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“Great hotel with broken wi-fi” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sanibel Inn

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Sanibel Inn
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   937 E. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
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Ranked #18 of 27 Hotels in Sanibel Island
DeLand, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great hotel with broken wi-fi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We were in a room in the Dune Daisy building, which is as close to the beach as any building on the property. There are dunes between the beach and the buildings, connected by a boardwalk. It's much nicer than having the buildings situated directly on the beach.

The check-in process was easy, and the front desk clerk was friendly. Our room was clean, although a little musty. We had to open the sliding door to let it air out a bit. The view of the balcony was of the dunes and water. The room could not have been positioned more perfectly. We had a small refrigerator which worked well.

The grounds were immaculate, and the pool was clean and nice. When we went to the beach, we stopped by the beach attendant's kiosk, and he brought out and set up an umbrella for us. We didn't use the "free" bicycles (you pay a fee), but only because it was too hot and shadeless. We definitely would ride over the whole island in the cooler months.

One night, at about midnight, we went out on the beach to look for shells. We eventually had to flee inside from the relentless no-see-ums. They don't hurt, but there are so many biting you at one time that it feels like your skin is tingling. After a while the little critters wear you down, and have to go inside. As it turned out, one of us had a big reaction to the no-see-ums, and several days later hundreds of raised welts appeared. The itchiness was worse than chiggers and didn't go away for a week. The other of us had no reaction whatsoever. We imagine that if there were a breeze that night, it wouldn't have been as bad, because there was little breeze. The no-see-ums are present throughout the island, of course, and there is little the hotel or anyone else can do about them. They are simply something you have to deal with if you are visiting Sanibel.

Our only complaint about the room itself was the lack of wi-fi. At first, it wouldn't connect at all. We let the front desk know, and they sent someone out to check the router. They "replaced a weak wire," in their words. After that, we could connect, but the connection would drop after one to three minutes. We let the front desk know a second time, and they said they would have to call AT&T. The front desk also mentioned that the router was in the center of the building, and the rooms to either side had weaker reception. That wasn't the case for us, however, since we were in the center of the building. We never had wi-fi during our two night stay. We tested the wi-fi at the reception desk, and it worked perfectly there.

The beach had shells so thick in places that you would have to dig through them. In some places, the shells were more than six inches thick. The shells shifted with the tide. The majority of them, probably 99%, were bivalves; spiral or conical shells were much more difficult to find. There were so many sand dollars in the water that it seemed the sea floor was paved with them. There were Osprey, Brown Pelicans, Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls, and Ring-billed Gulls all over. There was usually a Willet or two on the beach, and once we saw a Magnificent Frigatebird overhead when we were swimming in the pool.

There were a number of nice restaurants nearby, and no lack of things to do. We might give it another chance, but we certainly wouldn't go out on the beach at night, if we did. A week's worth of itching and lack of wi-fi would make us think twice about a place which is otherwise wonderful, clean, and friendly.

Room Tip: Every room in the "Dune Daisy" building has beautiful ocean views and balconies. There is...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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930 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (248)
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We've been going to the Sanibel Inn for many years and up until recently it has been wonderful, however on our last visit the reception was less than expected. The front desk clerk was unfriendly when I inquired about a weekend get away package offered vs. booking nightly. Basically the answer from him was you got what you got and you can't change it, fortunately I asked the same question a few hours later and the woman at the desk was very professional and polite. She went out of her way to assist me and was disappointed in the manner in which I was treated by the morning clerk.
Upon checkout the clerk who checked us in was much more polite and willing to assist. Will we be back? You bet!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Kula, Maui
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

This is a year-round beach community and thus crowded. Once you are on the property the congestion isn’t as noticeable. The landscaping is Florida and not Hawaii. “Natural”
is good to a point, but a little fresh water can do wonders for plants and thus the general atmosphere of a location. The only reason one would want to spend time in the rooms is to sleep or get in out of the heat.

On both Sanibel and Captiva one feels guilty walking on the beach because one invariably breaks many shells a kid up north would love to have. That being said, the best selection for variety seems to be South of the Inn toward the light house. However, for those of you to whom size matters, we found bigger and more varied ones a short drive, or medium bike ride, at the North end of Captiva.

Be sure to visit the shell museum.

Room Tip: Look at the layout on the website and choose a room closest to the water.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Venice, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

This is an older resort that has been well maintained. The rooms are clean and attractive, some with attractive views of the Gulf between Sanibel and the Estero mainland. Dining Room was marginal, but in fairness, we visited in a very low season.

Room Tip: Interior- located buildings have limited view of water.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

This was our first stay in Sanibel and we are in love with the island. We arrived at 10:00 AM and were able to check in to our room immediately. Our Gulf-view room was very clean and the view was spectacular. My husband and I enjoyed two days of walking the beach, riding bikes around the town and kayaking on the Gulf. The front desk staff and the young man at the recreational kiosk were extremely helpful and made us feel like family. It was such a peaceful stay as we left the balcony doors open and enjoyed the peaceful sound of the ocean throughout the night. We took an early walk on the beach and observed a pod of dolphin cruising close to the shoreline for at least an hour. Grandma Dot's, The Island Cow, The Sanibel Bean and The Bubble Room on Captiva Island each served up delicious meals for every tastebud. The Sanibel Inn provides guests with complimentary beach chairs, tennis racquets, kayaks, and bicycles as well as a changing room with showers. My husband and I highly recommend that you visit Sanibel and stay at the Sanibel Inn.

Room Tip: Gulf view room provides a peaceful and romantic setting.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Sarasota, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

We booked one night at the Sanibel Inn before taking the ferry to Key West. While intended just as a stop over, we enjoyed our experience there very much. The staff was friendly and very organized even when there were multiple guests with requests. We had a second floor room with a view of the Gulf and it was lovely to enjoy the view as the sun went down. (Just a note, in November you cannot see the actual sunset from the room). I realized that I had not printed out my boarding pass for the ferry. The desk clerk (Shahana) worked very hard to figure out how to print the pass from my phone. She made it seem that it was important to her to get the passes printed. After many attempts, she called the ferry (while we were at dinner) and found out that we did not need to have printed boarding passes. What a relief! However, an hour later, she called and then delivered to our room the printed boarding passes as she was leaving for the evening. I would definitely stay in this hotel again - management must be doing things right to hire and retain staff who make a difference.

Room Tip: Get a beachfront room!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Live 3 hours away and have a 2 year old. Wanted somewhere we could check in early and enjoy the day at the beach on Sat check in day. Was assured there wouldn't be a problem. They suggested we call when we were on our way to make sure room would be ready. we did. We called at 9 am and told them we would be there around 11. We arrived at 10:30 and only one person helping. Too busy for 1 person. We checked in and were assured we would get a call just as soon as room was ready then to come back and get key. So we dressed out of the car and headed to the beach. We stayed out there for a couple of hours and decided to go get lunch to go back to room. We ate and came back at 1:10 pm thinking the room had to be ready. Nope... The lady called the room no answer. She said she would call just as soon as it was ready. Well at 4:30 we returned after driving around for 75 miles with a two year old and behold the room was ready. No one ever called. The carpets in the bedrooms were very dirty. Worn out bedding. only Light in extra bedroom inop. Had to use table lamp. Not even close to being worth $299 per night.
Will never stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Sanibel Inn

Address: 937 E. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sanibel Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerse yourself in nature at Sanibel Inn. The Inn offers a wide variety of accommodations and amenities surrounded by beautiful gardens and tropical palms. Come to Sanibel Inn to discover why Sanibel Island was just ranked #1 Favorite Worldwide Destination by Arthur Frommer and #5 Top US Beach by Trip Advisor. Just like the tropical flowers in the gardens, Sanibel Inn reflects the colors of the island. From the brightly painted exteriors to the warm soothing interiors of the guestrooms and suites, Sanibel Inn provides a relaxing and comfortable beach hideaway in one of the newly renovated guestrooms and one bedroom suites. Sanibel Inn also offers two-bedroom condominiums that are perfect for families or larger group of friends who wish to stay together. The Sea Star Café is located at the Inn and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with traditional café fare with an island twist. Sanibel Island is all about nature. Discover nature up close by bike via the 22 miles of paved bike and walking trails. Visit J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see a variety of migratory birds and explore an undeveloped mangrove ecosystem. Take a walk on the beaches and find rare shells such as the Junonia or 200 other species of shells. Take to the waters of the Gulf by kayak for a different point of view. Feel like a friendly tennis match, Sanibel Inn has a newly refurbished court on the grounds of the Inn or visit The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. Sanibel Inn guests are also invited to golf at The Dunes where the greens wind through 75 acres of natural lake view fairways and Audubon Cooperative Society wetlands. After a morning of exploration, unwind by the pool and bathe in the warm Florida sun. Just steps away, the Beach Bar offers cool libations and poolside snacks. Sanibel Inn offers a gateway to the various activities on Sanibel and the perfect spot for a relaxing day in the sun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanibel Hotel Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island Hotel
Sanibel Island Resort
Sanibel Inn Beach Resort
Sanibel Bed Breakfast

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