MARCO ISLAND, Fla. -- The Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf Club
& Spa sank $5 million into its 18-hole golf course, the Rookery
at Marco, as part of an overall $58 million resort renovation.
What makes this course different from most others, according to
a Marriott spokeswoman, is its five tee boxes, placed at
progressive distances from the green, making the course "play-able
for everybody in the family and as challenging as you want it."
The golf course, located seven minutes from the resort by free
shuttle bus, opened last month.
Plans are in the works for familiarization trips, but they
probably will not happen until the entire project is finished,
according to the spokeswoman.
"Stay tuned for a special travel agent rate to be released
shortly," the spokeswoman said. "We'll have vouchers for them to
play a round of golf and have a complimentary breakfast."
The refit of the hotel's 727 rooms and 54 suites (down from 735
rooms and 62 suites to make room for more meetings space) should be
completed by November, and the new, 24,000-square-foot
Balinese-style health spa should be ready by the end of the year,
the spokeswoman said.
The upgraded lobby with its atrium and "massive windows"
overlooks what the spokeswoman called "the focal point of the
hotel," the $2 million outdoor Tiki pool area that abuts the beach
and the Gulf of Mexico.
The pool features waterfalls and a children's slide and is
surrounded by lava rock formations. Fast food for breakfast and
lunch is available poolside at Quinn's.
Also for the youngsters, Marriott's Compass Kids Club, an
activities program for ages 5 to 12, is open daily from 10 a.m. to
The cost for the first child in a family is $30 for the day and
$25 for each subsequent child. Lunch and ice cream are served.
Hourly rates are available.
The resort's two restaurants also underwent redesigns. Kurrentz,
the more formal of the two, has a contemporary ambience with a
Pacific Rim menu that features "exotic" seafood and prime steaks,
according to the spokeswoman. The more casual Tropiks serves
hamburgers and the like.
Golf packages include accommodations in a guest room with a
partial Gulf view, 18 holes of play per day, breakfast for two at
the Rookery Grill at the Club or the breakfast buffet at Tropiks
and a golf gift item.
Package rates per night for two golfers, commissionable at 10%,
are $535 through April 20; $455 from April 21 to May 31; $290 from
June 1 to Sept. 30; and $375 from Oct. 1 to Dec. 25. Rates for one
golfer also are available.
Call (800) 438-4373 or (239) 394-2511 and ask for package code
GLFA (two golfers) or GLFB (one golfer).
For more information on the resort, visit www.marcoislandmarriott.com.
Play school a family affair
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. -- At the Rookery at Marco, kids get into the
"We're seeing a lot of parents bringing their kids in early to
learn how to swing a golf club and not hurt anybody with it," said
a spokeswoman for the Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf Club and
Spa, which owns the Rookery.
The teaching staff offers skills enhancement classes for the
accomplished player along with programs designed for the novice
golfer, including children.
"There's no better way to learn than to go to an instructor who
is used to teaching children," said the spokeswoman.
The resort encourages family participation, she said.
"It's kind of cool if mom and dad join in. Remember miniature
golf? It was fun to play against your parents -- and beat them,"
The practice facility's menu of packages, which include lodging
on instruction days, refreshments and video swing analysis, is as
• Three-day game improvement school. Offers breakfast and lunch
on days of instruction and the use of a golf cart. Package prices
start at $1,175 per person.
• Two-day weekend /short game school. Offers breakfast and lunch
on instruction days and use of a golf cart. Prices start at $675
• Two-day selection session package. Starts at $500 per
For more information, call (888) GO FALDO.