Looking for ideas for a great place for a destination wedding, yet close to home?

Whether searching for the perfect wedding destination or honeymoon- The Marco Island Marriott Resort delivers.

Located in Florida’s southwest, Marco Island is the largest of Florida’s ten thousand islands and boasts a tropical climate with year round temperatures averaging seventy-seven degrees.

Tucked away on the island is the 727 room luxury Marriott Resort featuring a one of a kind Balinese- styled theme offering stunning views of Marco Island and The Gulf of Mexico. The lush tropical foliage and beautifully landscaped pathways makes this resort feel like an island within an island.

The resort’s white sand beaches, its friendly and attentive staff, superb restaurants, a variety of water sports and a luxurious spa will ensure that visitors will want to make this a repeat destination for years to come.

I visited the resort last November and the weather was ideal- blue sunny skies and a balmy eighty-two degrees was a welcome respite from Virginia in November.  Following are my experiences and my recommendations for “picking paradise”.

Splurge: Book one of the Presidential Suites to experience the ultimate in luxury. Each of these suites features 1,800 square feet of living space to entertain, a fire pit and outdoor bar on the private balcony, and stunning views where you can watch the sunset on the horizon from your oceanfront room.

Indulge:  The Spa at Marco Island Marriot is a Balinese-style oasis offering a comprehensive menu of treatments including their signature Balinese Massage which combines Hindu, Chinese and European influences to create a soothing massage including a luxurious back scrub. The Spa also offers a fitness center, private outdoor pool with dining, spa boutique, and a full service salon. Try the warm seashell massage- it is so relaxing!

Unwind- Lounge in your own private cabana on the beautiful white sand beach, take a walk along the beach and pick up a variety of seashells, or enjoy one of two amazing pools surrounded by swaying palm trees. Hammocks tucked between the foliage on paths to the beach beckon to slow down, take a nap, read or simply gaze at the stars during nighttime.

Play: There are a variety of fun activities to enjoy while staying at the resort including two golf courses- The Rookery is nestled in shallow wetlands that attract a variety of bird species and Hammock Bay a Par 72 championship course that has been certified by Audubon International as a “Gold Certified Signature Sanctuary”.

Sailing and Shelling Adventure- Hop aboard a guided sailboat tour for a water adventure along the coast. You will visit a remote sandbar or barrier island followed by a seashell gathering expedition.

Jet Ski Tour- For thrill seekers like me- take a high powered Jet Ski tour of the Ten Thousand Islands and The Everglades with a professional guide. Along the way you will experience the wild life up close and personal including playful dolphins (they came right up to our jets skis and flipped in and out of the water), manatees, and eagles. I had so much fun on this tour – the guide was wonderful and very knowledgeable. Be sure to take your camera!  www.marcoislandwatersports.com

Other recreational activities include parasailing, paddleboards, Yoga, Pilates, Arcade, and daily arts and crafts/games (for the younger guests).

Dine:  From nine restaurants to choose from there is something for every palate at the resort.

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The author: Angeline Frame

Angeline is the owner/publisher of Virginia Bride Magazine and the show producer for The Greater Virginia Bridal Shows. She has a degree in Public Administration and Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. A former model and wedding venue owner- she loves all things wedding , fashion and decorating. In her spare time she likes to write, travel and get new ideas to share with brides.

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