Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Drab and uninspiring
Beige travertine floors, brown leatherette sofas and walls devoid of decoration create an atmosphere that feels more like an airport terminal than a resort lobby. A set of double doors leads to a shopping plaza filled with souvenirs and tacky paintings. Restaurant facilities are uninviting and devoid of welcoming details. For the best visuals, head outside to the pool for an uninterrupted expanse of water and sky.
Quiet and surburban
The hotel is on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles, a barrier island between the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway that is halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The area is largely residential, with little in the way of nightlife or dining, although several strip malls within a 10-minute drive offer some decent eateries. Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is about 10 miles away, while South Beach is about a 30-minute drive.
Spacious but motel-like
Although design is drab, there's ample space in all guest rooms. Renovations included the addition of tile floors and dark brown contemporary furniture. Kitchenettes in some rooms are ample and modern, with very nice cabinetry, granite countertops and stainless-steel sinks. Older rooms are carpeted and feature traditional wood furniture. Bathrooms feature tiled walls and floors, and either walk-in showers or tubs.
Beach and pool are the best assets here
The Ramada Plaza Marco Polo is an affordable, pet- and family-friendly option, and the happiest guests are the ones who stay put by the beach and pool, which are the unquestionably the resort's best features. The hotel offers a nice gym overlooking the ocean, and the included continental breakfast is basic. Valet parking is an added cost, and the hotel assesses a daily resort fee.
In its heyday during the 50's and 60's, The Marco Polo's fabulous oceanfront venue made it one of the top resorts in Sunny Isles where go-go sun worshippers could escape the winter. Today, this faded 250-room hotel still boasts spectacular views and the same beach locale, but little else remains that's especially enticing. Despite ongoing renovations, rooms — though spacious — are lackluster, and the same is true for public spaces. There are five on-site restaurants and snack bars, none of them noteworthy, and few dining options nearby. The hotel currently does a brisk business in weddings and other religious events, which means that large family groups are not uncommon. Still, it's one of the most affordable options in Sunny Isles; budget-minded guests planning to spend their days by the beach and pool might be satisfied.
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