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“Looking out at the sparkling Gulf through the beautiful palms” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tortuga Beach Club Resort

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Tortuga Beach Club Resort
959 E. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 27 Hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Darnestown
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Looking out at the sparkling Gulf through the beautiful palms”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Writing this review as I look out at the sparkling Gulf of Mexico from our porch, seeing the gorgeous landscaping, I recall the highlights of this multi-week stay here at Tortuga Beach Club. As others have noted, what makes this place what it is, aside from the palm trees, pool, hot tub, lounge chairs, comfortable quarters and location, are the staff members who maintain the facilities and fulfill each request. With seven small buildings housing 54 Units, Tortuga is small enough to feel like home and large enough to provide room for every one here. Whether it is a request for some additional cooking items or Pak 'n' Plays for our grand-twins, redoing a chalking of the bathroom sink or oiling a squeaking door, all are taken care of immediately. Responding to concerns about the internet access, the management has improved the system in meaningful ways, including a back-up system in the club house for essential needs if the main system goes down. There is shuffleboard and now pickle-ball as well as tennis and access to golf, along with the beach that is at the end of the three board walks connecting the pool to the gulf. And, of course, there is just plain lounging around the pool and talking with friends or snoozing; what could be better?

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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209 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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Fort Myers, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Beautiful grounds. Perfect weather here first two weeks of January. Gorgeous beaches and the pool area at the resort is wonderful. Condos are kept up nicely and very up to date. The grounds are lush and you feel as if you are in paradise. Bike/walking trails all around the island are an added bonus. You can bike to the store, out to eat, exercise or any activity that you want to participate in without fear of being in the road. The WIFI has been updated since our last visit so it works seamlessly. Not that I am on it constantly since I am on VACATION. The staff is very proficient in the jobs and are always helpful.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Hadley, Massachusetts
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Our vacation at Tortuga was wonderful in every way.This is the perfect spot for anyone looking to relax, have fun and be at a beautiful resort. The staff are so friendly, helpful and professional. They go out of their way to make sure all your needs are met.

Room Tip: If you don't mind climbing stairs then request a room on the top floor. Beautiful views and a wo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solebury, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Staff, staff, staff. We cannot say enough about the staff at Tortuga Beach Club. Having travelled to a number of destinations with the family, we've come to appreciate the difference between a desk clerk and true resort staff. The former may check you in and out efficiently, but Tortuga Beach Club is a shining example of how resort-oriented staff that understands you've come for a relaxing vacation makes all the difference. Without a doubt, the staff will make you feel welcome and seem to do just about anything within their power to make sure you enjoy your stay.

A word of warning - if you call the resort office for any assistance, just make sure you're ready to receive visitors - they'll be at your door in a heartbeat! We called several times during our last visit for this and that - a light bulb, knife sharpening, etc. - and the staff arrived almost instantly and took care of our needs with a smile.

We've vacationed on Captiva and/or Sanibel for over twenty years and have rented a private house on Captiva, stayed in several hotels and resorts on the islands and have returned nearly every year to Tortuga Beach Club for the past ~15 years. We've visited at various times - early December, Christmas & New Years, Spring Break, even during summer break - and have always had the same superior experience.

The staff always welcomes us by name, always ask about our children - they've watched them grow up and genuinely feel like extended family.

Tortuga Beach Club is right on the beach, making the beach imminently accessible and easy to run back and forth to your unit to grab beverages, etc. A nice facet of this is that it lets families easily split between those who enjoy the beach vs. those who enjoy the pool without feeling separated - and beautifully accommodates those that enjoy both. The pool and spa are large, comfortably heated, and lounge chairs are in ample supply.

The covered poolside area or clubhouse are also great places to enjoy lunch - either one you make yourself or order from the daily lunch available from the resort's entertainment director, JoAnn. In addition to lunch, JoAnn keeps children - and adults - happy with daily craft projects, morning coffee, sunrise cocktails, afternoon ice cream and frozen drinks, a weekly kid’s night out, and the odd Ping-Pong tournament or weekly evening cocktail gathering. There are more than enough activities on Captiva & Sanibel to keep families busy, but it's a major plus to have onsite activities when you want to relax by the pool and 'stay home'.

For golfers, Tortuga also has the unique and significant plus of free greens fees at the Dunes golf club.

Units are spacious with 2 bedrooms and easily accommodate travelling families. The master suite is very spacious and outfitted with a king size bed, a full bath, and second floor units have a private balcony with great views of the Gulf. Second bedrooms have twin beds, some with a bonus window-seat twin. If you're travelling with teenagers, the living room also easily converts after hours with a pull out double bed.

During our visits, it seems that units are constantly being updated and, during our most recent visit over the 2012 Christmas - New Year holiday, we had the opportunity to stay in a recently updated unit with newly remodeled kitchen and found them to be very nicely appointed and, as always, well-stocked with all of the necessities to prepare as elaborate a meal as your vacation-minded self desires. You'll find all of the usual full size appliances, plenty of pots, pans, and utensils as well as a blender and programmable coffee maker.

Units were also just updated with in-unit Wi-Fi internet access with individual access points per unit. Overall, internet service was very solid with ample bandwidth. There were a few hiccups that the staff responded to and resolved ASAP, but we took the hiccups in stride as a gentle prompt from 'someone' to disconnect and relax.

We prefer upstairs units in the 'end' buildings, closer to the beach - although downstairs units offer the positives of single floor living with a first floor master suite, bathroom, and direct walk out access to the beach.

Next to the staff and units, some of the best features Tortuga offers are nicely kept grounds and amenities - tennis courts, shuffleboard, sand volleyball court - and fantastic gulf views. We particularly enjoyed the gulf views and breeze during dinners on the screened porches where we enjoyed most of our eat-in meals.

Fellow guests were also warm and welcoming and many we met were multi-year, repeat visitors, which says something in and of itself, and all were ready to compare notes or offer recommendations for restaurants, activities, etc. Evening chats while grilling were particularly enjoyable and reminiscent of the backyard barbeque chatter you'd expect.

Tortuga is truly a gem of a resort and a place you'll quickly find yourself feeling at home.

Room Tip: Units in building near the "end" of the property are closest to the beach - bulidings A, B...
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  • Stayed December 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.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

I've stayed here several times in the past. It is consistent. The wifi never works long enough to get anything done, if you can get online at all. That has been the case over a two or three year stretch. Management doesn't think it's a priority for guests and I guess they have theirs...

Speaking of management. They spend 95% of their time writing nasty "use policies" for guests. Now I fully understand the need to control what are all temporary residents. But the mindset of the staff seems to be that the guests are an interruption to what management wants to be doing, so whatever it is you request is some kind of burden.

There are placards all over the place in your unit (I counted at least two, plus a welcome letter with an admonition not to smoke, plus a welcome book with a warning not to smoke). Great. I'm a non-smoker and I don't want to breathe that crap either. So why, then, does the staff security officer sit in the children's recreation hall and smoke a cigar. Yes, I did say that. They sit there and smoke a cigar. Mostly to drive the children out so the security officer can sit in peace and quiet. Again, see my earlier comments about how staff sees the guests as some kind of "problem".

Hilton has a good brand and I can't quite explain why this place would operate with such a pompous attituide. Perhaps it is because there are "owners" who arrive and use the facilities once a year. They are on vacation and not there to try to fix management. If it was a Hilton hotel in a city they visited once a year, they'd just switch and go to a new hotel. Here, not so easy. So they deal with it, I guess. Although the security guard smoking in the kid's area every evening is a bit perplexing.

UPDATE: The security guard was replaced with a new one. He is either off on vacation or rotated to some other complex. But the new gal was swearing up a storm sitting out by the pool (on her phone ... thinks nobody else can hear, I guess). So all the kids from K-8 learned some new words on this vacation. Special, very special. Maybe we'll combine their new words with the word Hilton and make a Youtube video. Ever seen a 5 year old say "F*** Hilton"? Might be interesting... Thanks, Hilton!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cindi K, Front Office Manager at Tortuga Beach Club Resort, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Thank you so much for your feedback!
For some reason, we have the worst problems with WiFi for weeks 51 & 52, which are at the end of December. We have decided that it must be the increased number of "devices" in each condo. We continue to work on solutions to this. One thing was added that hopefully will help, is a new modem/router from a different server in our Clubhouse - to be used at those times when/if our other WiFi is unavailable. We do consider internet a priority!

Regarding our "no smoking policy". We must post this policy so that everyone will notice it. There are two placards in each unit as you mentioned. We don't want there to be any mistaking that there is a policy in place. I'm sorry if this bothered you. Another thing you mentioned was unknown to the staff. The security guard was smoking a cigar in the Clubhouse - another off-limits area for smoking. The guard has since been admonished. The guard with the bad language was "fired" the morning we heard about it. Obviously, this was unacceptable!

One thing must be said about your comments about the staff: We understand that you were unhappy with your stay, but we try very hard to make ALL of our guests happy so they can have a great vacation. Our guests are never a problem to us as you perceive. We know the problems with the internet were rough and we hope to continue to update our system so that our guests, especially weeks 51 & 52, will be better able to use it.

Again, thank you so much for sending your feedback! It is very important to us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, NJ
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

This is a really nice time share resort that we got as an exchange for our Marriott Vacation Club Resort. We stayed of the Christmas holidays and it was very nice. The location is terrific. It is at the East end of the island, near the bridge. This area is less crowded and there is less traffic. Beach was lovely. The facility was very clean and is in the process of new upgrades. We stayed in a unit (136) with a new kitchen. Very nice. We understand that all units with be getting new furnishings this year. The current ones were still in good condition, but are a little dated. Only negatives were the 2 story units and no elevators. (got lots of exercise). Since the facility is small (only 50ish units), there were not a lot of amenities like at a Marriott Vacation Club facility, however, we were not really bothered by that. Best part... 2nd floor units have fantastic spacious screen porch that has great view of the Gulf of Mexico and a 3rd floor master with a private balcony with an even better view! Wow!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Tortuga Beach Club is located right on the beach and close to the Sanibel causeway. The bedrooms are spacious and comfortable. Each unit has wireless internet. The kitchen has everything you need to eat at home during your vacation. The condo comes with beach chairs that you can take out to the beach. But it's just as easy to enjoy the pool and sauna.

The club offers lunch and snacks by the pool plus art activities for the kids every day. They even offer babysitting one night per week. Overall... a pretty relaxing week!

Room Tip: Most 3rd floor condos have a view of the beach. 2nd. floor condos have easy walk-out access to the p...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Tortuga Beach Club Resort

Address: 959 E. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 54
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Also Known As:
Tortuga Beach Club Hotel Sanibel Island
Tortuga Beach Resort
Tortuga Beach Hotel

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