Given the great reviews on Tripadvisor, my wife and I were very excited to stay here but during our stay found there to be several pros & cons with this hotel. First, we were a bit dissapointed in the room. I had booked on Orbitz due to a promo code they were offering but (following the advice of hotel management on Tripadvisor) called the Island Inn just to make sure I understood all of the room options available. I stayed in the Matthews Lodge, and while it has a screened in porch with a view of the water, it was smaller than I expected as it is simply a king size bed and a couple of crammed in chairs. It was a tight squeeze. In hindsight, I could have stayed in one of the larger rooms with a kitchen, sofabed, and two queen beds for cheaper which would probably have been more comfortable. I don't think the view from the larger rooms would have been as nice, but since we spent all day outside and the hotel is on the beach anyway a view from the room really was not that important. I wish this had been explained better to me when I called the hotel to discuss the room options.
The other big problem with the hotel is that they leave around 8pm and maintenance leaves even earlier, so if something goes wrong you are screwed. This led to an unfortunate experience in our room which did put a damper on our vacation. Our first night in Sanibel, a cold spell hit and the outside temperature went into the 30s. We obviously had to turn our heat on as the room was also drafty but it was not working! We had a representative from the hotel come and look but she could not fix it, and maintenance was unavailable so she called the night security guard to come take a look. As we were late for dinner reservations, we asked for the heat to be fixed while we were out, and when we came back we had a note saying the heat was fixed. We turned it on and it was barely working, with short spats of heat coming out but we figured it would be good enough and the temperature was forecasted to rise the next few nights anyway. Well, the next night it was in the 40s and we went to turn on our semi-working heather but this time it did not work at all, in fact only cold air would come out. It was freezing! We called the night security guard again (the hotel gives no other options to get assistance past 8pm) and he played with the heat for awhile but could not get it to work. He did offer to move us to another room but said it was somewhat far away and it was very late and my wife was not feeling well so we opted for more blankets instead. The next day I went into the office and told the front desk how uncomfortable we were and they told us that a repairman was coming and we wouldn't freeze again. Bottom line is I think the hotel should have checked to make sure the heat was working ahead of a well forecasted cold spell and it was irresponsible not to.
On the more positive side, the hotel is steps from the beach and there is beautiful shelling right there, although this is true of any other waterside hotel in Sanibel (most of them are on the water). The Island Inn also has a recreational area where you can play volleyball, shuffleboard, or tennis. The employees are also very friendly, as we had long interactions with a couple of them while watching them trying to fix our heat. The room was also very clean.
Regarding the breakfast, we were actually pretty pleased with what was offered. It is a continental breakfast, so they had yogurt, donuts, pastries, fruit, coffee and orange juice. It is not a full breakfast so if you want that, drive up the street to the Over Easy Cafe. It was enough food to get us started in the morning and I thought it was nice.
In conclusion, this hotel was adequate and has its pros/cons. However, given how uncomfortable my wife and I were for the majority of our stay we were happy to leave. With the numerous hotel options on Sanibel Island, when we return we will not be staying here again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 31, 2012
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to share your experience.
Report response as inappropriate
I’m sorry you were disappointed in your room choice. In our experience, most couples prefer a room with a king bed as opposed to a room with 2 separate beds. We do have a room option called our Gulfview Kitchen Suite, which is a bit larger of a room with one bed, separate sitting area with sofa, full kitchen and screened balcony. This option was likely not available through Orbitz. Nevertheless, I’ll be sure to relay your experience to our front desk staff to better describe the overall size of each room type.
I’m also sorry there were issues with your air conditioning unit during your stay. We do test these units prior to check in and, although rare, they do sometimes fail. We try to offer alternate accommodations, such as with your case, when we are not able to fix the issue immediately. Regardless, I will be sure to bring this issue to the attention of the maintenance staff in an effort to better predict these rare maintenance issues.
Otherwise, I’m glad you enjoyed your time on Sanibel Island and hope you have a wonderful New Year.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.