19th-Century Hotel with Tropical Accommodations and Upscale French Dining
When Captain Bill Collier built his hotel in Marco Island in 1883, the marketing pitch was simple: a “dollar-a-day, bring your own meat" offer. Olde Marco Inn & Suites now occupies Collier’s historic building, but today’s guests are hardly slumming it. For one, an award-winning French chef prepares upscale cuisine in the hotel's restaurant, Bistro Soleil, and you don’t have to bring your own meat.
The old Collier building still has its original tin roof, but in each more recently built one-bedroom condo suite, there's a fresh, tropical feel. The light-filled living room is splashed with a coral hue and decorated with wicker furniture and hanging plants. A private, screened lanai overlooks the lush grounds, which are landscaped exclusively with native plants. Down by the pool and hot-tub patio, palms shade chaise loungers.
Chef Denis Meurgue at Bistro Soleil incorporates flavors from Mexico and the Mediterranean into his upscale French cuisine. The menu favors seafood dishes, such as steamed mussels and seared salmon, which emerge from the kitchen artfully plated. Live bands often perform in the formal dining room, set aglow beneath a 2,000-prism glass chandelier once owned by big-band leader Guy Lombardo.
Marco Island, Florida: White-Sand Beaches near the Everglades
Marco Island—the largest of southwest Florida's Ten Thousand Islands—lies near the western border of the Everglades, one of the largest wetlands in the world. About 30 miles east of the hotel, this subtropical ecosystem supports a diverse population of endangered species, including the American crocodile, leatherback turtle, and Florida panther. Airboat tours cut through acres of wispy sawgrass where you can get up-close views of swamp things.
Marco Island features a beautiful crescent shoreline that stretches along the Gulf of Mexico. Located 3 miles from the hotel, Tigertail Beach offers a quiet stretch of white sands, picturesque dunes, and tidal lagoons. There are countless inlets, rivers, and smaller clusters of islands surrounding Marco Island, making it a great spot to boat and fish. A small fleet of local charter boats plies the waters for snapper, snook, and grouper.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.