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“Great beach” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Island Inn

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Island Inn
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   3111 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
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Ranked #5 of 27 Hotels in Sanibel Island
GreenLeadersSilver level
Falls Church, Virginia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Great beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

We recently spent a week in the Matthews Lodge at the Island Inn. The room was clean and comfortable, but very small for a week's stay. It did have a screened in porch with table and chairs which expanded the space a little - if the weather is nice. The restaurant doesn't serve lunch and the continental breakfast needs some new options - it's very limited. We didn't go there to dinner as other nearby restaurants were more highly rated in Trip Advisor. The beach and activities are very, very nice, and the staff is wonderful. There is no fitness facility, and the one that they recommend has very old equipment.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to leave a review of your experience. I am so glad you enjoyed your overall stay and hope you can make it back to Sanibel Island soon.

To add information for prospective guests:

If a larger sized accommodation is desired for extended stays we suggest the Gulfview Studio in our Starkey Lodge or one of our cottages. They both have full kitchen facilities, along with our Gulfview Kitchen Suite and Gulfview Kitchen rooms.

Our restaurant serves a Complimentary light Continental breakfast to our guests, which consists of fresh baked pastries, fresh cut fruit, hard boiled eggs, yogurt assortment, coffee, tea and fresh squeezed juices. Traditions on the Beach, our bar and lounge, is then open for dinner at 5 PM. Guests who book their accommodations directly with the Island Inn receive a 15% off discount for the restaurant and it is consistently a top choice for Sanibel diners.

We recommend guests use the Sanibel Recreation Center as their gym while on the island. It is approximately 2 miles from the Inn and has fairly modern facilities. By googling Sanibel Recreation Center guests can find the site that lists their classes, equipment, programs and facilities.

Again, thank you for your patronage and comments. I hope your travels home to VA were safe and you are able to return soon!
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818 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (263)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
South Jersey
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

My husband & I stayed here last month for an extended weekend trip to get out of the cold. While he weather was not ideal, this property certainly was. Such wonderful, helpful staff and beautiful grounds. The beach directly in front is superb for shelling in the morning and sunsets in the late afternoon. Our room was quite large and very clean. The restaurant on site was fabulous as well - we ate there 3 times! Other reviews indicated there was an issue with the hot water - just give it a few minutes, its get nice & hot!
This was our first visit to Sanibel and we would highly recommend Island Inn!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Thank you for visiting the Island Inn and I’m so glad you had an enjoyable Sanibel Island experience. It sounds like the Inn’s unparalleled beach proximity, relaxed, old Florida atmosphere combined with our modern accommodations and amenities were a perfect match to your needs and expectations. Thank you for your recommendations and we hope to see you again soon! :-)
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

We recently spent 4 nights at the Island Inn and stayed in the newly renovated Starky lodge. The room was clean, new with modern kitchen/bath, equipped with good A/C and ceiling fan and very comfortable beds. Nice screened in porch with table and chairs (try to get a room on the 2nd floor for best views).

The only draw back is the restaurant, it would be good if they were open for lunch and improved the Continental breakfast a bit.

Would recommend the Island Inn and would come back.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and for taking the time to leave a review of your experience. I am so glad you enjoyed your overall experience and we look forward to your return.

For prospective guests, our restaurant serves a Complimentary light Continental breakfast , which consists of fresh baked pastries, fresh cut fruit, hard boiled eggs, yogurt assortment, coffee, tea and fresh squeezed juices. Traditions on the Beach, our bar and lounge, is then open for dinner at 5 PM. Guests who book their accommodations directly with the Island Inn receive a 15% off discount for the restaurant.

Again, thank you for your review and patronage. I hope you will be able to return to Sanibel Island and the Island Inn again soon! :-)
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SALEM
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

The Island Inn is unique -- The 10 acres of grounds, with buildings in a u shape with open area facing the water, and landscaping create a lovely setting. Units have screened porches so you can enjoy your spectacular water view! There is a large heated outdoor pool. Beach chairs are provided free to be used at the pool or on the beach. The dining room is lovely and we found guests and staff friendly and polite. They provide a nice breakfast buffet. We liked our dinner so much we could eat there every night. We love the apartment--though cozy, the unit was beautifully decorated and designed to included features for every comfort. The large walk in bathroom was very luxurious. The only thing missing was a dishwasher but for the amount of cooking we didn't miss it, We were thrilled to find this Inn last year and came again this year. After coming to Sanibel for 35 years, we hope we can keep coming back to the Island Inn for the next 35!.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for choosing the Island Inn for your annual Sanibel Island visits. I’m glad our old Florida charm, world-class shelling and low density, combined with our modern accommodations and amenities were a good fit for your needs and expectations. We are proud to be your new Sanibel Island home and will look forward to your return next year! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, South Dakota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

You'll note from the reviews for this hotel that the manager has an excuse for EVERYTHING that is wrong, even stating that they have nothing to do w/ the restaurant. That being said, I can tell you that we travel extensively & have stayed in fabulous places- this is by far, the worst hotel we've ever stayed in! We booked our room thru a travel site. When we arrived they informed us that we had reserved 2 rooms instead of one and that we'd be responsible for it. They also told us that normally, they would call the party if they noticed 2 rooms booked- they did not call us. The bldg. our room was in was having maintenance work done at the main doorway & they told us we'd have to go around the bldg. to get in. We had to carry all of our luggage THRU THE SAND to get to our room from the outside. Not cool. When my husband put the key into the door the entire lock mechanism broke off and fell on the floor. We had to wait in our room until they could find a locksmith to come from town & fix it. The room smelled horrible, and the floors were very dirty. That night while in bed the TV suddenly stopped working. The next day we had to wait in our room until a repairman could come to fix it. The 2nd nig/ht, while in bed the TV suddenly stopped working again- so, no TV the 2nd night either! We decided to call the desk to report it- SURPRISE! No one stays there overnight. We followed the prompts on the recording we reached instructing us to call the restaurant if any problems- we did- they too, were closed. We dialed the next phone # given us & ended up reaching a hotel employee at his home, on his personal cell phone-- no help that night. Ironically, the manager demanded to know how we got the employee's personal phone number, not believing that is was given to us on their own after hours phone recording! In the evening we wanted to go for a walk on the beach, but the hotel grounds are in total darkness- no illumination whatsoever- very scary and unsafe. They hang an American flag there, but not even it was illuminated, nor lowered for the night. The manager told us it was because of the nesting turtles, but when I pointed out that it wasn't turtle nesting season, then he blamed it on nesting birds! The restaurant was sickeningly dirty, with the filthiest carpet we've ever seen in an eating establishment- very poor breakfast selection. The hotel promotes this restaurant & provides a coupon for dinner. However, the fine print states that they charge a mandatory 18% tip, so any "savings" are meaningless. As they had told us that we'd be responsible for the 2nd room (that they maintained we booked) because they are "100% full & could never book that room this late" we decided to see if that was true. We never noticed a "no vacancy" sign illuminated, so on the first day, we called the hotel from our cell & asked if they had any rooms available for that evening we were told "oh, yes! they have 'several' beautiful rooms available". We called again the 2nd night and we were told the same. So.... when the manager again told us that they were 100% full we pointed out his LIE, then he stated "well, it's 90% filled". (that's not quite the same as 100%, is it?) Ultimately, we did not have to pay for the 2nd room, but are angry over their lies. Interestingly, we were never offered a key to "our 2nd room" the entire time we were there. Lastly, I informed the manager of the safety hazard in our room- the cord from the hairdryer mounted on the wall was so stretched out and long that it lays in the bottom of the sink- this manager was un phased. We'd recommend a stay in a tent on the beach before we'd recommend this place!

P.S. We are easy-to-please folks - this is the FIRST negative review we've ever left for a hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for staying at the Island Inn and we are sorry your stay was not as expected. The staff and management at the Inn remember your experience in detail. We strongly urge prospective guests to book directly with the hotel. A mistake made by a 3rd party online travel agency may prove to be more than a guest can overcome, causing a disappointing vacation experience as a whole and leaving the hotel staff handcuffed as to the level of assistance it can provide.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

The Island Inn was a wonderful find on the beautiful island of Sanibel. We were greeted in our room with an unexpected bottle of champagne to help celebrate our anniversary. Our suite was more than we expected: a full modern kitchen, screened in deck overlooking the beach, and large modern bathroom. The atmosphere and personality of the resort is laid-back and romantic. The staff was always helpful and friendly. We especially appreciated the large deck overlooking the beach available to all patrons, bike rentals on site, and the continental breakfast available every morning. The hotel restaurant, Traditions, was probably the best meal we had during our stay, and the staff was attentive and helpful. Enjoyed the entertainment Friday & Saturday night; dancing in the dining room added to the romantic atmosphere. We strongly recommend the Island Inn and plan to return again!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of your experience at the Island Inn. I’m glad the Inn’s relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and unparalleled beach proximity were a good fit to your needs and expectations. We hope your travels home to NJ were safe and will look forward to your next visit soon! :-)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

We spent a week at this Hotel and although the temperature was cooler than we wished for, the staff and accommodations were warm and inviting.
We asked for a little extra car and we got it.
The front staff, the onsite restaurant, even the maintenance and cleaning staff were all friendly and helpful.
We got to know the Island, visited a few friends and generally had a great time.

Room Tip: We had a ground level room which allowed us easy access to the beach. We also faced the sunset. Our...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishingflats, Manager at Island Inn, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Thank you for choosing the Island Inn for your Sanibel Island vacation and for taking the time to leave a review of your experience. I am so glad our staff’s southern hospitality only enhanced an otherwise great experience. Thank you again for your patronage and we will look forward to your return soon! :-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Inn

Address: 3111 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Sanibel Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sanibel Island
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted "Best Inn on the Island," the Island Inn, with its combination of old Florida cottages and modern lodges, sits on 10 beautiful Gulf front acres, offering 550 feet of beach with some of the best shelling in the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Hotel Sanibel Island
Island Sanibel
Island Resort Sanibel
Is Sanibel

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