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Blue Dolphin

Marcellus, NY
10 posts
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Blue Dolphin

I am about to book a 7-day vacation at the Blue Dolphin (Beachfront Efficiency). I've never been to Sanibel, but my husband and I like privacy and a beach-front location. We don't need a lot of amenities - we prefer to go out and explore and come home to peace and quiet.

Our favorite trip ever was to Anguilla, where we stayed at the Rendezvous Bay Hotel. It was the perfect vacation for us (if expensive). Will we be happy at the Blue Dolphin?

The Bakery
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9,526 posts
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1. Re: Blue Dolphin

LOl I had a house on on the other side on Rendezvous Bay!!!! Small world. Love Anguilla and East Shoal Bay. Sanibel is much more developed but still mostly conservation land and the food isn't as good - or as expensive. Blue Dolphin are basic and clean, nothing upscale at all, just small [and please understand cottages are usually SMALL until you get up to the luxury ones] and from all reports clean. No pool if memory serves. For whatever reason we've had little feedback but what we get is favorable. West Gulf location which is a quiet area even in season. In season Sanibel is usually busy, especially restaurants [use reservation where possible], but off-season it's very quiet. Kayaking is good and Ding Darling is usually best in season when the birds migrate in, like roseate spoonbills [often mistaken for flamingos]. If you plan to shell, the best spots all seem to be out on the sand bars right now, not on the beach.

Easiest way to get around is by bike. There's 24 miles of bike trails. You'll like to eat in places like Doc Ford's, Grandma Dot's, maybe Mad Hatter for an upscale dinner. They do seatings, which I don't like, in season and it is for sale but the youngish owner is still running the kitchen. Avoid Island Cow and Cheeburger Cheeburger as both are mostly family places and usually crowded. Amy's Over Easy Cafe [justly crowded at breakfast] on Tarpon Bay Rd and Sanibel Cafe in Tahitian Gardens are small and good. Though I've had mixed luck, check out Mermaid Kitchen. Schnapper's hot dogs is really worth a stop - but I skip the heavy, greasy Nathan's style fries.

If you're looking for clean, basic, quiet and small, I think you'll be satisfied at Blue Dolphin.

If you are interested in just off beach, but just a stroll away down a lane [no street to cross] look at West End Paradise or Periwinkle Cottages. Both are well priced and both get many good reviews. Up on a VERY quiet stretch across from Ding Darling. Just stroll down the lane to the beach access.

Marcellus, NY
10 posts
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2. Re: Blue Dolphin

LOL back at you, Tourmaline! I set out a lure and you bit! Obviously you're a Sanibel expert, but when I dug deeper, it seems your favorite places are St. Johns (I've never been but I'll put it on my list) and Anguilla. I spent months researching where I wanted to go on my first trip to the Carribean. I dedcided on Anguilla., but was crazed trying to decide where to stay ... I even changed hotels at the last minute. But our trip there last April was absolutely fabulous. Tasty's French Toast for breakfast was to die for! Calvin and Little Bay ...Garvey at the beach bar at Cuisanart, Smokeys ... I could go on. Unfortunately, I can't do Anguilla again for awhile, (too expensive) so I'm looking at Sanibel. All I need is easy access to the beach and places to stop off at for refreshment on the way.

Do you have better recommendations for a place to stay based on what I've told you? Right now I have tentative reservations for March 23 - March 30.

You're awesome, Tourmaline!

The Bakery
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9,526 posts
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3. Re: Blue Dolphin

I love St John. It has excellent snorkeling off the beaches - and it has the blasted no-see-ums like Sanibel!!!!! Makes me feel right at home. Anguilla has seen a ton of super upscale development since I was there. I remember a little ad in the local paper for a bank with the tag line, "Safe, Sane Anguilla"!!!! Well, guess the dot com zillionairs liked it and built all those obscene trophy homes. And who can stay for weeks at CuisineArt? What lovely people the locals are. Well, they were when I was there. Sanbel has a lot in common - like Anguilla it's a big sandbar. Not a hill in sight. And treeless beaches, not the palm lined crescents of sand you'll find on St John. I'm thinking of 2 vacations next year, one on Captiva/Sanibel and one to St John.

Given what you said, and understanding your budget, I think I might be inclined to stay with Blue Dolphin. The prices are very fair for Sanibel on the beach in season. Like Anguilla - the ants are a real issue, so make sure any food is put in sealed plastic bags.

I would look at West End Paradise www.sanibel-westend.com/about/ , but you'll need to call about availability. Their units are a little nicer, but not on the beach. A 1 bedroom at Tropical Winds is just under $200/nite, but you might catch a break. Sandpiper Cottage at Periwinkle is $1025 for the week which for Sanibel is a great price, but none of these have on line availability. For on the beach, you simply can't beat the price on the beach on Sanibel

On Captiva, there are a couple of cottages on Captiva also in $1000/week range, Tropical Bayside has 2 of them are open. And you'd have to check with Jensen's Marina if they have openings. Very well maintained units - and much sought after. The downside of Captiva is how far it is from things on Sanibel and the fact that guests of South Seas Resort invade the restaurants since the resort hasn't got capacity yet. It is quieter than Sanibel, less traffic and so small you can walk from the bay to the beach in about 5-7 minutes. Still, for beach front, Blue Dolphin is a very good buy, so the choice is yours.

Whatever you do, I hope the weather and water are good!!!!!

4. Re: Blue Dolphin

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