From the map of Old Sanibel to which the Tarpon Tale Inn refers potential guests, it appears that the Inn, if not on the Gulf, has visual access to it . WRONG. It also appears that Old Sanibel is a small village like setting with shops and stores located in a circumscribed area. WRONG. The Tarpon Tale Inn is on the main highway. The grounds are very poorly maintained, and to us, the setting was clautrophobic.
If you don't mind walking to the beach, it's about 4 blocks from the inn and very nice. Like almost all the beaches on Sanibel - there is no parking available for non-residents. This means if you want to bring beach chairs, stuff for kids, a food hamper, know you have to carry it all.
Re service: There wasn't any. No one greeted us when we arrived. Our key was in an envelope on a corkboard as you entered the reception area along with a letter instructing us where to find clean towels, cleaning supplies, etc. There is no maid service at all. 2 days into our stay, we met the owner while she was doing laundry on site, otherwise, she was invisible (altho she did say she was always reachable by phone and we have no reason to think she wasn't).
The room itself was comfortable but quite run down - i think the website said they were recently renovated - this seems hard to believe. Towels are scratchy and dingy from wear and tear. Bikes are provided, and while I found them usable, my husband who is much more safety conscious didn't.
There was a computer in the reception area so checking email was easy without needing to bring your own.
Restaurant tip: The crunchy grouper at Timbers is the best fried fish I ever had. Food on the island is generally mediocre and surprisingly pricy. We enjoyed the breakfast we had at the Over Easy Cafe and the coffee at the Sanibel Bean.
- Also Known As:
- Tarpon Tale Hotel Sanibel Island