We spent a week at Sundial, our third time in four years (twice rented through the resort, once rented privately). The main difference for us with the current ownership is that we had free use of the resort bicycles - in the past we've rented bikes for about $40/week each (x4). It was great to have this included, and the bikes were in much better shape than the last time we were there. We had no problem getting what we needed when we wanted (adult bikes, kids bikes, and tandems).
The staff at the pool was much better than in the past - they were pleasant and helpful. Several years ago we found that they pretended you were not there waiting to get a towel. We also felt much less hassled by staff walking around the pool checking for wrist bands.
My kids would have liked to participate in some of the arts and crafts, but the prices were ridiculous - we were not going to pay $6-8 each for a little project that we would then just throw out. I know, I'm cheap, but when I'm paying a lot for the resort it seems like little bottle of sand art could be included in the price.
A couple of points that keep me from giving a 5 star review. The sofabed mattress was horrible! I know it's a sofabed, but it was lumpy and bumpy enough that my kids really complained. It was a bit better when we took the mattress off the sofa and just put it on the floor.
One thin cotton blanket was provided for the sofabed. We arrived late and needed to get the kids straight into bed - they slept in their clothes and sweaters (what they were wearing when we left Massachusetts in a blizzard). The next day I asked for extra blankets, which helped, but three thin cotton blankets were still not enough. A decent blanket or comforter would help with comfort immensely.
Housekeeping. I never know how I'm expected to deal with housekeeping during a week-long stay. I would like to leave a tip at the end, but I realize that it might not be the same person cleaning all week. The first day everything was cleaned perfectly, the second day not as well (all the hand towels were taken away, but no new ones were left, the decaf coffee was not replaced, little things like that). Just out of curiosity, I left a tip on the third morning, and the service was perfect again that day. It then deteriorated for the last few days (one day the pile of wet towels we left on the bathroom floor was still there after the room had been serviced, and on our final day we got clean towels - but only 2 of them for 4 people). I feel like tipping is supposed to be a reward for good service, not a payment in advance for any service. Honestly, we were happier when we rented a unit privately that did not include housekeeping - this way we were not expecting a service that we might or might not get.
Our apartment was quite nice. The kitchen was just barely well enough supplied for basic cooking (we cooked most of our own meals). Two TVs (but the remotes didn't work on the DVD player, which we could barely make work using the buttons on the machine - we could get it to play, but not to access any menus).
Overall, we had a very enjoyable trip. My kids love the main pool and the slide, which is the only reason we rented from the resort rather than privately. We got a great deal when we booked (I would never, ever, pay the $300+/night rates that show up on reservations page), and we will return in the future if we can find a good deal again.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sundial Beach & Golf Hotel Sanibel Island
- Sundial Beach And Golf Resort
- Sundial Beach Hotel
- Sundial Beach Resort
- Sundial Beach Sanibel Island
- Sundial Sanibel Island