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“Beware the Winter Promotion!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Beach Inn

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Sunset Beach Inn
2.5 of 5 Resort   |   3287 W. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 27 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Oakville, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beware the Winter Promotion!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

If you booked the Sunset Beach Inn because of the great winter promotion, beware! Your $75 "resort credit" can only be used onsite for a few overpriced junky items like plastic cups, T-shirts and beach towels. It can only be used for one restaurant at a sister property miles away.

The biggest issue with the promotion is the room. The "Sanibel" room included in the discounted rate looks nothing like the bright, cheerful photos posted online with colourful linens and a screened in lanai.

These rooms are in the basement. Yes, a below grade motel room - truly a first for this world traveller! They did appear clean but it wasn't enough to overcome the dark dinginess, broken furniture and the awful smell, which we later traced to two plastic air fresheners shoved into the (extremely loud) air conditioner.

The room contained a good-sized fridge and microwave, which would have been very convenient had we stayed, however the rest of the furnishings appeared to be cast-offs from someone's dorm room. all the lamp shades were cracked, the bed covers stained and the beds themselves creaked and groaned as if they would collapse any minute.

The location itself is as close to the beach as any property on Sanibel. Although this portion of beach has been considerably washed out and storm damaged it is still stunning, easily the best feature of the property.

We did not investigate the pool area.

the main and upper floor rooms had screened lanais and may have been quite acceptable. However we did not wish to stay long enough to find out as they were unable to move us until the second night.

We stayed the first night reluctantly as, after much discussion with both the hotel and Bookit.com, with whom we had made the reservation, it was clear we would be charged for the night whether we stayed or not.

We left the next morning for the Holiday Inn Sanibel Island which, for only $40 more a night, I recommend wholeheartedly!

Room Tip: Avoid the basement "sanibel" rooms at all cost!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuxuryResorts, General Manager at Sunset Beach Inn, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your evaluation of your stay with us. We send our sincere apologies that you had a dissappointing stay. I am personally researching each problem raised. Again, by your remarks, we can better ourselves. Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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463 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 (93)
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Noblesville, Indiana
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

If you are looking for a "resort" experience then the Sunset Beach Inn is not for you. The hotel is quite dated and the service not the best. The maid service was quite loud, the maids as they are cleaning during the day spend a lot of time talking VERY loudly to each other about their personal lives! Also, our room was not very clean, I dropped something on the floor and when I retrieved it from under the bed I could not believe the dirt and fuzzy things under there, I did not want to call for cleaning as I was concerned that it would be in the air...also the bathroom floor had some gunk on it. There was a "office chair" (with rollers!) in the middle of our room that had no purpose at all, and the other upholstered chair was stained and ripped! Not what I expect for $180 per night. Our TV went out and the maintenance guy finally got it working again.
What they refer to as their "breakfast" items were old fruit, bad coffee and stale bagels, yum.
The paint was peeling off in several areas of the building and trash was heaped below our window which was supposed to look out over the Gulf....the crows found that area to be delectable.

Room Tip: Good luck, very few rooms with good views or amenities
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Our requirements for this trip were to find lodging that would be clean, comfortable, and affordable. We didn't want to pay for amenities that we probably wouldn't use. This place exceeded expectations. Very friendly staff. Great garden view room. Comfortable beds. Clean room. Mini-kitchen with full fridge, stove, oven, microwave, dishes, pots/pans, etc. was great. Bailey's General Store just a bike ride away. (Bikes are free too which is great.) Just a few things to prepare you for. The free continental breakfast is beverages, carbs (breads, cereals, granola bars), and fruit (apples). It would've been nice to have some yogurt or protein of some sort, but that's minor...and the store is close (and reasonably priced). The water pressure in the shower was great. The pillows were really soft, feathery. I prefer a more firm pillow, but they gave us plenty so it worked out. I'm pretty picky when it comes to hotels, but for the price, this was really an excellent value! I highly recommend and would return. Sanibel is fabulous! I am SO glad we picked Sanibel over the other nearby beaches we had considered. Truly a unique and special place where life slows down and peace abounds! If you are looking for a hopping night life, this might not be the place for you. There are a few spots that stay open late, but most of the island shuts down at 9pm. We thought that was great!

Room Tip: Don't pick the "Sanibel" room. While we didn't actually see one of these rooms, t...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed here for three nights and I wish it could have been longer. On arrival we were upgraded to a room with a balcony and it was a lovely clean and modern spacious mini apartment. The kitchen was well equipped with the basics and the bathroom was clean and had good water pressure in the shower. The beds were comfortable and the TV had an excellent selection of channels and a DVD player which was good as there wasn't much to do in the evenings so we had movie nights (take your own DVD's).
There is a heated pool with sun loungers which was often empty so we had it all to ourselves and the amazing beach is literally 30 seconds away.
There were communal BBQs and a laundry which was useful - it is €3 per wash and €1.50 for the tumble dryer but the machines only take quarters and the reception desk didn't have many so make sure you take some if you are planning to use the laundry.
It was really peaceful EXCEPT in the mornings - we were woken up by doors slamming and people making noise in the apartments above us which was annoying but there was no noise at night or in the afternoons.
The maids were really friendly and did the washing up which was handy. The reception staff were friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. We stayed for the day after checking out and they said that we could use the restrooms in reception and the pool for the day.
I liked the breakfast- it was a selection of pastries, bagels and croissants in reception that you could take back to your room or the pool to eat and great coffee. They also provide complimentary soft drinks in reception all day.
When we arrived there were ice lollies in our freezer which I thought was a really nice touch. The complimentary toiletries were really nice and they provided loads of good size towels which were refreshed each day.
I would love to stay here again and would highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Get the rooms that overlook the beach at the end or at least one with a balcony
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

The best thing that this property has going for it is that it is super close to the beach! Like steps away! Excellent location. It is in the middle of the island and at the place where it juts out... we had great shelling.. but as you know... each day is different and each beach is different, it all depends on tides and times... That being said...
We stayed in the GulfFront rooms, hoped for a king, got a double on the second floor. Not a major issue. (ended up working out ok... because my husband got a cold)

The room was clean but the ammenities needed attention... The socket in the bathroom didn't work. The shutters needed to be repaired and the paint in the bathroom needed to be redone, it was coming off in places. I noticed some spider webs in the corners of the room and a few dead roaches on the floor near the door on the second day we were there. I immediately went to the front desk and brought this to their attention. They told me that the other issues would be taken care of and that the dead critters were from a recent exterminators visit. So glad i didn;t see live ones... but truthfully, in south Florida to not see critters can be a blessing and a suprise. Not that i wanted to see them in my room, was kind of grossed out.

We didn't use the pool but it was large, clean and had lots of chaises.
Have to say I was most dissapointed with the bikes, yes i know they are free for use, But they were piled in a heap and most were unusable. (had flats ect.) I did bring this to their attention and they stated that the company that they used had taken some bikes for repair and hadn't brought them back..., truth be told, all of the bikes could use to be replaced. If you have your own bike and really like to ride, bring it!

The cleaning staff was very kind and made a point of saying hello and asking us where we were from.
The morning breakfast was a really basic continental spread with juices, muffins and such. Wish there was a place to sit and enjoy. We stayed at Song of The Sea last time and enjoyed the courtyard seating.

Kitchen was well stocked with utensils and such, nice size fridge, held all our fresh juice as well as restaurant left overs.
We stayed with the Winter Getaway package and had $75 resort credit which we ended up using on stuff in the gift shop,couldn't make use of the food credit as one of the sister resorts was remodeling and the other restaurant on property , though clean and well appointed, was empty upon our arrival.... went to the Island Cow instead! YUM!!!!

Reasonable Value for the Money..... but wouldn't run back... might try another property instead.

Room Tip: rooms that face the Gulf , are great, you get both the sunrise and sunset! Although they are directl...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Hinesburg, Vermont
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

While traveling thru Florida, we decided to stay on Sanibel Island for a few days. Sunset Beach Inn had a vacancy at a reasonable price. The room we stayed in was in a separate building and was quite small, but comfortable. The breakfast was satisfactory, but they did not have decaf coffee in the lobby. We had to make our own and the staff never cleaned up the pot and mugs. Otherwise, the location was great and the staff was courteous and helpful. We were just a few steps from the beach and the pool. There was a shell washing area and shuffleboard. Overall, we enjoyed our stay, but would want a bigger room in the future.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Our family booked the end room closest to the beach on the top floor. The location is amazing. There is nothing closer to the surf. The room was as promised, although it was showing clear signs of not being kept up. Torn curtains, stains, rust. The view from the balcony allowed us an unrivaled view of the sunset and a great view of our children playing on the beach.

However...from the start of our visit and throughout our visit, the service was consistently horrible. Rude. Unhelpful. Dishonest. Disrespectful. From the start this was a problem for us. Our room did not have enough pillowcases, they said that they were out. The next day we went to check out the kayaks that are promoted on the website and we were told "We are not using those anymore." We opted to use the bicycles, also promoted on the webiste, and we found them to be in a pile on the ground and most were broken and unrideable.

We went to use the laundry and it was a disgusting cellar below the hotel. Finally, we asked about how to use the promotional credits we were told about when we booked the trip. We wanted to use them at one of the 'sister' hotels promoted as part of the promotion. We were told a series of different stories at the front desk that started with the fact that it was our fault to not ask for this promotion when we checked in and that it could not be offered to us after we check in. In the end we were told that we would have to pay another $600 to get the $100 in credits and that we were probably confused by their reservations staff 'who could be over in India and don't know anything.' The next day the staff openly talked about us to other staff while we were getting coffee.

We'll be back to Sanibel, but we'll be finding another spot nearby the Sunset Beach Inn.

Room Tip: Stay on the top floor and get the end rooms closest to the beach if available.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Beach Inn

Address: 3287 W. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sunset Beach Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sunset Beach Inn includes forty-six guestrooms and suites nestled on 4.5 acres of tropical Sanibel Island. Our 360 feet of beach along the Gulf of Mexico offers beautiful shells, tranquil sunsets and pristine sand. Relax by the pool with the Gulf of Mexico across the horizon.Each morning prepare for an activity filled day with a complimentary Continental breakfast, with an assortment of fresh fruit and breakfast breads. Play a set of tennis or ride a complimentary bicycle and explore the 23 miles of bike paths throughout Sanibel Island. Play a friendly game of volleyball with the beach just within view. Two shuffleboard courts await a challenging game near the picnic area. The resort offers two gas grills and picnic tables-perfect for a family dinner out under the graceful palms. Whether relaxation or fun filled activities are in your vacation plans, The Sunset Beach Inn provides the perfect beach getaway for families and couples. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanibel Sunset Beach Hotel Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island Sunset Beach Resort
Sanibel Sunset Beach Resort
Sanibel Island Sunset Beach Hotel

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