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“Wonderful stay at the Tarpon Tale Inn” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tarpon Tale Inn

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Tarpon Tale Inn
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   367 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 10 Sanibel Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Saginaw
1 review
“Wonderful stay at the Tarpon Tale Inn”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2008

The Tarpon Tale Inn was PARADISE! We spent one week there in March and LOVED our stay. The rooms were clean, clean, clean and sooo comfortable. I have never stayed anywhere so spotless! The bed mattresses were knew and extremely comfortable. Dawn, our host was the sweetest person in the world and so helpful with all island hints. The private beach is about 1 block away down a cute dirt road. We took the free bikes which made it a quick two minute ride.

Some hints for your trip: Lighthouse Cafe for breakfast (right across the road:>)

Grandma Dots for lunch...loved the fried oysters

And the Sanibel Streak house for dinner.

We loved our stay at the Tarpon Tale and look forward to returning in June.

  • Liked — Clean and CUTE CUTE CUTE!
  • Disliked — We had to go home :>(
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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173 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    128
    38
    4
    3
    0
See reviews for
21
112
9
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
233 helpful votes 233 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2008

I was reading the prior review and wondered if the poster stayed at the same place while I was there, as I too just returned.

I didn't have a problem with the inn or the setting. It's on the quieter end of Sanibel Island, near the lighthouse. Yes, it is on Periwinkle Way (the island's main drag---the ONLY one, btw) but there is hardly the chaotic traffic scene of down island, which I personally witnessed. I don't know if I'd want to be staying in that congested area, and unless you pay for a costly beachfront resort or a condo rental, there aren't alot of other options. The ice cream shop, deli and cafe across the street are all great options for food.

The room were small, but I wasn't in it much. My bed was comfortable, there was a fridge, tv and a shower, so no complaints. I don't make a mess---so cleaned up after myself every day just fine. It was nice not to have to deal with staff---I'd stayed elsewhere recently and had a very unfortunate incident with a maid, so this was a welcome relief. I felt like I was staying at a wonderful old beach house in, say, Nantucket, Montauk or Balboa Island. If you expect 5 star ambience, seclusion or pretentiousness (like ladies having to wear closed toe shoes to dinner---in warm high season!!!), there are plenty of other, pricier choices. If you need family facilities, then you should be looking into a condo rental. The inn is great for short stays of up to a few weeks, but is hardly the place to build a snowbird's nest for the season...nor should it be. It's not a traditional hosted inn---I had been corresponding with the owners beforehand and knew what to expect, that was fine for me. I found the owners there in the mornings when I was checking email and they gave me plenty of info and tips for my exploration of the islands.

I biked everywhere and sat in the back on the hammock and read there some afternoons to unwind. On the whole, as a single woman traveling alone, I found the inn perfect for my needs. And it was easy to get to---because you turn left off the causeway, not right into a sea of traffic. Lighthouse Beach is nearby, and yes, you have to pay to park there as most beach resorts require in popular areas all over the USA!

I read the reviews here and elsewhere and studied the map and guidebooks about Sanibel feel I made a good choice. I hope I can get back someday (but for us on the west coast, it can be a haul to get to Florida!). Sanibel's very special, but it may not be for everyone. If you want it to be like Hilton Head...please, by all means, go there instead :-)

  • Liked — Not having to lug my gear up stairs (I overpacked, AGAIN!); the location :-)
  • Disliked — OK, one towel didn't match. So what? :-)
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2007

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.

  • Liked — comfortable bed
  • Disliked — location, poor maintenance, poor value for the money
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iowa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2007

We stayed at the Tarpon Tale Inn for the first 3 nights of our Sanibel vacation. It has quaint, cute cottages, ours was one large room which included a full kitchen. The bathroom was rather small but served it's purpose. Everything was very clean and comfortable. When we checked in there was a note to us on the bulletin board telling us to go to our room and our key would be on the table. We didn't see the owner until the day we checked out. This place is located on Periwinkle, the main road of the Island, but when you walk down the nicely landscaped path to your cottage, you feel far away from the busy street. They provide bikes, which we used a couple of times. Some of them could use a little repairing.

I liked staying in this east end location because it was so close to many shops and restaurants. The Lighthouse Cafe and Pinocchio's was right across the street.

The only thing I didn't like was the 2 plus blocks you had to walk to get to the beach. But the price was right and it was a very good place to relax and enjoy some much needed peace and quiet.

  • Liked — Close to everything, good price, clean and comfortable.
  • Disliked — Too far from beach.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Tampa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2007

We stayed at the Tarpon Tale Inn just this past weekend to celebrate my 30th birthday. We only spent one night but it was perfect! Upon check in there was a note on a board for us with directions to our cabin. No one was in the office. We went to the cabin and it was very "beachy" and cute. We were in the Seashell #2 - there are bicycles you can borrow to ride to the beach and an ice cream shop across the street and also a small deli with delicious breakfast sandwiches. The Inn is in a nice location away from traffic and close to the Lighthouse beach. It was everything we needed for a night away. When I tried to check out - there wasn't anyone in the office again so I just left the key in the room. Our entire stay we never saw anyone that worked there - but then again we didn't really need anything. We joked that it was run by ghosts! This was a perfect little place to relax. Definitely go to Bowman Beach near Captiva Island, and try to go during the off season where prices are cheaper and the traffic isn't bad. Remember too that you have to pay a $6 toll to get to Sanibel from Ft. Myers and to park at the beaches - it's $2/hour. But worth it for a weekend -perfect for a couple! We'll be back!

  • Liked — Close to the beach, nice location
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod,MA
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2007

I was researching a safe comfortable place to end a visit to see family on Marco Island and came upon this gem. They had a cancellation and graciously offered me the "Bird House" room. I was given a quick tour by my sweet host (Dawn) and settled in to what has been an unforgetable mini-me vacation. The room was adorable, so clean and cute with every amenity I could have hoped for. My mini courtyard was lined with crushed white sea shells. Although on the main street it was so convenient to a deli, restaurant and ocean on both sides. I helped myself to a beach chair and towel and immediately hit the best beach at the end of the side street. After a shower and nap drove the islands and went to view the sunset at Mucky Duck bar on Captiva. I then settled in with a good book and slept like a baby on my Q. bed with a 12 " pillowtop. The 2nd day I took a mini cruise out of the Sanibel Marina then biked on the wonderful neighborhood bike trails. I ended up on the other side where I found a spectacular other beach one block down Buttonwood Ln. In the office which was open 24 hrs. I helped took advantage of the wine and checked e-mails on the computer.

I tried to fannagle a few extra days in my new found paradise..but faced reality and flew home.....a completely renewed person.

  • Liked — The immediate feeling of calmness it invoked.
  • Disliked — I liked everything!
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rochester nh
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2007

As past reviews have stated Tarpon Tale Inn is a lovely place to stay. The owners were friendly, yet unobtrusive and the inn is charming and immaculate. The breakfast basket each morning was just right. The owners are trusting and very helpful. It is a very small and quiet place, perfect for relaxing. It's in Old Sanibel, which is a quiet part of the island. We really enjoyed having the Lighthouse restaurant, Pinnochio's ice cream, East End Deli, Rosie's Deli and market and a few quaint stores right across the street/ next door to us. The beach is just a short walk away. Sanibel is a wonderful island and we will definitely stay at the Tarpon Tale Inn if we visit Sanibel again.

  • Liked — Comfortable, clean, quiet, quaint
  • Disliked — no pool, not on ocean
  • Stayed February 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Tarpon Tale Inn

Address: 367 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tarpon Tale Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tarpon Tale Inn is a charming, family run property on the east end of Sanibel, a short walk from the island's famous shelling beaches, the lighthouse and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Each of our cottage style accommodations has its own distinct character, and range from cozy efficiencies to spacious one bedroom suites. We hope you'll choose the Tarpon Tale Inn as your home on Sanibel. You'll find the Florida you're looking for! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tarpon Tale Hotel Sanibel Island

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