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where to stay ?

Randolph, New Jersey
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where to stay ?

My wife and I would like to visit Sanibel in early July. We like to just crash and relax, doing very little save for an early morning walk on the beach. We enjoy reasonable dining (on site or within a short distance), fairly up to date accomadations and melow surroundings.We usualy go to Aruba but after hearing so many nice things about Sanibel we would like to give it a try. Any comments or suggestions as to where to stay along with your comments will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help.

Chicago, Illinois
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2,185 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: where to stay ?

I think you might enjoy Sayana...only 9 units...quiet and relaxing.

www.sanibelislandcondo.com

The Bakery
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9,526 posts
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2. Re: where to stay ?

If you don't need a pool and are willing to walk to your restaurants - take a look at Captiva Village. Sanibel and Captiva are connected, so you can move easily between them. Sanibel has many condo options and various inns and cottages. Go to www.sanibel-captiva.org, the Chamber of Commerce wesite and click on where to stay and you be able you link to all kinds of accommodations.

In general, you won't find 4* places, but they have nice 3* ones and some luxe units here and there.

I'm suggesting Captiva because there are three choices. First is the Tween Waters Inn. They have some restored and remodeled cottages that are very nice. It is a smallish resort and sits on the very narrow section where the bay and gulf can be seen just by turning your head. They have a pool and restaurants. Downside is you must cross the street - more of a lane - to the beach.

Second choice is one of Jensen's Gulf front cottages. Several are VERY nice. see www.gocaptiva.com and click on Gulfside for the small selection of cottages available. Jensen's has excellent repeat trade so check availability.

Third option is my favorite - rent a house. Try www.captiva-island.com and click on Map. You'll see the houses in town - and it is tiny and the streets are private where the houses are. See Stafford (no pool, gulf front), Sea of Green and Island Girl. Avoid houses on ANdy Rosse Lane and those that back to it as that's where the restaurants are and you'll get the traffic, noise, smells and critters.

Jensen's and the houses in town are an easy walk to a number of decent restaurants, a small convience store, and shops. Boat rentals and charter captains are available at McCarthy's and Jensen's. Possibly the best of both worlds if you're not looking for complete isolation.

Sanibel is very quiet compared with the Jersey shore, but most good restaurants aren't near the accommodations, they sit mid-island on Periwinkle Way. Ellington's is pretty good at the Sanibel Inn and Old Captiva House at Tween Waters also. Just don't expect gourmet. My favorite restaurant is Mad Hatter at Blind Pass where Sanibel and Captiva meet. It does close in the summer, so it may, or may not, be open while you're there.

You'll find most visitors and many locals shell. It's addictive. But the beaches are not as soft due to all the shell bits in the sand. Wear suitable foot gear. And don't walk on the shells. It annoys people.

The food at Key Lime Bistro and Mucky Duck is OK. A new place, Redfish Bluefish is getting really good reviews. The green Flash is also in walking distance and RC Otters as well. The Bubble Room is really more famous than good, but should be seen at least once - for lunch! Deserts are huge!

Have a good tiem and if you'd like more info on condos and stuff once you know more about where you'd like to stay, just post. Someone will help.

Chicago, Illinois
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2,185 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: where to stay ?

Tourmaline:

You have finally done it!!! After looking at the photos of the renovated Jensen's units I am seriously considering staying up on Captiva next visit. Never thought I would say that, but they have done a great job with renovations. Beach Nest is very appealing!

The Bakery
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9,526 posts
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4. Re: where to stay ?

We have the same taste. Beachnest if my absolute fav of thiers. I love Captiva, but do like a pool, so I usually take a house. ;-)

Connecticut
9 posts
1 review
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5. Re: where to stay ?

If you want, try bayviewbb.com a waterfront bed and breakfast in Cape Coral and within driving distance of everything. Phone number 239-283-7510.

Mt. Gilead, Ohio
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2 posts
12 reviews
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6. Re: where to stay ?

Yes,Sayana is a very nice place to stay. We stay in Sayana 101. Remodeled, very clean and beautifully decorated! Perfect ocean front view from all condos. Very tropical setting. This owner has a web site for Sayana 101: www.sanibelislandcondo.com. From the home page on this website you will see links to the other two condos they also own. They do own a 1 bedroom, Ocean's reach and a 3 bedroom, Sandollar. I have never stayed in the one bedroom, but also looks great. The 3 bedroom is as nice as Sayana 101, the 2 bedroom. This May will make our 7th year staying in their condos.

Michigan
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297 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: where to stay ?

Have you ever rented a condo? We love it and find it much more relaxing than a hotel--just more homey feeling, I believe there are plenty of 1 bedrooms available. check vrbo.com or cyberenttals.com

Cheshire England
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28 posts
60 reviews
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8. Re: where to stay ?

My wife and I like doing the same things and we spent 10 days on Sanibel in February doing just that. We however do find that renting a condo works out best for us - you have all the facilities on site (some even include bicycles), and most are located right on the Gulf beach - great for that early morning walk/shelling.

We find Captiva just a bit too far from things (like reasonably sized supermarkets) for us and it had also suffered comparatively worse from Hurricane Charley. In February (after 18 months) many shops and some restaurants remained closed because the main resort (South Seas Plantation) had not yet reopened. The Captiva beachjes also had considerable re-construction work underway. For these reasons if you wish an area where you could stay on the beach, but yet within a few minutes stroll of some shops, a good breakfast and day time cafe, and a deli, I would recommend staying at the east end of Sanibel, known as the Lighthouse area or Old Sanibel. There are a number of resorts up that end of the island - find through the Chamber of Commerce website or some agencies. As July is the off season for Sanibel - you should get good rates anywhere. It is a great circuit for a morning walk round from the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico past the Lighthouse and onto the bay front looking towards the Florida mainland - lots of shells, birds, dolphins etc.

As a Brit, I wouldn't describe any of the restaurants on Sanibel/Captiva as a particularly great gastronomic experience. Most are good seafood / fish speciality restaurants. The best we found on this trip was the Twilight Cafe - which served a particularly excellent seafood paella. It is near the Sanibel institution that is called Timbers - a large fish market / restaurant established for over 30 years. Incidentially we walked out of Redfish/Bluefish on Captiva as we couldn't get what we wanted - small meal without wine. Nearly all the Sanibel restaurants are located on or near Periwinkle Way which means they are not near the beach and a very good walk or a short car ride from the resort areas.

I hope this helps - enjoy yourself. Have a great time.

Lake St. Louis...
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1,112 posts
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9. Re: where to stay ?

I prefer Sanibel down West GUlf drive for quiet. Sayanna that Grandma Mac suggested is down West Gulf drive.

There are many private condos to rent, and the desity is low. Request pictures & ask questions to make sure you know what your renting.

It is a very short drive to dinner, and no traffic that time of year.