Charter Club of Marco Beach700 S. Collier Blvd
Marco Island, Fl 33937
Phone Number: 941-394-4192, (800) 448-2736
Awards: RCI Gold Crown Resort (GC)
Resort Code: RCI #0613
Check in/out: Sat 3pm/10am
Latest update 12/30/04
From RCI Online
|RCI resort description: One of the best of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island will delight water-sports enthusiasts, sightseers, and sun worshipers. A beachfront location puts guests right in the midst of one of the world's best shelling areas. Bicycles are provided so that you can explore your surroundings. A putting green is also available. Close by, the Everglades National Park is noted for its rare birds, tropical flora, game fish, and mangrove forests. Marco Island and Naples offer many designer boutiques, interesting shops, and fine restaurants.|
Hilton Grand Vacations Club description: Positioned at the northern-most point of the Ten Thousand Islands leading to the Everglades, Marco Island’s Charter Club offers a fabulous vacation destination. An extensive selection of activities awaits the adventurous...from sailboat rentals, to an excellent tennis instruction program...there’s something for everyone. More relaxing pastimes are also always available poolside and on the tranquil beach. Spacious 2 bedroom condos with balconies • Fully equipped kitchens • Cable TV/Videotape player • Washer and dryer • 1 heated pool, whirlpool spa and a children’s swimming pool • 2 lighted tennis courts • Shuffleboard • Poolside barbecue grill • Supervised recreation program • Fitness room • Watersports equipment rentals nearby • Golf nearby
Two free-standing buildings of forty units each. The north building is set on the beach while the south building is set back with the pool area between it and the beach. All units have beach view but only the south building has a pool view. Pool view is nice for families with kids. A covered building by the pool has bathroom facilities but also has a large covered gas barbecue grill capable of handling four separate meals at once. Great for shade and protection from rains. In-house phone by grills for perfect meal coordination with the unit. Large pool and plenty of seating. New pool deck 8/96. Luscious tropical landscaping making for best atmosphere of any Marco timeshare. Free use of bikes, Hobie Cat sail boats, kayaks, and sailboards. Lighted tennis courts and putting green. Just Updated: Scott H. Shook, the Recreation Director at The Charter Club of Marco Beach (17 years), stated, "our Fitness Center has been expanded and is now open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.". Thanks Scott. (DrJIM)
Going through the very extensive inventory list was a necessary chore - you are warned that you will be charged for anything found to be missing after you leave. The exercise proved to be a wise precaution for us as there were a couple of items missing; these were promptly supplied after the front desk was notified.
In terms of supplies, our requests for more hangars (there were only 6 for 4 adults) and for more toilet paper were met less than enthusiastically. The major shortcoming for a "name" resort in terms of the unit, and this seems typical of Hilton resorts, is the lack of a decent sound system on which to play CDs or tapes - being restricted to listening to FM music on a tinny clock radio detracted from my enjoyment of the resort.
We found several issues with our unit. First of all, when we reported the failure of the extract fans in both bathrooms, we were told that the units did not have extract fans. Other issues included:
- the door in the MBR's bathroom would stick, leading to considerable noise should someone use the bathroom in the middle of the night
- the guest bathroom had a number of issues. First of all, sawdust appeared under the door every day (termites?). Secondly, whenever the door was opened after being closed, the paper-thin ceiling tiles would fly up and stay up in a skewed postion.
- the veranda light didn't work. This was resolved on the Monday - the bulbs had been removed due to turtle hatching season that had ended only 2 weeks previously
- noise from other units seem to be transmitted easily.
Being a keen tennis player, I looked forward to being able to meet other players. Upon arrival on the Saturday I asked about how to go about finding a partner. My name and number was taken and I was told that the resident tennis pro would contact me to set me up. Unfortunately I never received a call from him. However, an organized mixer on the Tuesday provided me with the opportunity to meet others.
The first activity we attended was the Monday morning orientation session. This turned out to be two sales pitches for area businesses (e.g. charter fishing, nature cruise) but really nothing of consequence regarding the activities at the resort itself. The second activity was the Free Luncheon on Wednesday featuring sub sandwiches and a mini fashion show to promote Kay's fashions - actually your ticket got you a slice (2-inch cross-section) of a sub - I felt somewhat misled. But you could have a second slice if there were any leftovers.
I rented one of the catamarans for a sail - the $20 price (charged to exchangers only) was reasonable for an hour.
The common BBQ grill was a pleasure to use and a good opportunity to meet other guests. Incidentally I can't recall meeting a single owner - all were on an exchange or had been re-located here due to the hurricane damage at other Florida resorts. The pool was clean and warm. We didn't eat in any of the local restaurants - the only one we visited was in Naples.
In spite of the negative aspects of this resort, we enjoyed our stay very much. The resort is located in a lovely spot, the pace is laid back, the units are tastefully decorated and furnished and the sunsets were beauties. If you feel that your feet may object to walking on shells, you may want to bring water shoes for your walks along the beach.
We exchanged into one unit (#305, third floor north building, corner unit overlooking the Gulf and the pool area) and a few months later were lucky to get a second unit for the same September 25/04 check-in (#1002, tenth floor, south building, middle unit) so we could take some friends with us.
We arrived a little later than we expected due to flight delays but everything was ready for us and we were on our way to our two units within five minutes. Fortunately security staff is on site until 1:00 am, but if we had arrived later than that it could have been a case of sleeping in the rain.
Hurricane Jeanne was bouncing along the Atlantic coast of Florida, and was expected to bring strong winds and rain over the next day or two, so all of the patio furniture in every unit had been placed inside the unit. This was a good thing, as the next day we saw some patio furniture in trees - obviously the inhabitants of some units did not like sharing their bedroom with aluminum furniture so they placed it back outside, where the strong winds carried them up, up and away.
During the night we heard the wind howl and knock against the sliding patio doors. Water was forced underneath the door tracks, causing a minor flood in the living and master bedrooms. We used some of our towels to stem the flood, but that wasn't a problem because of the in-unit washer and dryer, not to mention the Tuesday and Thursday towel exchange,
By Sunday morning the winds had abated slightly and we were able to walk on the beach; the Gulf was covered with frothy whitecaps and the wind was still quite strong, but the air was mild and the rain felt warm. We enjoyed the experience and managed to find things to do for the rest of the day.
Monday was much calmer and by Tuesday the weather was back to normal for the time of year - mid 80s during the day and mid 70s at night. Each day was filled with swimming in the Gulf, lounging by the pool at CC or next door at the Radisson (the CC pool was closed for its annual maintenance from Wednesday), shelling or just walking on the beach, reading and relaxing. All in all, a great week.
We enjoyed the free Internet access in the registration building and attended the Monday welcome session, but other than that did not participate in any of the activities offered:
Monday - continental breakfast and orientation, shell creations, tropical hair braiding, scavenger hunt, and sun print bandana making
Tuesday - tennis round robin, t-shirt painting, ping pong and shuffleboard contest, shell and bead extravaganza, and kids' movie and pizza night
Wednesday - owners' social, ceramic and glass painting, fashion show and free lunch, and shell critters
Thursday - hooked on hemp jewelry, HGVC benefits and update brunch, and ice cream social
Friday - tennis round robin, beach bag painting, sandcastle contest, and sand dollar art
The CC has tennis courts and offers tennis instruction. Discounted greens fees at area golf courses are also available. We used the free bikes to tour the area. There were a limited number of pool and beach toys available (discarded by previous guests?) and a folding chair or two in storage areas in each of the two buildings.
We did a bit of sailing, spending $20 for an hour (free for owners) on the larger of the two cats they had. Not difficult to sail and lots of fun! We rented a couple of beach lounge chairs and an umbrella once or twice, but mostly just 'hung out' on the beach. As mentioned by many others, the shelling here is pretty good, especially just after a hurricane.
We had a couple of meals in the Sand Bar (great grouper sandwiches), one at Bimini's (not so great grouper), and one at the Snooks Inn (great outdoor patio right on the water, nice live music). Other than that, we prepared most of our light breakfasts and lunches, and made a couple of gourmet dinners. The kitchens were well stocked, and as others have mentioned, if the kitchen lacked something it is likely only a phone call to housekeeping away.
Apparently the rack rate for the week we were there is $1450 or so plus tax, so we felt we got good value by exchanging there. We would happily return to CC. One way to get back sooner would be to buy a week - fixed weeks are available for sale from the resort for $7,000 to $9,500 asking prices.
We enjoyed our time at CC, relaxing and enjoying the beach, post Hurricane Jeanne. We would rate the resort:
Location - 9.0 - nice beach, nice area; perhaps not a lot of 'touristy' stuff in the area, but perfect for what we wanted - relaxing!
Amenities/décor/unit size - 8.5 - updated, clean, and a decent sized 2 BR unit with a nice view of the gulf. There is a program underway to renovate the units. We believe the south building has been done and by November 20/04 all the units in the north building should have received new tiles and other upgrades.
Resort activities - 8.5 - a nice variety, but low key.
Overall - 8.5
Bob and Suzan Greenhalgh
My 2br condo was beautiful. Pale yellow walls and tastefull decorations. I loved the puffed fish wallpaper in the bathroom. All the usual kitchen stuff but no automatic canopener, just a hand held one which I found after I called. They promptly brought me an electric one. I did not have hot water and they had to replace the whole hot water heater. They did the day I called. Very responsive.
The beach was the highlight for me. Great shelling. Just a note they charge exchangers for sailing lessons now and charge 20 per day for rental of beach chairs. Tacky if you ask me.
Sept is the slow season so lots of restaurants were closed so if you go during this time call ahead. We had a tug getogether at Rookies which is a sports bar and has good cheeseburgers. Other restaurants we went to were Biminis, delicious grouper, These 2 are across from the resort. Kay & Carol said Conrads was good. The raw oysters were awful at Snooks Inn. Also ate at Kretches. Kelli sent the ribs back and I was not thrilled with the fried oysters but Kay's coconut shrimp and Carol's stuffed flounder were great.
We took a catamaran sail and shelling trip which was fun, very relaxing and unreal shells. Took a sunset trip out of Naples on the Double Sunshine which was awful. It poured down rain so hard you couldn't see, plus it thundered and lightning which was dangerous and they would not refund my money!!!The one out of Marco was great!!
Check in was fast and simple and we proceeded to room #108 in the North building. Our door faced the parking lot and I was prepared for a parking lot view and what a surprise when I opened the door and saw the Gulf of Mexico through the sliding glass doors in the livingroom. The main bedroom also had a gulf view.
All units are 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, with a balcony off of the livingroom facing the gulf, where we enjoyed our breakfast and lunch each day.
There was an inventory sheet in our packet so we filled it out and listed the missing items which were replaced the next morning by the housekeeping staff.
Another unit had no hot water and the same day it was reported, a new hot water heater was installed. One morning one of the elevators was making a noise, and within 1 hour, the repair people were repairing the elevator. Maintenance problems were corrected swiftly and courteously.
There was an introduction breakfst one morning by the pool and a free lunch with a fashion show one noon time and each unit got a 10% off ticket for the store that sponsored the fashion show. Of course 4 of us went to the store and bought several outfits apiece. They had a drawing and my friend won a $40 catamaran ride, another won a 1/2 hr tennis lesson, which she traded for a free breakfast at a nearby restaurant. I won a $3 ticket to the ice cream social to be held on another day.
They had daily craft activities in which you paid the cost of the materials. My friend participated each day and made a beaded necklace, glued shells to a picture frame, braided bracelets for her grandchildren and she and I each decorated a sand dollar, and put on a magnet to hang on our refrig. We also participated in a scavenger hunt which was a lot of fun.
There were tennis lessons, kayak rentals, catamaran rentals, and parasailing all from the beach, either from CC or the Radisson next door. You could also rent a beach chair and/or beach umbrella, which we did one day. We mainly sat at the pool but did walk down to the gulf when we wanted to go in.
The previous hurricanes put many beautiful shells on the beach which we collected each morning on our beach walk. Three of us each found a sand dollar but they broke before we got them home.
There are numerous restaurants across the street in 2 or 3 strip malls, several stores to purchase everything from fine fashions to beach chairs to junky souveniers and a 6 theater movie house, where you can eat a meal and watch a movie at the same time. There are spas nearby for a day of pampering if you so choose. Once at CC you really don't need a car unless you want to do some traveling to nearby areas.
We drove to Naples, an easy 20 min ride to meet some hometown friends for dinner.
The fact that we were at Charter Club the only week in September that had no hurricanes also helped to make our vacation wonderful.
I would go to Charter Club of Marco Island again in a heartbeat.
The staff and management at this resort is top-notch and bend over backwards to accommodate your every need. A detailed inventory sheet is given to you at check in, and we were impressed that two small items we were missing were actually delivered to our room shortly after we turned in the sheet.
Every night, there was another beautiful sunset. Charter Club is a quiet, relaxing place to "get away from it all" and enjoy walks along the beach. The shelling was fun and we also had a dolphin surface about 30 ft away from us while walking in the shallow water along the beach. We saw a number of starfish and several dolphins throughout the week.
Taking a hint from the owner we traded with, we went to nearby Isle of Capri and ate at the Pelican Bend Restaurant. Their specialty is sauteed grouper and it is absolutely excellent and reasonably priced ($10.95 I believe) We also did the sunset cruise on the Marco Island Princess on the Charter Club's special Thursday night trip. For $26.95, it was an excellent value and the hot and cold appetizers were plentiful and enough to count as our dinner.
The only disappointment of the week was the Papa Oso's "Nature" Cruise. There was so much that went wrong on this cruise, we actually reported them to the Coast Guard. No safety speech, crew drinking alcohol, and passengers were told it was "okay to throw things like cans in the water because don't you know, they sink and make homes for the barnacles!". In addition, we didn't even get to go to the island for shelling - the captain said it was "too rough". We were so upset about the drinking and throwing of litter into the water that we wrote a letter to the resort manager, who made the Captain bring back our money. We hope that Charter Club ceases to offer this cruise and we recommend that NO ONE patronize them.
Other than that, we would gladly return to Charter Club. I think that anyone would be happy with almost any unit there, although personally, I would prefer being closer to the ocean in the North building and a little higher than 3rd floor. We rate the resort an 8.5.
The view from this unit was very, very nice, particularly for watching the wonderful sunsets. The balcony extended the width of the living room and master bedroom. As far as the on-site amenities, we particularly enjoyed the free use of the hobie cats. The checkout system for using them was great. We had great sailing weather, so we took advantage of using them.
The bicyles were another story. We just wanted to take a one to two hour ride and could not get two bikes. We got to the bike room about 9:00 a.m. and selected two bikes. My husband went to the office to get the keys to unlock the bikes and the two we picked were already taken. We picked two more bikes and the same thing happened. The third time, one of the bikes was a child's size and the other was taken. Frustrated and tired of trudging back to the office, we just gave up. The crux of the problem is a poor system which allows guests to check out the bicycles, but allows them to sit in the rack until the guests just happen to get around to using them.
I suggest bringing salt and pepper and coffee filters. The kitchen is equipped with a blender, toaster, coffee maker, microwave, full size refrigerator and stove with oven. There is a Publix and Winn-Dixie for groceries on Collier Boulevard - we are partial to the Publix.
The grounds were well cared for and the beach was kept clean. There are lots of shells if you want to collect them.
I suggest going to the welcome meeting to find out about the tours. They are special offers to guests. We enjoyed Papa Oso's pontoon boat tour that took us to a small island for shelling. The sunset cruise on the Marco Island Princess was more than what we expected. The hors d'eurves were plentiful - enough where we felt too full to go to dinner.
Marco Island has good restaurants. I recommend Arturo's for Italian and Konrad's for seafood - continental food. Also, for casual dining Snook's is a must.
Marco Island is beautiful. I did not see a cab, bus or heavy vehicular traffic. I rate the Charter Club a 9.3 and would not hesitate to stay there again.
The unit was not small by any means and could easily accommodate 4 adults. The master bedroom suite had a TV, king size bed and shower stall, but no Jacuzzi tub. It also had a view of the ocean and access to the balcony, although for some reason I was not able to open the sliding glass door (may have been permanently locked). The second bedroom had twin beds but no TV. The kitchen seemed fully equipped but we did no real cooking.
The location of the resort is fantastic being directly behind a wide white sand beach (but the sand was much courser that what we have here in New Jersey). Beach chairs and umbrellas were available for rent. Owners had free access to the resort's catamarans but, according to the resort's revised information booklet, RCI exchangers and renters had to pay $20 an hour. Across the street from the resort is Marco walk with its many shops and restaurants, including Cathy O'Clark's and Bimini's, both of which had entertainment at night. Our best meals on the island were at the Bavarian Inn and Arturo's Ristorante Italiano. Marco Island is upscale for sure, but we were surprised how reasonable restaurant prices were. We never felt that any of our meals were overpriced.
I don't recall what activities the resort had for children. We went to the Monday orientation, which was helpful, and the Wednesday afternoon luncheon pool party, which was free. Both were heavily attended. Speaking of attendance, it seemed that most of the people we talked to were owners who had been going there for years. I'm sure there had to be other exchangers there, but we didn't meet any.
This was our second week of a 2-week vacation, the first spent in Jensen Beach. We have no desire to return to Jensen Beach, but we would happily return to Marco Island and the Charter Club. I see where previous reviewers enjoyed the South Bldg. We prefer the North Bldg with its close up view of the beach and, more importantly, the wonderful dolphins and pelicans.
Check-in was fast and efficient. They have luggage carts in the lobby for your use as well as grocery carts which sure makes it easier to bring in your groceries. The unit was clean and the kitchen well stocked. They included dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, paper towels and dish soap. We did not use any of the activities (they were plentiful) as we were next door at the Radisson for the bridge tournament most days.
We played golf in Naples on Saturday and relaxed on Sunday. We had to call maintenance for a showerhead spraying on ceiling and they responded within the hour. There are towel exchanges on Tuesday and Thursday but no maid service unless requested. There is free internet service in the check in area which was quite surprising. All in all a good stay.
Well, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! If we ever return to this resort, I will most definitely try for a South Building unit. The third floor lanai overlooked the entire resort grounds, as well as affording a sigh-inducing view of the beach and Gulf. Had we been in the North Building, we would have missed people watching at the pool, would not have known when it and the jacuzzi were sparsely attended, and I could not have seen my husband cooking at the grills under the pavillion. The North Building lanais overlook the Gulf only. About halfway through the week, workers trimmed the palm trees directly in front of the lanai, opening up the view even more. We could not have been happier with the location of our unit.
If you have a confirmation to this resort and wonder where you are, numbers ending in 01-04 are in the South Building. Unit numbers ending in 05-08 are in the North Building. The first number (or two numbers, in the case of 10) indicate the floor. The first floor is actually the first one above the ground floor, which is used as a rec area for classes.
However, there was lots of room for improvement in the cleanliness arena. The first thing we did was to move the two twin beds together in the second bedroom for our guests. In doing so, dirt, small toys and an earring became exposed, making it clear that the housekeepers do not move the furniture to clean. This was true of living room sofas, as well.
The inside of the oven looked not to have been cleaned since Thanksgiving! Caked on grease was baked to a deep shade of brown on the door and sides of the oven.
There were handprints on the sliding glass doors (which did not slide, BTW. A call to Maintenance did no good. They were hard to open enough for us to get out and back in.) The glass on the front of a hanging print of art showed that someone had spit on it at some time before our arrival, or had applied some viscous substance that dripped. YUCK!
The very first night, upon leaving our unit, we saw several creatures skittering to and fro on the deck between our unit door and the elevator. Upon closer inspection, these turned out to be cockroaches. BIG cockroaches, and abundant. That night we found one in our unit. A call to maintenance did the trick, as we spotted no more the rest of the week either outside or inside the unit, thank heavens! One would think that regular inspections, just by walking around the various floors from time-to-time would prevent guests from having to see this upsetting scene.
Now to the good stuff. The units are attractively furnished, complete with hair dryer in the master bath to a comfortable king-sized bed there (and as said before, two twins in the second bedroom), to an apartment sized washer/dryer combo. Our master BR furniture was manufactured by Thomasville, giving an indication of the quality.
The couches were reasonably comfortable, but the chair in the living room was not - it sagged and gave no back support. Nice big TV plus a smaller one in the master (none in second BR). The kitchen was well- equipped, with dishwasher and ice cube maker (although we didn't like the taste of the water.)
There is a shower stall in the master BR and a tub/shower combo in the second bathroom.
Renovations to South Building units is underway and was done as unobtrusively as one could hope for. It appeared that crews were working from the top down and ground up, as lanai railings on units on the 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 1st and 2nd floors were newly painted sparkling white. The workers were relatively quiet, except for the palm trimmers who cranked up their smoky, noisy chain saws at 8AM.
The pool and jacuzzi were kept sparkling clean by workers who did maintenance every morning of the week, despite several people who ignored the sizable and abundant signs of "No diapered or non toilet trained children in the pool or jacuzzi". Why can't people abide by the rules? There were a couple of families with 4-6 kids apiece who tied up the pool all week with their rambunctious, noisy antics. Each family had at least one in diapers.
The outdoor cooking pavillion is one of the best facilities we have ever seen. Evidently, cooking out is fairly popular, as the grills were fired up non-stop most evenings between 6-7PM.
The boardwalk to the beautiful beach is coated with a kind of plastic that keeps it from becoming slippery and from giving splinters. There were 3 foot showers and one whole-body shower at the beach end. The water in the Gulf was 85 degrees while we were there, inviting long hours of soaking. Shells galore line the beach for miles, so if that's your pleasure, you'll have abundant fodder for your collection.
We brought our portable floaties, and one afternoon, as we lounged on them, lazily enjoying the warmth of the sun and water, two MANATEES surfaced about 12' away! I was so surprised, I jumped off and swam to follow. I saw them surface another 2 times. What an unexpected joy! Of course, we saw dolphins either breaching or jumping clear out of the water every day, except for the one stormy day that we stayed off the beach.
The only restaurant we tried was Joey's Pizza, very close to the resort on the opposite side of Collier. We ordered a thick-crust, which was phenomenal! Our party also ordered chicken Parmigiana and stuffed shells, both of which were excellent.
My husband and daughter rented a wave runner for one hour on the beach. Be prepared to give the credit card a work-out. $120 per hour! Needless to say, they did it only once.
The same outfit rents beach lounges with cushions and umbrellas. They, too, were pricey so I'd recommend you hop across the street to Wings or SunSations and buy cheapies for the week. You could save even more by driving to the K-Mart or Wal-Mart on the way to Naples and doing the same.
While the units at the Charter Club are somewhat on the smallish side (but adequate) for two bedroom units, they are very functional and comfortable. If this resort would institute measures for quality control in the housekeeping and insect control arenas, this would be a top shelf resort. The beach facilities are top-notch, the recreational facilities are superb, as well. The location can't be beat, either for its beach or its nearby shopping and restaurants. The Charter Club earns a solid 7.5 in our estimation, comparing it to other resorts into which we have exchanged. We had a lovely stay, and would return again, gladly.
We never went back to the office. We loved our room and was glad we were not changed. Unit 103 is in the South Building (2nd floor) and provided a beautiful view of the pool, Fish Pond, as well as a distant view of the Gulf.
The unit was clean and had everything you would need. My wife participated in the daily craft projects that cost between $5.00 and $8.00. Projects were, Making a Picture Frame with Sea Shells, Coffee Mug Art, Beach Bag Painting, etc.. She felt the projects were not challenging in any way, perhaps too easy, nevertheless she enjoyed them.
The Monday morning Welcome Meeting was short and sweet with no timeshare pressure. A local individual offered charter fishing for up to 4 individuals for $75.00 each. I went with 3 others and the trip started at 7:30 A.M. and lasted until 1:00 P.M. The boat was not that large, about 27 feet long, and sufficient for the 4 individuals on board. The Captains name was Jeff Smith. Between the 4 of us, we caught a mixture of King Mackerel, Spanish Marker, Snapper, Snook, and Grouper. At the end of the trip, he fileted and split the catch 4 ways.
Before we left, my wife indicated she wants to return.
We were in unit 207 in the north building. Our view was wonderful, and we found our unit to be very spacious. We were four adults in the unit. The second bedroom though, has 2 twin beds. The balcony was large. We enjoyed our morning coffee sitting there, however, at night, be sure to have mosquite repellant, as the balcony is not screened and the little devils will get you. (you are right over a lot of tropical foilage). My family enjoyed the "free" use of the hobie cats. They were given a lesson on the first day, and they took them out quite a few times. My daughter and friend also made use of the kayaks, and tennis courts. Walks on the beach were so much fun and relaxing. I love collecting the shells, and really came home with a nice little collection. The pool area was very nice, plenty of room and chairs. We spent most of our days right on the beach and was very content there. We did rent two chairs and an umbrella for 5 days. The cost was $63.00. But the umbrella is worth it to me, otherwise, I would not be able to hang out on the beach. My daughter who is a sun worshiper, went across the street to the beach store and bought a lounge chair for $10.00 and just left it behind. It served its purpose for the week and saved her some money.
There seemed to be numerous activites/crafts for adults and kids going on each day. The welcome breakfast on Monday was very informative about the Charter Club and the area. They also gave away some very nice raffle prizes, including parasailing and waverunner discounts. There is parasailing next door at the Radisson, however, my daughter was given a price of $70. a person for about a 10 minute ride.
On Wednesday, they still have the luncheon/fashion show as stated in previous posts, however they no longer are allowed to barbecue. So they purchase sub sandwiches from a local supermarket. They were very good. Again, raffle prizes were given away. They do have a very good, "no pressure" meeting for Hilton Grand Vacation Club owners, just to bring you up to date on what is happening. It is a group meeting, and if you want further information about purchasing into the club, they just ask you to see them later.
I do have a few very small negatives, just some things we noticed, but would certainly not prevent us from returning. I know the units were recently refurbished, but there was something that still felt a little dated. The blinds were really bad and difficult to use, however it was mentioned at one of the meetings that they were next to be replaced. Some (not all) of the kitchen utensils could use replacing. Our can opener was really rusty. There is no middle of the week cleaning or sheet change. There is a towel exchange on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 only, and you must deliver your towels to the houskeeping department for the exchange. So, you do need to be there during that time to do so. Again, these are such small things, I don't think I could find any major complaints. I would definitely return there in a heartbeat.
If you don't feel like driving at night, you can walk across the street to a variety of restaurants/bars. We enjoyed Biminis. Good food and nightly entertainment. There is also a really cute Mexican restaurant, Nacho Mamas, with really good food, There is Rookies, Marco Movies, an Irish Pub to name a few. On our last morning we walked to the Hilton for the breakfast buffet. Down the street a little way is Tides. They have a nice happy hour and good food. Not walkable but very good and reasonable, is the Golden China buffet. (there are coupons for restaurants, so watch for them if interested). We spent a lot of time at the Sand Bar, a nice bar/restaurant with pool tables and really good chicken wings.
I see there is not to much to add from previous reviews, and I do not think much has changed. One thing, is that pictures I have seen of the Charter Club and the beach do not, as usual do it much justice. Everything is much nicer and more beautiful when you get there. Even for a slower paced week, time still went by quickly for us. Our experience this trip was very positive and we give the Charter Club a big thumbs up, and if you are lucky enough to hit on availability, do not pass up an oppurtunity to spend some time there.
The resort has a lot of activities (painting for the kids, Tennis Round Robin Tournament, sailing, a free barbecue lunch on Wed with a fashion show from a local store). The staff is great and helpful. Tennis lessons are available.
The units are beautiful and are very well maintained, continually upgraded/repaired/redecorated as necessary. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, dining area, living room, balcony with full beach view. There's a very nice pool, although the water is a little warmer than I would like.
The island has lots of wonderful restaurants. Many of them are not cheap,
but you generally get what you pay for. I can't say that there's a lot
of sightseeing stuff in the area, although we really haven't looked much,
we use it as a "kick back and lay on the beach" type of vacation. You can
find plenty of souvenir-type shopping. It's a nice drive up to Naples (about
1/2 hour), where you can find plenty of shopping and restaurants in both
Tin City and the old section of Naples, as well as a Teddy Bear Musuem
if that interests you.
New furniture, wallpaper, paint, carpet, bedspreads, upholstery, window treatments and accessories will be included in the renovation. The new color scheme will include pale yellow walls with sage green, pink and yellow accents. There were samples of the furniture, upholstery and color scheme in the clubhouse area. The scheme has a beautiful tropical feeling.
The kitchen had extensive supplies with additional items available including juicers, woks, and griddles. Every item on the checklist was in the unit. Dish soap, dish washing powder, sponge, paper towels and coffee filters were in the unit. There wasn't a first morning coffee pack and I didn't notice salt and pepper, but we always bring our own.
The resort has a huge amount of activities available, which must be one of the reasons that it is rated so highly. Many of the resorts in Coastal Florida just give you the beach and expect you to make your own fun, but not this one. Almost everyday, there was some kind of group social event including orientation breakfast, wine and cheese social, karaoke, hamburger dinner, sailing venture, ice cream social and round robin tennis tournament (they have their own pro on- site for lessons too).
In addition to the typical t-shirt painting, some of the more unusual activities available were "Art in the Tropics" in which they supplied an artist's canvas, paint, brushes and expert instruction and you created your own acrylic painting ($28), scuba lessons ($20), family portrait session (free sitting on the beach), golf tournament against other HGVC resorts, and japanese fish printing ($16) which created a beautiful watercolor painting to take home. In addition to all of this, there were the previously mentioned catamarans, wind surfers, kayaks and bikes (all free).
Check in is 4:00 pm, but they let you check in at 3:00, not sooner.
The resort staff was friendly, efficient and quite extensive. I give the
resort a solid 8.5, once renovations take place, I expect it will rise
to 9.5. Submitted by: Dawn Kirschner
However, aside from the master bathroom, our unit (207) needed refurbishing. Also, we had a problem with an army of small ants in the kitchen. They even got into an unopened pastry box. We ended up putting all food in the fridge.
We brought our putters, but found out they have taken out the putting green although RCI still lists this as one of the resort's amenities.
We had a great time and definitely would return here again, but would
like to see the units updated. Submitted by Steve McDonald
Furnishings are getting dated. Marco a bit removed from Naples - almost
a 40 minute drive into "town" - the best golf courses are up in Naples.
Three courses at Lely on 1/2 hour away. Watch out for radar traps on main
road into Marco - never went by without observing at least two cars pulled
over. Submitted by: Rich Ferguson
On Wednesday, we called the front desk to inform them of an issue that had arisen. We noticed that the room had not been cleaned thoroughly in a while. Since we had two small children with us crawling around, we probably see places that others would not. Behind our couch were popcorn, pretzels, and crumbs left from previous owners. It was definitely a build-up of more that a few weeks. There were curlers left in the furniture and under the couch. That night we noticed an increasing number of ants in the kitchen and a roach in the master bath. We were concerned that the lack of cleanliness and some remodeling in the building contributed to the issue.
The assistant manager offered to call an exterminator and have us change rooms if we wanted to do so. She told us that the exterminator came every month and the bugs were inherent to the island. Since we had spent time putting up the children's safety netting and we had a full refrigerator, we asked if the room could be cleaned and we would accept the offer of an exterminator.
We spent two to three hours in our room waiting for someone to contact us and finally called back to be told the exterminator could not fit us in until the next day at noon. After calling us and asking us why we did not like her cleaning, the maid came up at 4 PM and vacuumed the living room behind the couch. The next day we waited in our room again from noon until 2 PM when the exterminator arrived. He told us that although they came to the Charter Club every month, they only did one building a month so the rooms we were in had not been done in almost 60 days.
We expected someone in management to come and see the problem in person. Additionally, the lack of information we received had us waiting for hours, which could have been avoided. We assumed the maid would do a thorough cleaning of the entire place including behind the refrigerator where the ants were attracted. We did not leave food out and threw out our garbage every night in an effort to keep the bugs away.
The manager, Wayne, left a message on Friday at 5 PM to follow-up with us based on the situation we described on comment cards completed on Wednesday. We left a return message on Friday at 5:35 PM with our cell phone number and have yet to here from him. We were left dissatisfied with the lack of management attention during and after our visit. No one seemed to care if we were pleased with the resolution of our issue. We expected someone to come to our room to view the lack of cleanliness for training purposes at the very least. We expected the rooms to be re-cleaned in an effort of apology, and we expected to hear back from the manager, Wayne.
With this in mind, you can't beat the breath-taking location. There
are lots of activities, water sports, golf, etc., several good restaurants
and the pool is very nice. There is a baby pool and sandbox area for children
and gas grills. Submitted by Dave Halffield
This resort is supposed to be extremely popular - a 1 in 4 restricted resort. However, we found our unit to be in dire need of a face lift. It had a very 80's look, and was looking rather seedy. It also was not very clean. Also, the bed linen was kind of soiled. Also, I stripped the bed when we left and the pillows were all stained with perspiration. I also looked under the bed as we packed to make sure I hadn't forgotten something, and it was filthy. I say all this knowing I am definitely not a "clean freak"...so when I notice something......I think the resort
is having employee problems, as many places are due to the high employment rate. They also had a new manager and probably a lot of things are in transition. They also had incorrect information in their list of weekly activities and it inconvenienced us, once quite a bit. So check the times on things.
However, the beach is great, free sailboats, and a good looking pool. We love the beaches at Marco, although the very best beaches are further north. There is a beach called Tigertail..you have to pay to park...but it's awesome. The sand is like walking in flour.
Oh, as far as supplies, no s&P, or sugar, but otherwise pretty good. It's nice to have a washer and dryer in the unit and beach towels they provide and other towels are exchanged at least twice a week.
So, we would definitely go again...but I think the Charter Club needs
to spiff up a bit to get back to where it used to be. (Oh, this was also
the opinion of an owner we met who had bought a unit the first year they
were offered.) Submitted by Sherrie Wiesner
We were in the south building, 402, and were able to see the ocean sunsets from our MBR and balcony - beautiful! I agree with everything else I've read below about the resort, except for the noise. We were never disturbed by anyone making noise and our room overlooked the pool. There were other children there besides ours, but not large numbers of kids (mid-May). Rooms ending in "03" or "04" would have an ocean view but not a sunset view (maybe nearer the winter solstice they would).
We rented a large beach umbrella and 2 cushioned lounge chairs for the week ($16/day or $60/week) from a concession near the resort (they set up and take down daily). The front row of these booked up the first day there, so if you enjoy the shady, peaceful view & need to watch little ones near the water's edge, consider doing this on arrival day.
My husband thoroughly enjoyed sailing the free Hobies for an hour or two each day, sometimes bringing some of us with him. We also tried the sea kayaks (wobbly, fine in low waves) and our daughter tried out windsurfing.
A note for shoreline fishermen: The main access bridge to Marco Island has a platform sidewalk running its length, slightly under the bridge. Parking is available at either end of the bridge. For much of the day, this is a breezy, shaded location for fishing and crabbing. We didn't catch anything in an hour or two there - others nearby caught a couple small rays and tossed 'em back.
Also, a couple blocks further down the street from the Charter Club, there's a public access boat launch park and snacks/bait shop. It's sunny but in two visits, we caught quite a few interesting fish - a catfish (?), a silver angelfish, black and white striped fish (like a zebra), a few bright yellow and orange, a blowfish (of all things!) and we had several broken lines by larger creatures. While we fished, we were entertained by all the pelicans who dove down after the fish we tossed back, as well as a manatee that wandered past and 4 dolphins playing in the area. The kids really enjoyed all this.
There were some men catching fish in the surf - one looked like a little
tuna. On our evening walks, we watched the small rays
following schools of fish in the quiet surf. The water was gorgeous and warm.
We took an airboat ride in a small airboat (seats up to 6) with Eden of the Everglades in Everglades City. Our guide was Danny and he took us on an exhilarating ride through narrow waterways surrounded by mangrove trees and open areas. We saw one 4-ft alligator and a mother & baby manatee, up close. It was $30/adult and $20/child for the small airboat, which can go faster and into narrower areas - worth it if you've never done this, IMHO.
Between the lovely, airy, light-colored rooms, the resort activities
& amenities, the wonderful beach and location, and the general area,
this was one of our best vacations ever. We hope to return again
someday. We did wander over to the grounds of Eagle's Nest a few
buildings up the beach. That resort looked very lovely too, perhaps
more shady and couples-oriented in its courtyard layout, but no free sailing
and fewer rooms with an ocean view.
The Resort is located directly on the Beach overlooking the Gulf... the view is the best part. It consist of 2 large 11-story buildings with 4 two bedroom units one each floor. The South Building is set back off the beach and overlooks the pool and gazebo area... the ground floors on both buildings are used for common areas activities and are floor # 0. Units that end in 1,2,3 & 4 are in the South Building. We were in Unit 603 (sixth floor... actually the 7th real floor ) and were high enough to see over the trees and pool area and see the beach, gulf view, and sunsets. I would think the 4th floor and higher would have this view also. The North Building sits just over the Beach Dunes and overlooks only the beach and gulf. Units there are numbered ending in 5,6,7 & 8. This means there are a total of 80 units at the resort... nice size... not too big but not too small either.
One of our guests actually checked-in prior to our arrival so I have no comments on check-in process. The units were nice size...not as big and nice as Marriott.. but comfortable. You enter the units from an outside balcony overlooking Marco Island facing east. The elevators ( 2 in each building ) are also on the outside and even though we had a middle unit near the elevators.. we never hear them... As you enter, the kitchen is first, dining area and living room combo all have views of the gulf. Off the main area opposite the kitchen is a hall leading to the second bedroom. A washer, dryer in the hall and second bathroom. Second bedroom had 2 double or single beds and faced east.. no gulf view.
The kitchen was standard... microwave, dishwasher, etc. Another nice feature was the wet bar with an icemaker in the dining area. Living area has a full sleeper couch and a smaller matching sofa. TV unit with video player.. videos available for rent at clubhouse..did not use so don't know cost. Off the living room was door to master bedroom with king-size bed and own bathroom. Along the entire unit facing west are glass doors from both living room and master bed room with a full balcony ... super for sipping wine and watching the sunsets. This is by far the nicest feature of the resort... the spectacular view!!! Was a little disappointed that there were no whirlpool tubs.. a standard for Marriott units.
Another super feature of the resorts is all their water craft... they have 4 hobies, a day sailer, windsurfers and ocean canoes all Free to use for both owners and RCI exchangers. We took a hobo cat out one day.. you need to be check out first by the instructors, but nice way to see the beach and other condos. The beach is wide and made up of crushed shells... many shell searcher every day picking up the new ones that wash up. Pool area is very nice size with an 8 man hot tub and kiddie pool also. Landscaping includes a large gold fish pond between the 2 building. For those real health nuts.. they have an exercise room and equipment to work out on. Also had tennis racquets, shuffle board, table tennis equipment available to use.
Activities are scheduled for everyday. We went to the Orientation coffee
and learned about the area. They also had discount coupon to use at most
area restaurants. Played in the tennis round robin, my team won!! Had Karaoke
one evening that was well attended. Did not make the barbecue lunch and
fashion show. Rest of the activities were
canceled due to the Hurricane evacuation.
In talking to the locals, it seems that Sept & Oct are really offseason there. Even though the resort was full, all the other condos were deserted. This was very nice in that we could go to all the restaurants without having to wait for hours as they said can happen during the main season. Can recommend Annie's Dinner for breakfast, Sands Bar for lunch, Snook Inn for lunch or dinner and Arteiros (spelling wrong ) for a very nice Italian restaurant, good wine selection also.
We went backwater fishing Thurs. the Sunshine Tour ( thanks to Ron Donze's suggestion) and caught all kinds of snapper and reds... one to 25"... made a great dinner one night. Could not do the offshore fishing due to the weather. The backwater trip was @ $40 each for the afternoon fishing. They supply everything and 2 of the gals went.. they also caught the biggest fish, much to the pain of the guys egos!!!!
One of the nicest things we did was rented a pontoon boat for the day. They have a planned route along the backwaters all the way to Naples ( about an hour and half trip ). We got to do some fishing and shelling along the way. Docked at the downtown Naples Tent City at the outdoor restaurant and had lunch... highly recommend this trip... this boat would be able to carry up to 10 people and the cost with the discount card including the gas.. was around $140... it was a super nice trip and day.
All in all this was a great vacation and a very nice resort. I will
rate it a 9 only because the units themselves are not quite the Marriott's
standard... but everything else. . other than leaving early to avoid the
Hurricane.. was super!
Many activities were available if you chose to do so - such as t-shirt paintings, shell and bead jewelry, sand dollar art class, shell creations and more. There were also "Charter Kid" activities such as pizza and movie night. The resort also offered complimentary a fun night of karaoke and wine/cheese as well as a hamburger and hot dog grill-out. Big turn-outs for both.
The pool was very big and had plenty of lounge chairs available. The beach had umbrella and chairs available for rental. The resort offered its use of their wind surfers, hobie cat sailboats and kayaks for free to all RCI members. That was fantastic.
Movie theater is across the street and plenty of restaurants to choose from: try our favorites - "The Little Bar" in Goodland; "Snook Inn", "Backwater Nicks" and "Pelican Bend" in Capri. These will offer a taste of what Marco has to offer. Don't forget to check out "Fat Pelican's Deli and Liquor" across from the resort. Excellent sandwiches and also gourmet coffee. Take advantage of the resorts video "package" versus paying to rent by the day. This is a better deal. And the $15 golf package is also a great deal.
This is a great place to visit.
Further maintenance improvements were made this past year. The roofs on both buildings were replaced. The pool and spas were resurfaced. The putting green was eliminated as it was a very high cost amenity which was not getting used much. A second TV was added to the units in the master bedroom thus eliminating one of the few negatives about the resort. New floor tile was laid in the elevator areas of each building. The area underneath the north building was paved plus tables and chairs were added. New door locks were installed on every unit. These are the magnetic card type locks which provide better security than the key locks. Everything we could see at the resort was in very good condition. Definitely a top notch resort.
For those wanting to know about nearby groceries, there is a Winn-Dixie
store and a Publix store on the main drag into town a few miles from the
resort. Plus another Publix which is on the island about the same distance
from the resort but harder to find without directions. Gasoline is always
a little more expensive on the island and for that matter in the region
but a few cents more on the island.
Some of the units were undergoing repair at the time of our visit; this
produced excessive and bothersome noise for a couple of days. The resort
had mailed us three weeks earlier to warn us of the repair operations;
RCI had not provided that information at the time of the trade. The resort
went further and had people out for a mid-week hot-dog/hamburger lunch
in which they passed out questionnaires on the quality and service of the
resort - a nice touch, I thought, and reflective of the new Hyatt regime.
The recreation facilities were full; they included sailing (no charge!),
table tennis, a work-out room, putting greens, and a fine pool. The ocean
was rather too cool to swim in the week before Christmas, though our boys
did take out a paddle boat. Walking the beach seemed a favored occupation
of many people. We took a local bus tour which was interesting; the local
restaurants were quite good. The weather turned sour on us the last
couple of days; by then, however, everyone was convinced they were
having a good holiday!
The activities are great. Kids can make shell animals, paint T-shirts and sand dollars. There are two tennis round robins, a golf outing to a local golf course, the morning breakfast / reception on Monday, the Wednesday barbecue / fashion show where they give away a free RCI week for filling out a Hilton resort survey, volleyball, Thursday evening all you can eat steak / chicken / ribs dinner ($10 per person) sponsored by the in-house sales rep (thanks Annette) and of course the free use of Hobie Cats, sailboards and kayaks.
Went deep sea wreck fishing for the third year in a row with Sunshine Tours' Capt. Rodger Pacelles. For the third year in a row we caught some great fish: Kingfish, Snapper, Grouper. Also discovered the great night fishing at the Marco bridge catwalk(Snook and Tarpon).
Can't really describe how pleasant the atmosphere is while staying at
this resort. It's the best place I've been.
The resort is an 80 unit Gold Crown facility, with all units beach front on the Gulf. All units have two bedrooms and two baths, including a King size bed in the Master bedroom. Two large doorwalls lead to a spacious deck facing the Gulf All units have a full service kitchen, with microwave, full oven, dishwasher, etc. and a wet bar with an automatic ice maker that provides plenty of ice. The resort management was recently taken over by Hilton Vacation Club, and although I have nothing to compare it to, I found the staff to be extremely helpful and eager to please.
Activities provided at no cost include complimentary continental breakfast on Sunday Morning. A Monday night cocktail party, and Wednesday afternoon barbecue and fashion show, in which all could participate. The resort has 3 Hobie Cat sailboats as well as windsurfers provided to owner s at no charge. Each unit is provided a towel exchange each day between 9:30 and 10:30 AM., including six complimentary beach towels provided to each unit daily.
Activities in the area include, trolley tours, several shopping malls, a variety of restaurants, ranging from cheap to moderately expensive. Particular restaurant favorites for all, including our 10 and 13 year old children were the Little Bar and Petrucelli's, located just minutes away. The Everglades are located approximately 30 minutes South off U.S. 41, however the Airboat ride at Wootens was not worth the cost. Naples is approximately 20 minutes north and provides addition, upscale shopping.
Across the street from the Charter Club is the Movies of Marco, a unique theater, in which you are served food as you watch one of 4 movies, ticket prices are cheap also. The weather was great, although it was in the 90's everyday,a constant breeze off the Gulf kept temperatures comfortable, and the bugs away. The water temperature this time of year was 82 degrees, and delightful.
My family and I have been lucky to have traveled extensively in many
upscale resort areas and would definitely rank the Charter Club and the
Marco Island area as among the best.
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