Before you read the entire review here's the short version:
It's not a luxury resort- it IS a nice beach hotel with lots of amenities- it does have an amazing location- it seems to have a strong following of familiar faces.
Read on if you’d like details-
We stayed in the Sea GRAPE gulf view room #361
I never read reviews when they are only negative- because every place can have a bad day- so I am trying to write this review with both the good and the bad of a place where we had just an average stay.
lots of amenities,
the apple pastries at breakfast,
Free continental breakfast
low water pressure,
staff that was not very attentive to us in particular
can be loud
We stayed at Tween Waters for 2 days over Thanksgiving. (Thursday and Friday). We booked our room well in advance (perhaps 8 months?) and requested a gulf view room on the third floor. I know that requests are not always granted- but this one was and we were grateful since we had never been to the Gulf Coast or FL before.
Starting about 2 months before our trip we tried to email the resort to ask about Thanksgiving Day dining options. We sent 3 separate emails asking what our options would be for the night anywhere on the island. They never got back to us. We then thought we would have to make reservations at the very expensive Captiva House- but there were none available.
We arrived to check in around 6pm and were in for quite a surprise. Apparently- this is where everyone goes for Thanksgiving on the island! We couldn’t even find parking for our car and had to sit in waiting until someone finally left. There was no help. No parking attendant, no reserved space for guests. It was like being at the mall on Black Friday. Not the best way to start our stay at this “resort”.
After checking out the room ( more on that later) we decided to go to the informal dining room called the Crow’s Nest- hoping to grab a burger or something. However, when we walked in we realized….this restaurant was also part of the Thanksgiving buffet. A very kind Hostess asked if we had reservations and the poor lady’s face turned pale as we answered “no”- she kindly said she wasn’t sure how she would be able to fit us in…but she was going to try and work something out- Wow- That is really great service!! In fact the best we received during our stay!!
However, we didn’t want to displace anyone who had been waiting- so we kindly declined and asked if we could just grab a salad at the bar. Even though they were incredibly busy- we were served our salad and drinks-not in a timely manner- however, being that it was ridiculously busy- we wouldn’t even think of marking them down or even complain about it. While dining we noticed that is seemed as though EVERYONE knew EVERYONE in the bar as well as those going into and out of the restaurant. We left the bar area- happy to be going to our room to rest after a long day.
The room- well, just expect a beach hotel room.
IF you go with that expectation you won’t be disappointed. We have stayed at a variety of types of accommodations including 5 star resorts to best Westerns to cabins without AC. As long as we know what we are getting we are generally pleased. It’s when we are misled that we find ourselves being disappointed. And we believe this is what happened at Tween Waters.
The carpet on the floor was old and had stains on it- possibly nail polish? Some of the walls were chipped or cracked. The décor felt dated. The room smelled a bit musty. The AC in the room worked ok. And there was a TV- we didn’t use it so we can’t comment on that. The balcony is screened in- which I imagine is to ward of those nasty no-seeums- The view out our window to the gulf also included the power lines AND a big ol’ transformer- not exactly the view we saw from the web site….The bathroom appeared to have recently been renovated. It had a large granite sink…the only one in the room. It was awkwardly shaped and incredibly large for the smallish bathroom. Each morning and evening while brushing my teeth, the toilet and I had to fight for space due to the shape of the sink. The water pressure was very very low- and.... this is a little thing…. but so. very. annoying. THERE IS NO SOAP DISH ....we had to put our soap, and shampoo, and conditioner, and razor, and shaving cream, all on the small corner of the tub…who has a shower redone without a spot for a soap dish? -
The room seemed relatively clean- but we've definitely stayed in places where it felt cleaner.
The bed was SOOOOO uncomfortable and seemed old! I can’t even remember if the pillows were any good- b/c I was distracted by the backache I had every morning.
The phone in our room had the wrong room number written on it- AND- it didn’t work. We tried dialing the front desk- 3 times- and it never worked. We later used our cell phone to call them directly and as we were trying to explain the situation- they told us : “obviously it’s working since you are talking to us”. I think they could have been a bit more polite.
Oh- and our particular room was right at the top of the stairs. At the top of the stairs…there is a light. This light stays on all night. The door to the room has a window. The window has blinds- the kind of blinds that are between the double pains. Even with the blinds closed we had a bright night light about the size of our suitcase shining through the door all night long. We tried to take a photo of it for the review but it didn’t come out well enough for you to get the picture.
Their wireless will not work in your room…apparently b/c the building is hurricane proof- Which I guess is a good thing if you are a building in FL! You can connect in the dining area- or the lobby, or your car-- while looking for parking.. .
The beach across the street was pretty. It was a beach. It has sand, water, birds, people and beautiful sunsets! It was quiet when we were there. But you had to pay to rent the chairs. Really? Was I going to fly from DC with a beach chair? There should have been some sort of free option.
Our second night was apparently the kick-off for the holiday season for the entire Sanibel, Captiva area. This meant a seemingly endless flow of people coming to the “resort” to see the light display and other festivities.If you are a resident this is probably very exciting. But….I was going to Captiva to get away from the crowds. It would have been nice to know about this before arriving.
Again- IF we KNOW what to expect…we generally go with it…BUT we were imagining…a RESORT- a LUXURY RESORT- AND A PEACEFUL RELAXING VACATION. Not at all what we got.
That same night. Our neighbors apparently had a disagreement. A very long…loud …disagreement. IT went on…and on….and on….all night. From about 11pm-4am!! And yes!! We heard it all!! She was really mad about waiting for so long at the bar for him!!!!! I don’t know if the walls are thin, or they were screaming into my balcony…or the management was sleeping on the other side of the island…but it did not make for a restful, peaceful or enjoyable 2 nights at our “luxury resort”.
Overall, our stay was just ok. a very average- non memorable-non magical-stay. In fact, it was very disappointing based on what we were expecting. Think Dirty Dancing…the original….that’s about what the “resort” reminded us of. IF we had expected THAT our experience would have been different.
When we checked out…the front desk did not even ask how our stay was.
Tween Waters prides itself on its return guest rate of 50% but what about the other 50%. We are teachers, and can’t afford to travel to Captiva every year; however, that shouldn't make our money or our stay any less important than the stay of the people who they know by name.
If you choose to go to Tween Waters don't expect Luxury- think average beach hotel with amenities.