If you caught my Insta posts this past weekend, I shared that Jerome and I spent the weekend vacationing in Marco Island. I actually had no plans in writing up a blog post but we were so satisfied with our stay that I couldn’t keep this to myself!
Would you believe me if I told you this was our first true intentional vacation together? In our eight years of marriage we never went on a honeymoon let alone had much time alone together and away from everything. This trip was not only way past due but well deserved!
I shared our beautiful view of the beach and a few things we did during our stay over on Instagram but I’m ready to share EVERYTHING I know about Marco Island and why I can’t wait to go back.
So why of all places would we choose Marco Island. To be honest, just two months ago I had never even heard of Marco Island. Jerome and I had been trying to plan a vacation together for months but we just couldn’t settle on anything. I have yet to get myself a passport and honestly dragged my feet until it was too late. I know, I know…. Queen Procrastinator here. So because of my amazing procrastination skills, we were limited to travel within the US. A few friends and colleagues of Jerome had traveled to Marco Island before. They all had recommended the JW Marriott at Marco Island. Once I took a look at the website, I was HOOKED. I was literally ready to give them every dime I had because the photos looked like true paradise.
Like I mentioned above, we stayed at the JW Marriott Marco Island. IT. WAS. EVERYTHING. I will preface this by saying we stayed in the Paradise Sirene Suites which is catered to adults only so I can’t speak on the rest of the hotel. But I’d bet the amenities and service is equally amazing.
About a week or two out from our arrival, I received an email from our VIP concierge, Victoria. They sure know how to make you feel special. Victoria answered every question prior to our arrival. We also received a text a few days out from the Sirene concierge which also served as the point of contact for all of our needs. I loved this service because our questions were answered promptly without having to be on site or having to call/walk down to the front desk.
The room was immaculate. Even though I would have loved to book a gulf view room, we were lucky to find a reservation at all so we ended up booking a partial gulf view room which was all they had available. It was still every bit of amazing.
Included in our stay at the Paradise Sirene towers was an adult only roof top pool, private beach area with a beach butler, breakfast reserved for guests of Sirene only, and private fitness center.
The hotel had several restaurants which I made it a point to try as many as I could. My belly took a hit but it was well worth it! Every meal and drink was memorable and worth it. I was a little worried before the trip about what I would eat because of my new pescatarian lifestyle but I had no trouble finding things to eat.
Tesaro // Teraso is the only adult only restaurant on the property and specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s also open for Paradise Sirene guests for breakfast. We ate here every single day! The gulf front view was an added plus to the dining at Tesaro.
Ario // The atmosphere at Ario is very upscale. Everything from the food, decor and service gets 5 stars from me. We had THE BEST seared scallops and got to indulge in Shrimp and Grits created by a Top Chef contestant. And if you decide to visit, you have to ask for Philomena!
Quinn’s on the Beach // Quinn’s is a perfect way to end your evening with breathtaking views of the sunset as it’s set right on the beach. Their grouper quesadilla was hands down my favorite thing to eat there along with the Miami Vice (Pina Colada and Daquiri mixed).
10K Alley // 10K Alley is the resorts Dave and Buster’s style gastropub with everything from bowling, mini golf to virtual reality gaming. We strolled in literally as the kitchen closed but the servers were extremely accommodating and served us anyway. We had the lobster roll which was the best I’ve ever had!
CJ’s on the Bay // CJ’s is located about 2 miles from the resort and had a very neighborhood feel to me. It’s located right on the bay and offers an outdoor bar in addition to their indoor seating. The calamari was DELICIOUS and I had the fried grouper sandwich which tasted like it came straight from the ocean.
The Oyster Society // The Oyster Society was about a half mile walk from the resort and had a pretty fun atmosphere. We went in the evening where they had a live band and it was pretty packed so reservations are a must. We had the calamari which was also very good and I also had the Salmon Oscar. Yummy! They then surprised us with dessert to celebrate our anniversary.
What We Did
Marco Island boasts true island life. It’s very tranquil and not much night life happening so if you’re looking for a place to bar hop and stay out all night, this probably isn’t the place for you. During the day we kept busy by hanging out at the beach, doing a jet ski tour of 10,000 islands and an airboat tour of the Everglades. While on the tour, we were surprised to learn about the Cape Ramona Dome House which has some pretty interesting history and had me so intrigued.
Marco Island Water Sports // This is the place to go if you’re looking for adventure. You probably saw on my Insta how proud I was that I faced my fear and ventured out on the jet ski tour. It was sooo scary but so worth it. HOWEVER, I don’t expect to do that again anytime soon.
Sunset Celebration // I was so in awe of the Polynesian Fire Dancer. I have never witnessed anything so breathtaking that up close and personal. It is a must see and is offered nightly.
Speedy’s Airboat Tours // I’m not going to lie… I was sooo hesitant to experience the Everglades. From the idea of being so close to the water to the overall culture of the locals had me taken back. But I’m so happy I remained open because it was a truly unique experience. Be sure to ask for Ryan! He made us feel at ease and knew the Everglades like the back of his hands.
Xtreme Escape // We noticed the Xtreme Escape game as we were passing by one afternoon and decided to book a session. While we didn’t escape (womp! womp!), it was great change of pace from the beach and an escape from the heat.
If you decide to take a visit, I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. I would love to take the kids one day but there’s a part of me that would love to keep this as our special little getaway.
Until next time,