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“Fantastic location, right on the beach!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Waterside Inn on the Beach

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Waterside Inn on the Beach
3033 W. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Mid-Week Gulfview Special
Ranked #8 of 27 hotels in Sanibel Island
Delray Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
203 helpful votes 203 helpful votes
“Fantastic location, right on the beach!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Spent a fantastic Labor Day weekend here for 3 nights. Having never been to Sanibel before, we really didn’t know what to expect, but now we’re hooked!

We stayed in Grapefruit 106, and really enjoyed this 1-bedroom space. The unit comes stocked with just about everything you might need, except a dishwasher. I guess we’re spoiled at home. We didn’t realize that the daily housekeeping service only meant that there would be a towel exchange and a trash pick-up, so after the first night we realized we needed to do our own dishes. Not a problem at all, but we just weren’t expecting it. We could have also used a cookie pan in the kitchen, as my husband is a freak when it comes to baking cookies at night when we go on vacation. Instead, we used a brownie baking pan, and just split the batter into two baking sessions. Other than that, all pots and pans, kitchen plates and utensils, along with necessary appliances were all provided. They even provide you with a vacuum cleaner and broom to help maintain sand-free floors!

The bathroom had a tub and shower, sink, and toilet. It was quite small, with no real space to place anything other than a couple of items on the counter. The best vanity space was the dresser with mirror in the bedroom, which is the space I used to get ready in the morning, and reserved the bathroom for just showering and brushing teeth.

While the cottages here are dated, they are clean! There is some rust in the bathroom and while the unit has a very old feel, the fact that it was Spic N Span clean really made all the difference. This was more than adequate for us, but if you’re looking for a 4 or 5 star resort, this is not it. These are beachy old Florida-style cottages.

You really can’t beat the location, right on the beach. No streets to cross, and you get to park your car right next to your cottage. Though Grapefruit 106 is a Gulf View cottage, you can really only see the gulf from the screened in patio, but that’s no big deal. If you prefer to stay in a Gulf Front cottage, I recommend Lime 101 over Mango 102 simply because we noticed several cars parked in the general parking area that were blocking quite a bit of the view for the people staying in Mango 102. Just something to think about. For the money, the Gulf View cottages are perfect!

It is without hesitation that I recommend the beach cottages at Waterside Inn if you’re looking to stay right on the beach in Sanibel!

Room Tip: For a small view of the gulf choose one of the Gulf View cottages that are forward facing -- Raspber...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Hey there Travel Girl: You were so sweet to review our Waterside Inn on the Beach cottages. Sounds like you really had a great time and I know we’ll be seeing more of you. I wish you had come to the office to ask for a cookie sheet because we could have set you up with one. Maybe we would have scored one of your husband’s freshly baked cookies – YUM! Anyway, I’ve made sure that Grapefruit 106 is equipped with one now. Right now, we are in the process of painting, re-screening, and generally sprucing up all the units so hopefully next time the unit will have a new fresh look for you. We appreciate you business and hope to see you again soon. I’ll be looking for one of those delicious cookies!!
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (54)
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English first
Coconut Creek, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Pros:
- Nice, clean, inviting, warm, relaxing small one-bedroom home.
- I found the bed and sheets to be very comfortable. That's where I spent most of my time!
- Inside the cottage is painted and well decorated with a beach theme. There was plenty of furniture and all the necessary appliances and amenities needed to live inside a home.
- I really enjoyed that the kitchen was filled with silverware and pots & pans. This place seemed very "move-in ready".
-The beach was literally in the backyard, only a minute away and no crossing of streets necessary.
- I woke up early, around 7 am, and got to see several jumping dolphins and different birds searching for their breakfast.
- Very close parking.
- The pool was a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Cons:
-The walls are kind of thin, I went to the bathroom and could hear clear as the day, the person on the other side releasing every sound humanly possible.
- I don't know what genius placed the washer and dryer above the bedroom but someone decided to do their laundry at 3:40 AM and I just could not sleep.There should be a policy against that.
-The entrance driveway is dangerous and tight. Every time we were trying to exit, we were worried about a potential on-coming vehicle.

Lessons Learned:

- Next time, I will go grocery shopping before arriving and stock up the kitchen. It would have made my stay more comfortable.
- I am not sure what the pet policy is here but I saw a few dogs which made me nervous. I will ask in a future booking, if I'm going to be staying next to a pet owner.
-The help desk was polite but don't expect a response if you need something delivered to your room. I was just told that I have to wait for the cleaning crew to show up, whenever that would be.
- The beach is littered with seashells which is a pretty sight but do not try to walk barefoot or you will feel like your walking on glass.
- No one mentions the dangers of the beach. Yes. Dangers. I was watching the sunset and tried to take a picture when all of sudden I felt like someone was setting both my legs on fire! I was being attacked by a swarm of "no-see-um's" or "sand-fleas". They thrive on beaches and on dead vegetation. BRING YOUR BUG SPRAY AND BATHE IN IT or you will regret it.

Overall, I will definitely return. There were some bumps but it's all a part of the experience. Thank you for a great, relaxing weekend. Minus the hazards!

Room Tip: The Raspberry Cottage did not have a beach view but I loved it because it felt secluded. I didn'...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, September 4, 2012
Hi Nora, and thank you for taking the time to describe your stay here at Waterside Inn. It sounds like you had a restful, peaceful time here with a few “hiccups”. Let me explain a few things to make everyone more comfortable about coming to Waterside Inn on Sanibel Island.
• Yes, Sanibel Island has No-see-ums that tend to come out at sunset and when there is no breeze. There is no particular season for No-See-Ums so someone coming a day after you were here might not even experience them. The good thing is that there are plenty of products on the market that will keep these little buggers away….the best we’ve found is No-Noseeum Spray. We sell it at our Office for your convenience.
• I’m a bit confused about your comment about the Washer/Dryer being above you. Raspberry is a single story building with nothing above you. The laundry facilities are located on the other side of the pool area.
• Your comment about the entry driveway is correct. We have a very narrow entry so I’m glad your were careful when you came and went. Nothing much I can do about that…..but it is a pretty driveway lined with native shrubby and stately coconut palms ~ drive slow and enjoy the tropical beauty!
• I’m sorry you felt nervous about the pets we had staying here. We are a “Pet Friendly” resort and we allow pets no larger than 30lbs. We are strict in allowing pets that are well behaved. With the 30lb weight limit, we mostly have pets that are friendly and well cared for. If a pet is a nuance, they are contacted right away so as not to disturb other Guests. Please feel free to contact the Front Desk personnel if you have any problem in the future and it will be handled immediately!
• Unlike a Motel Room, the cottages do not have daily maid service. The cottages are housekeeping units which mean that the towels are exchanged daily as well as picking up the garbage. I’m not sure what you wanted “delivered” to your room, but we have limited towels and toiletries at the Office which you are more than welcome to. In the future if the housekeeping is not on the premises, please ask our helpful staff and they will be more than happy to accommodate your needs.

Once again, we appreciate your business and are please that you will be returning to vacation with us in the near future.
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Missouri
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

We got to share our vacation at the Water Side Inn with Tropical Storm Debby from June 24 to June 27. We stayed in Mango 102 which was just a few feet from the beach.
Luckily for us the storm was to the north of us and did not ruin our vacation. We stayed in Mango 102 which was just a few feet from the beach. The cottage had plenty of room for three people. There was one bedroom and a pull out sofa in the living room. The kitchen had the necessary equipment to prepare meals. The cottage was clean and had nice furniture.
The staff was friendly and housekeeping always came every morning to see if we needed anything. The only issue we had was that that the resort was pet friendly. Which we did not have a problem with that, because the guest with pets were responsible. However, there was dog hair on the sofa which transferred to our clothes. Housekeeping might want to vacuum the furniture after guests check out.
The beach in front of the resort was great with plenty of shells. Due to the storm the water was a little rough. However, our seven year old son enjoyed the rougher water. If you need a break from the beach, there is a pool on the property. This was a perfect size and well maintained.
We tried several restaurants in the area. The Island Cow and Lazy Flamingo was good food and reasonable priced. We decided to have a little bit of a more upscale dinner, so we chose Timbers. Wow, what great food for the money and the service was excellent. We went to Captiva and ate at RC Otters. We were very disappointed in the food and especially the money that we spent. We wanted some ice cream, so we decided to go to Pinocchio Ice Cream. I never had seen a line of people so long for ice cream. After we finally got our ice cream, I understand why the line was so long. As we were leaving the island, we stopped at Cheeseburger Cheeseburger. This was another great place to eat.
If we return to the island, we will stay at the Waterside Inn and I will recommend the resort to anyone who is getting ready to vacation on the island.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 13, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your Waterside Inn experience. I’m so glad you enjoyed your Beachfront Cottage, the property and the nearby attractions. We hope your travels home were safe and you are able to return to the Waterside Inn soon.
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Orlando
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

My husband and I took the baby and spent a night here. It was not luxurious but it was clean and comfortable. We stayed in one of the cottages that was apparently just redone including a new matress so we were very comfortable. The cottage worked great for us because we could put the baby to bed and shut the door and not wake her up. It was also the perfect location. We were not on the beach view cottage but it was literally a one minute walk to the ocean.

We also liked that the pool was right there too because with the baby we could go shower her off as soon as we were done on the beach. There were lots of shells on the beach right there and we were able to walk out and watch the sunset. There were plenty of places to eat close by and we went to Timbers which was really really good. The front desk was also helpful, giving us a guide to restaurants and showing us which ones were most likely open. We would definitely stay again!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Sanibelblondie, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
So happy you had a great stay in our Apricot cottage. We have just finished re-decorating the room and it now has a sunny welcoming “Island flare”. So glad you were able to utilize it while you were vacationing here on Sanibel. For anyone else, check out our newly posted pictures of the Honeymoon Cottage (Apricot) on our website and see how it’s changed. Thanks for the review and we hope to see you again soon!
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columbus,ohio
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

we have been comming 2 sanibel since 1972,we stayed there when it was the snook,loved it then & still do.Cant stay there anymore tho 2 expensive 4 me since i lost my husband,We were stationed there in 1948 @ the lighthouse.Back then the beaches were more beautiful,but still nice,will b comming down in aug,but unfortually have 2 stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: we stayed in the 1st cottage on the left,forgot the name. Wiggins Aubrey USCG RET u can see the...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, July 13, 2012
Hi Aubry, I remember you well and once again would like to convey my condolences for your late husband. I know that both of you loved it here on the island, and have seen many changes since your first visit to Sanibel. I hope you stop in and say hello to us when you are visiting in August. Take care of yourself and thank you for the nice review on Trip Advisor.
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Georgia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

Stayed in Pineapple Lodge efficiency with my 10 year old while T.S.Debbie was raging. Actually it wasn't that bad as the wind kept the mosquitoes away and the temps were in the mid 80's. Both of us were extremely happy with the accommodations. Loved having a balcony to enjoy the view of the gulf. We loved the tropical pool setting, easy access to the beach, helpful employees(left my cell phone charger and they were able to call me before I left the island & spot on recommendations for restaurants) and very nice kitchen facilities. I have stayed at other places on Sanibel but this was by far the most enjoyable. We'll definitely be back!

Room Tip: Pineapple Lodge 2nd floor closest to the beach have awesome views!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Thanks so much for the wonderful review. We’re always pleased when our guests have a great stay. I’m glad you made lemonade out of lemons on you last stay…yes, TS Debby gave us some wicked weather but it was kinda exciting to see the waves rage and the palm trees blowing. Living in paradise is always changing and you have to make do with what it hands you. You picked a great unit to stay in (Pineapple Lodge) as it gave you fantastic views of the beach and surf. So happy we’ll be seeing you again!
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LaBelle, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

My last stay here was 28 years ago. I came back & brought my adult children & their little ones so they could experience Sanibel as I had. The property is very lush & tropical, the Pineapple building was very clean & spacious rooms, we enjoy the efficiency rooms so that we can buy our own groceries & cook. The cottages were adorable and very family oriented. Prices very reasonable for Sanibel. No elevator for 2nd floor but the exercise was good for us. I will stay here again! House keeping service daily, even on Jul 4th!

Room Tip: Pineapple end units, Beach front for the best gulf view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Waterside Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Wow, you were here 28 years ago! What took you so long to come back? Well, at any rate, we’re glad you finally returned to our little paradise here at Waterside Inn. Vacations and family is what Waterside Inn is all about. Our beach is kid friendly with gentle lapping waves, there’s shelling right in front of the resort with no busy traffic to deal with, and having efficiency units really helps out on the family budget! We sincerely thank you for your review…………and PLEASE, don’t wait another 28 years to return!
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Additional Information about Waterside Inn on the Beach

Address: 3033 W. 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 Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An intimate Olde Sanibel beachfront hideaway. All units recently refurbished including our romantic honeymoon cottage. Small pets welcome in selected units. Lush landscaping, two heated pools and stunning sunsets. Paradise awaits... just for you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waterside Inn On The Beach Hotel Sanibel Island
Waterside Hotel Sanibel Island
Waterside Resort Sanibel Island

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