Hotel Review: JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

by Anthony Losanno
JW Marriott Marco

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We started watching drunk 20-somethings wander around Tampa on Friday as they got ready for this weekend’s Gasparilla Pirate Festival. As the nearby bar tested out its sound system and our windows rattled, we decided we needed to get away for the weekend. We wanted somewhere warm and with a beach. I looked at flights and the weather, for the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Miami. All of those locations showed rain. I started searching Hyatt and Marriott resorts in Florida and realized the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort was less than a three-hour drive away.

Anthony’s Take: The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is a great resort for a quick weekend getaway. It has a prime location with pristine beaches, two pools, several restaurants, and even a bowling alley and mini golf. Don’t expect too much in terms of upgrades during high season, but by booking a room with American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts®, I was able to secure a complimentary breakfast buffet, guaranteed 4:00 PM checkout (unheard of at a resort), and a $100 food and beverage credit that I applied to our dinner. Overall, we had a great weekend and hope to return to this seaside paradise.

JW Marriott FHR


I booked our Gulf Front View Room through American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts®. I knew that we were going to want to spend the day on the beach and regardless of status with Marriott, checkout was 11:00 AM at this resort. We were only going for one night, so it was important we have the room until the following afternoon. By booking through American Express, I was guaranteed 4:00 PM checkout, as well as a full buffet breakfast (Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elites normally only get continental if they select this as a welcome amenity), and a $100 food and beverage credit. I also received a cool cocktail kit and a $15 gift card for the arcade. It was a no brainer since I was booking late and the rate was identical to booking a standard rate directly with Marriott. Cash rates often run between $700 and $1,200 and you can expect a range of 82,000-104,000 per night when redeeming Marriott Bonvoy® points for a base room.

Map to JW Marco

Transportation to/from the Hotel

We drove from our winter home in Tampa to the hotel. It took around two hours and 48 minutes to get to the hotel, which is around 180 miles from us. The hotel offers both valet and self parking. We were not going to be using the car, so we paid $35 plus tax for self parking. This is cheaper than the $45 plus tax for daily valet parking and served our need.



As mentioned the hotel is conveniently located on the beach in Marco Island. The beach is pristine and is a quick walk out of the resort. There is not much close to the resort without a car, but the hotel has several restaurants and all that you will need.

JW Marco Check In


We arrived at the hotel around 2:00 PM and the room was ready. I had done a mobile check-in, but stopped by the front desk to get our wristband keys, towel cards, and letter detailing our benefits for booking with American Express. Luckily, there was no line and benefits were quickly explained. There are a lot of benefits to booking the rate I did as detailed above. As an Ambassador, I was given my choice of welcome amenities. I chose 1,000 points (I could have also chosen a continental breakfast or $10 F&B credit) since I was already getting breakfast. I had checked online and saw that the hotel was almost full with no suites for sale. I did not ask for an upgrade and did not get one. The woman checking in next to me was complaining that she was Platinum and could not believe they did not have a suite for her. She was being rude to the agent. I chimed in with “I’m an Ambassador and this is high season. I don’t expect an upgrade and booked the room I wanted.”


Wristbands serve as keys and cards are also given for beach/pool towels. It’s nice to not have to carry a key as it is around your wrist. The pink card was for the parking lot exit.

Resort Fee

The hotel has a daily resort fee of $45 plus tax. It includes the items above. I don’t like that hotels charge these fees, but they seem here to stay. As a Marriott Bonvoy Elite member, I was given $5 back as an alternate amenity for the Wi-Fi, which my status provides.

Welcome Amenity

Nuts, fresh fruit, candy, and bottled water were in the room.

Welcome Cocktail

We also were given two complimentary cocktails of our choice at the bar. The agent said this was for my Ambassador status. Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elites receive a daily signature cocktail or mocktail at their choice of 10K Alley or Korals lounge for up to two people. We chose a glass of sparkling rose and an espresso martini a little bit later and took them back to our room to drink while enjoying the sunset.

JW Marco Lobby 1

The lobby is wide open with lots of orchids and plenty of seating.

JW Marco Orchids

Orchids in the lobby.

JW Marco Seating

Seating in the lobby.

JW Marco Concierge

The concierge desk is diagonally across from check in.

JW Marriott Marco Sand Castle

I loved the sand castle in the lobby on the way down to Maia restaurant.

JW Marco Hallway

The hallways are clean and look pretty well kept.

Room 429

Gulf Front View Room (429)

There are 809 rooms and suites at the hotel. We were on the 4th floor for this stay, which is on the lower side (but we had a great view and no issues with noise).


The room opens with a small foyer with a ledge for keys and a mirror.

JW Marco Closet

To the left, you’ll find a large closet. This has a robe, iron, ironing board, and luggage rack as well as several drawers.

JW Marco Bathroom

To the right is the spacious bathroom. I loved that it had a double-sink vanity.

JW Marco Toilet

The toilet was in a separate room.

JW Marco Shower

The shower was also roomy with a bench and multiple showerheads.

JW Marco Toiletries

Toiletries were Aromatherapy Associates brand. I liked that they were individual bottles but larger than the tiny ones in most rooms.

JW Marco Bed

Turning right from the bathroom was the bedroom. It was a large room with a King-sized bed, oversized chair, TV stand, and a small table and chair that held the welcome amenity. I did not like that there was only one night stand with outlets on only one side of the bed. The bed was not very comfortable and the pillows were not firm enough for my taste.

JW Marco TV

The TV stand housed the coffee setup, fridge, and safe.

JW Marco Safe

The safe was in the bottom drawer.

JW Marco Coffee

The coffee setup was in the top drawer.

JW Marco Fridge

The fridge was empty and next to these drawers.

JW Marco Balcony

The highlight of the room was the large balcony with amazing ocean and sunset views.

JW Marco View

The view from outside.

JW Marco Sunset

Sunset view. Just gorgeous.

Cocktail Kit

After being in the room for a bit, a bellman brought us another surprise. As an added bonus for booking with American Express, we received a cocktail kit, a voucher for two cocktails (up to $30 total) and a gift card for $15 to use for games at 10K Alley (more on this later).

JW Marco Pool 1

Public Areas & Amenities

The hotel has four pools including one that is for adults only in the hotel within a hotel: Paradise by Sirene. We reserved chairs at Quinn’s Outdoor Pool (pictured above) as we did not want to have to wake up early to jockey for chairs. These cost $30 each plus tax and it was worth not having to run out first thing to claim a spot. This pool had a lot of kids, but not as many as the Tiki Pool, which features a waterslide.

Tiki Pool

The Tiki Pool with its waterslide and waterfall.

Beach Chairs

We never had an issue finding beach chairs and an umbrella.

JW Marco Beach

The sugary, white sand beach is beautiful. If you enjoy collecting shells, you’ll find some great ones here.

JW Marco Birds

There are also lots of birds on the beach.


The hotel is large with lots of balconies.

JW Marco Grounds

The grounds are all clean and well maintained.

Spa JW Marco

The hotel has a spa. We did not visit on our short stay. (Photo courtesy of Marriott.)

JW Marco Fitness 1

The fitness center is on the small side, but has new equipment including a Peloton.

JW Marco Fitness 2

It provides complimentary earbuds, towels, and bottled water.

10K Alley 1

One of the cool features of this property (that appeals to both kids and adults) is 10K Alley. Here you’ll find arcade games, miniature golf, and bowling alongside a restaurant and bar.

10K Alley 2

Arcade games

10K Alley 6

More games

10K Alley 3

More games including the world’s largest Pac-Man.

10K Alley 4


10K Alley 5

The bar has lots of beer and cocktails including adult milkshakes.

JW Marco Breakfast 1


Breakfast is served in Maia restaurant. As mentioned, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite members can select the Continental breakfast as a welcome amenity (this normally costs $25 plus tax per person). With the rate I booked through American Express, I was given the All American buffet, which includes made-to-order omelettes, several hot items, and made-to-order waffles and pancakes. This normally costs $35 plus tax per person. Espresso drinks are not included with the buffet and these ran around $7-$8 each.

JW Marco Latte

A latte at Maia.

Maia 1

The buffet includes many hot dishes, fruit, pastries, yogurt, cereals, breads, meats, cheeses, and more.

Maia 2


Maia 3

A refrigerated case contained milk and yogurt choices.

Maia 5

Bagels and breads (with a self-serve toaster).

Maia 6


Maia 7


Maia 8

Fresh fruit

Maia 9

Bloody Mary mix and more fresh fruit

Maia 20


Maia 10

Scrambled eggs

Maia 11


Maia 12

Pork Sausage

Maia 13

Hash browns

Maia 14

Sticky buns

Maia 15

Fresh sliced ham

Maia 16


Maia 17

Made-to-order omelette station

Maia 18

A custom omelette

Maia 19

Made-to-order waffles and pancakes

Tesoro 2


As mentioned, there are multiple restaurants in this hotel. These include Ario (the signature restaurant), 400 Pazzis (Italian), Korals Sushi & Cocktail Lobby Bar, Kane Tiki Bar & Grill (by the Tiki Pool), and Quinn’s on the Beach (this will reopen this year). We had dinner at Tesoro, which offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu.

Tesoro 3

I was able to use the $100 food and beverage credit from my American Express rate to cover about 1/3 of the bill. The food was fresh and tasty. We loved the charcuterie board, shrimp, and lamb most. The pasta was the only dish that was a miss as the lemon flavor was overpowering.

Tesoro 1

We started with two Sparkling Strawberry Martinis.

Tesoro 6

First, a bruschetta amuse bouche.

Tesoro 4

Next up, the Cured & Cultured Board. Everything was tasty, except for the radish (neither of us likes radishes).

Tesoro 5

This is served with toasted bread and lavash.

Tesoro 7

Next, Roasted Apple & Sweet Fig Flatbread. I liked the sweetness, but the arugula was a bit much and picked off.

Tesoro 8

Along with our meal, we had a bottle of Sancerre.

Tesoro 9

After the flatbread came the Shrimp Saganaki. The shrimp were huge and perfectly cooked.

Tesoro 10

The Fettuccine arrived next. The pasta was fine, but the preserved lemon overpowered the dish and made it too tart to enjoy.

Tesoro 12

Finally, we had the Mint Crusted Lamb. It was perfectly cooked and juicy. My husband did not like the chick peas as he felt they were too firm.

Overall Impression: The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is the perfect beach getaway. The hotel offers multiple pools, a gorgeous beach, several dining choices, and even a bowling alley and arcade. I look forward to another weekend away here in the future.

Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: I booked this stay with The Platinum Card® from American Express because I was able to take advantage of all of the benefits offered for booking through Fine Hotels + Resorts®. Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply.

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Gene January 31, 2023 - 2:55 pm

Been there maybe 10 times with my grandchildren living in Naples. The breakfast buffet was always important to me and I noticed that the baked ham was “pre-sliced” and in a skillet. Use to be that the whole ham was out with a server behind it carving for individual requests. Also at $35 a person they need to up their fruit to include blueberries and raspberries.

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno January 31, 2023 - 3:04 pm

Good eye! They did actually have someone slicing it and then putting it in that tray.

Quimby February 8, 2023 - 5:17 pm

Can Elites upgrade from the $25 Continental to the buffet breakfast?

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno February 8, 2023 - 5:21 pm

Yes. It should be $10 per person, per day.


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