Carlton, where all the staff smiled and acknowledged you, it was a shock to suddenly be ignored by staff or have them wait very obviously next to you for a gratuity (in the case of the beach attendant, who expected a tip for walking 20 paces and throwing a towel onto a chair for us).
Needless to say, we cut our vacation short and headed back for a relaxing few days to a Ritz Carlton beach resort.
On arriving home, we noticed that the hotel have made two charges for funds against our credit card, totalling twice the amount of our original stay. I know that hotels sometimes make a charge for funds that they subsequently release, but why twice? Judging by a previous review, this sounds like somethng that Marco Ocean Beach Resort does quite often - we aren't close to our credit card limit, but if you are bear this in mind when booking.
One final point, during our holiday we pre-booked 3 hotels - the Marco Ocean was the only hotel that actually charged our credit card for our first night's accommodation when we made the booking. We don't mind paying for quality (or even pre-paying in this case) - but the Marco Ocean Beach resort doesn't deliver its part of the bargain.
We won't be returning.
not so good
We have just arrived back from 7 days at the Marco Ocean Beach Resort and must say after reading all comments on this hotel found it some what dissapointing, First of all the bad points;- its not as big as you imagine, the lay out is poor, the pool area is tiny, the bar area lacks life, the restaurant is not good, we have a 14 year old daughter who was bored out of her head. we stayed in room 1005 and the noise from the air con ALL night was intollerable, we complained but nothing was done about it.
the whole hotel lacks any character, As for Marco Island its self we will never return, its dead.... the beach is not soft white sand as described, but coarse shingle, the gulf was absolutly filthy not clean you could only see to a depth of about 10''.
there were no facilities on the beach whilst we were there, the wave riders, and sailing boats were there but they were only to be looked at. you could not use them?
When on the beach its like looking at a built up hotel area with high rise hotels all along the front, yuk.
What the clients of other hotels did in the evening baffled us as there was nothing to do, other hotels lay on entertainment but not this one, never.
We found ourselves taking a 30 min drive into Naples which was quaint, but ALL the stores closed at 10 pm.
Summing up., Marco Island is a clean wealthy area for retired americans the homes are lovely, but unfortunately its very boring no bars to sit and watch the world go by. Good points are the concierge Adrian, and Bob, great guys who valet park your car. Sorry but thats it.
Bring on Mexico Xmas...
Pos/Neg aspects of 3 day stay
Combined a visit with my daughter who was summering in Venice, FL with vacation with a friend and spent three nights at Marco Island--the Ocean Beach Resort July 11-13. We wanted beach-front with good quality sand and upscale accommodations---my friend loves the beach, has traveled to Hawaii, the Carribean and Bermuda, and visited Fl numerous times including Naples which is just a short drive from Marco Island, and we have high standards for what makes a good beach vacation.
The Ocean Beach resort is basically luxury condo setup that functions as hotel and offers rooms by the day as opposed to other condos in area that only do weekly reservations--and the accommodations do seem to deserve the description of "luxury" for the most part. Lots of marble, polished brass/gold metal, nice artwork in public areas. We wanted some place not overrun with children and the Ocean Beach Resort seemed to be more adult - oriented than the other hotels on Marco Island.
We booked rooms through a travel site--not the hotel--but found out later the hotel probably offered a better deal with a package that would have given paid valet parking--we had to pay extra either way for my daughter since she was an adult and the price was not "per-room". Pricey--over 190 a day plus the daily parking and extra guest charges--not a cheap trip compared to other hotels but we thought price would be justified by accommodations. Our room was one bedroom suite with fold-out couch in living area, kitchen facilities but dining table was on balcony, and one large bathroom. It was very clean, upscale furnishings, quality towels, lots of marble and glass features.
We had pre-paid for "Full gulf view" and asked for high floor--got a room on the ninth floor (which is where the "full gulf view" rooms start so technically that is the least they could provide) so I knew it was not the "high floor" I asked for. Since I knew this was the lowest floor for the price range, I asked if it was possible to have a room on 11 or 12-- the two top floors. The female desk clerk, whose English was not fluent, acted like she did not understand my question. My daughter and my friend did not want to argue the point -- so I caved in but wished I had not later. Most of our balcony view was taken up with view of the pool and their restaurant and the access route to the beach--The restaurant must offer glorious view of the beach since it is between hotel and the Gulf--the only hotel/condo arrangement that we saw walking on the beach that would block the view of any hotel's rooms--If they had added the restaurant to the top of hotel, this problem would not have occurred.
The hotel was basically empty the Sunday through Wed of our stay. We could tell after seeing the vacant parking garage and the rooms at night w/no lights. The hotel just did not want to upgrade because (I feel) we had failed to book through them and used another agency.
The desk clerk who checked us in had my friend come down almost as soon as we were in the room because the credit card she had used to guarantee any charges beyond the daily rate was refused on the initial run-through. She had taken an imprint but did not call the charge in until after we left the desk. We made the trip down, suffered the embarassement of basically having the desk silently question her credit--and all they had to do was run the number the second time and it cleared--the desk clerk seemed nervous and unsure of herself and how to deal with the situation-- maybe she was new, her language skills were not proficient--but it was a foolish trip since it could have been taken care of with the desk just trying a second time--that is not top-level service, as far as I am concerned.
There were other glitches with our stay--the ice machine on our floor was out of service when we arrived and stayed that way for the three days so we had to ride the elevator to another floor. The portable handset for the phone in the living area would not work and you had to answer via the speaker phone feature--we noticed it the first night and reported it the second day--someone came right away--basically to make sure that it was actually non-functioning and not just our inability to use it--When he discovered it was out truly of service--he had someone else come--who said the portable handset needed to be replaced--they would do it the next day--it never happened--Was not a real problem since the phone in bedroom worked ok--but was an inconvenience. There is the appearance of superior service--lots of "thank you","excuse me", "pardon me for taking so long" using your name to show that your are an individual, upscale dress for employees, but that does not necessarily mean top-flight service, which means depth and follow-through, not just surface appearance.
Another glitch happened when we were checking out. I decided to buy a cap with hotel logo for my husband--no one in the small gift shop so took the cap/shirt combo to the front desk--the desk manager tried to charge it to the room--told him we were checked out--wanted to pay w/o charging to the room--took 15 minutes or more trying to figure tax and price--could not get the credit card machine to work--could not make change from the front desk when I tried to pay cash--The more he tried to resolve this simple transaction, the more nervous and anxious he became--not the sign of an assured, well-trained staff at what is described as "baby Ritz".
The guys who worked the beach area, setting up umbrellas and lounge chairs, were nice and energetic; they were there early and there were plenty of towels available. The bell men and parking valets were exceptionally nice--these people were locals--probably mostly college kids and part-time status--you could tell from their speech to us and each other--but the management was different story. This hotel is managed by company with many up-scale locations in US and abroad so it may have a wide-scale training program but the desk personnel we came in contact with seemed unsure and new instead of confident.
We did not eat at hotel restaurants --ate breakfast and lunch from groceries we brought in--kitchen offered some dishes, had a coffee maker, small refrig, microwave, and stove. There were no paper towels or soap to wash dishes--we did not always want to wait for the maid to do the dishes when she did the room--that was another inconvenience.
Maid service was little erratic--one day she cleaned the breakfast dishes but did not empty the coffee maker--took dirty towels, did not leave clean ones--but the couch had decent mattress and there was enough room to fold it out without too much trouble.
The airconditioning was not very stong in the bedroom or the bath--just not much air coming through--since my friend prefers it warmer than my daughter or I, she slept in bedroom and we used the couch in the living area--that was only time anyone really spent in bedroom anyway.
Overall--the beach was nice, there were families at the hotel with small children who were noisy and a disruption to our relaxing on the beach but not as bad as it would have been at the Marriott or the others--the pool while fairly small compared to most hotel pools was well-maintained, clean, and again offered plenty of towels. This hotel is newer than others on the beach so its fixtures have not had to stand the test of time and the replacement factor--I think the hotel is only two years old--in a couple of more years--when furnishings in the units are more shopworn and hotel fixtures have had chance to be affected from customer traffic the true quality will show through because if the replacements are not taken care of with the same quality and attention to detail as the original--then luster of luxury accommodations will be gone.
Eating dinner at different restaurants in town, we were disappointed with most of our meals--had expected more of the "fresh" and got what we could tell at presentation were probably packed/frozen entries--Snook Inn was ok-
Best meal we had was at a place called "Pinchers" we found at spur of moment driving back to Venice through Naples--fresh grilled crabs and large shimp.
Would we go back--probably not to Marco Island itself, even--compared to Panama City Beach or Destin area, the Gulf/beach on Marco Island was disappointing--
The Ocean Beach Resort offered serenity and upscale surroundings with some down-sides--which usually happens at almost any location--so there is always a compromise of some kind involved. We enjoyed the vacation but were more disappointed in the commercial aspect of the area and the beach quality overall to return.
Vacation (Sat. 7/31 - Weds. 8/4)
My family of 5 (3 older kids ages 15, 19, & 21) just got back from 4 nights in room 1101 - two bedroom suite with full gulf view. The accommodations were very nice!!! Long wide hall uppon entering; huge master bedroom & bath with very comfortable king bed & desk in the room; second bedroom & bath smaller but functional; nice kitchen size (included dishwasher & soap to go with it) & full size frig but needed more dishes; dining area & sofa couch in the living room & great view on the balcony. There were windows in every room so we had a 180 degree view of the island. Plenty of room for the 5 of us. 3 TVs was nice too. Staff was VERY NICE & the maid service twice a day was great. Lots & lots of towels. We did not eat at resort & it rained every day we were there (we saw 3 movies at Marco Movies). It was nice for a getaway but I think if we had stayed much longer, we would have been bored. The beach was hard to walk on barefoot because of all the shells so bring beach shoes!!! It was expensive, even for off season, but having the space, view, & service made it worth it.
Great getaway from our kids.
Visited Marco 7/30 - 8/02 on a long weekend getaway for our 5yr anniv. and vacation from the kids.
Positives: Bellmen/valets are very curtious and hard working. Gave us some great ideas where to eat and find stores. Hotel lobby very nice, but empty small. Beach and pool area were great. Didn't hang out at the pool much. Beach was beautiful and there is a line of crushed shell to walkover to get to the water, but not too bad. There were some families and small children there, but easy to ignore if you try. Staff worked hard getting chairs and umbrellas setup. Drink service was fair. Had to ask twice for 1 drink and then got charged twice. They fixed it no questions. Ate lunch at the beach bar 1st day and food wasn't bad. Overpriced, but not bad. Kitchen in room was nice to have for breakfast and lunch. We were on the 10th floor and had a great view.
Best experience there was dining at Sale e Pepe. Immaculate service, food, atmosphere, etc. We decided to eat outside since it was cooling off some. Great sunset view while we dined. Hands down better service than I've recieved at Ruth's Chris, Stables, Sullivan's. Prices weren't much more than dining at other island restraunts.
Negatives: Room felt a little small, but we weren't there too much. View was nice from balcony on 10th floor, but not the "180 degree expansive view" I was expecting. This could be due to getting a great rate ($150/nt) at another site. Called Marco Resort and they matched the rate no problem. Maid service was okay when it came to towels. Would have liked to be able to take own cooler to beach, but can't since they offer beverage service. Families feeding seagulls in the middle where all other guests were relaxing on the beach. Finally after 2 days of this the beach staff said something to the parents.
Misc: Nice area. It did rain every day, but generally after we were done on the beach. Went to Snook Inn one night. Nice, casual atmosphere. Food was good. Ate at Old Marco Crab House. Very casual and interesting locals. Enjoyed talking to Billy and Morgan. Gail makes great drinks. Thanks Gail! We had so much fun at the bar, we forgot our reservation. Food was okay, not worth the money. Would not eat there, but deffinitely visit again for drinks. Went into Naples and ate at Ristorante d' Angeli. Great food, service okay.
Would definitely return to Marco Island and Sale e Pepe. Great resort and probably would stay there if I got the same great rate. Feel free to email me with questions.
Will definitely be back
My family of four just returned from a 5 night stay (Aug 5-10) at this hotel. We have been coming to Marco for the past 17 summers and usually stay at the Marriott. This year, their exceptionally high prices and active construction on the site led us to try somewhere new. We were very impressed with the facility. The public areas are very elegant and pretty. The suite we had on the 12th floor had the best view we have ever had while on Marco. It was a delight to just sit on the balcony and look out at the Gulf. The suite itself was a bit on the small side but very clean and well appointed. The small kitchen was very nice and we had our breakfast and lunch on our terrace daily. The maid service was good except when we asked for extra towels or pillows, usually a follow up phone call was necessary before the items were delivered. Bob, at the front door is great, very knowledgable about the area and extremely friendly. All of the employees were very friendly. The beach is beautiful and clean. The pool, although a little small, was clean and fit our needs perfectly. Sometimes, we were the only ones there! It was never crowded and noisy. We did not eat the restaurant as we have our Marco favorites, Pelican Bend and Backwater Nicks on Isle of Capri and The Marco Lodge on Goodland. All in all, a great trip, we were sorry to have to go home.
Great hotel, but not a party resort
I stayed at this hotel with my wife and 6-month-old son from 08/07/04 to 08/12/04. Everything at this hotel was great. The room was very nice and we had a great view of the ocean and beach. However, I would not recommend more than 2 adults stay in a one-bedroom suite. The suite was designed in a manner in which if you slept in the living room, you had to walk through the bedroom to use the bathroom. All the hotel workers were very friendly and all request were met in a timely manner. Maid service was very good. Also, as mentioned in other reviews, there is no dishwasher, but the maids always did the dishes. The restaurants were also good.
The ocean and beach are very nice but they don't compare to some of the beaches in the Caribbean and Mexico. The pool is small but it compares to other hotels of this size. Overall, if you are looking for a party type hotel, head to Mexico. Marco itself is very laid back, but this is exactly why we chose this hotel and Marco. We didn't figure on doing a lot of partying with a six-month-old.
My two teenagers and I stayed for 6 nights at the beginning of August. The hotel staff was wonderful, the rooms were great and the beach was beatiful. The concierge was very helpful in making dinner and activity recommendations. It was a great vacation and a beautiful place to stay. The only thing that I found that could be improved is that the food at the resort is expensive. You do have a kitchen in the room, so it is easy to reduce the food bill by buying your own food for breakfast and lunch. I would definitely recommend this hotel for both couples and families. It is also in a good location and within walking distance to shops and restaurants.
Christmas on Marco Island
salt marsh ecosystem
tiger tail beach
esplanade shopping center
Goint to Marco next week and I can't wait!
What is the best beach?
Do they have beach tents, how much?
Can you buy the beach tents somewhere local?
Re: Beach Info
There are three main beaches but two of them (Hideaway Beach and Residents' Beach)
are not officially open to the public. The public beach is, nevertheless, beautiful. The Residents' beach is just a continuation of the public beach, so you can just walk straight onto it. At least you'll be able to use the beach bars
up that end. You're not officially supposed to do this, but everybody does.
I'm not sure I know what you mean by beach 'tents'.