My wife and I try to take a week every year and usually wind up on a beach somewhere. We'd been to Pensacola, FL twice in the past and had a great time there, staying once at the Hampton Inn right on the beach, and another time at the Hilton literally next door. This time, we decided to try another location. Marco Island was nice, and the Hilton here really exceeded our expectations for the most part. Lightning fast and friendly check-in, a very nice room bigger than most we've had over the years, great ocean views from the balcony, and lots of other perks really made this a great vacation.
Since I booked the entire trip through American Airlines Vacations, we didn't get to specify the bedding type, so we wound up with two doubles rather than the king we prefer. But it actually worked out very nicely. Room 1022's furnishings were in good shape, the beds comfy, the mini fridge was cold (but surprisingly no microwave oven), the carpet in good shape and clean, OK lighting, good flatscreen TV, dual sinks in the bathroom with a great shower (the Speakman showerhead beats the cheap Waterpik things hands down), and twin chairs and table on the balcony. We also had an in-room safe, full coffee service (pretty good according to my coffee drinking wife), and plenty of outlets for charging cell phones and Kindles.
Hotel food was just OK. With tip, the breakfast buffet was $50 for the two of us, and quality and selection were disappointing. We made that mistake only once. We went to the Red Rooster, a local breakfast/lunch spot, twice, left just as full both times, and spent less than half that amount on food that was much better. We also stocked the fridge with milk, OJ, yogurt, berries, and cereal for the other days. We lunched once at the Paradise Cafe; it was also expensive (even with the hotel-supplied 15% discount card) but at least the fish tacos and Cuban sandwich were better than the tired breakfast stuff. The hotel bar has happy hour from 5 to 7, and Earl the bartender was a trip. Nice guy, funny, and he knew his way around a liquor bottle. We ended up spending parts of three evenings visiting with him. Two thumbs up for Earl Bailey!
The pool area was very nicely done, but crowded and a bit rowdy at times. And since we can swim in a pool at home, we spent most of each day at the beach. The beach concession was OK, offering chairs, umbrellas, wave runners, parasailing, etc., but the guys were not nearly as accommodating as those in Pensacola. Chairs were free (they were just those cheap plastic strap things) and umbrellas were $19.08 per day. The guys would just slam the chairs down in the sand and say have a nice day, and that was it. On Pensacola beach, the guys took much better care of you, adjusting your umbrella as the sun went over and just walking through and checking up on you. And the chairs were heavy duty wood with a separate thick pad over them and a built-in table in between. Just much better done, much more comfortable, and certainly more deserving of tips. One Marco guy, especially, had a bad attitude, mumbling something in Spanish under his breath as he returned to the beach hut. I personally witnessed this several times over the course of our stay. I don't speak Spanish, so I can't be sure what he was saying, but his disgusted facial expression told me he didn't get his tip, or didn't get as much as he thought he deserved. There's always one...
On the beach, food and beverage service was available each day from the one server covering. You'd order and then wait seemingly forever. You could see people wanting to get in the water, but they knew they had drinks or food coming. They'd crane their necks and look all around for the server, not knowing whether to stay or go. Way too slow, and awkward for the guest. By the time you got your drinks, the ice had melted and the drink watered down. Better to just head up to the pool bar yourself and get fresh.
The beach itself was much more shell-y than we expected. Great for shell-seekers but a little rough on unprotected feet. Once into the water, there was a slight descent and then the bottom flattened right out. No seaweed, no rocks to speak of. Pretty awesome.
We were always greeted by a hotel associate whether inside or outside. The public areas were kept clean despite the sand that beachfront properties have to deal with. Self-parking was simple but $10 per day. Valet was available for more money (and tips), but it was literally on the other side of the main drive, so why bother? Housekeeping did a good job making up the room before we went back at around 4:00 or so each day. And by the way, Marco is subject to the daily cloud build-up and eventual rain shower/thunderstorm that most of south Florida experiences, usually in the afternoon. Only once did it buck that trend, raining very heavily in the morning just as we ordered our chairs and umbrella at the hut. That was slow moving, but mostly cleared out by about 11. The remainder of the day was beautiful.
So, based on the room size and quality, the cleanliness, the friendly staff, the nice pool and beach, and the great happy hour, we would consider the Hilton Marco Island worthy of the Excellent rating. If we decide to go back to Marco in the future, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This place is temporarily closed for guest room renovation and restoration. It plans to reopen in early 2018. Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa hotel is perfectly situated on the beautiful Marco Island beach on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast. This AAA 4- Diamond deluxe 11-story Florida beach resort is only minutes from world-class golfing, the Florida Everglades National Park and some of Southwest Florida's best shopping, dining and recreational activities. Marco Island is conveniently located near Naples, Florida.At the Hilton Marco Island, Florida Resort and hotel, we feature 297 guest rooms including 22 gulf-view one-bedroom suites, and four luxuriously appointed two-bedroom penthouses.The Marco Island Spa at our resort hotel is the perfect hideaway in Southwest Florida. The Spa is a luxuriously appointed full service spa featuring signature facials, therapeutic massages, restoring body treatments, nail care, hair care and relaxation lounges. Our Marco Island spa also features a retail boutique as well as a state-of-the art fitness complex.The Hilton Marco Island, Florida hotel offers Activities and sightseeing opportunities for the entire familyThe Hilton Marco Island, FL hotel and resort offers guests an array of choices for both casual and elegant dining.Planning an Event or Meeting? With 12,000 square feet of total meeting and event facilities, superb catering, wonderful accommodations in a stunning location the Hilton hotel in Marco Island is everything you'll need for a flawless event.So whether for a family vacation, a weekend getaway or to attend a conference, make the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa your choice in Southwest Florida. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Marco Island Beach Hotel Marco Island
- Marco Island Beach Hilton Resort
- Hilton Resort Marco Island Beach
- Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort Florida