I am staying at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott for five nights with my wife while she attends an ultrasound conference. This is a very nice property and a pricey place to stay, but you may find yourself spending just as much on food/drink as you did on your flight/hotel room. Hopefully my review can help you save money with some of the logisitical things I was trying to figure out before we came down.
1. RENT A CAR. Our biggest regret was not renting a car for our entire stay. We decided to take the cab from the airport to the resort. I'd looked in to booking ahead of time and found that it was going to cost about $50 regardless to go one-way to the resort from the Ft Myers airport. A basic rental car would be about $200-$230 for 5 nights and then they charge you $12/night at the resort to self park your car, so $230 + 60 + gas (est. $40) = $330 or thereabout. What you need to know is this resort is extremely isolated. If you want to see anything else in the Ft Myers area (Ft. Myers beach, Naples, Sanibel Island, etc.) you will either need a car or have to take a ridiculously overpriced taxi. Instead of spending the $300+ to rent a car at the airport, we decided to take the airport taxi (about $100 round trip) with the plan of just staying on the resort. Maybe I'm just cheap and you have lots of money, but after a couple days of paying exorbitant resort prices for food and drinks, we decided that we needed to find a liquor/grocery store. We asked the front desk guy and he got us a cab to the local Publix for a $25 round trip fee. Nice to get some needed supplies/snacks and after spending $8-12/drink for a couple days by the pool this seemed like small potatoes. The next day we wanted to see Ft Myers beach and broke down and rented a car from the resort for one day (rental is available onsite through the concierge, but it's more expensive). For a day the rental Jetta wagon cost $65 plus the $10 in gas we used. This at least allowed us to see some more of the area (Ft. Myers Miracle game and Ft. Myers beach area...both fun) and restock our disposable cooler. Basically, what I'm telling you is it might look a little more expensive to rent the car, but it is worth it.
2. FOOD OPTIONS ARE LIMITED The resort has an ice machine, but no vending machines. The first night we actually grabbed ice to melt it so we would have water overnight. Another reason to grab a car is so that you can pick what restaurants around the area you want to try. The Ft Myers/Sanibel area has a lot of restaurants that looked good, but if you have no transportation you will have to eat on the resort grounds. The resort has an upscale steakhouse (didn't try it), Tarpon House (good $13 burgers), and Charley's Cabana Bar. Sitting at an outside table at Charley's they allow you to order from the Tarpon House. Charley's basically has drinks and a few appetizers and flatbread pizzas (some better than others). Service was friendly and for the most part very good.
3. GET THE OCEAN VIEW ROOM The first two nights I was in a resort view room on the fifth floor. The room was fine, but the view was of a roof and some trees.... What I'm getting at is the room I changed to on the seventh floor facing the water was much much better. I'll throw some pictures up to give you an idea. Flat screen HDTV seems like something every hotel would have by now, but I know many do not. This resort does have nice LG 37" TVs with some channels in HD, including HBO if you want movies at night. "Complimentary" WiFi is included in the $15/day resort fee that will be added to your bill. This also covers your usage of the tennis courts, gym, basketball court, towels, etc. Beds are on the firm side, but acceptable. There is a mini-bar in the room, but no other refridgeration unit.......maybe in the nicer rooms, but not in any of the three rooms I've been in.
4. SWIMMING There are two main pools. The bigger pool is a little busier (maybe because it's closer to the bar). There is a hot tub near the main pool and plenty of chairs for suntanning. The pool is 4 feet deep at its deepest point. Pools were refreshing, but more designed for a quick dip than an actual swim. I thought maybe there would be a swimming beach, but there is not. There is shoreline, but it's full of seaweed and nobody swims there. Also, all pools and the hottub close at 8 (although I saw people in both well past 8 and nobody hassled them)
WHAT I LIKE
1. Beautiful spot. The view of the bay from anywhere is picturesque. This is a beatiful part of the world and this is certainly what you're paying for here. The lobby is spectacular.
2. Great staff. The staff has been awesome. Everyone I've dealt with from the valets to the desk staff to the concierge has been smiling and happy to help.
3. Wildlife. There are dolphins surfacing at dusk each day right off the dock! If you're from Florida and see them all the time, maybe this isn't quite as cool. For a Minnesotan who has suffered through a long winter, I thought seeing dolphins, pelicans, and gekkos on or near the shore was cool.
Overall, it's been an expensive, nice, relaxing couple of days. I wouldn't stay here again (unless my wife had another conference here), but I've enjoyed my time. Fun level to money spent quotient just isn't quite adding up for me personally. Hope I've helped. Enjoy your stay!
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- Also Known As:
- Sanibel Harbour Marriott Hotel Fort Myers
- Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort And Spa
- Sanibel Harbour Hotel
- Sanibel Harbour Resort And Spa
- Sanibel Resort And Spa
- Sanibel Harbor Resort And Spa