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“Harborside not really a 'hotel'” 3 of 5 stars
Review of South Seas Island Resort

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South Seas Island Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   5400 Plantation Road, Captiva Island, FL 33924   |  
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Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Nashville, Tennessee
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Harborside not really a 'hotel'”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

We stayed at South Seas Island Resort Harborside 'Hotel" which is really a condo converted into a hotel... well, sort of. It is dated and not really that luxurious. And you can hear noises from other rooms and people talking loudly outside and doors slamming. Our room was water front which was nice but it was right above the water sport rental and right by the T Dock. All we could hear were children screaming in delight for catching fish on the dock which is nice but not if you are there for peace and quiet. To be fair, the resort does cater to kids. But the reviews of the 'hotel' were so good I thought we'd give it a try. The shelling on the beach was great! The service staff are friendly. The resort is clean. But it is a bit dated. If we go back we will stay in a cottage or Plantation cottage or look at other houses or condos on Captiva. I would recommend staying in Captiva rather than Sanibel. It is less crowded and more secluded except for all the little kids at the resort.

Room Tip: If you stay at Harborside book away from the T-dock and recreation rental. Or stay in a condo or co...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,922 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (502)
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Boston MA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014 via mobile

The beaches and wildlife were terrific. Even from our bayside villa we saw dolphins and a variety of birds. The 3-room "villa" (really a hotel suite) was spacious, well appointed, but worn. The dishwasher leaked; the window seat buckled when my daughter sat on it; the paint and trim look aged. The resort is not a hotel but a mixed development of private homes, condos, timeshares, and quasi-hotel rooms that could be rentals as best I can tell. The overall feel of the resort and the island was cheesy and unrefined. The island and restaurants were very crowded; locals treated us rudely several times (and we are nice decent people). Midweek traffic reminded me of my home in Boston (or Cape Cod on a weekend). I can understand that the property owners here are exasperated by all the visitors like us! Bottom line: if you want a luxury vacation this is not the place. If you want a beautiful beach and don't mind mass-market crowds and greasy food, you might be happy here. Once you arrive, you will enjoy yourself more if you don't drive too much. BTW, the Harbourside restaurant was pretty nice.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakeland, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Stayed at South Seas in 2010 and had an incredible time! Dolphins, sun, manatees, shells, etc. Actually so wonderful when I got engaged a few months ago I booked our wedding at the resort.

Traveling back to scope out everything a second time in Nov 2013 - I was very, very disapointed. Upon arrival the grounds are still as they were years ago, lush and well kept. Checking in we were greated with smiles. However, upon entrance to our room - I stepped in to find dirt at the doorway. I entered the bathroom to find a long black hair on the floor along with public hair and bugs in the shower/tub. The mini fridge was rusted - however, it was clean. The carpet was stained and looked worn and dirty. The white bed comforter had dirt on the side and the balcony furniture was coated in dust/dirt/pollen. We made our way out of the room and down to the beach. As we approached the shore we could hear a rumble. Walked up and over the sea oats we saw a parade of buldozers cruising down the beach. Along the base of the shore was a huge pipe. I understand beach resortation must occur. However, no one notified us of this. I couldnt imagine having my wedding pictures taken with a buldozer in the background. I used the restroom on the beach and the mirror was smeared with greasy finger prints and rust. The toilet was dirty with urine on it and the sink had about an inch of sand blocking the drain. Towards the evening we looked forward to some live music - as the resort advertised. No music played, the lights on the palms never even turned on. After paying nearly $300 a night to check the resort for my wedding - I decided to cancel my wedding with South Seas. Compared to years ago - they have truly declined and I will never return. However, Captiva Island/Sanibel both are magical. Just stay someplace cheaper and cleaner.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for considering us for your wedding. I apologize that we did not exceed your expectations. The beach nourishment is long since complete and I hope that you will return to see the beautiful 200' dune to water line that now runs along our 2.5 miles of Gulf-front beach. Congratulations on your engagement and we wish you all the best.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations, South Seas Island Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erwin, TN
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

My wife and I spent five days at one of the beach cottages. The cottage was very spacious, nicely decorated, and the screened-in back porch gave us a perfect view of the sunsets each evening (I don't have the appropriate words in my vocabulary to describe the beauty of those sunsets; that's just something you'll have to see for yourself). The cottage had a washer and dryer and a large kitchen that was equipped with everything we needed during our stay. The beach was just a short walk away and we practically had the section of the beach behind our cottage all to ourselves.

Now, as for the staff. I don't think I have ever stayed at another resort where the staff was so friendly. From the time we registered until the time we departed, we received nothing but waves and smiles from every staff member we encountered. A special shout-out goes to the concierge, Nicole Rosario. I had corresponded with Nicole a couple of times back in November when booking the room to inquire about some of the amenities since this was our first trip to South Seas. I briefly mentioned to Nicole that this was a 25th anniversary trip for my wife and I when questioned by her if the trip had a special purpose. Several months later when we finally arrived and checked into our cottage, there was a knock on the door. We were surprised to have delivered to us a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates from the manager with a card wishing us a happy 25th anniversary. It's little touches that like that that make a trip special.

While we were in awe of the beauty and size of the resort, we failed to take advantage of the many amenities the resort offered. We did rent bikes the second day of our trip with the intent of only keeping them one day. We ended up keeping the bikes the remainder of the trip as they are an excellent way to view the whole resort, the village outside of the resort, and the dolphins in the harbor at the end of the resort. We will definitely take advantage of the boat cruises at the marina, the jet skis, the tennis courts, etc when we return with our son.

As I told my wife upon leaving, we have been to many places that I dreaded leaving because of our impending return to our jobs, but South Seas Island Resort was the first place that I had been to that my dread for leaving was because of the beauty of the resort. I can't think of a better endorsement than that.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for staying at South Seas Island Resort and sharing your experience. I will be sure to share your review with Nicole and the rest of the team. Thanks again and we look forward to your return.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations, South Seas Island Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

Let me start by saying that my room was booked by a company and was paid for by them. My "room" was an efficiency with a separate bedroom, kitchen, living area, and a large screened in deck. My room was ok. It was a bit dated. I had a partial water view. The bathroom is a sink area as an extension of the bedroom and the WC/bath was a separate room. There were 2 bathrooms in my unit. The room seemed a bit run down with molding falling off the cabinets and carpeting way past its time for replacement. The internet service was very slow. I used my phone hotspot, which was much faster. As mentioned I didn't pay for the room so I don't know if it was a good value or not. I may consider returning if I can get a room such as one in some of the pictures here. The resort was nice and there were a lot of activities, which I did not avail myself of. The tennis courts were quite nice. The pool area was nice as well. The check in staff were very welcoming.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thanks for staying with us and sharing your experience. We are currently updating most of our villas and I hope you will return and enjoy the upgrades.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations
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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

My husband and I enjoyed a 2 night stay at South Seas Island Resort. We attended a business meeting there the first day and enjoyed the second day to ourselves. Knowing it was a very large property, we wondered ahead of time where we would be "placed." Building 18, second floor, with a room overlooking the marina is where we landed. We would have preferred a king room but were told two doubles was all available. Nonetheless we were comfortable in the relatively spacious room which accommodated the two beds, space for a large dresser w/ TV on top, and a desk (usable from two sides) plus sliding door out to balcony with two chairs overlooking the marina. Was initially concerned it could be noisy that close to the marina but it was not. The bathroom area was very spacious and the entire room seemed very up to date. Great soaking tub. There is room for improvement in three areas. First, there doesn't appear to be any noise insulation near the door connecting to the adjacent room. Second, the dining options were plentiful but did not meet our expectations. Our best meals were consumed at Doc Ford's Restaurant near the registration building. Third, what is the purpose of attaching white paper bracelets to every guests wrist upon check-in? There MUST be a better way of keeping track of guests vs. resort-crashers. Everyone in our business group complained about them. The bracelets seem counterintuitive to creating a relaxing experience. We didn't go to the pools but very happily hung out on the beach where we enjoyed abundant sunshine and great lounge chair, towel and umbrella setup service. Drinks and snacks were just a 30 second walk away. Throughout our stay we found the staff to be extremely warm and friendly.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Verona, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Captivia island is beautiful place to chill out for a few days. We took a much needed girls trip escaping the very cold Wisconsin winter. Our trip was great except for our sleeping arrangements.
Room 2008 has unacceptable beds. One room has a king bed which was nothing great but fine however the 2nd bedroom had 2 twin beds that were old as dirt and the springs were coming through into your back. 2 in our group had back issues and couldn't sleep on them. We called the desk and they offered to send some additional mattress pads. We used them however we could still feel the springs in our backs. We asked for a memory foam topper thinking that would solve the issues but they had no access to them. The next day we talked again to the desk and they said they would check on another room and get back to us by 4pm. We had sunset dinner plans and after we left for dinner around 5 they called to see if we wanted to see the other unit to see if the beds were any better. We explained we are on a 4 day trip and lost 1 full day to travel issues and we didn't want to come back at that time and we had dinner reservations. We asked they just bring us more pads to add to the bed. We come back at approximately 10pm to grab jackets and no one had came. Called again and when we returned at midnight we found 1 pad laying on one of the beds. We had requested 2 more per bed. We gave up! At check out I explained again of how we loved everything excepted the unacceptable sleeping arrangements. We got a so sorry. I gave the desk clerk a list of items that were also broke and not working in the unit. These items are not earth shattering but not what you would expect from a premier resort like South Seas. I believe these rooms are owned individually and this owner has not kept this room up and I would HIGHLY recommend this resort but not room 2008 until its beds have been update. Check you beds right away. They may not get as many complaints because its a bedroom most likely used by kids not adult women. Having housekeeping daily was a nice amenity. Pools, beach, golf and marina are all amazing. Check our Keylime Bistro for dinner and Mad hatters! Check out the crab races at Tween Waters.

Room Tip: Ask when the last time the beds were updated and if they have pillow top mattresses. Twin beds hav...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthSeasCaptiva, Guest Relations Manager at South Seas Island Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for staying with us and sharing your experience. I apologize that we were not able to correct the bedding situation in a timely manner. Thank you for providing information about your room so that we could investigate the bedding situation. I'm glad that it did not detract from your overall stay and we hope that you will return.

With warm regards,
Anthonia Smith
Dir of Guest Relations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about South Seas Island Resort

Address: 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva Island, FL 33924
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Captiva Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Captiva Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — South Seas Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 471
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
South Seas Island Resort is located on 330-acres on tropical Captiva Island, on the west coast of Florida, just off the beaches of Fort Myers, Fl. South Seas is an iconic resort village combining a natural wonderland with modern resort amenities and accommodations. The resort offers many styles and sizes of accommodations including guestrooms, one to three bedroom villas (condominiums), cottages and spacious private homes.Activities at the resort include tennis, golf, water sports programs including kayak tours, boating and parasailing. Kids will have a great time at the Sanibel Sea School while learning about the surrounding environment. Enjoy three lagoon style pools, complete with private cabanas located at the Pointe and H2Whoa! With two fun water slides. The resort also features some of the best shelling in the world on the miles of sugar sand beach. For relaxation, the Kay Casperson Boutique and Spa is located in the South Village, providing special pampering with a complete spa treatment menu.Dining at South Seas Island Resort is as varied as the activities, with The Harbourside Bar and Grill and The Pointe located at North Pointe. Visit Scoops & Slices, located next to The Pointe, for ice cream or coal fired pizza. In the South Village, other options include Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille, Starbucks and the Captiva Provision Company, a gourmet deli. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
South Seas Island Hotel Captiva Island
South Seas Island Captiva
South Seas Island Resort Captiva Island, Florida

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