The Marriott stands out for its art and architecture, built around a central courtyard with a big meandering water feature that creates secluded nooks and crannies. Cushioned wicker hanging chairs that hold two or more people sit under the large mature palms. At night it’s a romantic walk through the grounds or a perfect setting for a nightcap amid fanciful lighting and oversize furniture. During the day fresh water turtles sun themselves on the rocks in the water, and if you look closely at the garden foliage you can spot hidden features like an old beach bike full of ferns. There is always something happening in the lobby where big glass sculptures and underwater seascapes set the tone and guests mingle to share a Mexican taco buffet or watch the huge flat screen TV. Find the classic red English phone box in the lobby—it’s next to the spa. It’s family and kid friendly with activities both day and night. S’mores night is hosted by a charming staff member who provides all the necessary ingredients and utensils with marshmallows roasted over three big bonfires on the beach with the songs of the Beach Boys playing.
The rooms feature dark wooden furniture, large closets, walls accented with art, small balconies, and iPad ports. Right in the middle of Seven Mile Beach it’s close to shops, but on a spot with less sand than the Westin or the Ritz-Carlton. There is a feeling of being in the center of things here, but it can feel crowed with larger groups. The pool is not quite big enough for the property, but there is good swimming in the sea just in front. You can dine inside in AC for the hearty breakfast buffet at the Red Parrot, or on the beach front at Solana with the evening breezes. The Wednesday night all-you-can-eat-lobster is worth the trip even if you aren't staying at the hotel.