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“Walk to beach and save $” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sea Shells of Sanibel

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Sea Shells of Sanibel
2840 W. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957   |  
Hotel amenities
Michigan
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Walk to beach and save $”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

My family of 4 stayed here for a week during spring break. The complex is on the inland side of West Gulf Dr, which is a quieter residential section of Sanibel. If you must be gulf-front you won't be happy here, but if you don't mind walking 5 minutes to the beach you can save $1,000 a week or more by staying here. Each unit is individually owned and decorated, so you'll want to check out the pictures of individual units if the decor matters to you. We rented directly through the owner on VRBO and had plenty of pictures to view. As others have noted, unit 1 is right off West Gulf and thus, closest walk to beach access. Our unit 43 is in the very last building. The walk through the complex is actually longer than the walk down the street to the access. It's not too far, and each unit seemed to come with a beach cart for hauling gear. The complex was nice and quiet, with a mix of retirees that lived there and families staying for a short while. There is a small pool (very clean) with umbrella tables, lounge chairs, and pool noodles, small clubhouse with books, magazines, laundry room, and baths next to the pool. there is also a patio with brand-new grills, shuffleboard, and more tables and chairs behind the pool area. The pool is located mid-way in the complex. Tennis courts are at the far end. Racquets and tennis balls are provided in the clubhouse. The staff we saw is there during day hours and was very pleasant. Each unit has a small screened balcony overlooking the parking lot. Both sides of the complex are surrounded by green space, trees, and tropical plants. It was a nice change of pace from the big condo resorts I've stayed at before, and much cheaper. We'll be back again next year.

Room Tip: Lower number units are closest walk to beach
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Grand Ledge, Michigan
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

We stayed here during spring break and thought that the price was very reasonable given the time period. The rooms were somewhat small (we had five people in our group), but it's not like we spent a lot of time inside! The beds were comfortable, but the extra cot was not. It was very clean and had all of the amenities we needed. I loved how close it was to the beach. You do have a short walk (less than 5 minutes for an average person), but once you got there, the beach was not crowded. I suppose if you are travelling with young children and needed to carry more than a bag to the beach, it may not be as convenient. The staff was very nice and I enjoyed being able to rent bikes on the property. It's easy to find and easy to travel around the island (and Captiva, as well). This was my first trip to Sanibel and I would stay at Sea Shells again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

The staff are VERY helpful here. Unfortunately, the property needs a lot of help! Very overpriced for what you receive. Uncomfortable beds and furniture. Location is much farther from the beach than what a visitor would think. Kitchen much smaller than pictures present. Room for only one person to cook in the kitchen area. Won't stay again or recommend to others .

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

My husband and I have always liked the ambiance of Sanibel’s small inns and cottages so we have stayed at places like the Parrot Nest, Driftwood Inn and PalmView. This time on the island we wanted to try a different beach location, explore new bike paths and restaurants so we chose the Sea Shells of Sanibel condos, which are a little more upscale, only slightly more in price and still within our budget. In January 2010 we stayed in unit #10 and in January 2011 we stayed in unit #7. Both units have the same layout, were very clean, updated, and each unit was tastefully decorated in bright, cheery colors—and compared to other places we have stayed, Sea Shell units are more spacious. This contributed to a very pleasant weeklong stay, thankfully, as we ended up spending more time in the condo than expected because of rain and record-low cold snaps (both years). The kitchens in both units were great—refrigerator and range were full size and there was actually enough counter space, along with utensils, pots and pans to enjoy cooking a full meal. Bedrooms in both units are large with ample closet and dresser space and plenty of room to move around without bumping into furniture. Beds were comfortable. Both the master bathrooms and hall baths were clean and large enough not to feel cramped. Unit 10 includes a TV in both bedrooms. The owners of unit 7 have assembled a delightful guidebook of tips and things to do on the island that would be helpful for anyone new (and not so new) to Sanibel. Both units have a nice little screened porch for two, perfect for enjoying a morning cup of coffee. There is a heated pool, coin-operated laundry facilities, outdoor grills, tennis courts and a place to clean your shells. Bike rental is also available and we found this part of the island just as enjoyable by bike, if not more. Take the bike path behind Rabbit Road to Doc Fords for lunch but watch out for alligators! So is there a downside? We didn’t find one but I have to agree with the reviewer from St. Paul who said the management was “uninterested”. We also found the woman to be very low-key and didn’t exactly receive a warm welcome upon our arrival nor did we see her much during the week, but she was okay. The only complaint I had was that I wished both units had provided spacious mats by the door (and brooms or vacuum cleaners) so we wouldn’t feel guilty tracking sand through the condo. But really, that’s our only complaint. One more thing—depending on where you stay in the complex it’s a 5 or 10-plus minute walk to the beach. Lower numbered units are closer to the bike path and beach. If you are looking for something a little nicer than a rustic small inn/cottage atmosphere yet can’t afford to stay directly on the beach, give Sea Shells of Sanibel condos a try.

Room Tip: units #7 and #10 are lower level, close to laundry and beach path
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livonia, Michigan
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2011

We stayed in Unit 34, which is about half way into the resort. The unit was very clean and comfortable. There is a nice lanai overlooking greenery, across the parking lot. There are osprey nesting right across from the unit. It is about a 10 minute walk to the beach. Not too far, but it helps to have a wagon or something to haul your beach stuff. The walk seems longer than it is., especially when it is hot or you are carrying stuff.

This is a good central location to do whatever you want to do on Sanibel or Captiva. The beach is as nice as anything we saw on our trip. Good for shelling or swimming. The resort also has a small pool and a freshly re-surfaced tennis court. The resort is comparable to many others we saw that charged a great deal more than what we paid. I would not hesitate to stay here, again.

There is no restaurant on site. My one knock on this unit is that the bed was too hard for my tastes. Not a big deal. There is no spa or room service.

The owner of the unit was very good at communicating with us and very helpful in terms of suggesting activities and places to see while we were here. Very pleasant to work with.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Ripley, WV
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

Our family stayed here at Sea Shells in May 2011. The pool, shuffleboard, and tennis courts were well maintained--the whole property was in perfect order. When we came in, the screen door to the unit was broken. Management had someone down within the hour to fix it and we had no other problems the rest of the time we were there.
We stayed in Unit #2, which is a ground floor unit, closest to West Gulf Drive. The unit was well apportioned as we never lacked for utensils, plates, towels, etc. Of all the units it has one of the shortest walks to the beach. The only draw back to the place was, as we have two small children, the glass coffee tables, glass dining room table, and folding doors which aren't good for little fingers. Although we worried some, we had no troubles with them. Additionally, the wireless internet seemed to have weak signals in random spots in the condo. The screened in porches were perfect places to keep beach toys, towels, etc. in a safe place (away from wind and the like). The covered parking space was much appreciated in the late afternoon.
As the property is not gulf front, one must take a short stroll up West Gulf and walk across the street to a private path. This path is tree covered and during the early morning and late evening it was a haven for bugs. We remedied this by using some bug spray--but be careful!
The location of Sea Shells is nearly perfect. You are away from "downtown" (if there is such a thing) and yet just a quick drive or bike ride away from everything on the West end of Periwinkle. The beach in this area was largely deserted and provided some nice shelling (although, you'll find the best shells at Blind Pass). The weather in May was perfect as well--nice and warm, but not to hot, during the day, quick shower each night--very comfortable.
We are very likely to stay at Sea Shells again. Although we are beach people, the walk wasn't that bad and certainly the prices can't be beat.

Room Tip: lower numbered units are closest to the beach
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

For us Sea Shells was a mixed bag. First the good--the unit, pool and grounds were impeccably clean. The pool was clean and the water a perfect temperature. The unit's kitchen was stocked better than any place we've ever stayed--plenty of glassware, baking dishes, blender, pans, etc. All the applicances worked well. Would have been nice to have a stopper for the kitchen sink. There were plenty of beach toys and chairs. My kids were delighted by a huge dragon kite. Lots of books, games puzzles and movies. We arrived early evening on a Saturday and had to let ourselves in. The sliding door in the unit was broken so that we didn't feel very secure and the screen porch facing north had dingy worn screen making a poor first impression. Bathrooms were clean, but worn looking without shelving to store toiletries--there were wire shelves but the wire not close enough together to hold anything. The bed in the master bedroom was so soft we woke with backaches every morning. The rollaway was not a standard size--only appropriate for a small child, we intentially picked that unit for the rollaway--planning that our adult son could use it--much too small and the poor guy got stuck with the thin mattress on the sofa bed. We prepared all our dinners in our unit and were sad that there was not a deck or screened area that we could enjoy outdoor eatting. Management says you can rent bikes, but they are not open on Sundays (most people seem to arrive later on Saturday) Thank goodness for the very charming guests that were so helpful in orientating us to the island. I was surprised that staff never checked during the week if we needed anything. We NEVER had any contact with management. Unfortunately we left a library book in the unit. I called when we returned home because we have friends that live in condos across the street that would have picked up the book. We were told that they couldn't check until the current guests checked out. We looked at the calendar and several groups checked in and out and management couldn't seem to look for the book until three weeks later when they were reminded again--then they just went in and checked the bookshelf and said they couldn't do more looking because there were guests in the unit--wow, thanks, it wouldn't have been in the bookshelf of owner books AND there was plenty of opportunity to check after guests had checked out. . So thanks to the management, I have to pay both for the book and the overdue fines. I should have realized that management wouldn't give the issue much attention. I had sent three emails requesting information on the unit before our arrival, the only response I ever got back was that payment was due.

We do love Sanibel. It is very family friendly. We also found the mix of people at Seashells to be delightful. All generations talking, enjoying and sharing information. Children could have fun and make a little noise and all was good.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Sea Shells of Sanibel

Address: 2840 W. Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sanibel Island
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Sanibel Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 44
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Also Known As:
Sea Shells Of Sanibel Hotel Sanibel Island

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