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“Needs some work but I'll recommend it” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

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Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 27 hotels in Sanibel Island
Lakeland, Florida
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Needs some work but I'll recommend it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

Easy to find. Easy check-in. Seriously, the front desk person couldn't have been more helpful. Signage outside for the front desk sucks - go up the ramp and you're there but all the signs point you to a bar in the back at the pool.

The rooms are very nice, but show some maintenance issues. Little bits of grunge in the corners of the bathrooms and screened porch. The porch needs to be power washed more often. The sheets had some stains, but on the edges, not in the middle, so no big deal.

Really like the tile work in the bathrooms and floors. However there is a downside - the floors above you are also tile. If you get kids running around or people who are loud talkers or heavy walkers, well, it makes for a very noisy night for you. Carpeting would help absorb that some, or some good soundproofing.

WiFi is free and doesn't require a password. However, it's spotty at best. I couldn't stream Netflix or Amazon either night I was there. During the day it was a little better, but at night, forget about it.

Easy access to the beach. Good pool. Adequate parking. Housekeeping was lackluster and probably understaffed. Full kitchen with dishwasher!!

Bike rentals and kayak rentals are included with your room charge, which is really nice. It's easier to get around on a bike than in a car for the most part. It was foggy so we couldn't do the kayaks, but still a neat amenity. The fitness room is good but not spectacular. Of course, I never saw another person in it.

Overall, a typical beach resort, but for Sanibel prices I expect better WiFi and soundproofing. However, the staff does a good job and the amenities being all inclusive counts for an extra star.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

My son and I have visited Sundial 10 times in 12 year, as my son finds it easier to vacation in familiar surroundings and loves the shells. So we keep coming back despite all the issues we've had over the years. Most issues involve the rooms- they are still individually owned, so it is hit or miss whether you will get an updated one, and this is frustrating.

There was a bit of a hitch in getting the room I'd been promised when I booked (and paid in full) 5 months in advance with Marina, but Laurie at the front desk went above and beyond and gave us a really nice upgrade. Thank you!

The lobby and restaurant area upgrades look nice, but there really needs to be a sundries/gift shop- when we originally stayed years ago there was a great shop, with pool toys and all that kind of resorty stuff, but then it turned into a limited merchandise wine and cheese/deli shop, not so useful, and as of late it's just an empty closed off area. Any bigger hotel/resort absolutely needs someplace to get sunscreen/sunburn stuff, aspirin, pop or munchies..no excuse for that not being being open.

Also, to advertise your new name that includes the word "Spa", and then not have one, a year later, is also unacceptable. Not fair for people to have to read the fine print on your website to know it's not even open...

On the good side, happy hour was great, drinks were fantastic! Food was fine. They do seem to have improved their service, and we found everyone very pleasant and helpful, and Sundial has a real gem in Jean down at the rec desk, I have seen him for 7 years now, and he is awesome- nice to see that familiar face and you know he knows what's going on, as opposed to some of the new folks. Oh, and there were Mermaids at the pool!That was a fun touch.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Southern New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

I spent 4 nights at the Sundial in mid February 2014, and the experience was good to very good. My one-bedroom apartment included a full kitchen, a cloths washer/dryer, and screened-in lanai, and a generous king-sized bed. The room, including the bath, was very clean and well maintained by the maid throughout my stay. In terms of the resort, it's certainly not a full-service resort (e.g., no gift shop, no 'spa' other than one hot tub, etc.), but it has a good location on Sanibel proximate to many restaurants and attractions, and the grounds are very well kept. The resort personnel were generally pleasant, although at times the attendant dispensing the towels acted like she was doing you a favor. I got a good price on the room by booking early, so overall, the experience was positive and I would recommend the Sundial to others.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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marine
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

I live on the Island and had guests so we decided to go to lunch at the Sundial which has recently been refurbished. We entered and no one was in the restaurant patio. We asked the employee there if we could have a place in the shade. (We had 5 people in our party). She said I can't move a table...I am not allowed. Her boss showed up and repeated that statement. Two of us were quit sun sensitive and we all wanted to set at the same table. I repeat...there was NO customers in the restaurant. We said "fine" and left and went down the road a mile to Thistle Lodge where we had a wonderful shady outside table.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Latham, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

My family of 5 enjoyed a weeklong stay in a 2BR Beachfront condo (building K). The beach was great for shelling and swimming. The kids loved the pool, ping pong, shuffleboard,kayaking and the adults loved the Tiki bar! The resort was very clean. The staff was very friendly but sometimes moved a little slow. Overall it's a nice place and Sanibel an Captiva are beautiful islands. I give the resort 4 stars - an upgrade such as having waitresses/waiters around the pool area would be a big upgrade and the only Spa on premises is the hot tub. I would definitely return.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Clinton, NY
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Even if the place had been crummy, it still would have been a pleasure to be there rather than in upstate NY. My husband and I had a garden view 1 king bedroom condo, and it was very nice, clean and up-do-date. It was somewhat sterile in the way that a hotel room usually is, no personal touches, so I'm not sure if there is a private owner or if this is resort property. However, the condo had everything we needed and more. We used the kitchen for our breakfasts and lunches (get your groceries before you cross the bridge or shop at Jerry's, as we did). The beach was wonderful, with great shelling. The pool was beautiful and there was afternoon entertainment at the Tiki Bar daily, but we opted to sit on the beach most of the time. The pool would be great for kids though. Our stay included kayaks, the beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas, and the bicycles, which we really enjoyed. The resort has several dining options. We ate once at Turtles (great waitress, sorry I don't know her name), which was good, and since we were there for Valentines Day we did the special holiday dinner deal at the Waterfront Grille, which turned out to be an awesome meal (see my separate reviews of these and other restaurants). I would definitely recommend this resort.

Room Tip: We wound up in a condo next to the elevator. It turned out to be a non-issue - we seldom heard it...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Sundial Building P and O for my mom's retirement vacation. We loved the bikes, happy hour, steps to beach, and beauty of the grounds. My kids loved it too. They did need to move us mid-stay to another room but were very nice about it. The GM Julio was very apologetic since the second room was not as nice as the first. My only negative is we wish we would have stayed longer!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

Address: 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel 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 Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sundial Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanibel Island's most complete resort, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, is the centerpiece of this unique barrier island off the southwest coast of Florida. Sanibel is two-thirds nature preserve providing visitors with an experience of Florida the way it used to be. Sanibel Island is a natural playground where you can feel the white sand beach between your toes, take a refreshing swim in our blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico or one of Sundial's five pools and bike the miles of paved paths around the island. The Resort offers a wide array of activities for all ages including swimming in 5 heated pools, tennis courts, kayaks, bikes and an array of fun family activities by the pool. One- and two-bedroom Residences feature options for views and amenities and conveniences of home in a tranquil, tropical setting. These Residences offer a full kitchen with housewares, living/dining area, full baths and ample space that is ideal for couples or larger families. Best of all, Sanibel's pristine shell-dotted beaches are just steps away. The variety of dining venues are sure to please, offering indoor and outdoor dining options and delicious menu selection. Sea Breeze Café offers casual dining and local, fresh ingredients with a true Sanibel Island tropical flair. You’ll also enjoy the new poolside eatery, Turtle's Beach & Pool Bar, serving up delicious signature drinks and dishes. Waterview provides the perfect private dining and event space, with ample space and spectacular Gulf views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sundial Beach And Golf Resort
Sundial Beach & Golf Hotel Sanibel Island
Sundial Beach Hotel
Sundial Beach Resort
Sundial Beach Sanibel Island
Sundial Sanibel Island

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