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“Fabulous family holiday” 5 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
LONDON
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Fabulous family holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012 via mobile

We've been travelling around Florida for 3 weeks and this has been an amazing stay. We found this apartment (number 5) on Owners Direct. We'd tried various places but they were either booked or ridiculously expensive.

I thought we might have got a dodgy place but how wrong? Sea Shells doesnt look much from the outside but it is steps from the beach, has a tennis court, shuttle board, pool, bike rentals. Our unit #5 was beautifully decorated and well equipped with everything we could need.

I can't speak for the other places but here's the owners details so you can find out availability and pricing. jbfalvey@aol.com

If you do visit, go to Captiva and try the Captiva Cruise - we went this evening and saw manatees (mother and baby) in the marina and then had a family of dolphins swim alongside the boat. AMAZING!!

Also get sun cream with insect repellent as I've been bitten by mosquitoes and these noseeums (day and night).

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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47 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    6
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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
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

We stayed here for 4 nights in April 2012. The condo had plenty of space but the whole layout was dated and tired. The carpet (advertised as new in 1999!) was shag pile and the colour (to be very kind) was 'brown'. In the bathroom the worn towels once removed from their rack brought the whole rack down with them leaving gaping holes in the stud wall where they were once fixed. The patio doors were so ancient that it required real physical effort to slide them open. When trying to lock them at night when you fixed one end the other burst open and vice versa. The communial pool was also dated and with insufficient shade and horrible plastic slatted sun loungers. This facility is overpriced and we would not stay here again although we love Sanibel and plan to return.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Michigan
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
9 reviews 9 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.
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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 #18 of 28 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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