JW Marco Island
One of our fave vacations was this past week at the JW Marco Island in Florida. Back in 2019 we visited Naples and we loved it. One day we rented a car and drove to Marco Island for an airboat tour. On that drive we stopped at the JW to check it out. It looked beautiful and we said next time we are staying here. At the time the place was HOPPING. I had never seen a pool with more people and kids. Every chair was occupied. So we purposely planned to go this past week once all schools across the US were back in school so there was less occupancy and way less kids. So if you want some peace, less noise or a break from kids don’t go during a school vacation or the height of summer. Go during an off time of year.
We stayed Sunday through Friday and felt like it was just enough time. If you plan to do lots of excursions then staying a full 7 days may be a better time to fit it all in.
ROOMS: Palms Tower
There are two main towers. Our first night we stayed in the farthest tower on floor 5. This tower is closest to the spa and our balcony looked at the pool that has the water slides. The room was fine and the view is nice. You had less view of the beach but honestly how often are you in the room? The balcony is great for sipping your morning coffee or a cocktail at night and watching the sunset. Its also a great angle for taking date night pics. We stayed in room 555.
Rooms: Islands Tower
These rooms are slightly bigger. I preferred this view as you got more of a beach view along with a pool view and no slides in the way. I will say if you are taking date night pics as the sun is setting check your angels as some pics don’t come out as well. However if you could care less about selfies, I would choose this view for sure. We stayed in room 916 if that helps.
On our final night we got a little take out and some left overs and sat on our balcony as the sun set. Also there is a mini fridge, safe and coffee maker in the room. If you know me you know I drink so much coffee. The front desk was great sending up extra packets whenever I needed it. Since we just went and COVID is still around we selected not to have daily maid service. But we did ask mid week for a few new towels and they happily sent some up. You also will get towel cards at check in. Each day at the pool you give them your card and can get 2 towels each. At the end of your pool time you just return the towels and they give you the cards back.
Speaking of take out here are some of the places we ate. Some we love and some we probably would not go back to.
As I mentioned earlier back in 2019 the day we rented a car and drove from Naples to Marco Island we visited a coffee/ brunch spot called Doreens Cup of Joe. The food is great, big servings and great prices. They close at 2pm daily.
They are always packed so go first thing or before they close otherwise be prepared to wait. There is an inside but we always sit outside. We arrived for our trip on Sunday and had our Uber driver bring us right there. We arrived at 1:55 and they close at 2pm and they still served us. We also had the place to ourselves!
We ate there twice this trip. That first day we arrived and our last full day around 1pm on a Thursday and it was so busy we got the last table available outside. They also serve lunch but we love breakfast. Day 1 my husband got their banana chocolate chip pancakes and loved them. I got a make your own omelete with a side of the sausage patties. It’s made local and its so good.
On our second visit I got an egg white veggie skillet and my husband tried their pumpkin pancakes and said they were amazing. Back in 2019 we also had their amazing donut holes. Its all soo soo good!
The hotel has some restaurants too. On our first night we went to Tesoro. Its more small plates. We both got the greek salad with chicken (mine is without the feta) and my husband got a side of wings which he said are so good. The flatbreads everyone else said are amazing too. They have a flourless chocolate cake. It’s a bit more mousse than cake.
I recommend a better version at a restaurant below.
We never made it to a breakfast on the resort but there is the MAIA.
Some friends said it is pricey and not large servings. Others said the food was good even if it was pricey.
QUINNS is right next to one of the pools. One or two lunches my husband had a burger or chicken sandwich. Plus beer or some tropical drinks. There are flags attached to the pool chairs. Just raise it up and a waitress will come by and take your order.
On our second to last night we splurged on a delicious steak house called ARIO. Ryan had the ribeye, mac and cheese (he said the pasta tasted homemade) and we split brusells sprouts. So yummy. I highly recommend the sea bass. Delicious.
I highly highly recommend the flourless chocolate cake. It’s so good.
A little cake, a little mousse, a little cookie crumb, chocolate sauce and gold flecks.
Snook-Inn– We went with amazing friends we made at the resort. It was recommended by many. Its a local spot. If you are going with friends and want to enjoy live music or Karaoke then you may enjoy it more. If you are going for food its not so great. I did the salmon with grilled veggies and aside from being a tad salty it wasn’t bad. Our friend Mark had some shrimp dish and didn’t mind his. However Ryan and Karen were not fans of their dinners so when we come back to Marco Island we won’t come back here. But so many people recommended it so maybe it was just us.
The Island Gypsy– we recommend this place. Its a bit off the beaten path but great to enjoy dinner and watch the sunset at the dock.
We did not get them but the onion rings are large and a big hit. I had the Fandango Mango chicken salad and Ryan enjoyed the LOBSTER “N”EUBEN sandwich. Our server talked us and every other table into getting the “END GAME Carrot Cake”. It is HUGE. We took it to go.
It was pretty good but not the best I have ever had. I have a gluten and dairy allergy and I should not have eaten any of this cake. Some things are worth it and I got pretty sick so it wasn’t worth it for me, but Ryan loved it.
We were also told Fins Bistro is great. So next time we plan to eat there.
Also right next to Doreens is Joeys Pizza and everyone and their mother recommended that place.
Fitness Center– Each morning we worked out. Two days we worked out at the fitness center next to the SPA. Once we moved to Islands tower there is another fitness center at the bottom of that building next to the pool so the rest of the week we worked out in that gym.
Day 2 Workout
SPA– Usually we do a couples massage. I think because of Covid they did not offer one. I got a pretty bad sunburn on my back the first two days so the last thing I wanted was a massage. But next time we will get one. If you use the spa you also can use the secluded private pool area next to it.
Amenities we did not partake in:
- The Rookery Golf Club
- Hammock Bay Golf Club
- Water Sports
- Beach Volleyball
- Quinns pool cabanas
- Chickee Huts
- Motorized Jetski Rentals
- Wedding Gazebo – we did see two beach weddings
On our last night at sunset we did see the guy who swings fire balls around and puts on a show. We then walked the beach and the skyline was gorgeous. I highly recommend a sunset walk along the beach.
We did end up doing one excursion that I highly recommend. It was a boat tour. We got to see lots of dolphins. The boat ride was relaxing. The tour guide was informative and humorous.
We enjoyed getting out of the resort, and waling on sand dunes and made some new memories.
The tour was Sailing and Shelling and we signed up through the planner the hotel provides.
Spots are limited so you may want to map out your week actives on day 1 so you don’t miss out.
THE TIKI POOL– has water features and slides and most of the kids hung at that pool.
The Sunset pool – is where we spent our time all week. We ended up making some amazing friends and hung out with them in the afternoons laughing at the pool, tanning and having a good time.
*****There is a smaller adult only pool. It’s just off the Tesoro. To gain access you have to be staying in the Lanai Tower. Its $100 more per night but breakfast is included. You also can reserve a hut on the beach for free. I will say the SUN BEATS down on that pool and you will melt by 1pm. So if that area is too hot go down and hang by the Sunset pool. *****
I wore swimsuits that I shared in this Video
More styles linked in this blog post
I hope this helps you plan your next trip to Marco Island and if you go let me know & tag me on Instagam @jackieenos