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“lunch by the pool!” 5 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
Brookfield
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“lunch by the pool!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

Great food, great service, ate there twice for lunch and attended a happy hour there.
The caesar salad with salmon was good and the cheeseburger was awesome.
Happy hour and has nice little appetizers, we tried the homemade chips with pimiento cheese, very nice.
Waitstaff super friendly, very attentive! Would definitely recommend for a great lunch spot.
Look up Paul the bartender, he will take care of you.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
So great to see you got to enjoy our great service at the restaurant.
Highly recommend for you to try one of my personal favorites next time you are here, the clay pot grouper!
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, be sure to ask for me next time you are here.

Julio A. Morales
Director of Services
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479 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (135)
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new york
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

I had read Trip Advisor's reviews of Sundial which referenced a work down appearance and discussed my concerns with my travel agent. She then talked to this resort who assured her that apartments had been remodeled due to feedback like this.
So we signed on. We paid a lot of money per day for an apartment with soiled and worn furniture. The apartment was clean but smelled of clorox which was not very appealing.
Our travel agent believed while we were not directly on the beach that we would have a water view. We looked out a a solid wall of a building in front of us.
Out dinner the first evening was mediocre and the service was non-existant. By the time we were served at 9 Pm, we were the last people in the restaurant. I had a pasta with mixed sea food, which in reality had only pieces of one kind of fish. When I questioned what I had received, the server went away and somewhat later return with two very small shrimp to add to my dish.
We celebrated our anniversary while there and our son tried to have a bottle of wine delivered to us as a surprise. He got the run around for a while, and finally gave up.
We did not use the beach or pool facilities. We had not come for these amenities so i cannot really comment on them. The resort is directly on the water.
if you have a big family and are coming for sun and fun, this may be fine, but if you are accustomed to some quality of service and a nicer apartment, I would look elsewhere. We will certainly not be back.
The people at reception were courteous and informative, but could do nothing about our accommodations.

Room Tip: If you are paying for a beach vacation, be sure your apartment is actually on the beach with a beach...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 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.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Jane:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay.

We will address these points. I assure you the feedback of our hotel will be reviewed and most certainly forwarded to the appropriate departments. We take the confidence our guests place in us very seriously and work diligently to rectify any unsatisfactory experiences. We take all reviews positive and negative very seriously, and your feedback will help us improve for our next guest or your next visit.
Thank you again.

Julio A. Morales
Director of Services
239-395-7231
julio.morales@sundilaresort.com
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Pittsburgh
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

We had a 1 bedroom condo with and ocean view for 10 days. Thay advertise high speed WiFi which was not the case. If you wanted to use your I pad at 2 AM you may have a chance. When I mentioned this to the front desk they recommended that I try to use my Ipad when people are out. That is when I want to be out also not sitting in my room. The main restaurant in the complex is only open Thur thru Sat. and that is during the peak season. the people at the front desk treat all customers as though they have stayed there every year. They give no information on amenities, which are paid for through a $20 per day per person or $100 per person per week Resort Fee. They wanted to place a $500 hold on my credit card for incidentals. I objected and said I would pay cash for any incidentals and agreed to a $50 hold. The woman then ripped up cards with our names on them and said we wouldn't need them. It turned out we needed them to access the amenities. One person at the front desk asked if I would like to speak to a manager, I said yes and they transferred me to his voice mail and he never returned my call. The island was beautiful but I would never return to the Sundail.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Hank 3667:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay.
Yes, the associations are working on getting new internet provider on the condos. I am sure that while you were here you noticed that the internet service in the Main building was more than adequate.
I am surprised that you mentioned that you did not received a call back after reaching out to someone.
If possible I would like to talk to you to get some more details and to be sure that we better our experience for the future.
Please feel free to call me at 239-395-7231 or email me your contact information at Julio.morales@sundilaresort.com.
Thank you again for your feedback!
Julio A. Morales
Director of Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western MA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

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.

Room Tip: We had a "coastal view" room, with a bit of a view of the Gulf. While it was very pleasan...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Dear Rachel:
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay with us.
I am glad to see that you and your family had a great time and you could appreciate the difference between renting thru the resort versus a private rental company.

We are hoping that when you come back we will even have Paddle Boards in addition to our bikes, kayak's, beach loungers and umbrellas included in our great amenity package.
I would like to know what unit you stayed at so we can communicate with its owner regarding their sofa bed.
Feel free to call me or email me.
Thank you again for your feed back and we look forward to seeing you again.

Julio A. Morales
239-395-7231
julio.morales@sundialresort.com
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Lynn, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

My wife and I had a great time staying at Sundial but do to no fault by Sundial there were some glitches. I truly appreciate on employee, Shirley, who listened to the problem and went above and beyond to turn a problem into a solve matter and to ensure our stay was great. Thanks. Even after we left and had a problem, She was there to solve the issue. It is obvious to me that the new management is putting their money where their mouth is and building a great resort.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2014
Thank you so much for your comments. I am so glad to hear this about Shirley. She is a great employee. Please keep us in mind when you are back in the area.
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Bethesda, Maryland
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Just returned from a six day stay. When making the reservations, I had requested a unit close to the main pool and access to the beach where the lounge chairs and umbrellas are set up because I have difficulty walking. Instead, we were placed in a unit much farther away. We could have changed a couple of days later when many had checked out but that would have taken several hours out of our short stay packing and then unpacking..and there was a toddler involved. There was no attempt upon arrival to accommodate my initial request.The unit was bright and decorated like a beach cottage. However, it was not that clean with hair and sand on the sofas, food on the floor under the dining table and dirty dishes in the cabinet. The bathrooms also had crud in the corners and along the baseboard. When doing the daily cleaning...it was basic not even changing the dish towel each day. The kitchen was minimally equipped and requesting a colander took several days....I was told equipping the unit is up to the owner but management doesn't check to see if there are the basics. Also, there were holes in the screens on the porch so sitting outside in the evening was precarious... like to be bitten by insects!!

As for the staff, on several days there were few to be seen. Requesting a beach umbrella one day took quite a while and when going to the desk to request one saw the attendant bouncing a ball against the wall while the person in charge said they had too many guests to take care of...there were five people sitting by the pool and no line for requests. There is no phone in the lobby and when requesting a phone to make a short 800 call and a pencil was told to go back to my room. She could not accommodate me.

As for the facilities...there is virtually no spa and very spotty WiFi. I was unable to use my laptop.
The pool area is lovely, however, if you enjoy swimming with toddlers or infants in swim diapers with parents squeezing the water from the diapers into the pool and checking for feces..go for it. Furthermore, there was no one checking the chlorine levels and no life guard.

The scene is lovely, but the place is huge, and there is little oversight from management. If you don't care about service or cleanliness...go for it.

Room Tip: Coastal views have a balcony where you can see the Gulf...no need for a more expensive room. The sou...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Julio M, Manager at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Thank you for your feedback and I am glad that we were able to exchange emails. This will helps us better our experience for the future.
Thank you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

My family and I had a wonderful
stay at the sundial resort. We had a beautiful one bedroom suite. Played tennis on the clay courts daily.
The location was beautiful and the use of the bicycles and kayaks were a bonus.
The people at the front desk were very helpful with a room change.we only at the pool restaurant and the food was very good. The bartenders could be a bit more friendly as well as some of the bike/kayak/umbrella staff. Otherwise it was a beautiful trip and would definitely visit again.

  • 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 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*
Number of rooms: 181
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 & Golf Hotel Sanibel Island
Sundial Beach And Golf Resort
Sundial Beach Hotel
Sundial Beach Resort
Sundial Beach Sanibel Island
Sundial Sanibel Island

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