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Marco Island Heritage

There’s more to Marco Island than meets the eye. With its sub-tropical climate, Ten Thousand uninhabited neighboring islands, and awe-inspiring Everglades at its doorstep, life in Marco Island is Paradise.

Marco Island is the largest and most northerly in a chain of Ten Thousand Islands stretching to the southern tip of the Florida mainland. Among the many wonders in this region include bottlenose dolphins, manatees, loggerhead turtles, sea otters, wood storks, brown and white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles and herons and egrets.

Long before our resort came to be, Calusa Indians were flourishing here and in neighboring regions along the lower west coast of La Florida. The Calusa believed the island was sacred and enjoyed bountiful seafood harvests and both land and sea provided raw materials for clothing, tools, and shelter. Expert woodworkers, they often carved hollowed-out canoes, beams and planks for their houses, docks and piers, and more.

In 1962, three Mackle brothers, executives for the Deltona Corporation, took a walk along the north end of Marco Island’s majestic white sand beach and fell in love with the area. It didn’t take them long to dream of a resort and residential paradise. The Mackles envisioned a Polynesian-design theme with homes and resorts and canals cut through the island. Before any construction was done, they dispatched their architect, Herb Savage, to the South Pacific. It was their vision to create a Balinese-inspired getaway closer to home on U.S. soil, and a blueprint for Marco Island was quickly developed. The Mackle Brothers’ paradise opened for business on January 31, 1965.

As a prominent part of the Marco Island community, JW Marriott Marco Island believes it is important to maintain the history and heritage of Marco Island. As a result, our property is resplendent with Balinese-inspired ambiance, which is evident in our landscaping, thatched-roof huts, and more. In fact, those same Calusa constructed the thatched roofs and huts we have dotting the resort.

Local author Michael Coleman states in his book Marco Island: Florida’s Gulf Playground, “With every year, every season, and every single day, the magic, the charm, and casual elegance of Marco Island continues to evolve and will always attract visitors and islanders alike to return again and again.”

We are proud to maintain the Marco Island heritage and look forward to sharing it with our guests.

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