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“You can tell people who haven’t been here before when they walk in the doors. They are in no rush to check in. They just come over and stand at the top of the stairs and look out,” said Danny Hegarty, front office supervisor. The main pool is a level below, so guests are looking straight out at the water, not the backs of deck chairs or people milling around Quinn’s, an indoor-outdoor restaurant. The complete makeover and additions to the former Marriott allowed it to surpass several of the the hotel chain’s higher levels of luxury and become a JW property, which is one notch below the company’s crown jewel, Ritz-Carlton. A 94-room adults-only tower with a rooftop pool will open later this year, completing a $320-million makeover. Marco Island, with a beach 3.5 miles long, is a 2 1/2-hour hour drive from Tampa Bay. But when travelers cross the bridge from Naples, it seems much farther from the real world or even picturesque Florida.

A fire dancer performs every evening at sunset. Photograph by Katherine Snow Smith

Bay Magazine - March, 2017  

Fly Away. Vol. 10, No. 5. Copyright 2017.

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