In its heyday during the '50s and '60s, 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 recent renovations, the spacious rooms are lackluster, and the same is true for public spaces. There are four on-site restaurants and snack bars, none of them noteworthy, and few dining options nearby. The hotel is popular for weddings and 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.
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.
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.
Five-minute drive to Aventura Mall
26- to 28-minute drive to Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins
30-minute drive to Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
31- to 35-minute drive to Miami International Airport
Although design is drab, there's ample space in all guest rooms. Renovations included the addition of tile floors and dark brown contemporary furniture. Modern kitchenettes come with nice cabinetry, granite countertops, and stainless-steel sinks, as well as coffeemakers, microwaves, and mini-fridges. All rooms feature 45-inch flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, balconies or terraces, sofa beds, work desks, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms have tiled walls and floors, and either walk-in showers or shower/tub combos. Cribs, extra beds, cots, and playpens all available on request.
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. The hotel charges a daily resort fee, which does not include valet parking.
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