It’s a case of one down and one to go for the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa.
The resort has reopened, with the July 31 completion of the bulk of Phase One of a $250 million expansion and improvement project that began May 4. When work is completed at the end of next year, the resort will be ready for its transformation, in January 2017, from a Marriott to the more upscale J.W. Marriott brand, the Marriott brand’s first beachfront resort in the continental United States.
The August 1 reopening was called for in the project’s construction timetable. Bob Pfeffer, the Marco Marriott’s director of marketing, said that some furniture and lighting fixtures for the lobby are on back-order and should be received within one week. Another segment of Phase One, the opening of Ario, the restaurant that replaces the former Kurrent’s with a redesigned appearance and a new dining concept, is set for September 15, he added.
“Probably the other big (Phase One) project is the Tiki Bar,” said Pfeffer. “We’re not sure of the reopening exact time frame, but we’re thinking probably late fall.” The redesigned Tiki Bar will be covered with a thatched roof that resembles the resort’s beach Chickee huts, and also feature fire pits and outdoor seating and a specialization in rum drinks.
The Marriott’s health club should reopen in about one week. “In the meantime, we have our spa health club that we can direct customers to,” said Pfeffer.
Overall, the two-phase renovation and expansion project’s enhancements will also include expanded meeting space, additional guest rooms, a new exhibit hall and more.
Work on Phase Two is underway, and it includes:
- Creation of the Banyan and Calusa Ballroom, with new meeting space and an all new exhibit hall.
- Construction of the 94-room, adults-only Lanai Tower, featuring a rooftop pool, a restaurant with celebrity chef and a 12,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, indoor entertainment center.
- The availability of all hotel amenities, including Quinn’s pool, the Tiki Pool, the spa pool, the beach and all scheduled activities.
- Full availability of the resort’s nine restaurants, which will feature new design concepts and menu offerings.
When completed, Marco’s Marriott will feature 100,000 square feet of event space, 810 guestrooms and suites throughout the main resort, the Lanai Tower,a new exhibit hall, a new beachfront Tiki Bar, refreshed restaurants and more.
Pfeffer said about 250 rooms are currently open to guests and 450 additional rooms will also come online by December. “Really, the goal is to have 700 rooms back before we hit the high season mark, which is pretty much Thanksgiving,” he added.
Now in its 44th year of operation, the Marriott offered 726 guest rooms and suites, 57,000 square feet of meeting and event space and nine restaurants, before the renovations began. The resort also features beach frontage, two private 18-hole championship golf courses and a 24,000 square foot, full-service spa. Guests can also indulge in sailing, parasailing, kayaking and jet skiing.
Pfeffer said he doesn’t foresee any more street closures for the project “unless something unexpected happens” and that the resort has taken pains to erect temporary walls to buffer guests from the ongoing work. Social media sites are monitored for guest comments since the reopening and “so far, the response has been 100 percent positive,” he added.
During the three month long closure, many of the resort’s employees were shifted to the Ritz Carlton in Naples and other Marriott Resorts, including the Harbor Beach Marriott in Ft. Lauderdale, while others found work with the project’s construction crews. Some associates simply opted to take an extended break from working.
Pfeffer said the August 1 reopening was exciting for several reasons.
“The Marriott associates who had three months away, I was really excited to see those faces return,” he said. “I think that was probably the most refreshing thing, next to the first guest walking through the door and seeing their face and hearing their comments.”
As of August 1st
Guests can now enjoy:
- A new lobby, porte cochere and a grand front entrance.
- The restaurant Maia, which replaces the Tropiks eatery and features a redesigned look and a new dining concept featuring local southwest Florida ingredients.
- Expanded pool decks.
- Redesigned guest rooms with new furnishings and dÈcor, with the first rooms becoming available in two weeks.
- Redesigned and reconfigured guest bathrooms, allowing for larger showers, vanities and private water closets, which will be available in two weeks.
- Removal of the Islands Ballroom to make way for the new Lanai Tower.
Also reopened are:
- Quinnís Pool
- Quinnís on the Beach
- Tiki Tribe
- 400 Pazziís
- The Tiki Pool
- CafÈ San Marco
- The Spa
- Koral’s Lobby Bar