The Boat House Motel

Marco Island, Florida

Inns, Lodges, Resorts

By Claude Preston

The Boat House Motel is a slice of Old Florida in the heart of a fabulous vacation destination. But it also offers a great place to headquarter your angling trip to the shores of Marco Island in southwest Florida. Situated on the north end of the island in the Olde Marco Historic Village that dates from 1870, The Boat House is family-owned and operated by Desiree and Nick Buhelos, but its pedigree goes much farther back.

In fact, the property was original the site of the Griffis & Griffis Mercantile store early in the 20th century. In the 1960s the present building was opened as an extension of what is now the nearby Olde Marco Inn & Suites, catering to high-end fishing clients. Later the Mackle brothers of the Deltona Corporation bought the facility to use as housing for workers building the Marriott hotel. In 1994 the property was purchased by the Buhelos family.

Desiree Buhelos explains the motel’s appeal as being, “Our casual Old Florida vibe and the fishing,” she said. “We are a snook hole and folks come from all over the country to fish from our dock.” Backing up that assertion, the author caught a snook on his fly rod from under the dock lights at The Boat House on Collier Creek.

Desiree went on to explain that their high season for visitors is January through April, but also during the open season for snook fishing. The open seasons around Marco Island run from March 1 until April 30 and again from September 1 to November 30. She also pointed out that many of their guests come from the Midwest, Texas and Europe, but they also host a more local clientele from other parts of Florida. Of special interest to anglers that want to bring their own vessels, The Boat House has three slips that can handle boats up to 24 feet long.

The Boat House has an array of accommodations available. All of the motel rooms are deluxe, including one king studio, eight queen guest rooms, nine king guest rooms and two waterfront king guest rooms. Additionally, three one-bedroom condominiums are offered, as well as the two-bedroom, two-bath Gazebo House.

Coffee makers, cable television, telephones and wireless Internet are provided in all rooms. There also is a heated swimming pool with a surrounding deck, both of which face west providing great views of the area’s outstanding sunsets.

After a day on the water, it is a short stroll to a number of fine restaurants in the village. For more details on visit The Boat House Motel website.

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