We booked our 6 night stay at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort after reading many of the glowing reviews here on TripAdvisor. At a cursory glance, this resort looks very nice with a small, but luxurious lobby. The front desk staff upon check-in seemed distracted and very rushed, though we were the only guests in the lobby. The lady checking us in, stated that they needed a credit card on file for any 'incidentals' - I had already paid in-full a few months prior to our stay, but since this is customary at many hotels, I handed it over. Later that evening, I was doing some online banking and noticed that the hotel 'held' $500 on my card without telling me. I was shocked - usually, having a card on file for incidentals, means that if you charge anything additional to your room (after already paying in full prior to your stay...) you settle up upon check-out and your card is charged at that point. I immediately called the front desk to inquire and was told by a very rude staffer that this is standard and I just must not have 'been listening' when I checked in. When I was attempting to explain that no one had mentioned that policy to me, I was rudely cut off and told since we 'weren't getting anywhere' she would put a manager on the phone. Relieved to be speaking to someone else, I was shocked to be faced with the same rudeness! The 'manager' also told me they needed to 'protect themselves' and that 'I must not have been listening'. Both my husband and daughter were at the desk when we checked in, and they too, confirmed we were not told this. The manager agreed to remove the $500 hold on my card 'if I came down another day'. Suffice it to say, my bank is excellent and they gladly spoke to management and took care of the removal of the charge immediately the same day. I was appalled to be treated this way.
We were also disappointed with the room - not typical of a room of this price. With 2 adults and 2 children (ages 13, 7), we felt crowded. The living room was so crammed with furniture, we had to stack the coffee table on the desk in order to pull out the couch bed for the kids at night. we also had to move an unnecessary chair from the bedroom to walk along one side of the bed. We were disappointed not to have a tub in our room - our 7 yr old likes baths - especially after the room description indicated we were to have a separate tub and shower. Towels felt like sandpaper and we didn't have nearly enough - had to ask for extra every day. The bed comforter had small yellow stains on it, and though we asked that it be changed, it never looked like it was. The carpet was filthy, after just exiting the shower, the bottom of my feet were black after walking on the carpet. I had to keep my sandals in the bathroom to put on! The walls were also paperthin and we could hear the opening/closing of patio doors (sounds like thunder), room doors banging closed all night long, and loud voices.
The beach staff are extremely rude. After spending the first day on the beach and receiving no service whatsoever - when we complained, we were told that there was a wedding later that evening and 'everyone was busy' - we went to walmart and purchased a small soft-sided cooler. We saw several of these at the beach our first day. When we arrived with our cooler the next day, we were confronted by an extremely rude staffer saying we could walk no further on the beach unless we gave up our cooler. All it contained was a few bottles of water, some small bags of chips and string cheese - when we said we would like to keep it since we had seen others with coolers, he stated we couldn't be on their beach or use their chairs unless we handed it over. After several minutes of arguing with my husband and being threatened to have 'security' at the hotel take our cooler, we gave up and went up to the hotel pool where we were allowed to enjoy our cooler. We were treated like criminals! You can't be expected to be on a beach for hours in 90 degree heat, especially with small children, with no water! The beach service is terrible and we heard many complaining of waiting an hour or more for their orders.
The pool is a joke - we have better pools at our local 2 star holiday inn! It's extremely small and sad for a resort of this star rating. At it's deepest point, it's only 4 feet and doesn't hold more than a handful of guests. It's jam-packed with kids and adults throwing balls and pool toys around. The atmosphere at the pool is very lacking - concrete, half dead plants in planters, no music, and the towels are non-existent. We were told every day that the 'towels are coming' - when they eventually did, we had to face a stampede from all the guests trying to grab the towels. Since the pool area is so small, there also aren't adequate amount of chairs - our last day, we saw many people with towels spread out on the concrete!
I will say that the best thing at the hotel was the valet staff - they were attentive and friendly - the only staff at the resort that seemed glad to see you. I do think it's ridiculous to have to pay $18/day to park your car, but there are no other options.
I was impressed with the looks of the Marriott and the compliments they rec'd from people we met on the island who were staying there. If I return to Marco Island, I'll be staying at the Marriott. I'm extremely disappointed with our stay at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort and would not recommend it to anyone.
Request 7th floor or above, otherwise you will be looking at concrete
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.