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Waterside Inn on the Beach

3033 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-5609
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Traveler (423)
Room & Suite (491)
Pool & Beach (152)
Certificate of Excellence


#12 of 20 hotels in Sanibel Island
Certificate of Excellence
Are you searching for that true Olde Florida charm and style? Look no further than Waterside Inn! You?re just steps away from the beautiful beaches of Sanibel. Amenities include a heated pool, beach loungers, on-site bike rentals, and BBQ grills. Come to relax and unwind in one of our small inns or cottages.
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Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Vending machine
Bicycle rental
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
BBQ facilities
Pool / beach towels
Outdoor pool
Heated pool
Gift shop
Non-smoking hotel
Picnic area
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun umbrellas
Self-serve laundry
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
Family Resort
Languages Spoken
English, Italian
696Reviews27Q+A100Room tips
Traveler rating
  • 400
  • 186
  • 50
  • 34
  • 26
Time of year
Traveler type
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Popular mentions
I7125YUkimh wrote a review Jun 2020
Washington DC, District of Columbia2 contributions1 helpful vote
We found this place last year and stayed a few nights. Notwithstanding the front desk staff who was unfriendly with zero personality (we only dealt with one woman during our stay - not Carol) before we left we booked one of the cottages closest to the beach for this June. This year, we arrived on a Friday afternoon and the same unfriendly woman was behind the desk but, Carol, the Manager, was there both friendly and welcoming. When we checked in, Carol mentioned that their was a resort fee (which they did not have when we booked last October.) When I asked what it was for Carol's answer was that it was a fee to stay at the resort. Isn't that what the room rate is? I confirmed that when we booked last year there was no resort fee. Carol said they decided to add a resort fee because everyone was doing it. She also said that pre-covid, the resort fee included bikes which they could no longer offer because they did not have the staff to clean them. She also mentioned the beach chairs which are not cleaned and which guests have to lug to and from the beach. They weigh about 900 lbs which is probably the reason that most of the guests on the beach brought their own chairs and umbrellas. Notwithstanding Carol's admission that there actually was nothing included in the resort fee, this place still feels no shame in charging one. $20/day for nothing. So what could we do, turn around and go home? Because of covid, there was no in-room housekeeping although housekeeping did swing by to pick up garbage, if you put it out and offer fresh towels, if you were there when they came. Our first night, having bought some beautiful swordfish steaks to grill on the gas grills provided, and after marinating the swordfish, we were dismayed to find that neither of the two available gas grills had propane. By that time the front office was closed. The next day we went to the front office. The unfriendly girl was there. When we explained that neither of the grills had propane, the girl's response was "I don't do that, that's maintenance's job." Not "gee, I'm sorry about the inconvenience. I'll alert maintenance right away." The day before our departure, we had no hot water. When my husband went to the office, he was offered a key to Plum Cottage (a small cottage with a shower and toilet used for guests who have checked out but still want to use the beach before they leave). Were we supposed to take our dirty dishes to Plum Cottage and wash them in the shower? These cottages do not have a dishwasher. So, we had to forego cooking dinner that night and go out to dinner instead. So, these things happen. In fact, apparently, the reason we did not have hot water was because the guest in the adjoining cottage got up in the middle of the night and tampered with the water heater! Okay, I get it. But don't you think Carol, the manager, could have at least offered some concession like maybe waiving the resort fee that covered nothing? We had been prepared to book the same cottage for next year but not after this treatment. On our way off the island we checked a few other paces which also have beach front cottages, with all the same amenities, although a bit nicer than Waterside Inn and, guess what, that are less expensive and have no resort fee. While, nice, the Waterside Inn charges far too much for the same or better elsewhere on Sanibel Island, like Shalimar or the Castaways, to name two. I guess when you have the location, you don't need to be nice to people.
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Date of stay: June 2020
Sleep Quality
1 Helpful vote
Chad J wrote a review Jun 2020
Muskogee, Oklahoma2 contributions
We have stayed here mulitple times and the location can't be beat. We normally rent both Blueberry units, great view from the deck, close to the pool and grills. Highly recommend it for familes traveling with children or pets
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Date of stay: July 2019
Susan G wrote a review Apr 2020
24 contributions7 helpful votes
My friend and I had booked a stay at the Waterside for a short getaway. With the COVID pandemic racing across the country, many businesses/restaurants closed and travel restrictions that continue to be implemented, we felt it best to re-schedule. Imagine our surprise when we attempted to do so and were told no, you can't do that! Not only were we told that cancellation was going to mean that we would not get our money back, we also are not allowed to re-schedule (there is no language in their Terms & Conditions that says this is not allowed). We are out almost $1800.00 because this place refuses to acknowledge extenuating circumstances and work with potential customers. Even with the declaration of a National Emergency, emergencies declared in the state of Florida, Lee County, and Sanibel Island (which was closed to ALL tourism partway through what would have been our late-March stay), the Inn refuses to provide a refund or offer us a chance to re-schedule our stay. The staff has been rude and condescending when calling to attempt to resolve these issues. I would highly recommend looking for other places to stay if planning on future visits to Sanibel.
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Date of stay: March 2020
4 Helpful votes
Jay wrote a review Apr 2020
1 contribution
Stayed in February before the pandemic really hit the USA and global. This is a very private spot that's secretly tucked away behind the palms. The cottages reminds my family a little blast from the past, The beach is private and towels and loungers are provided. The pool is a little on the small side, but i go to Sanibel for the ocean. I have a pool at my home. The staff is over the top friendly and always had a smile. Plan on visiting again soon.
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Date of stay: February 2020
Kim wrote a review Mar 2020
8 contributions8 helpful votes
I was looking forward to a nice relaxing vacation here only to be sadly disappointed with the global crisis currently happening in the world. Like the other recent reviews, I too had several phone calls with Carol; to no avail. I do not wish to cancel my reservation only re-schedule it to a later date. When asked why I couldn't reschedule I was told it was the same as canceling. But it's not, the definitions of those words are clearly different. I find it unconscionable that management finds it acceptable to take our hard earned money ($1700) from us and give us nothing in return. I too find this completely Shameful, Selfish, and downright Unprofessional. I was able to actually cancel, my flight, car rental, and other lodging I had scheduled with no questions asked. Currently, there are 750 Coronavirus cases in Florida; with 12 deaths. And management thinks it's okay to travel? I completely understand that the Inn needs income at a time like this however, I want a vacation that I am being denied too. If it wasn't for the travel restrictions, I would be there! I've read through your policy, it only speaks on cancelling NOT re-scheduling. Following the travel restrictions set forth by our government, doesn't seem to apply to Waterside Inn or their management because they could care less for their customers. As one reviewer stated "This is horrible customer service and we hope they are impacted in the future for their lack of compassion today!".
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Date of stay: March 2020
7 Helpful votes
Response from Waterside Inn, General Manager at Waterside Inn on the Beach
Responded Apr 9, 2020
Kim, we do not appreciate the threats to the vitality of Waterside Inn on the Beach’s future due to our due diligence in regard to guests concern. We understand your concern, however, feel the information you have provided is skewed. At this time, Sanibel Island, Florida is still practicing business as usual. We considered restrictions, but we were still having new guest arriving daily at the resort. As explained to you in regard to your reservation, we are still seeking guidance from the City of Sanibel and State of Florida. As of today, we have taken extreme action to abide by the CDC recommendation and still provide wonderful service to all of our guest. It is difficult for me to offer a refund at this time when guests are still staying and using the amenities of the Waterside Inn. More so, you booked a non-refundable trip and opted out of taking Trip Insurance, as suggested through the website. As of today, we continue to abide by local government recommendations in regard to our business operations and will continue to adapt to the changing circumstances in the future. Thanks, WSI
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$157 - $455 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
waterside inn on the beach hotel sanibel island, waterside hotel sanibel island, waterside resort sanibel island
United StatesFloridaSouthwest Gulf CoastSanibel Island
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Frequently Asked Questions about Waterside Inn on the Beach
Which popular attractions are close to Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Nearby attractions include Sanibel Island Farmer's Market (1.7 miles), Sanibel Historical Museum and Village (1.6 miles), and J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge (4.8 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and free parking.
Which room amenities are available at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Guests can enjoy barbeque facilities during their stay.
Is parking available at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Conveniently located restaurants include Joey's Custard, Bleu Rendezvous Bistro, and Coffee Bar @Bailey's.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Are pets allowed at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Waterside Inn on the Beach?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Italian.
Are there any historical sites close to Waterside Inn on the Beach?
Many travelers enjoy visiting Sanibel Historical Museum and Village (1.6 miles) and USS Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef (0.4 miles).
Does Waterside Inn on the Beach have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.