Hi, I'm looking for advice on which Marriott resorts to stay at in Florida that are good for families. It will be our first visit to the USA in July/August 2015 from the UK for 2 weeks, I have two children 13 and 8 years old and would welcome suggestions on what to do and where best to stay. We are thinking Orlando to Miami area but looking for suggestions that include some activities and swimming/relaxing.
There are several areas of Florida that would be nice to visit, especially if you enjoy beach vacations. The four primary areas with Marriott resorts are Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale (North of Miami), Marco Island (on Gulf of Mexico in South), and Destin area (on Gulf Panhandle). The Gulf Coast beaches are prettier with lots of white sand and typically calmer waters.
There are a few Marriott and JW resort properties in Orlando, one on the beach in Ft. lauderdale, and one on Marco Island. Since you are traveling with a family of four, you may want to consider staying in a Marriott Vacationclub property. These are 1 and 2 BR condo resorts with full kitchens. They have nice resort facilities, but limited onsite dining options and housekeeping. However, they are great for being able to prepare your own meals and have a lot of space. There are several options in Orlando, two on Singer Island near West Palm Beach, one in Ft. Lauderdale and on Marco Island. Royal, Imperial, and Sabal Palms in Orlando have full access to the Marriott Orlando World Center resort facilities and are very close to the Disney parks. LAkeshore reserve has access to the JW facilities.
The MVC resorts have very limited availability for MR point redemptions and through Marriott, but are often available to rent from their owners (MVC are timeshare resorts). I suggest you check the Timeshare User Group forum or Redweek.com to get more information. Keep in mind that you don't have to pay additional taxes, resort fees, or parking for most of the MVC resorts.
There are a few Residence Inns on or near beaches, including Treasure Island (near Tampa) and Destin. These offer two bedroom units and breakfast is in included.
This time of year will likely be very hot and humid, so I suggest you plan to spend a lot of time on beaches or in pools. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. We have stayed at most of the MVC resorts in Florida, and own weeks at Ocean Pointe, Oceana Palms, and Royal Palms. All are great for families.
therock, superchief1 has some great recommendations….Marco Island is really hard to beat in my opinion for a beautiful resort and plenty to do for families. I do love the sugar white sand beaches of the Panhandle, but haven't found a Marriott resort property in that area that I love.
I agree the Panhandle doesn't have any Marriott resort properties other than the MVC property near Panama City that is not on the beach. I have heard that the Residence Inn and Courtyard in the area are nice properties and have easy beach access. I hope to try the Residence Inn in the future.
I also agree with superchief1 as the Florida Resorts | Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa is excellent with a huge beach and plenty space to walk the beach as well as enjoy the pool. If you can snag one of the beachfront lanai rooms, they are spectacular and located on the end of each wing of the hotel.
Keep us informed of your decision, but the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Beaches are hard to beat and much quieter than the east coast.
With out a doubt, Marriot Marco Island. I have taken my family there at least 5 times and we absolutely love it each and every time. You have the following
You will not be disappointed!
Jsucool76, because there is no such thing as seaworld? There is more to Orlando than DisneyDisney
Seaworld isnt all that great. I'd say Universal/Islands, and Disney are the big go to's in orlando.
Kennedy space center (though not technically orlando, but fairly close) and Seaworld can both be done in a single day. Universal/Islands you'll want at least one day per park, and disney, you really want about a week for.
Alternatively, there's also busch gardens, but that's mostly just roller coasters, not a whole lot of "theme" like there is at disney/universal.
There's also legoland, and fun spot.
But to someone who is visiting the US for the first time (specifically florida) are you more likely to recommend disney world, or seaworld? Let's be honest here.
I never stay on disney property and I always do just fine. I'm an annual passholder for disney, and I've been to seaworld maybe 5 times in my life (being a florida resident). Never been all that fun to me, but everyone's got their own interests.
Disney isn't really an ordeal as long as you know how to approach it, and it really isn't that expensive if you know where and where not to spend your money. The new fastpass+ system is kind of a pain, since all 3 fastpasses have to be in the same park, but I can get in and out of magic kingdom, after doing everything I want to with my group of friends in about 3 hours. Same goes for the other parks.
For a first time visitor, i would recommend a disney hotel simply for the experience, it means you dont need to rent a car, they pick you up from the airport, and all that jazz. Especially if you have kids it's a great option, but it certainly isn't a necessity. Almost all the marriotts in orlando are disney good neighbor hotels, which gives you free transportation to and from the parks.
Orlando has tons of very nice, reasonably priced (or reasonable number of points from the MVC trust) MVC properties. I have a conference every year at the World Center and have stayed at Sabal Palms and Royal Palms. Both are very nice, close to Disney, and give you access to the entire World Center property, including the gargantuan swimming pool. Plus at the MVCs parking is free, and there is no resort fee! BeachPlace Towers in Ft. Lauderdale is right on the strip and right on the beach (although US Hwy 1 is between the resort and the beach as it is for most of the places on the strip). That place is an urban highrise with a smallish pool area and you pay for parking. But if you want an urban beach experience, it's good. Crystal Shores is a MVC on Marco Island. It's hard to get into because there are only 69 units, and they are doing a massive construction project so it might not be as tranquil these days as it would be without the construction. Marco is hands down our favorite place. We love it so much we bought a house there. As someone mentioned already, there is a Marriott resort (not the timeshares) on Marco, too, but it's closing in May until Nov. for a remodel and re-brand into a JW. Seems that I am not the only one investing in Marco Island as Marriott seems to be pulling out the stops with its properties there. Miami is very expensive, and the only MVC there is on a golf course and not the beach.
Don't stay at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando.
Great hotel, with basically no where to eat with young children.
Choices are a very expensive steak house; an overpriced buffet, a pool side joint that closes at 7pm, and a sports bar that periodically is closed for private events. Had to go off premises 4 out of seven night
The Marriott on Hollywood Beach is a great location right on the beach in a great broad walk right on the beach many restaurants they have a band stand the play music and all types of food and drinks Available The Hotel is nice they were doing some renovations when i was there in may 10 min from airport The only thing I did"t like was 20 a day to park the rental car in ther garage
I have two daughters about the same ages as yours and their vote would be for Marco Island. They have a great variety of things to do from beach to pools to activities. They truly love the resort and the staff has treated us great on all occasions that we have been there.
Ft Lauderdale is also a great resort with more activity around the town, but the family like the resort at Marco better!