Island and the Marco Beach Ocean Resort
by Norm Goldman
Artwork by Lily Azerad-Goldman
On the southern most-tip
of Florida's West Coast, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, sits
the majestic and pristine sub-tropical Marco Island. Gateway to
the awesome land of Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island is about
four miles wide, six miles long, and a mere 90 miles west of Miami
and 157 miles south of Tampa.
History informs us that probably around 4000 BC the Calusa
Indians, who may have been the descendants of the Mayans,
inhabited the island. These Native People had built large mounds
using millions of shells that offered them protection from hurricanes.
The mounds were also used for religious temples and burial sites.
The Calusa were crafty and intelligent woodworkers, who constructed
canoes, beams and planks for their houses, docks and piers. Due
to disease brought to the island by the Spanish explorers, the
Calusa were wiped out by the mid 1700s, later replaced by the
Seminole. Until after the Civil War, there was little population
occupying southwest Florida.
In 1870, W.T. Collier brought his wife and nine children to Marco
Island. His son, William D. Captain Bill Collier,
opened a 20-room hotel in 1896 that is today known as Olde Marco
Inn. In 1922 Barron G. Collier (no relation to the other Colliers)
purchased most of the island.
Unfortunately, the depression took its toll and development of
the island was postponed until 1962. It was at this time, when
brothers Elliott, Robert and Frank Jr. Mackell developed a master
plan for the island, after purchasing it from the Collier estate
for the paltry sum of seven million dollars.
Not surprising, prior to its development in the mid-1960s, the
population was a mere 550; as the only way to reach the island
was by crossing a narrow, wooden, hand-operated swinging bridge.
A trifle frightening! Marco Island today has a permanent population
of 15, 000 swelling to 35,000 during the winter months.
the Western entrance to the Everglades, and only 30 minutes away
from world-class shopping, entertainment, fine dining and the
cultural scene of affluent Naples, Marco Island offers plush accommodations
to the discerning visitor.
This is quite evident with the recent addition to the lodging
scene of the luxurious and romantic five star boutique hotel,
Reportedly costing $40 million to creatively build, the hotel's
décor with its marble floors, hand-painted murals, and
antique furnishings, creates an aura reminiscent of the Italian
Striving to surpass the criteria of a five star establishment,
the resort's motto is that nothing is to be spared in providing
an ultra-luxury retreat for their guests.
When you consider how the resort quietly pampers its guests with
magnificent spacious surroundings and meticulous service, you
understand why it is a member of the Preferred Hotels and Resort
This exclusive organization represents the world's finest and
most distinguished independent hotels, resorts and spas. In order
to qualify, a resort must pass, among other rigorous requirements,
an annual unannounced inspection. This consists of a 1,600-line
item and a 5,800 point standards and practice audit.
The relaxing setting and breathtaking natural surrounding include
87 luxurious one-bedroom and 14 elegant two-bedroom suites. All
units are equipped with rich wood furnishings, equipped kitchens,
multiple telephone lines and cordless phones, luxurious marble
showers with separate bathtubs, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
In private, spacious balconies from many suites command sweeping
panoramic views of the blue green water of the Gulf of Mexico.
A concierge is on duty 24 hours a day, and maid service is provided
twice daily with turn down service. Guests are invited to enjoy
the fitness facilities, personal fitness training, sauna and steam
rooms, as well as an array of massages, body therapies and facials.
On the fifth floor sunbathers gather around the beachfront swimming
pool set within a rooftop garden with a tropically landscaped
sun deck. It is no wonder why guests have called this "la
Formal dining at the resort is truly a transporting experience.
The recently opened and popular well-loved Sale e Pepe transports
guests from the ancient hills of Tuscany to the savoury regions
of the Southern Italy. It truly is the ultimate dining experience
providing impeccable service, a romantic atmosphere, and an Italian
accent on culinary extravagance.
enchanting Toulouse Lounge enables guests to relax with cocktails
and to dream about turn-of-the century Paris, while admiring the
reproductions of this great French artist. Beachside and poolside
bars are never far away dispensing cool refreshments.
The resort also serves as an ideal jumping-off point for various
excursions. You may embark on an exploration of the uninhabited
barrier island, where exotic seashells may be discovered. You
may even be lucky and come across another important archaeological
find, comparable to Frank
Hamilton Cushing's expedition of 1896. Apparently, this was
one of the richest finds of Native American artifacts in North
America uncovering more than 1000 articles dating back to the
For those who are more daring, there is parasailing and jet skiing.
Seven golf courses lie within less than a half-hour drive. If
golfing is not your "cup of tea," you may want to try
your hand at backcountry fishing among the barrier isles.
If you are into eco-travel, a short drive will take you to Briggs
Nature Center that offers an elevated boardwalk for wildlife
viewing and a butterfly garden. There is also the Caribbean
Gardens, where you can see all four of Africa's top predators,
lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, African wild dogs, and the rarest
tigers in America, the Indo-Chinese tiger.
Marco Beach Ocean Resort embodies the ultimate in detail, where
peace and quiet serves as the most potent ingredient for that
special romantic escape.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Marco Beach Ocean
480 South Collier Blvd.
Marco Island, FL 34145
Tel: 1-800-260-5089: 1-800-715-8517:
Web Site: www.marcoresort.com
For information on
getting married at Marco Beach Ocean Resort, see "Concierge
Plays Cupid at Marco Beach Ocean Resort". For more on
this resort's romantic offerings, see Lovetripper.com's
Romantic Travel Directory.