Naples, Fla. (January 1, 2019) – Renovated and new hotels top the list of what’s new to welcome visitors to Florida’s Paradise Coast in late 2018 and 2019. Visitors also have new dining and attraction experiences to explore.
What’s New with Hotels
The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort’s $320 million renovation includes the November 2018 opening of the luxurious, adults-only Lanai Tower – the third tower at the expansive 810-room beach resort on Marco Island. In addition to the 94 new adults-only guest rooms, the new tower also features an adults-only dining experience with Mediterranean cuisine at Tesoro, a rooftop lounge, a luxurious new pool deck, the 10-K Alley entertainment center with a combination or real and virtual games, and more. Lanai Tower guests are welcomed with a separate private entrance then introduced to the Paradise by Sirene exclusive experiences provided during their stay. The resort is the only JW Marriott beachfront resort in the continental U.S.
Hilton Marco Island Resort & Spa reopened its 310 completely renovated guestrooms in November 2018. The Hilton’s $60 million full property renovation includes a redesigned lobby, expansive pool deck space, The Deck at 560 Restaurant & Bar and 12,000 sq. ft. of upgraded meeting space.
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples emerged in September 2018 after an extensive three-month summer restoration project including upgrades of the exterior façade, spa and meeting facilities. The popular Gumbo Limbo beachfront restaurant reopened in early November, providing beautiful sunset views.
Naples Grande Beach Resort has completed a transformative $3-million renovation of its expansive meeting and events space. The resort’s ballroom level has had head-to-toe enhancements of its design and facilities, including the latest technology upgrades and new coastal-inspired design. The renovations include the Royal Palm Ballroom and Orchid Ballroom, as well as the adjacent foyers and breakout rooms. An earlier renovation completed last December upgraded the ground floor Vista Ballroom, Vista Terrace and Sunset Veranda. Naples Grande Beach Resort has 83,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space and 474 guestrooms including 29 Gulf-view suites and 50 garden villas. The December renovation also included enhancements to resort dining in the Aura Restaurant, Lobby Lounge and the new Mantra, serving inventive pan-Asian cuisine and cocktails in the evening.
In the southeast Naples area, two WoodSpring Suites extended stay hotels are under development. The first, located just off I-75 at the entrance to Alligator Alley, opens in Spring 2019. The second is under construction just east of downtown Naples with plans to open later in 2019. WoodSpring Suites hotels offer weekly rates, in-room kitchens and a no frills, cost-saving approach to extended stays. Aslo in southeast Naples a new Staybridge Suites is under construction and is expected to open in mid-2019.
The 109-room Old Naples Hotel in the Third Street South shopping and dining district is in the planning stages. The hotel will be located near the site of the Naples Hotel that opened in 1889 and the design embraces the compelling history of the Naples Historic District. The property is one block from Naples Beach and Naples Pier, and is surrounded by the upscale shops and restaurants along pedestrian-friendly Third Street South. The hotel plans to have a soft opening in late 2020 and be fully operational in early 2021.
The iconic Naples Pier now has beer and wine by the glass for sale at the Cosmos concession stand. The pier is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The pier is free to all and has a blanket fishing license, meaning visitors do not need to get a Florida fishing license to fish from the pier. Naples Pier draws a crowd each evening as the prime spot in town to watch the sunset.
Excitement continues to build about the grand opening on January 26, 2019 at Marco Island Historical Museum of the return on loan from the Smithsonian of the Key Marco Cat and other rare Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts discovered on Marco Island, Florida in 1896. The loaned artifacts will be displayed as part of the newly updated Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island permanent exhibit. The Key Marco Cat has been described as one of the finest pieces of Pre-Columbian Native American art ever discovered in North America.
Naples Botanical Garden features the Reflections on Glass: Fräbel in the Garden exhibit through Marco 31, 2019, with a collection of whimsical glass sculptures and installations by flamework glass artist Hans Godo Fräbel.
Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary continues its Swamp Meditation classes the first Saturday of each month in a privately-accessed amphitheater. Participants are lead through a guided meditation session in peaceful surroundings. If you haven't visited the Sanctuary at night, you'll want to check out the fun and fascinating Corkscrew After Hours events providing access to the 2.5-mile boardwalk under night skies with special themed programming. Upcoming dates are February 15 and March 29.
The Naples Princess, a staple proudly serving the Naples community for over 26 years is back on the water after a million-dollar renovation. Under new ownership with the Hoffmann family, the 10-year-old, 105-ft. Naples Princess yacht was restored to its original beauty with some new twists. You’ll see a brighter look with white accents complimenting the high gloss cherry wood, new carpeting, furniture on all decks plus full HD TV’s and an upgraded sound system. The boat will splash back in the water the first week of October. Port O Call Marina where the Naples Princess docks also has exciting changes including a new gift shop, packaged beer and wine sales, and a fresh new exterior.
Those looking for a low-impact and fun way to take a sightseeing tour in either Naples or Marco Island can check out Trike Tours USA. The battery-powered trikes offer a fun and stable ride and are good for all ages.
Marco Island Ecotours has a fleet of fun Craigcat mini catamarans that you pilot using a joystick to steer yourself through the waters of the Ten Thousand Islands. Spot dolphins, manatees and other wildlife as birds soar overhead on a guided tour through the estuary.
Drinking and Dining Developments
We’re hungry to try the new tours offered by Naples Culinary Walks. A variety of morning, afternoon and evening tours last about three hours takes you into some of the best local dining neighborhoods.
Celebration Park is a new food truck park that opened to great fanfare in the Bayshore Arts District just east of downtown Naples. It features an eclectic collection of eight food trucks along with an open-air, waterfront bar. A few blocks away, the Ankrolab Brewing craft brewery is expected to open its doors in early 2019.
Craft brew fans are excited about the expansion of Bone Hook Brewing Company into a full-service restaurant and brewery in the location of the former Public House in north Naples.
The Bayfront dining, shopping and residential complex on the back side of Naples Bay is on fire with exciting new restaurants and bars. Southern Latitudes Brewpub & Grub recently opened with 70 Florida beers on tap, wines by the glass and tasty pub food. Also new is K-Rico Mexican Grill that features wallet-friendly Mexican fare along with some more health-conscious entrees, to be followed soon by a new Mediterranean tapas restaurant. Stoney’s Stone Crabs opened October 15 at the start of the annual stone crab season, and the former St. Germain Steakhouse changed named to K-Prime Steakhouse. It continues to serve fine steaks under new ownership. The popular Shane’s Cabana Bar’s long-awaited expansion project will begin May 1, 2019 so that it will be open for the fall season next year.
Focus on Wellness
Florida's Paradise Coast is becoming more well-known as a wellness destination. The entire region is committed to the Blue Zones Project community-wide well-being initiative. Hotels, resorts and restaurants are amping up their offerings of both regular and special wellness events, activities and menus. The first Paradise Coast Wellness Experience takes place January 19, 2019 with both free and ticketed wellness events throughout the destination.
About Florida’s Paradise Coast
Whether travelers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida’s Paradise Coast — Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades — has an array of vacation options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, a thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining, family attractions and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all. Located just two hours from Miami, four hours from Orlando and three hours from Tampa, the Paradise Coast is easily accessible from some of Florida’s largest cities. Travelers outside of the Sunshine State can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which provides nonstop service to 51 destinations on 14 different air carriers. For more information about the Paradise Coast, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast and #ParadiseCoast, and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.
For more information about the Paradise Coast, call 1-800-688-3600 or visit ParadiseCoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast. Share your adventures with #ParadiseCoast.
JoNell Modys, [email protected], 239-252-2425
Carlyn Topkin, [email protected], 212-891-0214