While we only stayed one night, this was a great getaway for us. We only live 35 minutes away, but it's hard to relax and connect at home where there is always something that needs to be done yesterday and the office phone rings even on weekends. The gulf views from the well decorated villa and the breeze rustling the nearby palms was were calming and romantic. The beach was pristine and different from ours -lots more shore birds and different shells. I found dozens of fossil shark's teeth to replenish my giveaway jar for visitors. Even my "been there and done that already" husband enjoyed two long beach walks. I brought a cooler and had steaks marinating, some butter and sea salt wrapped potatoes and onions and fresh corn to throw on the property's very nice propane grills for dinner and blended up some pina coladas to sip while the food cooked. I've been to the restaurant on the island before. It's OK, but everything prepared outside tastes better. There are lights on timers over the grill area and places to sit and eat but it was a bit cool so we ate back at the villa. The hot tub and pool were a relaxing way to end the evening ( we remembered to bring our own beach towels). There were games and books in the unit for longer stay visitors and families, activities, kayaking, and you can bring your fishing gear or rent some. The staff were all very pleasant and welcoming.
The carpet in our unit was on it's last legs but clean. There was a bit of mold in the caulking of the tub, but it's Florida. I have the same problem at home despite almost nuclear efforts to prevent and remove it. The TV and electronics were outdated and the four different controllers had a learning curve I didn't care to explore, but watching the DVD we brought wasn't that important to us. What a great place this would be to vacation with children who enjoy the beach or for someone who needs to get off the grid.
Our island villa units were on stilts. If you have an orthopedic or cardiac problem, children or are out of shape or get dizzy, you might want to specify a first floor unit. We had a third floor unit, but didn't mind the climb and the bellman helped with the bags. We were in a "B" class villa. The clerk explained the "a" class has more amenities like granite tops and flat screen TVs (maybe jacuzzis?). The rates were surprisingly reasonable and we are going to recommend this place to visitors and come back again. We likely would not rent a golf cart--everything is close and if you want a ride, you can tip one of the staff to ferry you and spend less than the golf cart rental ( $ 55 a day). There were only 2 single and one double kayak available for renting and those were spoken for in two hour intervals, so we didn't get to give that a try. We missed Redbeard the Pirate's gig on Friday night for families but the staff said children and adults enjoy that.
If you like partying and nightlife, this is not the place to go. You could ferry back and enjoy live music at the restaurants/bars in Placida or Englewood close by or even head up to Venice as there is always live music at Sharky's in season or at Pineapple's or T J Carney's.There's ballroom dancing Wed. Thurs. and Sat at Gotta Dance in Nokomis for $10, including a group lesson. But, you'd be waaay out of line bringing a boom box and raising a ruckus at night here and disturbing everyone's peace. And during Turtle nesting and hatching season, be sure to follow the guidelines about beach lighting and take beach chairs back to their corral so T- Moms don't get their flippers caught in chair legs. They don't pay attention to what's in their path once their nesting instinct is activated.
If you are driving , I would suggest bringing a gallon or so of bottled/filtered water. The tap water isn't great for drinking. I forgot to let the tap water for coffee sit overnight for the gases to dissipate. The coffee was rank even though I brought my beloved Community Coffee, New Orleans Blend. There is Super Wal-Mart at Jacaranda and 41 in Venice on the way to 776 and Palm Island where you could pick up a disposable cooler, water, and food at reasonable prices if you are going to be staying and cooking. In fact, it's close enough that if you don't have a cooler and are heading straight down, you probably don't need a cooler. Your room rate includes the ferry and the Palm Island staff take you from your car to your room in carts once you're checked in. Have fun!