I’ve previously reviewed the Hilton Marco Island Resort. We went back in early December for my wife’s birthday weekend. We brought my mother-in-law and I booked two rooms, each with two Hilton free night certificates. Rates for the weekend were around $500 (plus taxes and resort fees) or 95,000 Hilton points for a standard reward night. While you can get even more outsized value out of the free night certificates overseas or in places like New York City, I decided I’d rather use them all and keep the points for more flexibility.
We flew from Atlanta to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers and picked up a rental car from National. While we have just Ubered to the resort in the past, having three of us and knowing that my wife wanted to visit Tigertail Beach, a few miles from the resort, made the decision to rent a car pretty easy.
We arrived at the resort around 11:15am. I had reached out via chat in the Hilton app and requested an upgrade and an early check-in. The usual answer came back that everything is dependent on what they have available when we arrive. It turns out that my mother-in-law was upgraded to a 2 queen ocean view room (I had booked her a King, but she was happier with the view). For my wife and I, they actually upgraded us to a one bedroom ocean front suite on the first floor. After four visits to the resort, this was the first time that we’ve been upgraded to a suite.
The suite was very spacious and had a huge balcony that also gave us direct access to the pool area.
The only weird thing in the room was the bathroom. There was a large sink near the closet and a separate toilet/shower room with a door. That room only contained a pedestal sink. The regular rooms have double sinks in the bathroom with a lot more counter space. The shower controls also required getting soaked in order to turn on the water.
We were extremely grateful to get in our rooms quickly at such an early hour and headed to the beach. The resort fee (waived for points stays) includes beach lounger/umbrella service (provided by a 3rd party company) and a few other perks like two free drink tickets per room. We also received $15 per person per day in food and beverage credit (instead of breakfast) per the US Hilton policy for Diamond and Gold members. My mother in law’s room did not get the credit, but they did give her the two drink coupons. We also both received a resort-branded chocolate bar (which is a weird amenity for a beach resort where the weather is hot).
Parking is $25 per day plus tax, but at least it’s right in front of the hotel, unlike the nearby JW Marriott where you have to park across the street and still pay for the privilege. I had some of my Hilton Aspire resort credit left so that helped cover some of the extra costs.
On the beach, there is a golf cart drink service (cleverly called the Gulf Cart) that accepts the drink coupons. We made ourselves comfortable and while my wife went in search of shells, I watched the end of the Croatia-Brazil world cup quarterfinal on my phone. The cell service is great everywhere on the island which is amazing considering the recent brush with Hurricane Ian.
Later that afternoon, I went to the bar for the Netherlands-Argentina match and there was a decent crowd watching. We enjoyed the drinks and even had a generous guy buying drinks and shots for the group. We definitely went to bed early that night after the sun and drinks.
On Saturday morning, my wife and I went to Tigertail beach, a legendary shelling beach nearby. After my wife had filled her shelling bags, we picked up her mom and went to Doreen’s Cup of Joe, a great breakfast place on the island. We loved it so much that we went back the next morning as well.
We ate dinner at the hotel on Saturday night as my mother-in-law has limited mobility and was pretty worn out just from walking to and from the beach chairs. It was nothing great. We’ve found lunch at the hotel to be good quality and decent value so I would stick with that if you want to use your daily credit and don’t need/want breakfast.
There was a large wedding at the hotel and they did have loud music at a wedding-related pool party on Friday night, but to be fair, they posted that it was from 7pm-10pm and they cut it off at 10pm on the dot. The wedding party Saturday night was in the adjacent spa building and we couldn’t hear anything on our side of the hotel.
On Sunday, we weren’t flying out until 6pm and my wife wanted to stay until close to 4pm so she could watch the Eagles game. I asked about late checkout and was given 2pm as the latest time available. I asked about paying to stay later and they offered a $75 price for us to stay until 4pm. We decided to pay as we would have likely spent that much or more if we sat at the hotel bar or a sports bar to watch the game. Instead, we brought my mother-in-law’s things to our room around 1pm and she enjoyed a nap on our bed while my wife and I watched the game in the living room.
Overall, we had another very enjoyable stay in Marco Island. The resort is pretty old, but well-maintained. The staff are friendly and helpful. Many of the bar/restaurant staff have been working there for 20-30 years so you can tell they like working there. I’m sure we’ll be back at the resort in 2023 so I better start earning some more Hilton free night certificates.
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