Walk out from the glass-walled lobby, a towering A-frame, and stand amid palm trees. Wander down to soft white sand and watch the sun melt into the wide open sea. You could be in Bali. Or you could be at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort & Spa, fresh from its $187 million redo, the largest in Marriott history. CEO J.W. Marriott Jr., was on hand in April as the resort was rededicated in a ceremony with customers, media, and owners Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, an affiliate of Mass Mutual.

The three-year project transformed the resort into an elegant, South Pacific-inspired property that takes full advantage of its rare location: snuggled up to a mile of wide, private beach. It is warm and welcoming, with comfort and convenience an important part of the thoughtful design. Guests appreciate the dramatic marble and mahogany, but they also love the lobby-level Café San Marco, where they can grab coffee and a pastry and walk right out to a terrace table to enjoy them in the ocean breeze.

The property's 62,000 square feet of indoor meeting space is divided between the two ends of the property, just as the 727 guest rooms are split between two towers. Highlights include the Palms Ballroom, which added nearly 10,000 square feet of meeting space, and the completely redone Capri and Island Ballrooms. Exhibit space is available in the 15,000-square-foot Collier Hall.

Outdoor function space includes the Sunset Terrace, cleverly designed with paving stones and lawn so that a reception is naturally but unobtrusively separated from the paths of leisure guests. Also available for outdoor functions is the largest private beach in southwest Florida, where the resort can cater an elegant dinner or a casual barbecue.

And then there is the new 24,000-square-foot Spa at Marco Island, which can do 25 treatments an hour and offers a group menu.

Finally, the resort's semi-private Rookery at Marco golf course, an Audubon-endorsed course, was redesigned by Robert Cupp Jr., along with a new 21,000-square-foot Clubhouse and a 14-acre practice facility featuring the Faldo Golf School by Marriott.